If you are considering moving to the UAE to establish a company or to relocate here for other reasons, the whole process can be completed in 6-8 weeks, depending on the jurisdiction you choose to register your company.

You can register a service/consulting, trading, manufacturing, industrial, freelance company; It all depends on the type of business activity you are looking to setup in the UAE.

Companies in the UAE are considered as Limited Liability Companies (LLC). Company formation LLC means that the liability of the owners or shareholders is limited to only what they have invested in the company or the shares they have invested in.

Company formation can be done in a Free zone, Mainland or Offshore.

Incorporating your company in a free zone means that you will own 100% shares of the company.

In the Mainland setup, you will need to have a UAE national, also known as a Local sponsor as a shareholder in case you carry our trading activity or open a beauty salon, restaurant or any other entity that deal directly with consumers. This Local sponsor will hold 51% of the company shares.

In case you open a company with professional activity, UAE national will be considered your Agent and won’t hold any shares.

In the Offshore setup, you will also own 100% of the company shares. Your information is strictly confidential and there won’t be any records of your company in the UAE company register. With the offshore company, you cannot carry out your business operations inside the UAE, make income inside the UAE or hire staff in the UAE. You also don’t have any eligibility to obtain a UAE resident visa under this company. However, the offshore company is a great tool to do international business and have a UAE bank account.

Company formation in Dubai UAE can be done in any of the free zones in Dubai and there are so many options for you to choose from: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai South (DWC), Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC), Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), Dubai Media City, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

Company formation in Dubai free zone costs varies depending on different factors: the type of license (service, trading, industrial, manufacturing), the number of visas the company would be eligible for and sometimes, the type of business activity you will be engaging in. This is because some business activities require external approvals for you to have your license issued by the free zone.


If you are looking to establish an IT, technology or industrial and research development company, Dubai Silicon Oasis free zone would be the most appropriate for your company registration.

They also offer other business activities that are the same as that provided by the Department of Economic Development. You can have up to 7 business activities on your company license and should be from the same segment.

Some of these activities however, cannot be setup in Dubai Silicon Oasis but only in Dubai Mainland.

Company formation in Dubai Silicon Oasis takes around 2 weeks and your personal presence would be required towards the end of the company registration. 

It is mandatory for you to get an office space and we recommend that you view the available office facilities and know which will be most suitable for your needs before you begin the company registration. There are two options available for the office facility; a workstation package or an office space package. If you opt for the office space package, you can make payments for it with 4 post dated cheques.

You are expected to renew the company license and pay the office rent annually. There are also audit reports required which should be submitted 18 months after the company is registered.

If you are looking for a more cost-efficient option for your business setup in Dubai as a substitute to Dubai Silicon Oasis, the freelance license Dubai will be a great option for your requirements. Dubai Media City offers freelance licenses in Dubai. This is an individual license and you are eligible for one UAE resident visa.

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