Registering a service business in Dubai

Starting a business in the UAE can be a legal nightmare if you do not have the right kind of information, but, once the legal procedures are sorted, it should take not more than a week to get everything done. This article explores the things to be considered to have the process run smoothly.

Consider the type of license

To register a company in Dubai, there are three kinds of licenses that are given. The commercial license is for companies that will engage in trading activities and the industrial license is for manufacturing companies. For a service business, you require a professional license which is normally issued to service providers, artisans, and other professionals.

Local Dubai company licenses are usually issued by the Department of Economic Development. It operates in different locations but the main office is near the clock tower and is where the businessman must go to get comprehensively served.

Business licensing requirements

For banks and other financial institutions, there must be the UAE Central Bank approval. Insurance firms must be approved by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Companies offering medical services must be approved by the Ministry of Health. In addition, to this, (and for all other service business types) business registration must involve the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Consider the legal business structures

The federal law defines seven legal structures for business organizations that include; general partnerships, partnership in commendams, share partnerships, public shareholding, private shareholding, limited liability, and joint venture. The best options for especially mid-sized service businesses and small ones are the shared partnership and limited liability.

Choosing a representative or branch office

If you are a foreign entity interested in setting shop in Dubai, you can own all of your business as long as you have a representative. The local agent must be a UAE national. The option for business registration in this regards is covered by the Commercial Companies Law.

To register a company, therefore:-

  • Decide who you want your local agent to be

Consider factors such as whether you want him to assist in dealing with government procedures or you need just his details. Also, consider the yearly fee you are willing to pay and whether you have a good rapport.

  • Get an activity approval from the DED and a name

You can apply for this on a standard application form that is submitted to the Department of Economic Development.

  • Look for premises and make a contract as a tenant

A business in Dubai must have premises and evidence of this is through a tenancy contract.

  • Formulate a Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the sponsor

You can have this made for you from any law firm. The document must specify the details of the agreement including a special arrangements and an ownership percentage (among partners) section.

  • Submit MOA and the License application at the DED together with the necessary legal requirements and tenancy contract

Charges and fees are paid at this stage. You should be able to get a license a week after this.

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