Intrinisc Advantage Dubai Business Setup

Business Setup In Dubai

Dubai (and the UAE) has created a business-friendly environment to support the economic development of the country. A strong legal framework has been put in place to encourage new business development to help the country grow and thus it is straight forward for business setup in Dubai. A wide variety of company structures have been created to provide an extensive choice to meet many business requirements.


Licence And Structure

There are two major factors to consider in setting up a business in the UAE. The first is to determine which business licence you require (which depends upon what kind of business you wish to develop), and the second is to understand what structure is required.

In Dubai, you have a choice of setting up your company as a local business or as a free-zone. If you wish to sell your products and services within Dubai (and the UAE itself), then you need to operate as a local business which requires the sponsorship of a local partner. This partner will generally own 51% of your shares (some types of business allow for different shareholdings), and they will expect an annual fee from your business to act as your sponsor.

If you set up as a free-zone company then you own 100% of the shareholding but you cannot sell your products or services within Dubai directly; you must trade via a local representative. There are multiple free zones across Dubai and the UAE which specialise in different kinds of businesses and thus the best location for your business will be determined by what kind of business each free zone allows.

Within Dubai itself it is the Department of Economic Development that has defined and administers companies that which to operate in the Emirate. Alternatively, you can setup in a free-zone and there are a limited number of company structures available.

Business setup in Dubai requires a careful and methodical approach which is where Intrinsic Advantage can help you.





The following is a list of local company structures that can be utilized.


  • Sole Proprietorship
  • One-Person Company
  • Civil Company
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Partnership Company
  • Branch of a Foreign Company
  • Representative Office
  • Branch of a Dubai Based Company
  • Branch of a UAE Based Company
  • Branch of a Freezone Based Company
  • Branch of a GCC Based Company
  • SME
  • Intelaq


The following is a list of local company structures that can be utilized.


  • Limited Liability Company
  • Branch Of An Existing Company

As you can see there are a lot of choices so it is important to get the right advice to create the correct structure. Free-zones within the UAE generally allow you to setup Limited Liability companies where you own 100% of the share capital. Some other structures are also available depending upon what free-zone you wish to choose.


Other Attributes

There is no corporation or income tax in the UAE and there is no restriction on the repatriation of funds. VAT will be introduced in 2018 although the details of this have yet to be announced at the time of writing. The UAE is in a superb location and has excellent infrastructure and resources to create flourishing businesses. In particular, there is a huge emphasis currently on setting up online businesses in the UAE to sell products and services to the Middle East. Intrinsic Advantage has the experience and resources to advise you on setting up the correct corporate structures and help you market and sell your products whether physically or online.

After Company Setup

Once a company has been created then you can receive a certain number of resident visas. The number normally depends upon the size of the physical office space that you will use. Resident visas are typically 3 years in length and are renewable. Once someone holds a resident visa then they can sponsor their family to receive their own visas. After visas are issued then other important documents are also processed such as the Emirates ID, medical insurance, health card etc, The company can also open a bank account and there a many different local and international banks that can be approached for this.

Business setup in Dubai can only be successful when taking the best advice. Intrinsic Advantage and its network of partners will help you.