Business Setup in UAE

Setup your Business with the help of Top Consultants in UAE

6 Easy Steps for Business Setup in UAE

Steps to get you started for setting-up a business in UAE


Decide upon the business activity and the location to conduct your business


Obtain a trade license by submitting the company’s documents to the DED or the Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Register the trade name


Get the company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA) notarized


Pay the license fee to get a trade license issued


Apply for an Establishment Card

Documents Required For Business Setup in UAE

List of Documents required for Setup of Your Business in UAE
Clear color copy of passport
Clear color copy of latest UAE entry stamp or latest UAE residency visa
Approval document from the Legal Affairs Department
License form
Partnership contract certificate
Trade name certificate

Areas for Business Setup in UAE

UAE Mainland Business Setup

UAE Mainland Business Setup

A Mainland business is sometimes referred to as an onshore company. It’s usually a higher cost to do business on the Mainland compared to the other areas. There are a couple of requirements to do business here – you will have to have a physical office space of at least 200 sq feet, you will have to do an annual audit, and you will have to have a local sponsor. On the Mainland, you can do business in the local market as well as outside the UAE without any restrictions. Mainland businesses are licensed by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

UAE Free Zone Business Setup

UAE Free Zone Business Setup

UAE Free Zones offer world-class business amenities and commercial benefits. With a Free Zone company, there isn’t a need for a local sponsor, an office space isn’t required, and there aren’t as many auditing mandates.  Unlike the Mainland, a Free Zone company can’t do business outside of its area.

UAE Offshore Business Setup

UAE Offshore Business Setup

For business owners looking to have full ownership of a company, Offshore businesses are the way to go. The set up for an Offshore business is hassle-free and affordable. With an Offshore company, you can’t have a physical office in the UAE, so no visas are issued. There are several bonuses to setting-up business in an Offshore – there’s no minimum capital, you have complete privacy, you can do business outside the emirates, and you can have full ownership of the company.

Finding the Right Business License in UAE

If you want to setup a business in the UAE, then you will have to have a license, because it is illegal to do business without it. The type of license you need will depend on the type of business you want to have. There are six types of business licenses you can apply for:

Commercial License

A business that will be doing any sort of buying or selling of goods will need a commercial license. Some activities that fall under this license would be real estate firms, construction companies, logistics firms, brokerage firms, car rental services, etc.

Industrial License

This type of license is required for any type of industrial or manufacturing activity that’s done in the UAE. With this license, you can produce or manufacture new products, semi-manufactured products, or even fully manufactured products. Some businesses that require this license would be food, textile, metals, petroleum products, paper, and equipment. You will need to have a physical office inside the country to have this license.

Professional License

A professional license gives a company permission to have a profession in the area they are talented and educated in. This includes services like carpentry, printing and publishing, repair services, medical services, and computer graphic design. You will have 100% of ownership with a professional license but will need a local service agent to complete the process.

Tourism License

Tons of people visit Dubai and other areas in the UAE every year. To help regulate the tourism industry, the economic department came up with a tourism license. This will be issued to businesses providing tourism activities like restaurants, tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, etc.

Agricultural License

If you plan on doing any type of agricultural work or providing agricultural consultancy, then you will have to apply for an agricultural license. This includes any agricultural work like harvesting crops, trading pesticides, installing greenhouses, etc.

Craftsmanship License

This type of license includes plumbing, carpentry, electrical work, and any other type of work where a person makes a profit off their physical effort, tools or equipment. This license requires a local sponsor.

Craftsmanship License

Why Should You Start Your Business in UAE?

  • Growing Economy
  • Strategic Location
  • Legal Framework
  • Tax Benefits
  • Free Trade Zones
  • World-Class Infrastructure
  • Administrative Entities of the Emirates
  • Visionary Leaders
Get In Touch

Where to Build Your Dream Business in UAE?

The UAE is known around the world for its thriving economy. With its steady wealth, business-friendly government, world-class infrastructure, and strategic location, it is no wonder that entrepreneurs are drawn to building a dream business in the UAE. So, which emirate is right for you? Here’s a look at the five emirates known for a hassle-free business setup.



Dubai is the largest emirate and is known as the financial capital of the UAE. Dubai’s Mainland is a huge draw for tourists and business owners, not to mention there are over 30 Free Zones with tax exemptions and property ownership.



Sharjah is considered to be one of the fastest-growing emirates in the UAE. Sharjah’s location is one of the biggest draws for businessmen because the city connects with major trading zones and is one of the safest cities with excessive economic supply.



Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE. The city has worked hard to increase global presence in commercial industries. It is a pretty quick and simple process to setup business in Abu Dhabi.



Ajman is one of the cheapest and oldest Free Zones in the UAE. The city is also known for its modern services and facilities. Ajman is a hot spot for entrepreneurs because it is located close to Sharjah and Dubai.



Fujairah is the only emirate located on the eastern side of the UAE on the Gulf of Oman. Its strategic location puts it in a great spot to still be well-connected to the other major cities.

