Company registration in Dubai

Registering a company in the UAE is one of the profitable opportunities to develop your business in the country or launch a startup abroad on favorable terms. Every year the number of businessmen who plans to open a company in the United Arab Emirates is growing. It is influenced by a very comfortable business environment: a simplified taxation system, free economic zones and not only this.

To register a company in the UAE remotely is impossible. Mayak Real Estate specialists are ready to answer in detail all your questions regarding the start of a company in the Emirates. The registration service is provided with full support or in “turnkey”.

What you need to know about the UAE before starting a company here

If you decide to create a company in the UAE and develop your business here, you need to understand the requirements and conditions for doing it in the country. Otherwise, you can make a lot of mistakes that can lead not only to fines but also to the forced closure of the company.

One of the important issues is that there are no taxes in the Emirates. If you register a company, you only have to pay the license fee annually. Its size depends on the free economic zone.
Regardless of the type of company’s activity whether it is IT, financial services, tourism, trade or other, it is essential to conduct business activities within the framework of laws and comply with business transparency requirements. This also includes meeting the requirements of banks to comply with the KYC procedure. Banking institutions are required to request from firms up-to-date data on account holders and signatories, the origin of funds, foreign assets and counterparties. It is significant to provide reliable information and not forget that this data is confidential and protected from leakage.

According to the laws of the UAE and ESR regulations, all companies must register and submit reports on the results of the financial year. Companies that have not registered or failed to confirm the main management processes face fines or termination of activities.

Another point to keep in mind is that hiring specialists without official employment is considered a serious violation of UAE law. Each employee must be officially employed, and have a resident visa from the organization and a work card. Otherwise, it will be regarded as attracting illegal labor to the activity. When applying for a specialist job, it is also important to pay special attention to the drafting of an employment contract.

One of the key factors of legitimate business in the Emirates is the presence of a full-fledged office. The minimum area is 19 m2. It is prohibited for the company to register in the virtual office. A spacious office should have comfortable working conditions.

In order not to deal with all the subtleties on your own, you should contact the experienced specialists of Mayak Real Estate. This will help to avoid fines and mistakes that can lead to the closure of the company.

Types of companies in the UAE

You can start a company in Dubai or other emirates by choosing one of the most common organizational and legal forms. To make the right choice, you need to understand a lot of nuances, so it’s best to entrust this procedure and further registration of the company to professionals. But it will be useful to get acquainted with the basic information on the types of companies.


An offshore company is the most economical solution for businessmen planning to expand or start a new business. Registering a company in one of the offshore zones is great for international trade and transactions.

An offshore organization can only operate abroad, have an account in the Bank of the Arab Emirates and have no more than five types of activities under license. It can also act as a shareholder in any company in the UAE.

An offshore company cannot operate in the Emirates and cannot rent an office on its territory. Also, such companies cannot obtain resident visas for their specialists, apply for the status of a tax resident of the country and receive money transfers from other firms in the UAE.

Mainland Company

A mainland or local company is registered in the mainland of the emirate, that is, beyond the territorial boundaries of free economic zones. Until recently, the condition for the opening was a mandatory partnership with a person who has UAE citizenship. Now you can register a company without it, which makes the process easier and more accessible.

A mainland firm can do anything, including renting an office in the territory of the chosen emirate or taking part in public tenders.

Free Zone Company (Free Zone)

A company in the free zone is considered a resident of the country. The company can be registered in one of more than 20 free economic zones: they allow 100% foreign ownership.

A legal entity in a free economic zone may conduct its activities within the country or abroad. The firm can cooperate with legal entities from other free zones and with local companies if it provides services on the territory of the office. It can be Internet marketing, consulting, etc. The company is allowed to rent an office, hire specialists and issue resident visas to them. It is also possible to obtain the status of a tax resident.

A free zone company cannot rent an office outside the free zone in which it was registered. The company cannot provide its services abroad of the free economic zone if its employees are required to visit the facility, as, for example, in the case of equipment installation. The same applies to trade: it can only be conducted on the territory of the free zone where the company is registered. The Company has no right to participate in public tenders.

Documents required to register a company in the UAE

Many factors influence which package of documents you need before registering a company in the UAE. First, it is important to answer the questions, who will be a shareholder of the company — a legal entity or an individual? Also, important information about the number of shareholders of the company. Another influential question is whether a new organization is being registered or a subsidiary or branch will be opened.

