Launching Your Business in the UAE - RAALC Law Firm

Launching Your Business in the UAE

United Arab Emirates, is blessed with a strategic location between the east and west, which makes it accessible to major emerging economies, linking shipping routes and facilitating goods’ transportation between the various regions in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa. According to IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2023, UAE maintains a regional leading position. It can be safely said that the UAE market holds tremendous potential for willing investors.

The UAE has enrich natural resources, long-term political stability, superior geographical location, developed infrastructure, good public security, relaxed business environment and high economic opening. It is one of the most attractive countries in the Gulf and Middle East region. There are several aspects that make of the UAE one of the most attractive destinations to invest. One of the main issues an investor or an entrepreneur looks for when trying to start a business or invest in a foreign country is the applicable tax. And the UAE is the favorite destination for these foreign investors, since it is considered an almost tax-free country. This is because the tax rate in UAE is relatively low compared to other countries being the only taxes applicable the Valued Added Tax (VAT) with a small percentage of 5%, and Corporate Tax with a percentage of 9%. When it comes to custom duties, it is only applicable to general goods. On the other hand, through the years, the UAE has improved its logistical, management facilities and regulations to ease the setup process of a company in the numerous conditioned free zones with 100% foreign ownership. Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis and regional turmoil, the UAE has become a safe option for regional capital flows and logistics, its regional position in trading, finance, and logistics have been further strengthened.

Setting up a company in a new environment and country is a complex process, and it is especially important to choose the most suitable solution and to ensure compliance with the local laws and regulations. The business set up procedure is not only a business registration or documents preparation, but also such legal aspects as: works with the Government while starting a business, legal control of legality in interactions with customers, suppliers, interactions with custom actions, rights and obligations of shareholders, VAT procedure, Corporate tax procedure, contracts with employees, in matters of the legitimate introduction of media marketing, drafting agreements, in cooperation with companies, in rental agreements. To make life easier for the companies. We are proud of our Corporate Department, since it is formed by the most professional Advocates, Attorneys, Senior Associates, Associates and Paralegal, each one of them with a unique international background and experienced in a specific corporate field/aspect, and when combined are capable of providing the most efficient full-corporate services to any complex corporate matter in a variety of languages such as Arabic, English, Chinese, Japanese beating any language barriers between Law Firm and Client.

In order to enable our client to understand the entrepreneurial environment in the UAE better, RAALC provides information about company setup in the UAE as below.

How to establish a business and work in the UAE? Any activity in Dubai is required to be licensed.

  • First of all, submit the request to the competent authority in order to obtain a business license
  • The types of business licenses of all companies can be divided into three types according to the business activity:
    • Commercial license, such as trading, construction, transport, real estate, etc;
    • Industrial license, such as manufacturing, etc;
    • Professional license, such as medicine, law, accounting, auditing, etc;
  • The legal form of all companies can be divided into four main types:
    • Limited Liability Company (LLC);
    • Private Joint Stock Company (PJSC);
    • Sole Establishment;
    • Branch of a foreign company/free zone company;
  • Last, Mainland vs Free zone.

There are more than 40 free zones in the UAE. While choosing a free zone, the client should learn the location and prestige, infrastructure and facilities, features and others. A company registered in a free zone does not have the right to open offices or shops outside its borders, but its owners and employees can be located anywhere in the UAE.

  • Obtaining a UAE residency visa;
  • Opening a corporate bank account. Now you are good to go for business in the UAE!


Published by Kate Yang Chen

Kate holds a degree in Bachelor of Business Management and Information Management and Information Systems from the Shanghai Maritime University in 2012. She then pursued and completed a Master of Arts in International Politics, Economics and Communications from Aoyama Gakuin University in 2016. Kate further pursued her love for law by completing the Graduate Diploma in Law in 2015 Kate is fluent in Chinese, English, and Japanese as she has taken a Japanese language course from the Fuji International Language Institute, Tokyo, Japan, in 2014.



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