How to Setup a Business in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is one of the most prosperous and progressive cities in the world. The city’s strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and liberal business policies make it an ideal location to set up a Business in Abu Dhabi. If you are curious about starting a business in this emirate, then here is a complete guide.

Abu Dhabi is renowned for its exceptional and myriad tourist destinations. However, it also provides a lucrative business environment for the global business community. Because of its open and vibrant economy, low tax rates, low import taxes, and strategic location, the country has become a nerve center for direct foreign investments.

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The government has made relentless efforts to make doing business in the UAE as easy as possible, with a special focus on the capital city of Abu Dhabi. This has resulted in a business-friendly environment that entices business people from all over the world.

The Process to Setup a Business in Abu Dhabi

The Process to Setup a Business in Abu Dhabi

  1. Choose a business activity

The first step in setting up a business in Abu Dhabi is to choose a business activity that you want to engage in. Abu Dhabi presents a broad array of business activities, including trading, manufacturing, and services. You should choose an activity that you have experience in or are passionate about, as this will increase your chances of success.

  1. Choose a business structure

After selecting a business activity, you must choose a business structure that suits your business needs. Abu Dhabi offers several business structures, including a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC), and a branch of a foreign company.

Sole Proprietorship – A sole proprietorship is the most uncomplicated form of business form. It is perfect for small businesses and startups. In this structure, the owner is personally responsible for the business’s debts and duties.

Partnership – In a partnership, two or more people share ownership of the business. In this framework, the partners share the profits and losses of the business.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) – An LLC is a popular business form in Abu Dhabi. It offers limited liability protection to its owners and allows them to benefit from the tax advantages of a partnership. The minimum capital needed to establish an LLC in Abu Dhabi is AED 150,000.

Branch of a Foreign Company – If you already have a business established outside the UAE, you can set up a branch of that business in Abu Dhabi. This structure allows you to conduct business in Abu Dhabi while retaining ownership of the parent company.

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  1. Obtain a trading name

Once you have selected a business activity and a business structure, you must obtain a trading name for your business. The trade name needs to be different and must not violate any local or international trademarks. You can review the obtainability of your desired name on the ADDED website.

  1. Obtain a business license

To operate a business in Abu Dhabi, you have to get a business license. The license will completely rely on your business activity and structure. You can obtain a business license from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED). The ADDED website provides a detailed list of the required documents and fees for each type of business license.

  1. Obtain necessary approvals

Relying on your business activity, you have to acquire approvals from other government departments. For example, if you are setting up a food business, you must obtain approval from the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority. You have to analyze the particular needs of your business activity and obtain all the necessary approvals.

  1. Rent an office space

You must rent an office space to run your company functions. The office area has to be found in a commercial area and should meet the requirements of your business activity. You can find office spaces for rent on various property websites or through real estate agents.

  1. Open a bank account

You must open a bank account to operate the business in Abu Dhabi. You can choose any local or international bank to open your account. Most banks in Abu Dhabi offer business banking services and can guide you through the process of opening a bank account.

  1. Hire employees

Once you have completed the above steps, you can start hiring employees to operate your business. Abu Dhabi has a diverse and talented workforce that can help you grow your business. You should research the specific requirements for hiring employees in your industry and follow the relevant labor laws.

Documents Required for Business Setup in Abu Dhabi

Documents Required for Business Setup in Abu Dhabi

The documents required for setup a business in Abu Dhabi may differ relying on the business activity, business structure, and other factors. However, here are some of the general documents that you will need to provide:

  1. Passport copies of all shareholders and partners – All shareholders and partners in the business must provide a copy of their passports.
  2. Proof of residence – This could include a tenancy contract or a recent utility bill.
  3. No Objection Certificate (NOC) – If you are a resident of Abu Dhabi, you must obtain a NOC from your sponsor or employer.
  4. Trade name reservation certificate – To confirm that your chosen trade name is available.
  5. Memorandum of Association (MOA) – This document is mandatory for setting up an LLC in Abu Dhabi.
  6. Business plan – You must provide a detailed business plan that outlines the goals, objectives, and financial projections of your business.
  7. Bank reference letter – To confirm that you have adequate budgets to fund the business.
  8. Approval from relevant government departments – Relying on your business activity, you may need to obtain approvals from other government departments
The Advantages of Business Setup in Abu Dhabi

The Advantages of Business Setup in Abu Dhabi

There are many benefits of business setup in Abu Dhabi. Here are some of the key advantages –

  1. Strategic location

Abu Dhabi is strategically found at the crossings of Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it an excellent place for businesses looking to grow into these areas. The city also has a modern and efficient transport infrastructure, comprising an international airport and a deep-water port.

  1. Business-friendly environment

Abu Dhabi offers a business-friendly environment with low taxes, minimal bureaucracy, and streamlined procedures for setting up a business. The government has also implemented several initiatives to support entrepreneurship and innovation, making it easier for businesses to start and grow in the city.

  1. Diversified economy

Abu Dhabi has a diversified economy, with a strong focus on the oil and gas industry, as well as a growing emphasis on other sectors such as tourism, healthcare, and technology. This diversification makes Abu Dhabi a more stable and stunning place for companies, with opportunities in a range of industries.

  1. Skilled workforce

Abu Dhabi has a highly skilled and diverse workforce, with professionals from around the world. The city also offers a range of training and development programs to support the growth of businesses and the development of their employees.

  1. Access to funding

Abu Dhabi offers a range of funding options for businesses, including grants, loans, and venture capital. The government has also established several initiatives to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses in the city.

  1. Quality of life

Abu Dhabi offers a high quality of life, with modern infrastructure, world-class healthcare facilities, and a diverse range of leisure and cultural activities. This makes the city an appealing location for companies looking to lure and maintain top aptitude.

The Cost of Business Setup in Abu Dhabi

The Cost of Business Setup in Abu Dhabi

The cost of setting up a business in Abu Dhabi can vary depending on several factors, including the type of business activity, business structure, and location. Some of the common costs include trade name registration, initial approval, legal fees, company registration fees, commercial office space, visa, and immigration fees, and other miscellaneous expenses.

The total cost of setting up a business in Abu Dhabi can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and type of the business. It is important to work with the business setup company in Abu Dhabi to get a better understanding of the costs associated with setting up a business in Abu Dhabi and to ensure that you have all the necessary information to make informed decisions.

In conclusion, setting up a business in Abu Dhabi is a straightforward process, but it requires careful planning and attention to detail. You must choose the right business activity, structure, and location to ensure the success of your business. That is why you need to get assistance from seasoned business consultants in Abu Dhabi like Start Any Business UAE to start your business venture successfully in Abu Dhabi.


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