Setting up and Running a Business in UAE: Ways to Save Time and Money

The UAE – and Dubai in particular – continues to be a highly sought-after business location for entrepreneurs from around the globe. This thriving region offers many advantages to businesses including expansive ports, no income tax, modern telecom networks, duty-free facilities, ample power supplies, business-friendly labour laws, and many free zones. For these reasons and more, company formation in Dubai/UAE is on the rise.

According to the World Bank Group’s report, conducting business in the UAE has remained easier than anywhere else in the Middle East. The study ranks the UAE at #26 on the “Ease of Doing Business” list, which is 5 slots higher than last year, continuing to best nearby Qatar (#83), Saudi Arabia (#94), and all other countries in the region.

Nevertheless, the process of starting up a business in the UAE can be daunting. The Managing Editor of Digital Ink (a digital content company in Dubai) recently told Gulf News that Admin was her biggest challenge, adding, “nobody will ever know the steps to set up a business in the UAE until they have done it themselves.”

Another executive in the article noted that confusion over licensing set-up processes make it “almost a given that you need to engage PRO services and work with firms that specialize in the company set up to get your business going.”

To be sure, Corporate PRO Services in Dubai/UAE can not only help get businesses going but save them time and money. Let’s take a look further to discover how.


Setting up and running a business in Dubai/UAE requires a great deal of time and manpower. Dealing with all of the governmental processes, regulations and possible delays associated with getting a company legally set up can take business away from their core business activities. The time and energy business needs to spend drudging through laborious Administrative tasks – such as preparing documents, processing visa applications, filing company trade licensing forms, arranging for labour cards and employee residencies, and even wasting time standing on Governmental agency queues – would be better utilized by building and growing their business.

Ever-changing laws and regulations pertaining to businesses in Dubai/UAE pose another challenge. Staying up-to-date with complex and fluctuating legal requirements takes a great deal of concentrated vigilance, and is better left to experts who already have a knowledge base in that realm.

In each of these cases, corporations will make better use of their time and resources by letting professionals in PRO services do what they do best – handle all the Administrative legwork and legal processes necessary to get businesses rolling.

Freeing up key personnel will allow companies to devote all of their energies on what they know and do best – their own business. This type of laser focus and dedicated manpower is critical to the success of any business, particularly in its infancy stages.



Using a professional PRO services firm for setting up and running a business saves corporations money in several ways. A significant cost-savings can be achieved straight away by eliminating the need for internal PRO departments. Creating and maintaining a department is a costly affair. The high costs of recruitment, payroll, insurance, and all related expenses necessary to running a department can be removed by using an outside firm.

PRO services can offer significant savings to their clients in document processing and clearing as well. Having a broad knowledge in many industries and experience dealing with governmental procedures specific to the Emirates of UAE allows them to move necessary paperwork through the system efficiently, expediently – and properly.

Mistakes cost money. From wasting start-up capital on approvals or licenses that aren’t necessary, to paying hefty fines for any inadvertent legal infractions can drain companies of precious assets.

Start-ups are authorized by various governmental bodies, such as the DED (Department of Economic Development) or other authorities with jurisdictions in free zones or off-shore locations. While there is information available explaining various laws and procedures, it can be extremely confusing.

With expert PRO services in their corner, a corporation can be sure that everything will be executed properly. Whereas their internal department may constantly be operating on a learning curve, an experienced PRO the professional team knows how to adhere to regulations and deadlines because this is their area of expertise.

A corporation’s money will not be tossed away on needless things that aren’t applicable to their specific situation. Most importantly, costly fines will be virtually eliminated because everything will be handled correctly and on time. However, on the rare occasion that a PRO service business does make an error, they will assume liability, and pay for the mistake themselves.

Sponsorship is another area for cost savings. For any foreign corporation to become an LLC in the UAE, they must secure a Local Sponsor, who will have 51% ownership of the corporation and assume certain liabilities.

Since so much is riding on a successful partnership between the corporation and its sponsor, choosing the right one is a complicated and sensitive undertaking. This is not always easily accomplished, as Digital Ink’s Managing Editor told Gulf News, “…certain individuals/ companies pretended they wanted to partner with us when in reality all they
wanted was to find out how to take our business.”

With possible exposure to less-than-scrupulous parties, navigating the Local Sponsorship program can be intimidating without some help. It can also be quite costly, with annual fees ranging from thousands of US dollars to millions, depending on the size of the corporation and type of sponsorship.

Many reputable and established PRO firms can lend a hand, however, by offering Free Sponsorship programs for their contracted clients, thereby acting as their Local Sponsor. This arrangement can ease the minds of business owners while exempting them from having to pay annual Sponsorship fees.



Setting up and running a business in the UAE is different than other parts of the world due to its distinct structure and culture. Because of this, foreign companies desiring to do business in Dubai/UAE have a plethora of options to consider and decisions to make. This entire region holds the promise of expansion and profitability for many corporations, provided they make intelligent business decisions and recognize the value of having a local agent acting on their behalf to smooth their path to success.


To know more about setting up and running a business, fill out our contact form or contact us on +971 4 428 1505, +971 52 104 4794 or email us at