Cost of Registering a Company in Dubai

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Investors from all over the world are drawn to Dubai because of its reputation as a booming business center. Understanding the fees of company registration is crucial if you're thinking about establishing a business in Dubai. Dubai's strategic position, first-rate infrastructure, tax advantages, and access to a wide range of markets are just a few perks of registering a business there. However, it's important to consider the charges before beginning the registration procedure. Knowing these expenditures up front can help you create an efficient budget and steer clear of any unforeseen expenses along the road.


Advantages of Forming a Company in Dubai

Let's briefly discuss the advantages of forming a corporation in Dubai before we get into the costs. Africa, the Middle East and Asia can all be reached through Dubai because to its strategic location. This geographic advantage offers firms a wealth of development and expansion possibilities. In addition, Dubai provides a supportive business climate with a solid legal system, stable politics, and significant government backing for entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, the tax advantages that Dubai offers are among the most important advantages of incorporating a corporation there. With no corporate or individual income taxes imposed on the majority of enterprises, Dubai is renowned for its tax-free laws. This advantageous tax situation may enable your business to make significant savings and boost profitability.


Companies in Dubai, by Types

There are several different business kinds available in Dubai, each having its own set of rules, conditions, and expenses. The three primary types of businesses you may register in Dubai are as follows:


1. Mainland Businesses

Mainland firms, commonly referred to as onshore companies, are authorized to conduct business anywhere in Dubai since they have been registered in the Department of Economic Development (DED). These businesses need an Emirati local partner or sponsor that has a 51% stake in the business. Companies from the mainland provide freedom in terms of company operations and access to the regional market.


2. Businesses in Free Zones

In Dubai, free zones are specifically chosen regions that provide a distinctive economic climate and let companies conduct business with completely foreign ownership. Numerous advantages are offered by free zones, including tax exemptions, customs rights, and streamlined incorporation procedures. Companies that operate in free zones are, however, limited to just operating in the defined free zone region.


3. Offshore Businesses

Non-resident corporations, commonly referred to as offshore firms, are registered in offshore jurisdictions like Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAKICC) or Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA). These businesses are mostly used for foreign commerce, estate planning, and asset protection. Offshore businesses benefit from lower tax rates and less reporting requirements, but they are not allowed to operate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


The Cost of Registering a Company in Dubai

Several criteria are taken into consideration when figuring out how much it will cost to establish a company in Dubai. It's crucial to take these cost factors into account when creating an adequate budget for your company venture. The following are the main expenses involved in registering a business:


1. Fees for forming a company

The first approval fees, trade name reservations, and licensing costs are all included in the firm formation expenses. The type of firm, the nature of operations, and the Dubai jurisdiction all affect these fees. Due to extra criteria, including a local sponsor, mainland firms often have higher formation fees.


2. License Fees

One of the most important steps in the registration procedure is obtaining a trade license. Depending on the type of business, the volume of operations, and the jurisdiction, different licensing costs apply. While mainland licenses must be renewed annually and may be subject to extra fees depending on the nature of the business, free zone licenses have a set yearly rate.


3. Office Rent and Space

Office space rental represents a considerable cost for businesses doing business in Dubai. The price is affected by things including the office's location, size, and quality. Companies operating in free zones frequently provide flexible office alternatives, such as virtual offices and shared offices which could assist cut expenses.


4. Visa Fees

Entrepreneurs, employees, and dependents all need work visas. The price of a visa includes application fees, medical examinations, registration for an Emirates ID, and visa stamping expenses. The entire cost of obtaining visas varies depending on the quantity and kind of visas needed (such as dependant, work, or investment visas).


5. Sponsorship Fees

Companies based on the mainland must have a local partner or sponsor that has a 51% stake in the business. Depending on the terms of the agreement with the sponsor, the cost of sponsorship may include an annual fee or a profit-sharing arrangement.


6. PRO Solutions

The services of a Public Relations Officer (PRO) are frequently required to complete the registration procedure quickly. Government liaison, document clearance, visa processing and other administrative duties are all included in PRO services. Depending on your preferences and budget, these services may be done internally or outside.


7. Additional Unrelated Expenses

Legal fees, notary fees, translation costs, insurance, business stamp and seal costs, marketing expenditures, and other varying costs may be added on. To get a clear picture of the total prices, it's crucial to take these charges into consideration.


Factors Affecting Costs

The price of forming a business in Dubai depends on a number of variables. You can estimate the costs more precisely if you are aware of these aspects. The main elements that might influence costs are as follows:


1. Commercial Activities

The expenses are heavily influenced by the type of your business operations. Specific approvals or certificates could be needed for some operations, such financial services or healthcare, which could raise the overall cost.


2. Business Size

Costs may vary depending on the size of your business, including the number of shareholders and workers. Office space, visas, and other relevant services are often more expensive for larger businesses.


3. The area

The pricing may vary depending on where you are in Dubai. Prime locations, for instance, can have higher office rent, but free zones might provide more affordable possibilities for some businesses.


