The Ultimate Guide to Start Your Business in Dubai as a Foreigner

Dubai attracts many foreigners for company formation because of the simple startup process. Dubai offers support to foreigners through experts who help them with licenses, visas, and all the paperwork they need to start a company. Agents in Dubai help foreigners with all the procedures that are required for company formation. 

Dubai provides a great environment for business startups because they don’t have to pay taxes, the government is stable and the economy is also doing well. This blog is going to be a guide for those who want to start a business in Dubai as a foreigner

Is Dubai Open to Non-Residents Establishing Businesses?

Is Dubai Open to Non-Residents Establishing Businesses

Dubai always allows non-residents to start businesses in Dubai to promote foreign investment. Special government policies are made only to encourage foreign investments. These business policies are the reason that Dubai has emerged as a business hotspot.

Here are some rules that were recently made for business purposes: 

  1. Get Ease at Business Licenses (January 2023): To attract more foreigners in Dubai to start their businesses, the Dubai Department of Economic Development made a rule to simplify the procedure of getting a license in 2024. This makes it easy for international entrepreneurs to start their business in Dubai. 
  1. Local Sponsorship Waiver (April 2023): In April 2023, the government of Dubai waived the local sponsorship for non-residents which was mandatory for them before the introduction of this new rule. Now business setup in Dubai as a foreigner has become easier than it was before. 

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Why Opt for Dubai? 

Why Opt for Dubai

Dubai is known for its infrastructure, lifestyle, and business opportunities.  Dubai’s environment provides every reason for entrepreneurs to start their business in Dubai.

Here we are going to list some tips below that you can follow if you want to start a business in Dubai:

  1. Choosing Your Corporate Structure: If you want to start your business in Dubai, you need to choose the corporate structure of your company. Your business type, purpose, and your business is going to operate for which industry, all these things will decide the structure of the company.  
  2. Understanding the Jurisdiction: There are two options for a foreigner to start their company. They can choose Mainland or Free zones to operate in Dubai. However, it is important to have an understanding between mainland and free zones. 


Dubai mainland company setup will allow you to trade internationally as well as in the local market. Getting the license for your business is easy. You can easily get it within a day. But for the company formation, you need to follow a systematic procedure. 

Free Zones

Free zones are the areas where you will benefit from easy freezone company formation procedures, tax benefits, and many more. For the startup of new businesses, it is always suggested to open their company in one of these free zones. They can simply start their business by following very easy steps without any hassle. 

Advantages of Starting a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner

Advantages of Starting a Business in Dubai as a Foreigner
  1. Stable economy: It is very easy to start a business in Dubai as a foreigner. The reason is that the economy of the country is very stable. It is the world’s one of the fastest-growing economies, which gives every reason for a foreigner to start their business in Dubai. 
  2. Tax Efficiency: In the UAE you get the benefit of tax efficiency. Taxes in Dubai are very low. But if you operate from free zones you don’t even have to pay VAT on residential property, which makes it even more easy to operate in Dubai. 
  3. Strategic Location: Dubai is a very friendly location for business setup in Dubai. It is a strategic location between Europe, Asia, and Africa, from where it is very easy to have access to all the emerging markets. So company formation in Dubai helps to provide international business opportunities to grow your business. 
  4. Safety: Dubai is one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate. So the peaceful environment of Dubai attracts entrepreneurs to start their businesses. They can focus on ther growth only without facing safety problems. 
  5. No restriction for Foreign Ownership: The government of Dubai doesn’t impose restrictions on foreign ownership. Foreigners can have full ownership of their business. 
  6. Business-Friendly Government: The Government of Dubai is very business-friendly. They always come up with new ideas that can help to grow businesses and attract foreign entrepreneurs. 

Different Business Licenses For Foreigners in Dubai

Different Business Licenses For Foreigners in Dubai

To operate in Dubai, foreigners are issued with different business licenses for different purposes.

These licenses are: 

  1. Commercial License
  2. Professional License
  3. Industrial License
  4. Tourism License

Steps to Start a Business as  a Foreigner

Steps to Start a Business as  a Foreigner

For a business Setup In Dubai as a foreigner, it is required to follow some steps.

These important steps are: 

  1. Determine Your Business Type: First to start any business in Dubai as a foreigner, you need to choose the type of your business. For eg. you need to make sure if your business is going to operate in IT, tourism, or another field. 
  1. Choose a Unique Trading Name: You need to choose a unique name for your business, which depends on your business type. Just make sure that there is no other company operating with the same name.  
  1. Obtain the Necessary License: After choosing the name, you need to submit the essential documents to get your business license. 
  1. Complete Business Registration and Incorporation: Collect all the documents including your business license and register your company so that you can get permission to operate in Dubai. 
  1. Secure a Business Visa: After completing the whole process to operate in Dubai, you just need to apply for your business visa. As a foreigner, you can apply for a long-term business visa. 

Documents Needed to start a Business in Dubai as a foreigner

Documents Needed to start a Business in Dubai as a foreigner

To start a business in Dubai as a foreigner requires the submission of different documents according to the business license you are applying for. But here is the list of the most important documents that are essential to submit: 

  • Passport Copy:  To start your business in Dubai it is necessary to have a copy of your passport. 
  • Visa Copy: A visa copy is a must that foreigners need to submit. 
  • Business Plan: Submitting a document that contains the highlight of your business strategies, and type is a must. 
  • Certificate of Good Conduct: A certificate that clarifies that you have a clean criminal record is a must to operate in Dubai.
  • Financial Statement: This document is required because it gives an overview of your possessions and debts. 

Also Read: Dubai Mainland Business Activities: A Comprehensive Overview 

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