Dubai continues to enjoy a commercial boom. Experts have forecast a 3.6% expansion in its economy in 2018, with the service industry, tourism, and manufacturing leading the drive.
Dubai’s Economic Development Committee chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, credits Dubai’s “diversification, resilience, and sustainability” with the region’s continued growth, remarking that there are now “unprecedented opportunities” for global businesses outside of the oil sector (which has dropped to less than 1% of Dubai’s GDP.
To be sure, Dubai has seen dramatic diversification and expansion over the last 30 years.
Many factors have contributed to it becoming a global business centre and leading re-exporting centre, including:
- business-friendly government policies
- a stellar infrastructure
- a global viewpoint and diverse community
- a strategic geographic location
- low operational costs
- a wealthy demographic
Expatriate investors and business owners are flocking to the region to open their businesses in the heart of this regional hub that offers a dynamic global market, and many commercial advantages.
However, setting up shop in a foreign land can be confusing and overwhelming—even for the most seasoned and experienced entrepreneur.
Emirates Woman reports in a recent article that although there has been movement in making the practice of doing business in the UAE easier (it rose from #26 to #21 in World Bank’s rating), there are still “plenty of bureaucratic hoops” in the start-up process.
The article also warns that expatriates doing business in a foreign land can be presented with cultural differences in local customs and habits that may be difficult to traverse.
The start-up phase of any business is critical, and there are many decisions to make. Starting up a business in a foreign country just compounds the complexity and risk.
Learning and navigating a foreign government’s procedures, laws, applications, licenses, and legal issues makes the entire process almost impossible without the help of a PRO services consultant.
Here are several ways in which a consultant can help you bring your business to Dubai.
TIME IS MONEY
The successful start of any business requires laser focus. Business owners need to be able to concentrate their energies on product and service development, establishing relationships, marketing, staffing, and other areas directly related to building their business.
Anything that takes them away from their core business responsibilities will negatively impact the success of the business. This is especially true when the enterprise is in its infancy.
PRO consultancy services ensure that these entrepreneurs are free to focus on what they do best. Concurrently their consultant advises, and does the legwork associated with setting up their business correctly, and as expediently as possible.
Aside from taking care of the mountain of necessary paperwork, a PRO services consultant will set up the business in accordance Dubai’s ever-changing market, regulations, laws and rules, avoiding any costly errors and fines.
In this way, business owners save time, money, effort, and any possible legal ramifications.
SMART DECISIONS PAY OFF OVER TIME
Doing business in the UAE (and Dubai specifically) requires adherence to strict laws and regulations enforced by various governmental agencies.
Due to the seriousness of legal and financial matters, business owners are well advised to hire a reputable and experienced consultant that is knowledgeable and can provide guidance in these areas.
It’s important to note that a qualified consultant offering advice on licensing, investing, funding and more can help protect you from possible implications and infractions.
Having a seasoned professional in your corner provides peace of mind. You’ll be confident and stress-free, knowing that your business is compliant with Dubai’s laws and rules.
LOCATION AND REGISTRATION
A seasoned consultant privy to Dubai’s unique commercial landscape will prove invaluable to a new business looking for the optimum business location.
Should your business be offshore? A mainland business? Or does it make the most sense to set up your enterprise in a free zone?
A PRO services consultant will identify the category your business falls within, and will advise you on what type of license you need: commercial, professional, or industrial.
There are also decisions to make in how to register your business and what Main Activity Group it falls under, which will affect how you do business in the region.
For instance, there are specific rules and regulations regarding the activities you can and cannot engage in, depending on how your business is set up.
There are further decisions to be made regarding how you incorporate your business and the legal entity option which would best suit your requirements (i.e., as a Limited Liability Company, Sole Proprietorship & Civil Company, Branch or a Representative office).
Instead of spending days, weeks, (maybe even months) trying to learn about all of the options and intricacies of setting up your business in Dubai, doesn’t it make more sense to let a professional explain and guide you through the process?
OWNERSHIP AND SPONSORSHIP
The UAE has specific requirements for foreign investors regarding ownership—which coincide with how and where your set your business up, and how much of the business you will actually own.
For instance, many foreign business owners running businesses in Dubai are set up as Limited Liability Companies (LLC). UAE law dictates that foreign investors operating an LLC must partner with a local sponsor, who actually owns 51% of the business.
In this scenario, it is obviously imperative to find a reputable and fully vetted sponsor. A competent and established PRO services consultant will be able to recommend sponsors and advise on contractual agreements, or even act as a local sponsor if you so choose.
Conversely, foreign business owners can retain 100% ownership of their companies if they locate within a freezone. However, there are definite limitations regarding activities and sales, which a consultant can make you aware of before any decisions are made.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
These are just a few key areas in which a consultant easily proves invaluable to an expatriate looking to set a business up in Dubai.
With so much at stake, it just makes sound business sense to hire a professional whose expertise lies in setting up businesses in their own emirate.
Click here to learn the pros and cons of setting up a freezone company.