The basic package for registering a company in the Emirates includes:

  • scanned copy of the passport;
  • passport format photo;
  • application (completed, signed);
  • stamp of entry to the UAE/copy of the resident visa;
  • scanned copy of the Emirates ID and the UAE resident visa (if there is a stamp).

According to this list of documents required for the registration of the company, Mayak Real Estate employees will give a detailed consultation, depending on the specific situation of the client.

The cost of company registration services in the UAE

The cost of registration services is primarily affected by the type of company: an offshore company, a mainland company or a free zone company.

If we are talking about offshore, the costs of registration can range from $2,700 to $5,000. The annual renewal and maintenance of the company cost about 2000–2500 dollars.

The average costs fall on the registration of a free zone company. The amount of registration fees are altered by a specific free economic zone or emirate. Expenses can range from $6,500 to $11,000. Approximately the same amount is spent on the annual maintenance of the company.

Registration of a mainland company is the most expensive. Here, expenses in the first year of activity reach $13,500. In addition, in the future, it will take about $10,000 more per year to keep the company active.

Terms and procedures for starting a company in the UAE

You can register a company in the United Arab Emirates in about 3 weeks: many aspects can affect this.

The procedure for starting a company in the UAE includes the following steps:

  1. Select and reserve the name of the company. The name of the company that you plan to register must be unique. It should not contain words prohibited in a particular emirate.
  2. Submit a completed application for company registration in the United Arab Emirates. Then you need to wait for approval from the regulator to start a company and prepare and notarize the charter and memorandum of the company. The future owner must sign the papers, after which they are submitted for consideration to the local regulator in a particular emirate.
  3. Wait for the decision according to the submitted application by the regulatory body. The regulator receives the documents and decides to issue a permit for the company’s registration in the UAE.
  4. Get a Certificate of Registration. The document contains the Company’s registration number. You will also need to get a special license if the type of activity requires it.
  5. Open a bank account.
  6. Rent an office. Be sure to make sure that it meets the requirements for the area and working conditions.
  7. Pay the license fees.

Each stage has its nuances. It is quite difficult to figure out the whole process on your own. If you do not have the time and energy to start a company in the UAE on your own, you should entrust this procedure to specialists. In this case, the chances of successful registration of the company are significantly higher.


01. Is it possible to open a company in the United Arab Emirates without being a resident of the country?

Foreign entrepreneurs are allowed to register a business in the UAE if they comply with certain conditions.

02. In what time frame it is possible to register a company in the UAE?

It can take from 3 weeks to register a company. These are approximate dates, since in reality, the procedure may take less (a few days) and more (4 weeks) time.

03. How much does it cost to register a company in the United Arab Emirates?

To find out the exact cost of registering a company in the UAE, consult a specialist in our company. Expenses are affected by the type of company you plan to register. The cost of starting a company can range from $2,700 to $13,500.

04. Is it possible to register a company in the UAE remotely?

There is no such opportunity in the UAE.

05. How to register a business in the UAE without personal arrival?

It is possible to register a company without personal arrival in the country only if the future owner of the company has previously visited the UAE and can provide a passport with an entry mark. If there is no visa, you will have to come to the country yourself.

06. What are the taxes on business in the United Arab Emirates?

There is no tax on business income or personal income in the UAE. Taxes are paid only by foreign banks and companies operating in the field of oil and gas production. And although there are no taxes in the country for other firms, you will have to pay certain fees that are already included in several services.

07. What are the costs of opening a bank account in the UAE?

In most cases, a bank account is free to open. The bank may require confirmation of income for $800-1400 per month. Account maintenance is also free if the balance is above a certain level.

08. Which business in the UAE is considered the most profitable?

Companies in the field of IT, marketing, business consulting, training, etc. bring good profits. The IT industry is gaining popularity all over the world, the UAE is no exception.

09. Do I need to rent an office when starting a company in Dubai or other emirates?

To obtain a license, the key condition is the presence of a registered company address. To have an address, it is necessary to rent an office, it cannot be virtual. The business owner needs to sign an office space lease agreement.

10. What documents does a business owner receive upon registration of a company in the UAE?

Upon registration of a Company in one of the emirates, the owner receives the following documents: a certificate of registration, a license, a company charter, and a certificate of shares. If a branch of the company is opened, the company’s charter is not issued.


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