UAE business licences are hugely popular with entrepreneurs around the world. And thanks to the country’s great trading location, time-tested incorporation process and low tax environment, it’s easy to see why.
For those wishing to obtain a licence, there are many routes available – some more expensive than others. In this article I’ll look at how to obtain a UAE licence and how to reduce the cost of your application. We’ll cover:
- How to reduce a company licence cost in Dubai, UAE
- How to apply for a UAE company licence
- Why start your company with BIZ?
How to reduce a company licence cost in Dubai, UAE
There is not one flat price for all licences in the UAE. The cost of your licence will depend on numerous factors from your company size and location to your intended activities and visa requirements.
There are also a number of ways that you can reduce the price you pay, regardless of the type of licence you require, including:
Forgo a foreign name
Regardless of nationality, many entrepreneurs choose English or other foreign names for their businesses. While this is permitted when forming a company in Dubai, it does carry an additional cost. By choosing an Arabic or Khaleeji name instead, you can save AED 2,000 per year.
Don’t name all partners on your licence
While it may be common to name all business partners on your company licence, it is not necessary. And by reducing the number of names on your licence, you can also reduce the cost.In short, the more business partners you name, the more it will cost to obtain your business licence. So, if possible, make the application in just your name.
Only lease the space you need
The size of your business premises will also have an impact on the cost of your company licence. So, if you don’t need an office, don’t take one. Many free zones allow you to obtain UAE trade licences with flexi-desk and coworking facilities to help reduce overheads.
It is also possible to apply for some business licences with a virtual office which means no physical space at all.
Pay as you grow
Some free zones are rigid in their visa options as part of licence packages. For example, you may be required to sign up to a ten-visa package despite only needing seven. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a free zone that will let you pay as you grow.
At Meydan Free Zone, you’ll only ever pay for the visas that you require. And it’s easy to add more and more as your business expands.
Register an Ejari
If you are living in Dubai and have an Ejari in your name, you can save AED 1,000 by receiving your trade licence and company documents to that address.
Registering for an Ejari in Dubai is easy. Just download the Ejari app and follow the steps. You’ll need to upload several documents such as passport and visa copies for you and your landlord, your Emirates ID and your tenancy agreement.
How to apply for a UAE company licence
When you’re happy that you know how to obtain a cost-effective business licence, you’ll need to know how to make your application. Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) can help. After a short discussion to understand your needs, our expert team will guide you through the following steps.
Step 1 – Choose your business activities
Your chosen activities may determine the location, licence and setup type that’s right for your business. So, it’s always best to tackle this step at the beginning of the process.
You will need to ensure that your activities align with the official list published by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). But with over 2,000 activities to choose from, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Step 2 – Choose your trade name
Next, you’ll need to choose a trade name for your business. To comply with UAE naming conventions, you will need to avoid any offensive or blasphemous language or the names of any well-known organisations in your chosen company name.
You also need to use your full name if naming your company after yourself. And remember, choosing an English or foreign name will incur an additional cost of AED 2,000 per year.
Step 3 – Submit your licence application
Now for the all-important step, applying for your trade licence. If you are setting up in the mainland, you should make this application to the DED. If setting up in a free zone, you can apply directly to the relevant managing authority.
As part of this process, you will need to submit your completed application form along with passport copies for all directors and shareholders. Remember, the fewer business partners named on your licence, the lower the cost.
Step 4 – Get your residency visa
If you wish to live and work in the UAE, then you will also require a residency visa. This is quite an involved process comprising a chest X-ray, blood test and medical. You should also apply for your Emirates ID at this stage.
Your Emirates ID can be used to take out a tenancy lease in the UAE which you can register for an Ejari.
As a UAE visa holder, you can also sponsor any dependants such as children or your spouse for their UAE residency visas.
Step 5 – Open a corporate bank account
Last but not least, you can apply for a UAE corporate bank account and start making and receiving business payments. While this is not always the easiest process for non-GCC citizens, BIZ can help by advising on the bank most suited to your needs.
Why start your company with BIZ?
At BIZ, we are the experts in everything relating to business setup in Dubai. We can help you outline activities, choose your company name and apply for your licence and visa. We’ll also work with you to ensure that you find a licence package that suits your needs and your budget.
After launch, we remain on hand to support your business as it grows. As well as adapting your licence to your new requirements, we offer a range of additional services from office solutions to corporate bank account opening.
So, if you’re ready to start your UAE business, get in touch with our team to find out more.