Two main ways to set up a company in the UAE

The costs in starting a company in the UAE vary: from Dh25,000 to Dh60,000 depending on how and where a foreign national would set it up.

I would like to know more about getting a residence visa in Dubai through setting up a business. I only need one visa for myself. How much do I have to spend on this and what are my options? HP, Dubai

There are two main ways a person can set up a company in the UAE. This can be in conjunction with a local partner who would own 51 per cent of the company, known as an LLC (limited liability company) or via one of the many free zones where a foreign national can own 100 per cent of the company. The costs can vary: for an LLC, for example, they can range from Dh30,000 to Dh60,000. If you use a company to do the paperwork and deal with the legalities there would be a fee involved but it can save time and legwork. The free zone options also vary. Some free zones only deal with people in creative industries, such as various types of media companies. The costs can vary from Dh25,000 to Dh35,000. In each case a sum similar to the set-up costs is payable annually to renew the trade licence. A free zone visa can limit activities and where they take place. It is generally not possible to open a retail outlet as a free zone company unless the premises are in the free zone itself. The activities permitted by an LLC licence are also usually very specific. In addition there is usually a requirement to demonstrate a certain level of capital adequacy, so evidence of cash in a bank account will be required, over and above the set-up costs. You would also need to check how many residency visas are available with a specific business licence. In some cases, they are limited and while only one is required at this stage it may be useful to have the option to take on employees without having to significantly change the company set-up.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years of experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice

Follow us on Twitter @TheNationalPF

Published: November 1, 2014 04:00 AM


Most Read