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Start your low cost business setup in Dubai successfully 2023

June 5, 2023by Kate Williams

Many entrepreneurs wonder what a low-cost business setup in Dubai is like. With a location at the crossroads of several continents, incredible ease of doing business, and a low tax environment, Dubai is the ideal place for businesses to thrive. And SMEs are the engine that drives the UAE economy.

In this article, you will learn everything about a low-cost business setup in Dubai. Let us observe:

1. What is the best way to start a business in Dubai?

The most cost-effective way to establish a business in Dubai is in one of the emirate’s free zones. They cater to specific industries, so you will be setting up shop in a zone designed specifically for your type of business. Each free zone is slightly different, but you can generally expect a 0% tax rate, no currency restrictions, full customs tax exemption, and profit repatriation.

So, what are the steps for a low-cost business setup in Dubai? See the following:

1.1. Company formation steps

1.1.1. Choose your business activity

Firstly, your chosen activity must correspond exactly with the business activity you will undertake. To avoid fines or even license cancellation, it is worth hiring a company formation specialist to ensure everything here is clear and compliant.

1.1.2. Select a company name

The UAE is fairly strict about company names, so it is important to be aware of the rules. Simply put, you must avoid any language that could be considered offensive or blasphemous. You must avoid any name that a famous organization already used.

So, if you are naming your company after yourself, make sure you do not shorten it. As a result, Jeff Williams Realty is fine, but J Williams Realty is not. Of course, you will want to make sure your chosen company name is still available for registration.

In all cases, speaking with a company formation expert means they can walk you through the exact requirements, allowing you to not only set up quickly but also stay fully compliant throughout. Additionally, in this article, you can learn more about trade name registration.


1.1.3. Applying for a business license

When you work with a company formation specialist, this process can usually be completed quickly. If you are doing the application yourself – or working with a professional – you should prepare a few key documents ahead of time:

  • The application form has been completed.
  • Copy of the proposed owner’s or owners’ passport
  • Two passport-sized color photos

1.1.4. Apply for your visa

The visa application process for you and your employees (as well as dependents such as a spouse, children, or domestic worker) is relatively simple. The maximum number of visas you can apply for is determined by the size of your business and, in the case of dependent visas, your income.

1.1.5. Open a corporate bank account

Finally, you need to open a bank account in the UAE. Because the UAE has strict anti-money laundering laws, it can be difficult for newcomers to understand all of the different regulations. Working with a specialist, once again, makes the entire process much easier.

2. Starting a business in Dubai on a shoestring budget

The decision between a free zone and a Mainland setup may have the greatest impact on the cost of establishing a company in the UAE. While both can be accomplished on a shoestring budget, the all-in-one nature of free zone setups can make it one of the most cost-effective ways to register a company in Dubai.

If cost is your primary concern, start by looking for the cheapest free zone that meets your requirements. Aside from the cost, there are numerous advantages to establishing a business in a free zone. You can benefit from the UAE’s zero percent tax rate as well as full customs tax exemption, no currency restrictions, and the ability to repatriate 100% of your capital and profit.

If you want to take on government contracts or trade directly with the local UAE market, you should set up your company on the Mainland. Depending on the nature and size of your business, this can still be done at a low cost. A company formation expert can assist you in determining the best setup for your needs and budget.

3. Establishing a business in the UAE

Regardless of your budget, the process of establishing a company in the UAE is straightforward. The first step is to identify your primary business activity or activities. The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has approved over 2,000 projects in various sectors and sub-sectors.

While there is a wide range of activities available to you, you must list them correctly on your license application. Unlicensed business activities can result in penalties, so it is best to consult with a company formation specialist who can advise you on the best options for your company.

4. Prepare your license application

As previously stated, if you want to keep costs low, the best advice is to look for a low-cost free zone license. You can submit your application once you have found the cheapest free zone that meets your requirements. This stage of the process consists of two steps. The first step is to determine what type of business license you require. This is a fairly simple task. If you want to provide professional services, you will need a professional services license; if you want to provide industrial services, you will need an industrial license, and so on.

You can make your formal application now that you know what type of license you need. Free zone company registration in Dubai is extremely simple, requiring only the submission of a completed application along with some basic documentation about you and your company. If you need a Mainland setup, the procedure is largely the same. However, in this case, you would apply for the DED.

