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Guide to Start a Business in United Arab Emirates

Staff Reporter | 4:24 AM |

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in United Arab Emirates. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Reserve a company's name and submit the company registration application to the Department of Economic Development (DED)1 dayAED 110 for initial approval + AED 210 for name reservation
2Notarize the company’s Memorandum of Association in DED1 day0.25% of the capital (for 3 copies of the Memorandum of Association), AED 5 for each page of the additional copy
3File company documents with the Department for Economic Development (DED) and obtain trade license and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) membership3 days5 % of the value of the lease agreement + AED 1,000-3,000 waste fees + AED 480 for company registration + AED 350 fees for nameboard + AED 1,200 for Chamber of Commerce membership registration
4Apply for establishment card at the Ministry of Labor1 dayAED 2000
5Register native workers with the Ministry of Labor1 dayno charge
* 6Register native workers with the General Authority for Pension and Social Security1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure)no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.