A couple of decades ago, no wise entrepreneur would have even thought to set up a business in Dubai. The reason is there is no suitable business environment. Most importantly, foreign investors were not welcomed there. However, that’s all about the past and now things have changed drastically. By setting up “Freezones” all across the country for varied business purposes, Dubai has opened new doors for foreign investors with similar scopes of development as the native businessmen. Here are some of the important considerations associated with business set-up in Dubai.
Prepare yourself for business set-up procedure
As said earlier, there are a number of Free zones scattered all over the country. Every free business zone has different sets of rules, regulations and company formation procedures. Therefore, there are certain needs to be addressed before you get started. Firstly, you need to carry out a thorough market research. Secondly, you have to understand your business needs. Thirdly, figure out the best possible location to set up your business. Fourthly, evaluate the Free Trade Zones available in the country and finally prepare a seamless business plan.
The following are the procedures to set up a business in Dubai Free Zone:
1. Decide the suitable Free Trade Zone license – It should be your initial step as there are different license types for different business activities. Let’s take a look on them :
- General trading license
- Service or Free Zone consultancy license
- Industrial license
- Commercial license
2. Confirm your business activities – Remember, not all the zones allow you to carry out all activities. Therefore, it’s crucial that you confirm your business activities so that you could find out if they are permitted in the free zone you intend to select. There are restrictions too.
3. Decide on the legal structure of your company- It depends on the nature as well as number of partners associated with your business. Documentation is a must in this case. Other factors, like cost and all, also depend on the legal structure of your company.
4. Confirm your business facilities - Although most of the Dubai Free Zones offer facilities like warehouse and office space, availability is an important factor. Therefore, access all your needs before committing.
5. Confirm the fees as well as other charges - Most of the investors tend to select the least expensive option available to them. However, they just go by the initial charges and forget about the additional or the hidden ones. Here is the breakdown of the total cost for business set-up in Dubai Free Zone:
- Initial cost for business set up in Free Zone
- Annual renewal cost
6. Submit your application form and related documents - This is one of the most important steps when it comes to initiating the actual application procedure. The required documents depend on the nature of your business. The following documents are some of the general ones:
- Your business set up application form
- Copy of your passport
- Copy of your visa
- Your business plan
- Bank statements
7. Secure your preliminary and important approvals - These days, some of the Dubai Free Zones also require approvals from various regulatory departments of the country in advance.
- Approval from the immigration department
- Approval from the environment department
- Approval from the Ministry of Health
8. Make your payment, sign important documents and get started - You have the option of making your payments in installments with some of the Free Zones. Once the payment part is done, you would have to sign all necessary documents. Upon completion of all the formalities, you will get the license and you can get started.
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