The Cost of Setting Up a Company in Dubai: Complete Guide

Commercial registration fees in Dubai,Cost of setting up a company in Dubai,Setting Up a Business in Dubai

Setting up a company in Dubai, one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provides entrepreneurs and investors with access to a booming business environment in the Middle East. Dubai has been a magnet for firms seeking international expansion and growth due to its strategic position, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly policies. However, before commencing on this exciting path, it is critical to comprehend the complexities of the costs associated with operating a business in this thriving metropolis. This overview will delve into the different components and concerns that contribute to the overall cost of starting a business in Dubai, giving potential entrepreneurs useful insights into the financial aspects of their entrepreneurial effort in this global commercial hub.

Understanding Business Activity Categories:

Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) classifies business activities into several categories:

Commercial activities:

Trading and selling items, both wholesale and retail, are examples of commercial activities. A commercial license is required if you intend to sell electronics, apparel, or any other product. It has a major effect on the cost of setting up a business in Dubai

Industrial Activities:

 An industrial license is essential for people involved in manufacturing or industrial production. This area includes a wide range of operations, from food manufacturing to heavy machinery manufacturing.

Professional Activities:

A professional license is required if your business involves delivering professional services such as legal, medical, consulting, or educational services.

Tourist and Hospitality:

 Businesses in the tourist and hospitality industries, such as hotels, travel agencies, and restaurants, must get the necessary permits.

Media and Publishing:

 A specialized license is required if your company operates in the media and publishing industry, which includes advertising agencies, newspapers, and magazines.

Real Estate and Construction: 

Real estate development, contracting, and associated operations necessitate industry-specific licenses.

Transport and Logistics: 

Companies that provide transportation, logistics, and freight services must get the necessary licenses.

Types of Licenses:

The cost of setting up a company in Dubai depends on the license. Within each company activity category, Dubai provides a variety of licensing options. Among the most prevalent license kinds are:

Commercial licenses: 

A commercial license is also known as a trading license or business license. It is the most widely applied to commercial and trade firms in Dubai. Commercial licenses are required for enterprises that buy and sell items. This license is appropriate for trade firms, retail stores, and wholesalers.

Industrial licenses 

Industrial licenses are required for businesses that engage in manufacturing or industrial activity. It includes product creation, processing, and manufacturing.

Professional licenses

These are appropriate for persons or businesses that provide professional services such as legal, medical, consulting, or educational services. Certain activities can be owned entirely by foreigners.

Media license:

It is required for any media-related enterprise, such as publishing, advertising, or broadcasting.

Real Estate License: 

A real estate license is required for businesses involved in real estate development, brokerage, or property management.

Transport License:

 Required for enterprises in the transportation and logistics sectors, such as freight forwarders and passenger transportation providers.

Cost consideration for a business license:

Mainland business license:

Mainland business licenses for small businesses can cost anywhere from approximately The cost of obtaining a Dubai mainland license in 2023 will be roughly AED 10,000. It is important to note, however, that this cost may grow due to additional considerations such as obtaining additional permissions, visas, government fees, and 

other connected charges

What is the cheapest mainland license in Dubai?

You may also acquire it with monthly interest-free installments ranging from AED 800 to AED 1,100 The Meydan Free Zone license is the lowest trade license in Dubai and does not require a visa. The licensing fee varies depending on the circumstances. This license costs between AED 10,000 and AED 13,000.

Free-zone business license:

Free zones in Dubai provide a variety of choices for small firms, and the cost of a license varies greatly amongst free zones. Small business packages in many free zones are designed to be cost-effective, and they may contain benefits such as 100% foreign ownership, tax breaks, and expedited registration requirements. the freezone license in Dubai can cost around AED 10K to 50K.

What is the cheapest free zone license in Dubai?

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

IFZA (International Free Zone Authority) is the most affordable Free Zone in Dubai. IFZA provides a low-cost company license in Dubai without visas for AED 11,900. In 2023 it will be the best and cheapest free-zone license in Dubai

Business Location:

The cost of setting up a company can vary depending on whether you choose to establish your business in a free zone, LLC in the mainland.

Mainland Business Location:

  • Access to the Local Market: 

 conduct business with the local market as well as the rest of the UAE. This choice is suitable if the majority of your target audience comprises UAE residents and enterprises.

  • Versatile Business Activities: 

Mainland enterprises are free to engage in a wide range of business activities. This adaptability is especially useful if your company offers a variety of products or services.

  • No Visa Cap: 

Mainland enterprises generally have no cap on the number of employment visas they may sponsor, making it easier to hire a larger workforce.

