As we all know that Dubai is the most favoured tourist destination for all tourists across the world. Similarly, it has been gaining importance as one of the top business locations in the world for all investors and entrepreneurs all over the world. Since the last two decades or so, Dubai has been formally recognised as being at the top of the list as a major business location for all foreign investors and entrepreneurs. This has been made possible because of the huge growth and development that has been taking place in Dubai in the last two decades. As it has a potential to reach more than a billion consumers worldwide; so this makes it all the more attractive for all kinds of business opportunities. There are various kinds of business opportunities in Dubai like advertising, logistics, Information & Technology, Book Keeping, apparel, e-commerce, food trading and restaurant business, recruitment agency etc.
Since Dubai is considered as one of the most lucrative and potentially beneficial business locations. There are some important steps which are required to be taken before starting any business. This is because the laws of Dubai are very strict regarding setting up of businesses. Some of the most important steps are listed below:-
- Business Plan: The most basic and important step is to have a proper and logical business plan. The plan should be well formulated and contain all information like market, products and activities, the number of employees, office space requirement, the initial investment required, marketing strategies, information on investors and finance, competitors etc. It is extremely important to choose the market very carefully and then accordingly do the initial investment.
Choice of Activities: The second major step is the crucial one as the license is granted accordingly. This is important because the license is granted according to the kind of business that is being set up. If the business concerns only a specific product or a market, then a particular license is granted. On the other hand, if the business is of general type; then a different kind of license is granted and it is a bit costlier than the other one. Therefore it is very important to choose the kind of business.
Choice of the Jurisdiction: Another major aspect of setting up any new business is to find the appropriate jurisdiction. So it becomes important for any businessman to know about the jurisdictions available in the land. In Dubai, the jurisdictions are classified into three categories: Free Zones, Mainland, and Offshore. Dubai has more than forty Free Zones and each zone is governed by respective authorities. Free Zones are those jurisdictions where there are certain benefits for investors and businessmen. These benefits are such as that when a company is formed in the Free Zone, it is completely tax-free. Moreover, this Zone guarantees 100% ownership of the company for the investor or businessman. Whereas on the other hand, in the case of Mainland; the investor or the businessman would be required to find a local sponsor or investor for setting up of the company. In addition to that, a sponsor in the Mainland has to be given 51% of the shares of the company or business. The investor or the businessman also has to give remuneration to the sponsor every month. The third jurisdiction is Offshore. This jurisdiction is applicable when a company or business is set up in a different jurisdiction and the parent company is located in a different country. That is there is no physical presence in the country.
- Finding a Sponsor: If the businessman or the investor chooses to set up a business in the mainland; then he has to look for a sponsor. This sponsor will help in getting along with the establishment and the authorities. The said sponsor will own 51% of the shares of the company and also will be getting the required remuneration every month. Sponsors are of three main types:
- The sponsor who is going to be responsible for signing all the documents. The said sponsor will also be responsible for all business problems. These kinds of sponsors charge the lowest fees
- The second kinds of sponsors are mid-level government officials. They help resolve issues and smoothening things for the businessman or the investor. Their fees are a bit higher.
- The third kinds of sponsors are the ones who have all sorts of high connections and who can get things done very easily. Their fee is the highest of all the three.
- Legal Requirements: Another major aspect for setting up a business is the fulfilment of legal requirements of the place. To start a business a license is required and this depends on the kind of business. If it is a general business activity, then a general trading license will be required. Such type of business licenses covers all the major aspects of the business. Some of the steps are listed below to obtain a general trading license:
- Choice of an appropriate trade name for the company.
- Planning done well in advance as to the kind of business activity.
- Filling up the application and submitting it for approval.
- If required, getting external approvals also.
- Choosing an appropriate location for the business.
- Obtaining a tenancy contract from the proper authority.
- Arrangement of all the legal documents.
- Submission of the application to the proper department for approval.
- Payment of the required fee to obtain the requisite license.
The main advantages of setting up a business in Dubai are listed below:
- Geographical Location: Due to its proximity to Asia, Africa and the Middle East; Dubai is an ideal place to start a business.
- Easy Procedures: The most important and beneficial aspect is that Dubai government has made the procedures for setting up of businesses, obtaining licenses etc. convenient for businessmen and investors from all across the globe and also for businessmen and investors.
- Convenient Trade Policies: The trade rules and regulations in Dubai are made to provide a healthy, competitive environment. They also provide tax benefits in Free Zones, open-door policy for everyone etc.
- High-Quality Infrastructure: Dubai has a very quality of infrastructure. Whether it is a network of roads, telecommunications, ports and airports.
- Secure and Stable Political Environment: UAE has the safest, most stable and secure political atmosphere since its inception in 1971. This has resulted in a viable climate for economic development. Dubai has also been recognised as one of the most tolerant, prosperous and safe societies of the world.
Easy Availability of Human Resources: The liberal labour laws of Dubai have made it easy for thousands of professionals to emigrate and gain employment in its various establishments.
In conclusion, it can be said that once all the major steps are taken into consideration, it is beneficial to set up a business in Dubai for all investors and businessmen. The best part is that political and social structure is really strong and very ideal for any new business to be set up.