Monday, October 8, 2012

The Legalities Of Doing Business In Dubai

Just like any city and country in the world, there are certain legal steps to be taken in order to setup a business in Dubai, while steps might vary a little depending on the Legal Business structure, they mostly have common procedures that need to be followed.

In order for a company to practice a business activity in Dubai, companies need to determine the category, type of all related business activities to be practiced (max 10 per license), the business legal form and confirm all the requirements for issuing the license. Companies should then be registered at the Department of Economic Development (DED) by obtaining Initial Approval.

In order to obtain the initial approval from the Department of Economic Development, the applicant will need to complete a registration and licensing application, and present a proof of reserved trade name along with a copy of applicant passport with visa details for non-GCC nationals, or a copy of applicant's naturalization identification for UAE nationals.

Applicants who are not a GCC citizens need to have a No-Objection letter from their current sponsor, a copy of the director's passport with no-objection letter from his/her current sponsor, and permission from the court to practice business if applicant is less than 21 years old. In addition to the above, there are certain specific approvals required by other Government Authorities that depend on the type of business activity.

After the obtaining the initial approval, the applicant needs to submit the Initial Approval Receipt along with all documents submitted in the initial approval stage, a photocopy of premises (office or shop), lease, appointment contract of Local Services Agent duly authenticated by the Notary Public in the Emirate for professional licenses of non GCC nationals.

The final stage will be submitting an application to the DED for paying the required fees to obtain a final license, and submit an application to one of the DOD external branches for a signboard permit for a business trade name as required by the economic regulations.

These stages will grant the applicant a legal status allowing him/her to start their business, they will need to have further approvals from specific government authorities, such as the approval for the design of the signboard, the decoration, and other specific approvals that depends on the nature of the business.

Dubai is known for its smooth operations and organized departments, which mean that going through the above stages will not be a problem given that all documentations and requirements are met.

For assistance with business startup, registration and advice, contact Ben Simmons, Dubai's trusted Free Zone consultant. Ben has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs set up shop in many of Dubai's best Freezones, including DAFZA ( and Dubai Intl Financial City (

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