4. Legal Framework

Costs vary depending on the selected legal structure, whether it is on land, in a free zone, or offshore. In comparison to free zone or offshore firms, mainland corporations often have greater sponsorship charges and formation fees.


5. Extra Services

Additional fees may apply if you want to use supplementary services like business PRO services, registration packages or legal counsel. Although these services could make the registration procedure easier, it's crucial to consider their requirement and worth.


How to Register Your Company in Dubai: Steps to Take


1. Select a company name

A distinctive and appropriate business name must be selected. It need to be in accordance with your company's operations and follow the regulations established by the Department of Economic Development (DED). When selecting a company name, keep the following principles in mind: 

i. Steer clear of any insensitive or insulting language.

ii. If the firm is a joint stock company (JSC) or a limited liability corporation (LLC), include its legal status in the business name.

iii. Verify that the name is accessible and hasn't been used by another organization.

You can use the DED's official web page or go to one of their offices to see if the chosen name is still available.


2. Establish the legal framework

Once you've chosen a business name, it's critical to choose the legal framework that best meets your requirements. Dubai's typical legal frameworks include: 

i. Sole Proprietorship: This business structure is appropriate for startups with a single owner. The proprietor is solely responsible for the liabilities of the business.

ii. Limited Liability Company (LLC): Permits 49% foreign ownership, with the remaining 51% held by a local Emirati sponsor.

iii. Free Zone Company: These businesses are situated in designated free zones and provide full foreign ownership as well as a number of advantages.

iv. Public or Private Joint Stock Company: This option is best for bigger companies with several shareholders and the option to become public.

v. A partnership: This is a good choice for companies with several partners since earnings and liabilities are divided.


3. Obtain the initial OK

You must first secure preliminary clearance from the pertinent authorities after completing the legal framework. In this phase, you must hand up all required paperwork to the DED or the relevant free zone authorities, including your business plan.

Additionally, depending on your company activity, you might need to get particular permissions and licenses. For instance, specific industries like healthcare or food need special regulatory body authorization.


4. Make the Memorandum of Association (MOA)

The company's goals, operations, and other key information are described in the Memorandum of Association (MOA), a legal instrument. It must be drafted in compliance with all legal requirements and outlines the duties and rights of shareholders and directors.

Information concerning  the registered office address, the company's name, shareholders' contact information, capital structure, and share allocation should all be included in the MOA.


5. Decide on a location and a lease contract

It is crucial to choose a suitable location for your organization. Dubai provides a variety of choices, including free zones, mainland locations, and particular industrial zones. Each has advantages and limitations of its own.

You will need to get into a leasing agreement with a property owner or property management firm if you decide to conduct business outside of a free zone. The agreement has to be recognized by the appropriate authorities and adhere to the DED's regulations.


6. Send your documents and application at the Department of Economic Development (DED)

You are ready to hand in your application with the DED or the appropriate free zone authorities after you have collected all the required paperwork. The necessary paperwork normally consists of: 

i. Application form,

ii. MOA,

iii. Shareholder and Manager passport copies and visa information,

iv. Initial Approval Certificate, 

v. Lease Agreement,

vi. A sponsor-signed letter of no objection (for LLCs),

vii. Any other licenses or permissions pertinent to your line of work.

You can submit your application online or in person at the office of the responsible authorities.


7. Pay the necessary fees and get the license.

You must pay the required fees to either the DED or the free zone administration in order to finish the registration procedure. Depending on the kind of business and the commercial activity involved, the price structure varies.

You are going to get the trade license of your business after the costs are paid, enabling you to start doing business lawfully.


8. Become a Value Added Tax (VAT) registered user.

It is necessary to establish a profile with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) if your company satisfies the requirements for Value Added Tax (VAT) registration. The UAE levies a consumption tax known as VAT on products and services.

Obtaining a special Tax Registration Number (TRN) and submitting the required paperwork are both required steps in the registration procedure. For appropriate tax reporting, it's critical to follow VAT regulations and keep accurate records.


9. Obtain further authorizations and permits

You could need extra permissions or permits from regulatory organizations that are relevant to your sector depending on your line of work. Permits from the Dubai Health Authority, the Dubai Municipality, the Dubai Tourism, or other pertinent entities may be among them.

Additionally, you must follow the rules put out by these organizations if your firm includes particular processes or sectors, such as food handling or healthcare.


10. Establish a Business Bank Account

Opening a corporate bank account in Dubai is advised to make company transactions easier. Select a trustworthy bank that provides the services your business need. Typically, the following papers are needed to create an account: 

i. Trade license, 

ii. MOA, 

iii. Copies of Passports of shareholders and authorized signatories, 

iv. Copies of residence visas,

v. A company seal or stamp.

You can begin carrying out financial activities for your firm as soon as the account is created.



Although establishing a business in Dubai can be beneficial, it's important to be aware of the expenditures. You may make well-informed decisions for your organization by being aware of the numerous cost variables, cost-affecting elements, and registration requirements. Planning and budgeting properly can guarantee a simple registration process and provide the groundwork for your company's success in Dubai.

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