How to Start a Business in Dubai

Dubai is a great city that offers superb investment opportunities; business here ranges from domestic business investors, as well as international business investors. This continuous expansion has taken a huge part in the economy of the United Arab of Emirates.

However, the Federal Law in UAE requires a 51% partnership with a local sponsor or service agent that must be responsible for you as a foreign investor. This sponsorship comes in two ways; the mainland and free zones.

Choose your Business Registration Options

  • Mainland

Using mainland, a local resident, a United Arab Emirates-based company or business organization stands as a sponsor for your new business startup. For you to startup your business in Dubai using mainland sponsorship it is compulsory to follow the Federal law stated above with the 51%-49% partnership.

Mainland requires a mandatory ownership of a valid license, this is only issued out by an administrative authority known as “the Dubai Economic Development” (DED); a government agency that is responsible for issuing the business licenses, cancellation of the license, renewal, and upgrading of the license. The DED operate in different localities for investor’s quick application process.

  • Free Zones

In any case, if you desire a professional service, free zone acts as your service agent or sponsor. As an international business person that desire to own a company, your best choice is the UAE free zones. Free zone as the name implies, offers freedom in business; they also have experts that offers the following services: authentic strategies for your business start up, planning agencies to itemize your new business expenses, authentic licensing and location selection, and many more business oriented issues.

Benefits and Advantages of Choosing Free Zones

There are numerous advantages that come alongside starting up your business with free zones.

  • You don’t have to worry about a partnership with a UAE citizen before you start up your business.
  • You now have full access into your business organization with 100% ownership.
  • There is no restriction from diversified business activities.
  • Extra other benefits come from taxation; no tax for your personal income, exemption of corporate tax.
  • Currency control with fast document clearance.
  • Customs allows import and export activities.
  • Foreign investors have Visa advantage with 3 years validity. This is also applicable to both their staffs and family members.
  • Easy implementation of the workforce; mainland labor rules is not applicable.

Free Zone Basic Requirements for your Business set up in Dubai:

  • Business License; you must have a business license issued by the Free Zone Authority.
  • Office in Free Zone; you must have at least an office in the Free Zone. You can lease for your office, you can also choose to construct a building.
  • Share Capital; the Free Zone Authority have specified that you must have minimum share capital.
  • Shareholders; you must also have at least one shareowner/holder. Shareholders aid in the signing of documents in the presence of free zone authorities in order to complete your business consolidation formalities.

Some of Dubai free zone list include:

Dubai Airport Free Zone, Fujairah Free Zone,  Ajman Free Zone Authority, Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah, Dubai Internet City, RAKIA Free Zone in Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai Media City, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Metal and Commodities Center, Dubai Investment, Park (only through JAFZA ), Dubai Silicon Oasis, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone.

Cross Link

Cross Link International is a legitimate company, accredited for helping and managing Business Setup process effectively for their clients in Dubai, UAE. We offer reliable business setup services in all business communities of UAE; Promising the right solution for growth of new business and investment opportunities in Dubai and UAE. For more information on the business setup process in business communities of UAE, please refer to our website (

how can we help you?

Contact us at +971 4 321 6631 or submit a business inquiry online.


Looking for a First-Class Business Consultant?