Because the application process is so specific, it is a good idea to work with a company formation expert at this stage. Such firms can handle every aspect of your application for you, including liaising with all authorities on your behalf and advising on the best type of setup for your needs.


5. The cost of establishing a business in Dubai

As previously stated, a low-cost business setup in Dubai is simple. The cost of establishing a business in Dubai is determined by the size of your company, the specific business activities you intend to conduct, and so on. However, as a starting point, you’re looking at around AED 20,000.

As always, contact us for the most up-to-date pricing information and to ensure you get a tailored price for your low-cost business setup in Dubai that meets your specific needs.

6. What is the most affordable free zone in the UAE?

Because different free zones run special offers every month, it is impossible to list the cheapest free zone; however, you can contact Connect Services Middle East for information on the cheapest UAE free zones based on current offers.

7. Low-cost business setup in Dubai: Tips

Here are some helpful hints for your low-cost business setup in Dubai.

7.1. All-inclusive business setup packages

There are several factors to consider when deciding on a low-cost business setup in Dubai. You must follow the procedure step by step. These include licensing, registration, office space, governmental fees, a local sponsor or agent, and so on. It is critical to obtain approval from the UAE government department.

You will need up-to-date information on UAE rules and regulations. That is why having a trustworthy business consultant can alleviate a lot of the stress associated with starting a business in the UAE. There are numerous business consultants available to assist you in establishing your business in Dubai or any other emirate.

7.2. Renting office space

Lastly, they require you to have an office space to start a business on the Mainland. And if you want to start a low-cost business in the UAE, either in a free zone or offshore, you can choose between flexi desks and offices by the hour.

8. FAQs

8.1. Why establish a business in Dubai?

Every entrepreneur’s goal is to establish a company in Dubai, and there are several reasons why businessmen and commercial entities prefer to establish a company in Dubai over anywhere else in the world.

Some of these reasons include global expansion, strategic location, higher yields, cosmopolitan lifestyle, simple UAE business setup process, fewer restrictions, relaxed commercial rules, tax savings, and many others.

8.2. How do I start a business in Dubai Mainland?

To start a new business in Dubai Mainland, whether it is a professional company or a trading entity, the commercial entity must follow the DED’s standard procedure. A company established in Dubai must also obtain approvals and a business license. Speak with an expert to fully comprehend the procedure.

8.3. Can a company in Dubai Mainland avail 100% ownership?

Yes, you get 100% ownership with company registration in Dubai Mainland under a professional license. Connect Services Middle East helps you with the PRO services and only acts as a local service agent. However, a normal trading company or a general trading company does require a UAE national to be a sponsor or partner of the company.

The partnership is an agreement and we offer complete protection to foreign investors with 100% power of attorney of the company and investor right protection contract.

8.4. What is the cost of establishing a company in Dubai Mainland?

Connect Services Middle East’s all-inclusive company formation packages for Dubai Mainland begin at AED 15,500. Packages include a company setup license, registration fees, flexi desk – office space, a UAE local partner, a company stamp, and much more!

To learn more about our other packages, schedule a free consultation with our experts right away!

8.5. Where can I start a business in Dubai Mainland?

If you want to register a company in Dubai, you have several options. You are limited to having an office and establishing your business within the licensed jurisdiction in a free zone or offshore business. There are no such restrictions with company registration in Dubai Mainland.

You can start a business in Dubai’s well-known areas such as Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Karama, Business Bay, Deira, Bur Dubai, Al Quoz, and many more.

9. How can we help you with your low-cost business setup in Dubai?

Those are the main points about licenses and the cost of starting a business in Dubai. It is fairly simple, and you should be up and running in no time. When you are looking to start a new business or work as a freelancer, you can be confident that what you are getting from us is the most recent and fresh information from people who deal with this every day.

While the company formation process can be stressful, you can expedite it by working with a company formation specialist. It is the quickest way to get started in the UAE, as we handle all of the details and ensure your application is error-free. Make your free appointment with Connect Services Middle East today!logo - ConnectME

You may have questions about the process for a low-cost business setup in Dubai. This is why you should contact us. Call us at +971 43 316 688 or email us at to obtain the information you require.

Kate Williams

Kate is the Global Strategy Director at Connect Group. She is specialized in business setup in dubai , international business expansion and employee relocation. She studied in Southampton (United Kingdom) and moved to the UAE in 2014.

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