How to Start a Business in Dubai on a Dependent Visa

How to Start a Business in Dubai on a Dependent Visa: Tips and Strategies

Dubai has become a hub for entrepreneurship and startups over the years, and with its strategic location and business-friendly environment, it offers ample opportunities for individuals to start a business. Moreover, the UAE government’s efforts to promote small and medium-sized businesses have made it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business in Dubai.

If you are living in Dubai on a dependent visa, you can still start a business, but there are certain legal and procedural requirements that you need to fulfill. In this article, we will discuss some tips and strategies on how to start a business in Dubai and also how to start an online business in Dubai on a dependent visa!


  1. Research and plan

Before starting any business, it is important to conduct thorough research and plan your business. You need to identify your target audience and competitors and understand the market demand for your product or service. You should also create a business plan that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections.




  1. Choose the right business activity

Dubai has a wide range of business activities, and you need to choose the one that aligns with your business goals and vision. The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has a list of approved business activities, and you can choose the one that best suits your business needs.




  1. Register your business

To start a business in Dubai, you need to register your company with the DED. You can either register your business as a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (LLC), or a free zone company. The type of company you choose will depend on the nature and size of your business.




  1. Obtain the necessary licenses and permits

Once you have registered your business, you need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate your business in Dubai. This includes a trade license, commercial license, and any other permits that are required for your business activity.


  1. Hire a local sponsor

If you are starting an LLC in Dubai, you need to hire a local sponsor who will hold 51% of the shares in your company. The local sponsor can either be an individual or a company, and they will act as a silent partner in your business.




  1. Open a bank account

You need to open a bank account in Dubai to conduct business transactions. You can choose from a range of local and international banks in Dubai, and it is important to choose the one that offers the best services and suits your business needs.


  1. Establish an online presence

In today’s digital age, it is important to establish an online presence for your business. You can create a website, social media accounts, and other online platforms to promote your business and reach a wider audience.


Starting an online business in Dubai on a dependent visa

If you are planning to start an online business in Dubai, the process is relatively more straightforward compared to a physical business. 


Here are some tips on how to start an online business on a Dubai-dependent visa:


1.Choose your business activity

Dubai allows a wide range of online business activities, such as e-commerce, digital marketing, web development, and more. Choose the business activity that aligns with your skills and interests.


2. Register your business

You need to register your online business with the DED or a free zone authority. The registration process is simple and can be done online. You can choose from various Free Zone authorities such as Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Internet City, and more.


3. Obtain the necessary licenses and permits

To operate an online business in Dubai, you need to obtain an e-commerce license, which allows you to conduct business transactions online. You also need to obtain any other permits that are required for your business activity.




4. Apply for an Online Business License

The following step is to apply for a Dubai online business licence for your e-enterprise. Additionally, it is the legal permit that gives you the authority to conduct all legal business activities in the relevant business zone.


You can build your ideal business in Dubai by obtaining a number of online business permits. They consist of:




E-trader License: For UAE and GCC nationals residing in Dubai, the e-trader licence is a practical online business licence. Also, you are allowed to offer your goods and services digitally and are not required to reserve physical space for this licence.


Portal License: Non-UAE citizens may apply for a portal licence to start their own internet business. You may market your goods and services using an authorised online media, just like with an e-trader licence.


Virtual company License: Indian investors and other expatriates wishing to begin their business remotely in the UAE may apply for a virtual company licence. It should be noted that a virtual firm licence only applies to commercial endeavours involving designing, programming, and advertising.

In conclusion, doing business in a Dubai freezone can offer many advantages for companies looking to expand their operations in the UAE. With 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and relaxed regulations, freezones are an attractive option for businesses of all sizes. While the process of setting up a business in a freezone can seem daunting, with the right preparation and guidance, it can be a straightforward process.

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