The United Arab Emirates, also known as UAE, is an attractive destination for tourists, job hunters, and international investors and entrepreneurs. The UAE consists of seven independent city-states: Abu Dhabi (capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Umm al-Quwain, Fujairah, Ajman, and Ras al-Khaimah.
All of the 7 emirates are unique and completely different from each other. Some boast the most luxurious buildings and breath-taking architecture, whilst other emirates are blessed with the beautiful natural site and un-touched land. Truly, the United Arab Emirates has it all.
Besides the beautiful natural landscapes and the gigantic skyscrapers, the UAE also provides another attractive and unique benefit. The UAE is a 100% income tax-free country, and this is appealing to a lot of international business owners who are looking to invest away from their home countries.
The UAE: A Strategic Geographical Location for Business and Trade
The UAE's geographical location and tax-free income and weather conditions are additional factors that are in favor of interested investors. One can dare to say that the UAE is right at the center of the world and right in the middle of all the continents. From the UAE, one can easily access Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, North America, and South America. This is also thanks to two of the world's most leading airlines; Emirates and Etihad which provide unbeatable routes across the whole world.
Many aspire to set up a business in the UAE. It is worth noting that all 7 emirates provide the same tax-free benefit. Therefore, one has to decide which type of business they have in mind and then find the right location for it. For example, a digital marketing business will fit in well in Dubai, while a food-packing business will fit in better in an industrial zone in the outskirts of Dubai, or some other smaller emirate such as Sharjah or Ajman.
HAM Business Consultancy Providing Business Setup Services
HAM Business Consultancy provides a broad range of professional and comprehensive business-oriented setup services, recommendations, and solutions to its local and international clients. As a dedicated team of business consultants, we dedicate our time, knowledge, and technical abilities not only to support clients in UAE and abroad but also to recommend solutions that assist them to successfully deal with the challenges of contemporary business.
As a business consultancy firm, HAM offers a wide range of services that covers everything from A to Z. We provide solutions to:
- Business setup (Mainland and Free Zone)
- Visa Services
- License Amendment
- Offshore company formation
- PRO services
- UAE Local Sponsor
- Company liquidation
- Bank Account opening
- Virtual office setup
- Trademark registration
- Corporate sponsorship
- Product registration
UAE Business Setup Services Free Zones & Mainland
The DED, Department of Economic Development of Dubai, has made the process of setting up a business in Dubai very easy and smooth. There are two types of businesses one can commence i.e. Mainland or Freezone business. They both come with their benefits and advantages. Let's have a look at each of them.
Why should you register for a mainland (onshore) business setup?
A mainland business setup offers investors several freedom benefits:
- Freedom of trading activities with any business inside or out of the UAE
- No requisite for the minimum capital to kickstart the business
- Viable business registration & its approval
- Undertake various projects of governmental bodies
One should note that according to UAE company law, a mainland company requires a local partner or a local service agent. A local partner or local service agent is required to sign up for all the applications connected to governmental bodies. They don't interfere in the daily business operations unless agreed.
Mainland company setup procedure:
- Determine your business activity and register you business name
- Selection of Local Partner or Service Agent
- Apply for Initial Approval for Mainland Company Setup
- Preparation of Court Notarization and MOA
- Get an office space* and Tenancy Contact
- Final Submission for Mainland Company Formation in UAE
*When it comes to obtaining an office space for a mainland company, it's required to have 200 sqft on lease on an annual basis. Then, the Department of Economic Department will issue the license. Once the Ejari certificate is issued by the land department UAE, it can be presented in DED for the license insurance.
Ejari is an online registration system initiated by Real Estate Regulatory Agency that requires all Dubai rental or lease contracts to be recorded at this portal. The main motive behind this system is to legalize the otherwise unpleasant relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai.
Best advantages of having a mainland business setup
- Unrestricted business activities with other mainland companies.
Companies registered on a mainland zone enjoy the freedom of doing business with other mainland companies anywhere in the UAE. Meanwhile, free zone registered companies are only able to do business within that free zone they are set up in or of the other emirates of the UAE.
- Extensive business opportunity
Mainland companies get a lot of business growth and opportunities as compared to Free zone companies. Free zone companies are restricted to work within a certain area or field, while mainland companies are allowed to work within any area. Therefore this leads towards better growth opportunities.
- Work with governmental bodies
When it comes to working as a contractor for government projects, only the mainland companies can apply. Free zone companies can only work with the private sectors. So, if someone is planning to get the projects from the UAE government, the best shot is to go with the mainland business setup.
- Open Presence in the UAE Market
Mainland companies have the right to establish their business anywhere in the UAE, even right in the heart of Dubai's business center. Moreover, they can be involved in trading activities within or outside of the UAE without any restrictions.
- Financially viable
Mainland business is one of the most viable options to set up a business in Dubai UAE. The reason behind it is that there is no requirement of minimum capital for Dubai's mainland business setup. So, it's like a breathtaking incentive to mainland businesses.
Why should you register for a free zone business setup?
On the other hand, a free zone business setup comes with other perks and benefits. To attract foreign investors to start their own business in Dubai, or anywhere in the UAE, the concept of the free zone business setup has been created.
As the name depicts the meaning, free zones are the free trade zones or areas where the foreign investors set up their businesses effortlessly and get to enjoy the following benefits:
- Foreign investors retain 100% ownership of their business
- No need for a local partner
- 0% corporate and income tax
- no customs duties levied on imports and exports
- option to repatriate 100% of the profits from the business
- Most free zones are sector-specific - gives its entrepreneurs ready access to a core of knowledge and experts from others within the same industry.
How can you start a business in a free zone UAE?
Starting a free zone company in UAE is an easy and fast process as compared to a mainland business setup. Free zone authorities are responsible for the entire process required to bring your dream free zone company into existence.
Below are the key steps that one needs to pass through for setting up a business in any free zone of the UAE.
- Determine the type of business
- Choose the trade name
- Application for the business license
- Acquire an adequate office space
- Pre-approvals, business registration, and acquiring the license.
Choosing between a mainland business setup or a free zone should not be a difficult task. As an investor, you already know, or at least have an idea what your business entails and what you will need further down the road. This knowledge should already start leading you towards the best option which will suit your needs.
However, we encourage you to contact us and share with us your concerns regarding business setup services in the UAE. Our team of business consultants is ready to assist you and we look forward to helping you launch your business in the UAE.