How to start a business in UAE

Posted by PEC Attestation, Apostille and Translation Services on November 18th, 2019


UAE has a pretty diverse population. There are Indians, Americans, Canadians and other residents from all over the world. This is what makes the UAE an ideal country for commerce with a versatile business line. The expansion of the UAE is something that has seen development in every area. Along with employment, there are numerous opportunities that have appeared for entrepreneurs who are looking forward to taking their business international or are planting seeds of their new capital in the country.


Preparation before engaging with the formalities is quite helpful. There are some factors that you need to consider at the time of processing an agenda for your plan of doing business in UAE. There’s registration, attestation of documents, licensing the business, and other formalities that can be confusing. Knowing the details beforehand can be convenient at the time of actually performing the process.

Research: How to do research for business in the UAE?

Before getting into something, it is essential to know all the important aspects that affect the same. Starting any kind of business requires proper planning and an agenda that can be attained through comprehensive research and study of the particular business and the region you are planning to set it up. Considering the scope for business in the UAE, there are multiple areas that are of demand in the nation. If you already have a business in your native country, you need to know what is the value of the same business in the market of UAE.

Research as much as you can and do not limit your sources to the internet. Including the local business magazines in your reading quota can turn out to be quite useful as well. It can also be helpful in consulting the entrepreneurs who tried doing business in the country and these must include the ones who have succeeded as well as the ones who haven’t. Learning from the mistakes of others can help you in not making the same faults. 

Potential Clients: Where to find potential clients in UAE?

The enterprise could be a business to business, or business to customer service. Once you have decided what kind of business is best suited, you must know what part of the population you are going to serve. Since the capital is yet to set up, you need to broaden your perspective and get to know your customers on a personal level. For instance, if you are going to open a new branch of your restaurant that shall serve vegetarian food in the UAE, you need to know if the localities will be able to accept it or not. The maximum population of the UAE is non-vegetarian and prefers meat. Serving only vegetarian food shall limit your customers to the minority and the business may be a loss. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the choices of your potential clients and what percent of them shall actually convert into your customers.

The quality of potential clients decides whether you should set up the business or not. This means that the number needs to be considerable enough for you to have a profitable trade. The estimation of potential clients is rather a pretty vague task. Sometimes, the number of clients may rise or fall in accordance with different factors such as sudden demand for the particular business, or a cheaper option for your expensive service, or the seasonal requirement of your product. The market keeps changing and the values keep fluctuating.

Capital: How to arrange capital?

When you know who you are going to provide, you now need to know where can you get the best of customers. At the time of building a franchise, there are plenty of factors that need to be looked upon. The location of the organization matters majorly when it is B2C. Taking an instance of a laundry service, it’d be best to set up the shop somewhere near the residential area. If the shop is situated in between offices and workplaces, it wouldn’t make as much profit as it will when it is closer to the housing area. Because generally, the earning individual of the family does not indulge in household activities.

Capital also involves a plan of what kind of infrastructure would be perfect for your business. Huge buildings do not always mean the best service, sometimes you might find more crowd outside a fast-food serving food truck than a fancy restaurant, just as a bank or a law firm which just an office of one apartment doesn’t seem to attract many clients as many as a multi-storeyed building with suited employees. Again, the infrastructure should be relatable for the customers you desire to attract.

Investment: Where to Invest in the UAE market?

The first and foremost aspect after the finalization of the agenda is the investment. Every business enterprise requires investment but not always a huge sum of funding. Investment is required for the capital, advertisement, employment, taxes and other formalities that cross the paths with doing business in the UAE. Funding can be availed from your present business or look for an interested investor, else the UAE government also provides interest-free loans to entrepreneurs. Generation of today has ideas but not everyone has proper funding and hence, this holds them back from converting their ideas into an actual business.

Although, there are other tasks that must be carried out before figuring out how big of an investment you require. Estimate how much the land for capital will cost, the number of employees you are going to need to hire and on what positions and what shall be their salary, the taxes that you might need to pay and other minor expenditures. After this make a budget that shall help you find the appropriate investment.

Employment: How to get employees for your business?

There are different positions in one firm and everyone has different duties. When you are employing in UAE, appoint the candidates that are local and know about the locality or have been born and brought up there. At the time of employing from the native country, you will also need UAE Embassy Attestation. What this will do is help you understand the citizens and customers there better, as of course, you are new in the country. For this, you may require to learn at least the basics of the common language spoken in the country on the particular locality.

The kind government also helps you with the assistance in appointing the employees at your firm. There are certain laws in UAE that are to be followed at the time of employing. These are issued by the Labour Department in favor of the workers. Anyone hiring in the country needs to obtain a permit from the same to go through with the employment process.

Pre-advertisement and promotion: How to promote your business in the UAE?

Everyone wants something new from time to time. Letting people know about you even before starting the trade will bring you, customers, beforehand. Putting up posters and advertisements will create some sort of suspense for the viewers and make them curious about your plan. You can start with popular social media apps and websites like Facebook and Instagram where people of all ages and cultures are present. This will also give you an idea of how much you can achieve in a particular area or region of the country.

Promotion requires money as well. You need to be picky about where you choose to advertise your product and in what way. It needs to be precise and meaningful. The advertisement is meant to influence more people if it contains humor, a strong message or at least is relatable to the customers. Triggering the emotion is important for the customer to trust you and your product.

Law, Legislature and Taxation: What are the laws for business in UAE?

The laws about business in UAE are strict and must be followed with proper guidelines. First of all, you must attain approval from the Economic Department and the license is obtained when you register with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Also, the brand name that you have chosen for your new enterprise or the name that already exists should be verified by the Licensing Section of the Economic Department. Before the submission of these commercial documents, the process of commercial document attestation needs to be carried to authenticate the same.

These were some of the basic and initial laws that are followed at the time bringing in any kind of foreign business in UAE. There are tax benefits as well that make business in this country so facile. The foreign business company has to pay no personal income taxes plus, you can attain a corporate tax exemption for 15 years which can also be renewed. You can get 100% of your tax exemptions for the import and export of your merchandise along with full repatriation of your capital and profits.

There is a certain protocol that has to be followed for doing business in a discipline-loving country. From the attestation of documents to register your business to the Economics Department, it is a time taking procedure. Although, business in UAE has been made quite convenient by the government by keeping all the procedure transparent with the interested investors. With such diversity in the population, there are so many ways you can win people on your side and thrive with resilience.


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Joined: November 18th, 2019
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