10 things to know before setting up a business in the UAE

04 May, 2023 - UAE Life & Economy

In recent years, the UAE has become a popular destination for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to set up a business in the region. With a stable economy, strategic location, and business-friendly environment, the UAE offers numerous opportunities for business and start-ups. However, there are several things that one needs to know before setting up operations in the UAE.

Here are some of the top 10 things that business and entrepreneurs should keep in mind when starting a business in the UAE.

Company Structure

The first thing to consider is the business structure you want to set up in the UAE. There are several options available, including a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole Proprietorship, and Free Zone Company. Each structure has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to research and choose the one that best suits your business needs.

Legal & Regulatory Requirements

Setting up a business in the UAE requires compliance with several legal requirements, including registering your company with the relevant authorities, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, and complying with labour laws. It is advisable that one should ensure that one understand and fulfil all legal obligations to avoid any legal complications later.


The UAE has a tax-friendly environment, with no personal income tax. However, businesses are required to pay Value-Added Tax (VAT), which is currently set at 5%. By June 2023, a 9% Corporate Income tax will come into effect (subject to companies exceeding AED 375,000 / USD 100,000 profits). As a business planning on operating in the UAE, it is highly recommended that the organisation should understand its tax obligations and ensure that it complies with the relevant laws.


The UAE has a rich and diverse culture, and it’s essential to understand and respect it when doing business in the country. By familiarize oneself with the local customs and traditions, it helps in avoiding avoid any cultural misunderstandings that could impact your business.

Local Partner

To set up a business in the UAE, you may need to have a local partner who will hold a majority stake in the company. This is a requirement in some business structures such as LLCs. Ensure that you choose a reliable and trustworthy local partner who can help you navigate the local business environment.

Location & Freezones

Choosing the right location for your business is crucial. The UAE has several free zones, each with its own benefits and incentives, such as tax exemptions and 100% ownership. Advisable to research and choose a location that suits your business needs and budget.


Opening a bank account in the UAE is a straightforward process, but you will need to provide the necessary documentation, such as your passport and business registration documents. It is also highly recommended to choose a bank that offers the services that caters to the business needs and has a good reputation.

Labour Laws

The UAE has several labour laws and regulations in place to protect the rights of employees and ensure fair working conditions. As an employer in the country, it is essential to understand and comply with these laws to avoid legal difficulties and ensure a safe and fair working environment.


As an employer in the UAE, sponsoring and managing employment visas for your employees is an essential part of the hiring process. The sponsorship and management of employment visas can be outsourced to a third-party service provider. This can help save you time and resources and ensure that the business remains compliant with the relevant regulations.

Business Support

Finally, the UAE has several organizations and government agencies that offer support and resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Take advantage of these resources to help you navigate the local business environment and grow your business.

In conclusion, setting up a business in the UAE can be a lucrative opportunity, but it requires careful planning and research. By understanding the legal requirements, choosing the right business structure, location, and partners, and complying with the relevant laws and regulations, you can set your business up for success. Our team of expert are here to support and help you get started in the UAE.