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Getting Started

Besides tourism, what attract the world to UAE are its lucrative investment opportunities and the friendly business ambience awaiting the investors. There are different methods by which one can start a Permanent Establishments in UAE. Then there are the Free Zones which allow 100 percent ownership for the investors. Last but not least UAE also offers options to start Branch Offices or Representative/Liaison Offices in country. What's more, emirates of Sharjah and Dubai offer options of creating a civil company.

For starting your business in UAE, first visit the Chambers of Commerce offices which are there in each of the emirates. They provide you with the necessary information, investment databases and assistance. The Chamber of Commerce issues/authenticates licenses/other documentations; decides on various business disputes; and also provides business facilities, such as meeting and conference rooms.

Any business establishments other than Free Zone companies require one or more UAE national partners to hold at least 51 per cent of the company's capital, as per the UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL). Companies that deal with certain activities like oil industry, production of electricity and gas, treatment and distribution of water etc gets exception from the 51 per cent local ownership. Foreign banks are also exempted from having a sponsor.

Entrepreneurs are enticed by Dubai’s tax free nature, but it’s important to keep in mind a certain fee is involved in issuing a new trade licence. The Dubai Economic Department offers a Useful Tool that allows potential business owners to estimate the fees involved in obtaining their trade licences.