Oxford has the professional experience, capacity and knowledge to assist you start, operate and administer your business in UAE.

Register your company

To set up a business in Dubai, there are a few things that you should put into consideration:

For starters, UAE has seven emirates with each of the emirates having its own procedures of starting business. Despite there being federal laws that apply all over UAE, each emirate has its own set of rules and regulations that apply in the emirate. For example, the procedures of starting a business in Dubai are different from those of setting up a business in Abu Dhabi.

Additionally, each emirate has different options for formation of companies – as Free Trade Zone onshore or offshore company as well as Non- Free Trade Zone Onshore Company with the local agent / sponsor in Dubai or in any other Emirate thereof.

Another important point worth considering when setting up a business  in Dubai or in any other Emirate, is defining the exact scope of services to be provided by the company. For instance, if you form a company with its local agent based in Dubai and intend to undertake governmental orders in Abu Dhabi, it is most likely that the company will be rejected from participating in such tenders in Abu Dhabi as the company must be formed in Abu Dhabi.

Another example is where you form a company and start business operations in Free Trade Zone such as the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and then realize the need to set up a business in Dubai, in such a case you would not be able to have an office for your company in Dubai unless you set up its branch- a process that will cost you more money and time.



Dubai is the emirate that most people think about when they want to establish a business in the UAE. However, to set up a business in UAE along Dubai, there are several company formation options available in UAE. It is worth noting that if you don’t get any linkage to Dubai, other UAE emirates may prove to be more cost efficient option for establishing a company, as well as storage facilities and office lease.

What are the common challenges when establishing a business in Dubai or in any other emirate?

  • Defining the right type of company, right license type and place (Emirate, Free Trade Zone) of the company’s formation and or registration;
  • Finding a local sponsor;
  • Preparing and filing the required company formation documents with the competent authorities;
  • For licenses that require professional qualifications – preparation and filing the required documents for purposes of receiving licenses;
  • Opening a bank account – Even though it does not seem quite hard to open a bank account in Dubai can be very time consuming and equally complex.

Types of companies in Dubai and other Emirates – The business in Dubai as well other UAE emirates can be formed using different ways with different requirements and costs. Available options are:

Three offshore company types (RAK Offshore, RAK IC and Jebel Ali);

1. About 40 Free Trade Zones with different  company types  in each of the Free Trade  Zones with fairly different requirements that depend on the Free Trade Zone , company type and the company’s business activities;

2. Non – Free Trade Zone that can be formed as professional or commercial companies and should have a local agent/ sponsor.

3. In addition to these requirements, there are different regulatory authorities that shall provide respective permissions for business activities requiring such permissions, such as a travel agent.

Finding a Local Sponsor (only for Onshore – Non Free Zone Company) – Finding the most suitable local sponsor/ agent (if required), is one of the crucial issues when setting up a business in Dubai or in other UAE emirates. In situations that you do not make choice of the right sponsor and undertake company formation in Dubai with a sponsor that you have chosen randomly, you can be completely barred from conducting further business. For example, the signatures that you may require from the local agent /sponsor , in registering new employees of the company  or in receiving  additional permissions  to establish a business and in the event that the signature is missing  as you are unable to reach your sponsor/agent, your business  can be blocked totally. Oxford will assist you find and appoint a suitable local sponsor for your Onshore Non-Free Zone company.

Preparation and filing of the necessary company formation documents with the COMPETENT authorities – when starting  business operations in Dubai and having resolved company formation issues, most often you face the situation that it takes much time and effort in identifying the procedures and requirements that need to be followed  in business set up.

Opening bank accountOpening a bank account in Dubai for offshore and onshore companies in Dubai and in other emirates can be quite time consuming if you are not conversant with the features of banks in UAE.

Conclusion – To set up a business in Dubai, you need to be able to plan and carefully check out all the necessary details that are needed. Before commencing business formation in the UAE, you need to define the company’s intended business activities as well as the necessary legal requirements.  Starting a business in Dubai is straightforward thanks to the   highly business- friendly environment and the non-existence of taxes on most business types. Setting up a business becomes easy if you hire the services of well experienced and professional business management consultants in UAE thereby becoming easy for you to save on time and money.