Our Business Setup Services in UAE

Now that you know all the steps it takes to setup a business in the UAE, don’t tackle the process alone. Our consultants at MSZ Consultancy are experienced in business setup in all seven emirates in the UAE. From start to finish, we will walk you through the entire business setup process. Our dedicated team of business consultants are here to exceed your expectations in getting your company setup in UAE and maximizing your return on investment in no time. We will customize each service to meet your business needs for the emirate you plan to build your company in. Give us a call today on +971 52 544 1248 for a free consultation!


We are your one-stop for everything you need for setting up a business in UAE. Our expert consultants will guide you through all the steps that are involved in getting your business up and running smoothly.  We help with everything you need from company formation, securing a space and a sponsor, answering any financial questions you have, and making sure you have all the legal paperwork you need finished on time.


At MSZ Consultancy, we help make your business dreams become a reality!  You won’t have to worry about losing a night of good sleep thinking if you have everything in place to open your business in UAE,  because at MSZ Consultancy, we do all of the hard work for you.  We will guide you through the administrative, financial, and legal processes that you will need to start a business in UAE.


We don’t mean to brag, but we know what we are doing!  We are an award-winning team of consulting specialists with over a decade of prosperous results. We are successful because we truly care about our clients! Our services are customized for you and your business to make sure that you get everything you need at an affordable price.  We strive on being more just a service provider, we want you to consider us a long-term partner.

Our Success Stories

Learn How Companies Have Used the Experts at MSZ Consultancy to Build a Business in UAE

Mr. Mujeeb has been very helpful since the beginning. He was not only focused on the procurement process of the license alone. He took his time to explain to me what are my best options for various activities. He took time to listen and understand his client’s needs. The entire process was a breeze! Thank you, Mr. Mujeeb and to MSZ!

Liz Cardona

I dealt with Mujeeb, who was very prompt at responding to my initial enquiry.

He listened to what I wanted, he did not presume anything or try to sell me something I didn't require or would not fit my purposes and always responded to my emails swiftly.

I am extremely satisfied with the service received from MSZ Consultancy and would definitely recommend them.

Charl Breytenbach

As MSZ consultancy has guided me to get my business license last month, I found it to have both a professional and friendly environment simultaneously, I recommend to everyone who is looking for business setup consultants in Dubai. Mr. Zubair was really understanding, cooperative and helpful throughout the process.

Nasreen Gulam

As easy as it could be, MSZ helped me setup my business and everything has just been uphill from there. The staff and the Employees were all so easy to talk to and friendly, 100% would recommend MSZ to everyone looking to setup their business.

Mariam George

Trademark Registration

We understand the importance of protecting your work. Our skilled, well-experienced business consultants are here to guide you through the trademark process. We will help with all the registration and paperwork required to make sure you get the best protection for the brand that you worked so hard to build.

Local Sponsorship

Doing business in the UAE’s mainland requires a local sponsor. A local sponsor is a UAE national or an Emirati, who acts as a liaison with authorities and the other government departments to get all of the immigration, labor, and visa paperwork complete. Leave it to MSZ Consultancy to help find a feasible and reliable local sponsorship for you.

PRO Services

Our Public Relations Officer PRO services will guide your business through the cycle of formalities needed to ensure your business is up and running glitch-free. From license renewals, visas, and labor contracts, PRO will take care of the documents and deliver them to government authorities on time.

Bank Account Assistance

Online banking systems in UAE are an extremely secure way to do business transactions. By having an account, you can have full control of your bank account from anywhere in the world. We will help you open bank accounts with all local and international banks in the UAE.

Product Registration

All products manufactured and distributed in UAE need a Product Registration. This will help with label and brand protection and help provide hassle-free trade inside and outside of UAE. The registration process can be vigorous, so leave it to us! We will focus on the registration, so you can focus on your business.

Business Centers

Finding a space to do business is a hard decision, especially when you may not be able to travel often. We offer turn-key solutions for your company. Our Business Center options offer fully furnished, ready-made offices with trained employees so you can focus on the core elements of your business.

Company Liquidation

Closing a business is never an easy choice, that’s why we offer Company Liquidation services to make the process easier. We can help you minimize your legal liabilities and financial losses. We coordinate with authorities and administration on all the paperwork and procedures involved to ensure a smooth and hassle-free liquidation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Mainland, Free Zone, and Offshore?

The Mainland is on land in one of the UAE cities. You will have to have a physical office space for a Mainland business. On the Mainland, you can do business in the local market as well as outside the UAE without any restrictions.

In the UAE Free Zone, you can’t do business outside of its area. A Free Zone business can be run with or without a physical office.

In an Offshore company, entrepreneurs get full ownership of a company. A physical office is not allowed, and you can also do business outside of the emirates.

Is a local sponsor mandatory for setting up a business in the UAE?

You have to have a local sponsor to setup a business on the Mainland. However, a local sponsor is not required for business in a Free Zone.

What is the corporate income tax in the UAE?

There is no corporate tax rate in the UAE.

Is it mandatory to have a local office to set up a business in the UAE?

Yes, a physical office is required for a company to be set up in the UAE on the Mainland.

How can I setup my business in UAE?

Find a local sponsor, choose your business activity, submit applications to the DED, apply for a trade license, get the company’s Memorandum of Association notarized, register the trade name, apply for the establishment card, get initial approval, get the MOA and lease agreement notarized, secure a location, get documents processed, receive your trade license, and hire employees.

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