Start a small business in the UAE: Step by Step

Start a small business in the UAE: Step by Step

June 07, 2022

Start a small business in the UAE: Step by Step

Step-by-step guide to starting a small business in the UAE

The opportunities for small business owners in the UAE have never been greater, with many sectors experiencing an upsurge in demand. If you have a small business idea that needs to take root in fertile ground, you’ll find it in UAQ Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ).

Once you’ve decided on your business plan, UAQFTZ will soon have you up and running. This article outlines the simple business setup and licence application process, providing details in the following areas:

  • Steps to starting a small business in the UAE
  • Cost of starting a small business in the UAE
  • Documents needed to open a small company in the UAE
  • Benefits of starting a business in the UAE
  • Why start your company with UAQFTZ?

Steps to starting a small business in the UAE

To start a small business in the UAE, you will need to decide on the specific sectors you wish to work in, to ensure your licence covers all your trading requirements. You are required to state your specific areas of business, as straying from the specified list of activities could result in penalties.

Having made that fundamental decision, there are five basic steps to follow in the application process:

Step 1: Select a company name – plus two alternatives, just in case there are issues with your first choice – and state your business activity and required licence type.

Step 2: Submit the required documents to the UAQ Free Trade Zone Authority. This will include the completed application form and a scanned, legible copy of your passport, in colour.

Step 3: Sign and send the original business incorporation documents to the FTZA.

Step 4: Once the documentation has been approved, submit the full payment.

Step 5: Sit back and wait for the launch – you won’t have for too long, as your application will generally be approved and processed in under 48 hours.

Cost of starting a small business in the UAE

The cost to start a small business in the UAE starts from AED 8,000 for a no-visa package and AED 13,500 for a two-visa package. You can take advantage of a monthly instalment plan of just AED 786 per month.

Contact UAQFTZ for a personalised quote based on your specific requirements. It’s a simple process, and you’ll be amazed at how easy and quick it is to get your company incorporated – often within a single day.


Documents needed to open a small company in the UAE

To apply for your business licence, you will need to submit the following:

  • Three proposed names for the entity you wish to be incorporated, listed in order of preference.
  • A scanned colour copy of the completed application form.
  • A colour copy of your passport, along with two passport-sized photographs. Any named business partner will need to submit the same. The copies should be sufficiently clear for all the passport details to be read.
  • Proof of your residence (e.g. a recent utility bill that includes your name and address), or your last UAE entry stamp or UAE visa.


Benefits of starting a business in the UAE

The UAE is the perfect place for a small business owner who wants to reap maximum benefit from their hard work and entrepreneurial skills. You will benefit from low-cost living and a very favourable tax system that enables you to enjoy and reinvest the fruits of your labours.

The UAE’s lack of red tape and no-nonsense approach to business makes everything very straightforward for ambitious businesses. There are no strings attached after setting up your business here, and you will enjoy 100% ownership of your company.

Why start your company with UAQFTZ?

UAQ Free Trade Zone is in a prime location, with a seaport, Dubai International and Sharjah International Airports all within easy reach. Once you are a business licence holder in UAQFTZ, you will enjoy the considerable benefits of general low costs, zero tax, 100% company ownership, no foreign exchange controls and no currency restrictions – to name just a few of the great things about this region.

UAQFTZ may be a relatively small free trade zone, but like your new business, it punches well above its weight. Business setup in UAE brings many benefits, and UAQFTZ offers you the best of them. Some of the additional upsides of establishing your company here include the following:

You will not need capital proof, a bank letter or an audit report when you apply.

  • Shareholders do not have to be physically present during business setup or at any point of the licence application process.
  • You can collect your establishment card free of charge.
  • It’s possible to use and extend your existing visa, with no requirement for a specific UAQ visa.
  • All visa holders, investors and employees alike, can sponsor their families.
  • There is no requirement for an NOC when setting up a company in the UAQ Free Trade Zone.
  • There are no restrictions on foreign employees, so you can hire whoever you like.


UAQFTZ means business

Umm Al Quwain may be the smallest emirate in the UAE, but it boasts all the facilities of the larger free trade zones. It was specifically created by the UAQ government to nurture business, making it the premium place for your UAE business and offering support every step of the way.

Entrepreneurs are also drawn to UAQFTZ for its high-tech buzz and modern infrastructure. So, when mapping out the plans for your small business enterprise, your first move should be to contact UAQFTZ for a personalised quote. Start small, think big.

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