How to start a business
in the UAE

Learn how to get a business started in the United Arab Emirates and about unique start up features,
so you can quickly enter the richest market in the world.

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Starting a business in the UAE is simple with SORP’s step by step approach. We initiate trade for you inside the UAE by taking an experienced approach to getting you started immediately. With our years of experience, we guide you through legislation, how to obtain licenses and permits, unpack management ideas and help you find the best business model to support your goals. Our full range of services provide everything you need to get started today.

Steps to start your business

  • Preparing a successful business plan

    We help you understand how your business plan and model can succeed within the UAE, including adjustments that may be required to suit the environment, local competitors and local business strategy.

  • Registering your business in the UAE

    We help you to choose how and where to register your business in the UAE based on your target audience. To supply goods to the local UAE market, incorporating a local company is required.

  • Choosing a license for your needs

    All business in the UAE is subject to licensing. We provide the tools, expertise and industry know-how needed to choose the right license for you to trade goods into the UAE.

  • Obtaining a license and company incorporation

    After obtaining approvals from relevant departments, we help you fulfil legal requirements necessary for incorporation and confirm a physical address.

  • Obtaining permits for the import of goods

    To import goods into the UAE, an import permit is required. We manage the certification processes to support legal administration and accurate selection of right the goods permit.

  • Ongoing expert support

    We provide comprehensive administrative support to businesses, from legal and PRO support to bookkeeping and tax accounting, immigration process, registering foreign employees and opening bank accounts, etc.

  • Choosing a working business model

    You need to perform a business analysis of the competitive environment and your business development strategy, since models that work successfully in other countries are often ineffective in the UAE

  • Choosing a location

    Deciding where to incorporate depends on the location of your target audience. To supply goods to the domestic market of the UAE, you must form a local company

  • Choosing a license

    Any business in the UAE is subject to licensing. It is necessary to analyze the features and additional requirements for obtaining a license to perform services in the UAE

  • Obtaining permits for work and services

    In some cases, it is required to provide a development plan and proof of experience and qualifications of founders or managers, presenting diplomas and other documents at the request of departments

  • Obtaining a license and company registration

    After obtaining approvals from the relevant departments, it is necessary to fulfil the requirements of the legislation for registration of the selected type of legal entity and confirm a legal address

  • Providing quality support for the company

    Administrative, legal and PRO support, bookkeeping and tax accounting, immigration procedures and registration of foreign employees, opening bank accounts, etc.

  • Choose a sound business model

    You need to identify promising markets and territories for your business and make sure that the company you are going to establish can work without any restrictions. To sell manufactured goods to the domestic market of the UAE, incorporating a local company is required.

  • Obtain prior permission before incorporating a manufacturing business

    You need to prepare a project summary for the Ministry of Economy. On review, you will be issued with a preliminary permit and a list of necessary approvals, required for the registration of a manufacturing enterprise. Additional requirements may apply.

  • Obtain additional approvals

    Once you receive your preliminary permit, approvals will be required from the following sectors: The Municipality, The Department of Civil Defense, the Department of construction, and others that correlate to your production activity profile.

  • Obtain a license and company incorporation

    After obtaining approvals from the relevant departments, you will need to complete the legal process to finally incorporate your business and confirm the manufacturing location / address.

  • Product certification

    Product certification requires ‘standards compliance’ and may include laboratory testing, This may include an inspection by the Agency for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), registration with the Municipality, the Ministry of Health, the Department of Civil Defense, and other agencies.

  • Provide quality support for the company

    You will require administrative, legal and PRO support, bookkeeping and tax accounting, immigration procedures and the registration of foreign employees, the opening of bank accounts, and other services for the success of operating a manufacturing business in the UAE.

SORP solutions: We set up businesses in the UAE based on our years of experience here

  • Business plan

    SORP conducts a quality business assessment of your strategic plan in the UAE to improve performance taking local specifics and bespoke business knowledge into account.

  • Incorporation and

    SORP provides a fast, professional services for incorporation and licensing. We co-operate with local authorities to build expertise and supportive functionality.

  • Opening bank

    SORP cooperates with the leading banks of the UAE and understands their compliance procedures inside and out. We guarantee a fast and efficient completion process.

  • Business

    SORP business center provides excellent solutions for the rent of equipped office spaces. We offer staff accommodation as well as licensing procedures.

  • Local sponsor or

    SORP provides a reliable nominee service for those who would like to conduct business through a local company (local partner or agent) with a waiver of rights in the court.

  • Business process

    SORP manages immigration, tax, accounting and legalities to save your time and money, and for focusing on managing all your day-to-day needs.

What you should consider when starting a business in the UAE

Business license features UAE

All activities in the country are subject to licensing within local territories or can be incorporated within of one of the Free Trade Zones.

Free Trade Zone Company formation

Сompanies can conduct business only in the Zone of incorporation or outside the UAE. Each FTZ has its own list of activities available for licensing.

Mainland company incorporation

Incorporation provides the right to run business both in the UAE and in foreign markets. Local business activities are licensed by the DEDs of each emirate.

Banking system

The state offers investment protection, free capital entry and withdrawal. Banks operate without foreign exchange curbs but adhere to KYC regulatory standards.

Tax system

There’s zero tax on personal income and no corporate taxes. 5% VAT applies to some omestic categories. Federal Tax Authority registration is required.

Immigration procedures

Business owners are welcome to apply for a local resident visa. It is possible to attract foreign labor when obtaining work quotas in the Ministry of Labour

Import procedures

A comprehensive and essential process is required when obtaining a permit for imports. This includes certificates for products, and approvals from officials.

Export and re-export

Tax-free opportunities exist for foreign business and the export of goods and services are zero-rated. The recovery of previous VAT paid is possible.

Compliance with EU and OECD

When conducting foreign activities from the UAE, a confirmation of Economic Substance (ESR) is required. Proof of a UAE Decision Making Center.

SORP - comprehensive services, support and business management in the UAE

Individual approach

Your requirements are unique. We treat every business individually to tailor the right services to achieve your priorities. Our experts know how to start a profitable business in Dubai (the UAE) and we are ready to perform our best practices for your success.

Banking support

Assistance in choosing a bank that is suitable for your purposes, support with bank accounts opening and passing KYC procedures (know your customer).

15 years of successful work

We have helped thousands of clients start, build and develop businesses in Dubai.

Complex of all services

SORP offers comprehensive support for incorporated companies and their shareholders: from licensing, maintaining bank accounts to obtaining the status of a tax resident of the country.

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