  • Government Contracts: 

Establishing your firm on Dubai’s mainland allows you to freely esses on the mainland can compete for lucrative government contracts and projects.

  • Most mainland enterprises require a local sponsor, who typically owns 51% of the company’s stock. While the local sponsor does not have operational authority, this arrangement is required by law for some activities. However, there are ways to protect your interests through legal agreements.

Location of a Free Zone Business:


  • Many free zones in Dubai allow for 100% foreign ownership, eliminating the need for a local sponsor or partner.
  • Tax Advantages: 

Tax exemptions and customs duty privileges are frequently granted to free zone corporations, making it a tax-efficient choice for businesses.

  • Simplified creation: 

The free zone creation process is often streamlined and allows speedy company registration, allowing enterprises to begin operations as soon as possible.

  • Specialized Zones: 

Dubai offers a number of free zones, each of which is tailored to a specific industry. This specialization can be useful if your firm matches the focus of a specific free zone.

  • Flexibility: 

Depending on their needs, free zone enterprises can frequently pick from a variety of legal forms, such as a Free Zone Company (FZCO), a Free Zone Establishment (FZE), or a Branch Office.

  • While free zones offer an appealing business environment, they may impose barriers to doing business in the local market. Typically, free zone companies can trade within the free zone or worldwide, however, local sales may necessitate the use of a local distributor or agent.
  • Free zone companies 

They may need to rent office space within the free zone, and the specific requirements can vary between zones.

  • Depending on the free zone and business activity, there may be limitations on the number of employment visas a company can sponsor.

Legal Structure

The legal structure of your company in Dubai is an important decision that defines ownership, responsibility, and regulatory requirements. Dubai provides a variety of legal structures to meet a variety of corporate demands and aims. Here are some of the most frequent business legal structures in Dubai.

Capital requirement:

Capital requirements refer to the minimum amount of money or capital that a business is legally required to have or invest when establishing or operating in a specific jurisdiction.

Cost of getting a visa:

The price of a Dubai Business Visa varies depending on the kind and duration of the visa. The prices might range from AED 3,500 to AED 7,500 on average. Additional fees may apply, such as application processing fees, medical examinations, and Emirates ID fees.

PRO (Public Relations Officer) Services: 

  • Dubai mainland company formation cost ranges between AED 15 000 – AED 35000. However, it may vary based on several factors like the type of license, size, and type of business, business activity, and more.
  • Many firms use PRO services to help with government paperwork, approvals, and visas, which are not free.
  • Company registration AED 3000
  • Virtual offices, joint offices, independent offices, and warehouses or lands are also options.AED 10,000 and above
  • Visa Renewing Accounting and auditing services for AED 750AED 1000

Registration cost of setting up a company in Dubai

The cost of registering a company in Dubai is given below.

For free-zone company

The registration fees vary depending on the free zone, however, they normally range between AED 12,900 and AED 50,000. This charge includes the costs of registering the firm and getting the essential licenses.

For mainland company

The registration fee varies depending on the free zone, they normally range between AED 15 000 to  AED 35 000.


How much money is required to start a small business in UAE?

A trading license for your small business can also be obtained for as little as AED 20,000. Any amount between AED 20,000 and AED 30,000 is considered a safe bet. It is important to realize that the cost of setting up a company business license in Dubai could rise if you seek unique rights.

How much does it cost to register an LLC in Dubai?

The cost of forming a limited liability corporation in Dubai ranges between AED 20,000 and 30,000. However, costs vary depending on the business and services provided. The cost of an investor visa is between AED 4,000 and AED 5,500. The charge ranges between AED 5,000 and AED 7,000, depending on the type of staff hired.

How much does a place cost in Dubai?

You’ll have to pay AED 13,000 or $3,540 per square meter for a property in Dubai’s city center. Outside of the city center, property is more affordable: AED 8,000+ or $2,180+ per square meter.


The cost of forming a company in Dubai is a multidimensional consideration that is determined by a variety of factors, including the type of business activity, the legal structure chosen, and the location within Dubai. This financial commitment is a vital component of the entrepreneurial journey in one of the most vibrant and appealing business centers in the Middle East.

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we provide full support for everything related to business setup, and transaction clearance to help our customers setup their businesses whether the mainland or in the free zone, and for any size business.
ITQAN offers license renewal services and packages in collaboration with a team of consultants and professionals who will take care of renewing your trade license and changing your business without any hassle.
Once the setting up process is completed, you can open your bank account right away through a short, easy, hassle-free process with ITQAN Team who is specialised in clearing legal transactions and following up all governmental procedures you won’t have to provide any additional paperwork or make visit bsnks.

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