What are the Requirements to Register a Company in Dubai?

What are the requirements to register a company in Dubai?,start restaurant business in dubai

Dubai, dubbed the “City of Gold,” has established itself as a global economic powerhouse, attracting entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world. Its strategic position, cutting-edge infrastructure, and favorable business climate make it an attractive place for companies looking to set up shop in the Middle East. Setting up a firm in Dubai, on the other hand, necessitates a complete awareness of the legal and administrative procedures. In this detailed guide, we will delve deeper into the essential requirements for registering a company in Dubai, ensuring a smooth and successful venture.

Why register a company in Dubai?

The Variety of Business Entities

Before entering into the process of forming a company in Dubai, it’s critical to understand the various business structures available to you:

Sole Proprietorship: This is the most basic form of business ownership, in which a single person is the sole owner and operator of the business.

Partnerships are formed when two or more people come together to share ownership and duties in a business.

Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC combines the benefits of a partnership and a corporation, offering limited liability protection while allowing for management freedom.

Free Zone Company: Free zones offer foreign investors the unique opportunity to own 100% of their company, making them an appealing option for international corporations.

Branch Office: For foreign organizations wishing to establish a presence in Dubai, building a branch office acts as an extension of their main company.

Legal Structures

The Dubai legal framework recognizes two primary business structures:

Onshore Companies: These enterprises are registered on the Dubai mainland and have the freedom to operate anywhere in the emirate and beyond.

Offshore Companies: Offshore companies are registered in free zones and generally do international business. While they are restricted from operating within the UAE, they do offer perks such as tax breaks and 100% foreign ownership.

Requirements for Company Registration

Charting Your Business Activity

The very first stage in your company registration journey is to determine the primary activities that your firm will engage in. Different activities may demand specific licenses or authorizations from applicable regulatory organizations.

Company’s Name

Choosing the proper name for your company is like giving it a personality. Here’s how to do it:

Your chosen business name must be distinct and not previously registered by another firm in Dubai.

Compliance with Naming Rules: 

It is critical to adhere to Dubai’s naming regulations and avoid using any offensive or banned terms.

Seek Approval

Once you’ve decided on a business name, submit it to the Department of Economic Development (DED). Following approval, your selected name will be held exclusively for your use throughout the registration process.

Creating Your Share Capital

Determine the minimum share capital required for your selected company activity. The precise cost will depend on the type of business you wish to start. Following this conclusion, you must deposit the capital in a UAE bank and acquire a certificate certifying the deposit.

Choosing a Business Location

Choose whether you want to establish your business on the Dubai mainland or in one of the many free zones. Your choice of location will have a substantial impact on your ownership structure, taxation, and the unique regulatory requirements you must meet.

Navigating the Licensing Maze

The nature of your company’s operations will determine the type of license it needs. Here’s everything you need to know:

Determination of License Type: Determine the correct license that corresponds to your business activity.

Obtaining Required Approvals: Certain firms may require additional approvals from certain regulatory bodies. For example, healthcare enterprises must obtain approval from the Dubai Health Authority.

Professional Services License: A professional services license is required if you intend to provide professional services such as legal or medical advice.

Visa Quota Consideration

Consider the number of personnel you intend to hire as well as their visa needs. The size and type of the business are factors that affect visa allocations.

Document Submission 

Presenting Legal Documentation

To begin your company registration in Dubai, you’ll need to gather and submit the following documents:

Memorandum of Association (MOA): This document is critical for LLCs since it explains the company’s constitution, including its aims and organizational structure.

Shareholder Agreements: In the case of partnership companies, a shareholder agreement is essential in defining each partner’s tasks and obligations.

Passport and Visa Copies: Make copies of all shareholders’ and partners’ passports and visas.

No Objection Certificate (NOC): If your company is relocating to a free zone, you may need a NOC from your present sponsor or employer.

Tenancy Contract: Provide a tenancy contract as tangible proof of your business address in Dubai.

The Application Journey

Once you have all of the relevant documentation in place and have decided on your business operations and location, you can begin the application process. Submit your application and all required documentation to the appropriate authorities. The specific process may differ depending on your chosen business type and area.

The Initial Green Light

Following filing, expect initial permission from the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant free zone authority. This preliminary approval indicates that your application is being processed and that your selected business name is reserved exclusively for your use during the registration process.

Protecting Your Trade Name

As part of the process, you’ll need to register your company’s trade name with the DED or the relevant free zone authorities. This move ensures that no other entity in Dubai may use the same name.

Financial Formalities

To move on, you must pay for license issuance, visa processing, and any additional fees that may apply. The kind of business you choose and the location will determine the price structure.

The Crown Jewel: Your Business License

Once all of the prerequisites have been satisfied, paperwork submitted, and fees paid, you will reach the pinnacle of your journey: the issue of your company license. This priceless document grants you the legal authority to conduct business in the booming metropolis of Dubai.


1. Is 100% foreign ownership permitted in Dubai?

Yes, certain free zones in Dubai allow for 100% foreign ownership, making it an appealing alternative for international investors.

2. How long does it take to register a corporation in Dubai?

The registration process might take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the type of business and region.

3. Are there any special criteria for professional licenses in Dubai?

Yes, professional licenses frequently require proof of competence and may impose additional requirements.

4. Can I change my company’s location after registration?

Yes, it’s possible to change your company’s location within Dubai, but the process involves legal procedures and approvals.

5. Do I need a local sponsor to register a company in Dubai?

In some cases, yes. Mainland companies may require a local sponsor, while free zone companies do not. It’s essential to understand the rules based on your chosen business location.


The process of creating a company in Dubai is exciting since it provides access to a dynamic and thriving market. It is, however, a voyage that necessitates rigorous planning, strict adherence to standards, and a healthy dose of patience. You’ll be well-prepared to manage the complicated procedure if you have a thorough awareness of the numerous company entities, legal structures, and documentation requirements. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned business expert, Dubai’s business-friendly atmosphere invites you to explore its potential.

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