Cost of starting a business in Dubai

Offshore, Freezone or LLC

What are the costs of setting up a company in Dubai

Following, we would like to give you a brief overview of the costs of setting up a company in Dubai. We expressly point out that these are only approximate costs, as the governmental fees may vary accordingly.

Furthermore, the government has recently made major changes, greatly simplifying the process of starting a business and reducing start-up costs. Dubai is increasingly becoming a business metropolis, and many companies are deciding not only for tax reasons to relocate their businesses to the Emirates or to open up industries here but also to enjoy the easy lifestyle.

cost of business in dubai a
from 11,500 AED - with us only 10,500

Costs Freezone Company

The cost of starting and running a Freezone company in Dubai can not be easily quantified. Reason for this are the exorbitant price differences depending on the respective Freezone. There are 27 different Freezones in Dubai alone and currently 45 in the UAE. Each of them offers different services or is designed for different industries and areas of activity.

Bottom line; a company formation in a Dubai Freezone will cost a minimum of AED 40,000, about US$10,000. These costs are also the approximate annual costs.

Cheaper Freezone in other Emirates

If you do not necessarily wish to open your Freezone in Dubai, then you should probably consider switching to another cheaper Emirate. Here you have almost the same advantages and conditions, the costs, however, are significantly lower and start at about AED11,500 (US$3,300). In which Emirate you open your company has no influence on where you can live, as the Residence Visa is valid for the entire UAE. If you want your address to be more prestigious you could also obtain a PO Box in Dubai.

Will I be able to open a corporate bank account with a Freezone company?

Yes, even though in early 2018, the requirements to open a corporate bank account in the entire Emirates were tightened, it is still possible and all our clients were able to open a bank account within 3 months. But to get the coveted bank account now works only if one of the partners holds a valid UAE residence visa and can only be opened in selected banks. This means nothing else than that you must "buy" a 3-year residence visa along with your license from the Freezone. This visa is valid for the entire UAE. That means that you can live anywhere in the UAE and there are no restrictions. The bank account can be opened in any bank in the UAE and is not restricted to the Emirate where your Freezone is at home.

LET US DO YOUR COMPANY SETUP IN 5 DAYS ONLY - FROM AED14,000

OR DO IT YOURSELF THROUGH US FROM AED 10,500

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from 10,000 AED

Costs Offshore Company

If you are planning to open an Offshore Company in Dubai it is vital to know that it is virtually impossible to obtain a corporate bank account with this type of business model.

In recent years the UAE government, in cooperation with the Central Bank of the UAE, has put an end to various wrongdoings and money laundering efforts by not issuing bank accounts to non UAE residents. The biggest difference between a Offshore firm and Freezone firm is the fact that with an Offshore company you cannot obtain a UAE Residence Visa.

Some agencies still claim that it is possible to get a bank account and will let you submit your papers to the bank. But that is pure theory and you will find out after months of waiting that you have run into a wall and wasted your money.

Since the founding costs of an offshore company are only slightly cheaper than that of a Freezone company, the demand for an offshore firm has fallen next to zero.

from 30,000 AED

LLC Costs Dubai

The following cost breakdown basically refers to a LLC formation including the local sponsor or service agent, office space and all other charges. In some cases, no local sponsor is needed anymore.

In general, the various emirates, such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi, have quite similar rules and regulations regarding the establishment of an LLC. Both Emirates have a new regulation regarding office space exemptions. In Dubai, there is the so-called "Instant License". The exemption from required office space applies in contrast to Abu Dhabi´s 2 years only for 1 year.

Cost breakdown 1st year:

Local Sponsor or Agent: min AED 12,000 depending on the type of company and company size *
Commercial License Fee: AED 7,000 - 14,000 **
Administrative costs: from AED 3,000
Office costs: AED 5,000 or more depending on size and purpose
Emirates Setup Service Fee: from AED 4,500 (not compulsory)
E-channel: AED2,200

*For trading companies (General Trading License), the authorities charge an additional fee of AED 20,000.

Cost breakdown 2nd year:

Local Sponsor: min. AED 12,000 depending on the type of company and company size
Renewal fee for trading license: AED 7,000 - 14,000 **
Office costs: depending on size requirements
License renewal Emirates Setup Service fee: AED 2.500 (reduced)

* Sponsor fees and royalties are payable in advance and in the following years prior to renewal. For some company activity no local sponsor is needed anymore.
** Fees are dependent on the chosen activities and the nature of the business.

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from 40,000 AED

LLC Costs Abu Dhabi

Due to recent developments there is no need to present an office for many sectors and activities for the first two years. A residential address is sufficient. In addition, the license is valid for the first two years, and there are no costs in the 2nd year. After that it is renewed annually.

Cost breakdown 1st year

Local Sponsor: min AED16,000 depending on the type of company and company size *
Commercial License Fee: AED7,000 - 10,000 **
Administrative Costs: AED5,000 - 7,000
Office Costs: AED5,00 or more depending on size requirements
Emirates Setup Service Fee: from AED5,500 (not compulsory)

For trading companies (General Trading License), the authorities charge an additional fee of AED 20,000.

Cost breakdown - 2nd year

Local Sponsor: AED 12,000 or more depending on the type of company and company size *
License Fee: from AED7,000
Office costs: depending on size requirements ***
License renewal Emirates Setup Service fee: AED 2.500 (reduced)

* Sponsor fees and royalties are payable in advance and in the following years prior to renewal. For some company activity no local sponsor is needed anymore.
** Fees are dependent on the chosen activities and the nature of the business.
*** For example: An office for 2 employees requires an area of 16m² (from AED16,000 per year)

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