Low-cost business setup in Dubai

Let’s talk about low-cost business setup in Dubai. Many may think business in Dubai is costly and it takes tons of cash and heavy financial backup to raise a business in this golf nation. But this is not the exact fact.

Yes, many globally reputed companies often start their regional business here with big money, but that’s not necessary for all business startups. There are many low investment business setups which are appearing in the mainstream corporate arena in Dubai.

Now, when low budget small businesses exist here, many ask about the process of business setup in Dubai. From here onward we will describe the process of small business setup in Dubai for foreign investors. Also we will put some light on estimated cost each steps of setup requires. 

Identify your business type

At the very beginning of your business setup journey you need to specify your business type in Dubai. It is vital that you figure out your business type during low-cost company registration in Dubai. In this phase you should choose the appropriate business category of your preference. Therefore, be specific of choosing business type during form drafting process.

Here are few business license types popular in Dubai:

  • Industrial license
  • Commercial License
  • Occupational License
  • Agricultural license
  • Tourism license

Choosing a business type doesn’t cost you a penny if you do it by yourself. However, if you seek for professional advice, you have to pay for relevant advisory service in Dubai.

Naming your company

Once you have filled and submit your business form, apply for a company name. Get the approval from Department of Economic Development (DED) for the Trade name. You can apply for the approval by using a standard application form and submit it to DED. Once approved, you will get your trade name certificate on scheduled time. In this phase you have to pay a government service fee of 720 AED.

Apply and obtain the business approval license

 At this stage you have to collect your business license. Once you have done with the naming process, you can start processing for business license. Foreign investors need approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs for getting this license. The fee here has been allocated 220 AED for obtaining the company approval certificate in Dubai. Following are the paperwork you need to have for business license:

  • Completely drafted application form
  • Passport or national ID copy of the applicant or owner of the proposed company
  • Passport size color photography

Keep in mind the gathering a license in free zone areas is very convenient and takes at most one day. However, this time span depends on the type of business you are trying to start here. In case of free zone business license, you simply need to appeal to the governing authority of the free trade zone area you wish to establish your business for prompt action.

Memorandum of Association

A Memorandum of Association is mandatory for completing the business registration steps. Dubai is not an exception. You have to make a MoA with the sponsor and submit it to DED.

To conduct this process and prepare the MoA, consider submitting documents like legal documents, license applications and tenancy agreements. During this process you must pay off all the government charges and fees. For MoA application, you have to count a fee of 1800 AED

Tenant agreement and company address

An established address for your new business is compulsory in Dubai. Right after completing the documentation process, you have to arrange premises. Moreover, tenant agreement will be necessary and has to be placed to the DED during business registration process.

There are many free zones where you can setup your new office with ease and convenience. Free zone like Fujairah Creative City is considered the cheapest area for conducting business and visa in Dubai. A low-cost business setup in such area can cost you least compared to other places in Dubai. Here free zone premises cost may go as low as 170 AED to 20,000 AED.

Corporate bank account

Next in the steps of low budget business setup process is opening a corporate bank account in the name of your proposed company. This will be necessary to carry out company revenue management, fund transfer, any monetary transaction processes and many more activities that involve cash flow.

 It often gets tricky for foreign investors to open a corporate bank account, but if you have right link and consultant agent standby at your side, opening a bank account and relevant process is much easier for you.

Apply for investment visa in Dubai

The last step of your low budget business setup in Dubai is to apply for right visa. As a foreign investor, you have to appeal for an corporate visa in Dubai. Once right visa approval is obtained, you are good to go with your business functions in this land. Moreover, if you have valid work permit, you can appeal for multiple employee visas under your authority to work for your company.  

Cost evaluation for low cost foreign company incorporation

Below is the list of fees most investors have to deal with when setting up a typical business in Dubai. However some charges may be omitted depends on type of business setup here.

  • Initial company approval fees-220 AED
  • Trade name approval-720 AED
  • MoA application fees- 1800 AED
  • Office rent- Start from 20,000 AED
  • Economic department fees-9960 AED
  • Other expenses:
  • Trading company formation fees- 25000 AED
  • License contract fees- 12000 AED
  • Charge for deportment of economy- 10000 AED
  • Free zone company formation service fee- start from 17000 AED.
  • Free zone visa fee- from 5000 AED to 8000 AED.

For foreign company incorporation, you must pay several fees to various departments. Below are the payment lists you must include in your budget:

  • DED's Initial approval to start operating a business will cost you a charge of 220 AED at the very beginning. This is a temporary approval permit that lasts for 6 months. You can do regular trade with this temporary approval. During this period you can prepare other documents as required.
  • For approving the trade name, you have to pay 720 AED. This is a general price which may vary on types of name you choose for the company.
  • Economic Determent fees start from 9960 AED. It is a onetime government fees that you to pay for starting a foreign LLC Company.
  • Also you have to include a Chamber of Commerce and administration service fees.

Once you approach for a low cost company setup in Dubai you will eventually come across all these fees which are included in the DED fees list. You might also require paying additional fees for the translation and notarization of your document in Dubai during your incorporation process.


Company Registration Expert Since 2012