How to start a legal consultancy business in Dubai, UAEBlog
The UAE is home to a growing community of entrepreneurs. So much so that around 20,000 businesses launch every single year in Dubai alone.
Such a thriving business community leads to a growing market for business support services such as legal consultancy. For those with the skills and qualifications to provide such services, the UAE is the ideal place to do business.
Not only is the UAE well-connected to trade with international businesses but the country’s zero tax rate and straightforward incorporation process make doing business easy – provided you seek expert advice before getting started, of course.
If you want to start a legal consultancy business in Dubai, here are the key factors you need to consider.
How to start a legal consultancy business in Dubai
Before applying for your license to trade as a legal consultancy in Dubai, you’ll need to make two key decisions. These concern your company name and which business setup you prefer.
When choosing your company name, you’ll need to keep in mind that the UAE has a set of somewhat idiosyncratic naming conventions.
As a guide: Your company name should not include any offensive or blasphemous language or make reference to known organisations or corporations.
If you are going to include your personal name in your business name, it must be in full – no abbreviations or initials. You must also check that your chosen business name is available to be registered. A company formation expert can do this for you as part of the license application process.
Now you need to choose the right setup for your business – that is, free zone or mainland. There are advantages to each setup. If you establish your business in the mainland, you are free to trade directly with the local market, without using the services of a local agent. You can also bid for government contracts.
If you set up in a free zone, you can take advantage of 100% exemption from customs tax. UAE free zone business owners also have full freedom to repatriate all invested capital and profits. There are also no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions.
How to get a license for a legal consultancy business
There are two key stages to getting set up as a legal consultancy in the UAE. The first is to apply for a trade license.
With the right support, this step is relatively straightforward. If you have chosen a free zone setup, you should make your license application to the relevant managing authority. If you have opted for mainland then you can apply to the Dubai Department of Economic Development or equivalent in your chosen emirate.
In both cases, the application process follows the same basic steps. Whether making your application yourself, or through a company formation agent, you are usually only required to provide a few details and some standard documentation, including:
- Completed application form
- Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
- Two colour passport size photos
The next step is to register your business with the relevant authorities. If your business intends to dispense legal advice, you must be qualified to do so. You must be able to prove these qualifications to the Dubai Legal Affairs Department as part of your application.
When making your application, you will usually also be asked to provide:
- A copy of your professional licence.
- A copy of your current practising certificate.
- A letter of good standing issued by the relevant authority.
- Passport copies for each lawyer or legal professional in your team.
Best free zone to start a legal consultancy business
If you decide to do business from a free zone, the one that’s right for you will depend on your specific requirements. Having said that, with packages to suit all needs and budgets, it’s hard to go wrong with Fujairah Creative City.
When you set up here, you can make use of a range of business services to help you get up and running. The Creative City concierge team can assist with visa applications, document attestation, and bank account opening.
The free zone also offers a range of office space and license packages to suit all budgets.
What is the cost of starting a legal consultancy business in Dubai?
Cost is often a factor when looking to open a legal consultancy business in Dubai. It is not always easy to make an estimate, however, as the exact costs will depend on the size of your business and whether you choose to establish your company in the mainland or in a free zone.
If you are looking for a ballpark figure, however, you can set up in Fujairah Creative City with eligibility for one visa, for just AED 22,000. Add use of the on-site coworking facility and that figure rises to AED 24,775.
Setting up your legal consultancy business in Dubai
If you’ve got the right skills and are armed with the right knowledge, setting up a legal consultancy in Dubai doesn’t have to be overly complex.
That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.
To help you to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) when establishing a new company in the UAE.
We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
As well as handling your license application, BIZ can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.
We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visas applications that are required to trade in the UAE.
In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.