Dubai is a modern city that is open to new businesses and ideas. To set up a company in the city, you must obtain the necessary approvals and may need to partner with a local sponsor. This article will provide an overview of the steps you need to take to successfully establish your business in Dubai. Local sponsors, also known as local service agents, sleeping partners, and nominal shareholders, are citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
You may need to pay them an annual fee according to the agreed contract. Once you have a local sponsor, you must request the necessary approvals to operate your business. This will give you access to the UAE market and provide an opportunity to expand your business to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. You can also set up a business in one of the free zones. This will give you access to 0% corporate and personal taxes and 100% foreign ownership. It is the only way for a foreign entrepreneur to own 100% of their business without establishing it in a free zone. For example, if you want to create a company that provides financial services in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), you must obtain a business license and a financial services permit (FSP) from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the DIFC's financial services regulator.
If you are setting up your business in a free zone, you must receive your license from the appropriate authority. In addition, if you are setting up a company in mainland Dubai, you must submit details of your local national partner for verification along with other documents. The region's commercial company law requires companies to partner or collaborate with a local partner who owns no less than 51 percent of the company's ownership. Austria Business Center offers business solutions that include licensing, sponsorship, and partner search. They help establish companies and provide guidance on local laws, regulations, and cultural norms. Having a local sponsor is mandatory for any foreigner who wishes to set up a business in continental UAE. As an experienced business owner in Dubai, I have learned many of the steps needed for successfully starting a company in this metropolitan city.