The UAE strives to maintain a business-friendly environment that provides its workforce with a comfortable work-life balance. After all, the UAE government has made huge strides over the years to develop the region into a world-class business hub that serves investors and businesses from all around the globe. But what about those interested in forming their own business while still being employed by a company?

In most circumstances, this can be achieved by obtaining an NOC (no objection certificate) from your current employer. By securing an NOC, you’ll be able to pursue a trade license and open your own business.

And while it’s fully up to your current employer’s discretion to whether they’ll issue a no objection certificate, this doesn’t entirely prevent you from starting your own company. For example, several Free Zone jurisdictions do not require such a document to obtain a business license.

So, if you’re a worker in Dubai looking to form your own side hustle or full-time business, you’ve come to the right place! Below, we’ll dive into deeper detail about business setup in Dubai for employed professionals.

Forming Your Business While Still Being Employed in Dubai? Here’s What You Need to Know

So, you’ve decided to form your own business. That’s great! But what do you do when you’re already an employee of another business? Company formation in Dubai can be challenging for investors unfamiliar with conducting business in the UAE. And it can be especially difficult if you’re already an employee of another establishment.

For this, many entrepreneurs hire business setup consultants to help navigate the terrain of business formation in Dubai. But if you decide to go it alone, you’ll need to be aware of several things.

For one, you’ll need to secure a NOC in most jurisdictions. This NOC is also required for a number of legal processes, including:

• The opening of business bank accounts
• Driver’s licenses
• Business renewals
• Opening a branch of an established business
• When changing jobs from one private institution to another
• Certain visa applications and immigration requirements

However, recent changes in UAE labor laws have made forming your business without a no-objection certificate easier.

Changes to UAE Laws

The UAE has made significant changes to its laws covering commercial activities. In addition to changes that affect tax responsibilities such as corporate, income, and foreign taxes, these reforms allow some jurisdictions to issue business licenses without needing a NOC.

They have also enacted new regulations regarding part-time work and flexible employment, recognizing part-time workers and providing them with ample vacation time. Under these changes, resigning employees are eligible to receive an “end-of-service” payment for a year or more of service. This specific change required part-time workers to have been employed for a minimum of 5 years.

The Steps to Form Your Business in Dubai

Forming any business venture can be a tricky and stressful process, even for the savviest of investors. The process requires a significant amount of research, planning, and initiative. So, if you’re going to take on the licensing process on your own without the help of knowledgeable business consultants like MSZ Consultancy, here are the steps you’ll need to follow.

1. Come Up with a Business Plan

Developing a keen business plan is the most crucial aspect of forming any business. This requires you to research your competition, the market surrounding your product or service, and the market forecast surrounding your chosen industry. Only then will you be ready to begin the business application process.

2. Choose a Trade Name

Once you’ve performed the necessary due diligence, you’ll need to submit a trade name request through Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant authority in your chosen Free Zone. This trade name may not have been used previously and may not contain profanity.

3. Choose Your Jurisdiction

There are plenty of business jurisdictions to choose from in the UAE, each with its own regulations and benefits. You’ll want to carefully pick between Dubai’s Mainland or one of the many Free Zones throughout the region.

4. Gather Documentation

The license application process will require you to gather and submit several pieces of documentation, including:

• Memorandum of Association (MOA)
• Copies of passports for yourself and any other shareholder
• Copies of visas

5. Submit the Application and Pay the Required Fees

Once you have all your documentation ready, you’ll need to submit your application and pay any relevant fees.

6. Receive Your License and Open a Business Bank Account

After allowing several business days for processing, you’ll receive your license. This means you’re free to start your business! But first, you’ll want to contact your local banking institutions to open the necessary business bank accounts. These accounts will allow you to manage your finances and accept and exchange numerous currency types.

Low-Cost Business Ideas

There is a wide range of business activities to choose from in the UAE, each with its own advantages and opportunities. To help you choose one that works for your needs, we’ve listed a few business ideas that are known to have a lower business setup cost in Dubai. These include:

1. Trading

Since Dubai is a known commercial hub, it’s no surprise that the region is home to a bustling e-commerce market. These business activities require minimal overhead costs beyond licensing and training and are a fantastic way to get your own business off the ground with minimal funds.

2. Food Delivery

In the wake of the pandemic, many food delivery companies have exploded in popularity. Like e-commerce businesses, these companies are inexpensive to start and operate with a built-in demand that shows no signs of waning.

3. Social Media Marketing

Another business activity is social media marketing. With a limited budget and the right know-how, you can take advantage of this venture and enjoy tremendous profits.

4. Consultancies

Do you have experience in consulting? Whether consulting in a legal or business capacity, these activities require minimal upfront funds and only require startup finances for licensing and training.

5. Virtual Assistant

Much like other e-commerce businesses, becoming a virtual assistant is a great way to take advantage of your expertise.

MSZ Consultancy is Proud to Be Your Number One Business Consultancy Service

Are you thinking of forming your own business? Are you already employed in the UAE? We can help! For investors and entrepreneurs, having knowledgeable professionals to guide you through the business creation process is paramount. MSZ Consultancy has years of experience assisting business owners to make the most of their investments, from handling license applications to securing no objection certificates. Whether it’s managing visa renewals or securing the help of public resource officers, we have the expertise to deliver results.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a single investor or part of a larger company structure! MSZ Consultancy can help you handle day-to-day operations, enact legal structure, interface with government authorities, and much more.

So, if you’re ready to make the most of your investment potential, give MSZ Consultancy a call at +971 52 544 1248! We’ll provide a free quote on how we can transform and supercharge your business!

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