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Start a small business in Dubai [In 7 Easy Steps]

Starting a small business in Dubai is easy, as long as you work with a company formation specialist in Dubai who understands the environment, the laws, and can ensure you are set up and running properly.

So in this article, we will cover:

    • Benefits of starting a small business in Dubai
    • Steps to open a small business in Dubai
    • Cost of opening a small business in Dubai
    • Documents required to start a small business in Dubai

Benefits of starting a small business in Dubai

Looking to launch your own company, but not sure where to start and only have a small budget available? In this guide, we’ll be touching on some key points you’ll need to consider when it comes to setting up a business in Dubai with little (or no) money. The main takeaway: plan carefully, and be clear on the essential steps you need to take to be selling legally. That way, you’ll avoid any expensive problems further down the line — and be able to enjoy launching your own brand!

Steps to open a small business in Dubai

For a personalised quote and tailored guidance on this, get in touch with us today; we’re experts in supporting businesses through the application processes necessary to be able to officially trade in the UAE. With our help, you could be up and running within a couple of weeks.

As a top-level guide to getting started, we’ve created the following checklist:

1. Apply for a commercial license in Dubai
There are three main types of license in the UEA: commercial, industrial and professional — though the government also issues a range of other licenses that are specific to certain activities. Today we’re looking at what’s needed to apply for a commercial license.

This is a multi-step process — and, while none of these individual steps is particularly complicated, they all require knowledge of how the business incorporation process works in the UAE. This is why we recommend you seek out expert advice to help you navigate the steps.

2. Be specific about your business activity
In order to successfully apply for a business license in Dubai, every business must list their business activity — or activities. You will be able to choose the most appropriate option from a predetermined list, with over 2000 to choose from — so whatever your industry or line of work, there will be options that apply to your business. It’s essential that you list every activity your business undertakes. Failing to cover all activities can result in fines, or even your business losing its license.

3. Choose your company’s name
As well as your name needing to be snappy and memorable, you’ll also need to choose a name that fits the UAE’s strict naming conventions. The key information to note on this front is that UAE company names should not contain any language that’s considered blasphemous or offensive. It should also not feature the names of any well-known institutions, or any abbreviations of your own name. Using your own full name is permitted, however. It’s also important that your business name has a legal entity — such as FZE or LLC. These are just some of the criteria to consider, so please do get in touch with us for a more comprehensive list.

4. Documents required for a commercial license in Dubai
You will need to choose between free zone and mainland setup. Both come with distinct advantages and limitations — so it’s best to seek expert advice on which is best for you. Once this is complete, you’ll be able to apply for your commercial license. You will need to submit:

    • A completed application form
    • Passport copy of the proposed owner, or owners
    • Two colour passport-size photos

5. Apply for your visa
This final step contains four stages, including a medical — but it shouldn’t take more than a week. And once it’s done, you and your business are ready to get selling in the UAE and beyond.

Cost of opening a small business in Dubai

Acquiring a commercial license in Dubai doesn’t need to be a challenge — but it can be, if you aren’t aware of all the steps and procedures involved. And it can turn out to be more expensive than you might expect, too.

While many businesses factor this amount into their set-up budget, there are other costs to cover beyond the initial license. While the license itself costs AED 10,000, additional fees (such as registrations, visas and more) can take your total up to AED 30,000 or more. If this isn’t a cost you’re ready to cover yet, it might be best to consider whether you’re able to source additional funds before you get started.

Documents required to start a small business in Dubai

Making sure you’ve gathered all the necessary documents and paperwork to start a business in Dubai with little or no money can certainly feel daunting at times. But we’re on hand to help; our expert teams are highly experienced in supporting businesses like yours in completing their applications — offering guidance and insight at every step to ensure you’re up and running fast, with minimal stress. Get in touch today for a personalised quote.

Working with Creative Zone

When you’re looking to set up any kind of small business in Dubai you can be sure what you’re getting from Creative Zone is the latest, up-to-date info from people who deal with this every day.

While the setup process can be somewhat stressful, you can fast-track it by working with a company formation specialist. It’s the quickest way to get set up in the UAE, letting us take care of all the details and ensuring your application is free from errors.

Here at Creative Zone, we offer you the best solutions to start your small business in Dubai, UAE. You get fast, reliable and unbiased advice on your unique business setup requirements. We can help you choose the right kind of license for your chosen business activity/activities and take you through the entire process from start to finish.

Over 10 years, Creative Zone has helped over 36,000 entrepreneurs set up their businesses. Whether it be a mainland business setup, offshore company setup, free zone company setup or issuing of trade licenses and any related activity for registering a company, Creative Zone is your one-stop-shop.


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