Here we have compiled a list of answers to the most of frequently asked questions related to business setup. This covers the basics of what generally people have in mind before they move on with the venture of incorporating a business. This page keeps getting updated as and when needed and answers here reflect the procedures as of the last update date.
Is it difficult to set-up a company in Dubai?
Not at all! And the good news is it can be as quick as 72 hours depending on your business activity. Requirements are straightforward and in terms of any regulatory approvals, SBC will be able to obtain those at the quickest turnaround time.
What documents are required to set up a company in Dubai?
Signed application form (prepared by SBC and must be signed by all shareholders)
Passport & Visa copies of all shareholders
Some activities will require education certificates. For those specific activities a Business Advisor will be able to assist you better.
In order to have a company in Dubai, is it mandatory to have an office in Dubai?
Yes, it is mandatory to have a premises – so let us help you pick your location! Now this can be in the form of an office, retail or warehouse depending on your business activity. You must have a location which is registered on your Business License for as long as the company is active.
Can I register the company on my home address?
You must have a commercial premises for your license.
Do I have to be present in the process of company incorporation?
At SBC we complete all the work on your behalf. The only time we will require all shareholders to be present is during the notarisation of the Articles of Memorandum in Dubai.
Alternatively, the shareholder(s) can also issue a SBC representative (or anyone available in Dubai) a Power of Attorney in order to sign on their behalf in the case any shareholder cannot be present before the notary.
In order to have a company in Dubai, do I have to live in Dubai?
Choices – that’s right, it’s your choice!
You may or many not apply for a UAE residency post incorporating your business. You may apply at any given time should you wish to, as long as you are an active shareholder in the business.
How long does a residency visa take to complete?
Visas can be completed as quick as 5 days, depending on a variety of factors which we can explain to you in detail.
Can I sponsor my family / apply for dependent visas?
Yes you can. SBC will complete the entire process on your behalf and provide you with all the information you need to know and advise you what documents to have in hand.
What is the cost of setting up a company in Dubai?
This depends on many factors such as the business activity, the number of shareholders and the office rental value.
Our Business Adviser will be able to assist you on figures once we understand and discuss your specific requirements.
What is the main benefit of a Mainland Company compared to a Free Zone Company?
A Dubai Mainland Business allows you to operate all over the U.A.E. whereas a Free Zone License restricts you to only operate within your Free Zone Area.
Do I need to have a local Emirati partner with a Dubai Business License?
Not necessarily. Again this depends on your activity. There is a misconception that all Dubai Business Licenses must have an Emirati 51% shareholder, however there are many activities which legally allow you to have 100% ownership of the company.
How do I choose a partner/sponsor?
At SBC we provide corporate partnership which means that you do not have an individual acting as your local partner but a holding company instead. This provides more peace of mind for the expat which one of our Business Advisor can explain to you in more detail.
Do I require a minimum capital for incorporating a new business?
As opposed to a Free-zone entity, a mainland business does not require any form of capital.
Are there annual audit requirements for a Dubai Business License?
There are no audit requirements for a Dubai Business License. However you must maintain 5 years of financial records with IFRS standards.
How long is it before I have to renew a Business License?
The standard time frame to renew your Business License is 12 months from the date of issuance.
You can also renew your license for multiple years at one time (for example for the coming two years) but you cannot renew it for a period less than one year.
What is the procedure for opening up a Bank Account?
At SBC we understand the importance of time.
We will skip you the queues and have a Bank Representative come to you. We fill out all the paperwork, all you need to do is sign.
Can I open up a private / personal account?
Certainly, you can open any number of personal accounts. However you must hold a UAE residence permit in order to issue checks.
What if I require specialized consultation?
At SBC we understand that every individual is unique. Although you may be functioning under similar activities, each case will require specialized consultation to ensure we set you up the best way for YOU.
Please feel free to call us Sunday – Thursday from 9a – 5p to set up a meeting with one of our Business Advisers.