Frequently Asked Questions
The cost can vary depending on a number of factors, mainly:
- Type of business entity – L.L.C / Commercial / Professional / Sole Proprietorship
- Jurisdiction of the business – Freezone or Mainland
- Nature of the business activities
Business license in Dubai Mainland starts from AED 7000 & in Dubai Freezone starts from AED 12,500. However, in Sharjah it starts from AED 5750.
- Mainland: The mainland of the UAE refers to the area outside of the free trade zones. Businesses operating in the mainland are subject to the laws and regulations of the UAE.
- Freezones are designated areas within the UAE where businesses can operate with different legal and regulatory frameworks than those that apply in the mainland. They offer a range of benefits to businesses, such as 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions and access to global market.
A local sponsor is a term used to refer to a (LSA) local service agent (for Civil Companies or Single Ownership companies) or a nominee shareholder (sleeping partner in L.L.C) in a mainland company.
The requirement for a local sponsor applies to businesses operating in the mainland of the UAE for certain activities. A sponsor has to be an Emirati (UAE national) with a family membership card (Gincia).
U.A.E does not have income tax.
For the businesses, if the taxable imports and supplies reach the AED 375,000 threshold, the enterprises are required to do mandatory VAT registration.
Additionally, if the combined value of a company’s taxable imports and services (or taxable expenses) exceed AED 187,500 the company may elect to register for VAT voluntarily.
- Mainland :
As of June 2021, the revised commercial companies law in Dubai allows 100% foreign ownership for over 1000 activities including trading & manufacturing. This is a significant change from the previous law, which typically required foreign investors to have a local sponsor who held a certain percentage of the company’s shares.
Free Zones are government designated areas, where the expatriates can own 100% of their business. The government has set up more than 50 free zones which vary in their activities while some are industry specific.