Authorities involved in Business Setup in Dubai

by Zaara 11, Jan 2021

Dubai has become a buzzing business hub of the middle eastern region due to the various advancements in infrastructure, technology, government subsidies, and beneficial economic policies that encourage entrepreneurs/business owners to set up business in Dubai. Moreover, the liberal approach by the government has driven private enterprises to work in a coalition with public entities to form public-private partnerships and joint venture programs to build a diverse and cohesive economy. The result of previous years of growth and progress has resulted in bettering the standard of living of citizens, providing employment opportunities, influencing, and increasing the influx of Foreign Direct Investments.

Why Choose Dubai for your Business?

One of the most popular business destinations in the UAE happens to be Dubai, which will also soon be hosting the most anticipated world exposition – The Dubai Expo. Dubai gets undermined by some of its sibling Emirates, such as Abu Dhabi for lack of trading area and coastal presence for export and import as well as logistics business. Still, where it lacks in trading as an industry, it makes up through sheer innovation in sectors such as infrastructure, securities trading, E-commerce, Hospitality and Tourism. The blissful sense of freedom in experimentation that mentors and investors offer growing technology and innovation start-ups in Dubai is just an added reason why business setup in Dubai, especially for modern tech firms, is a prevalent trend.

As of today, Dubai is known for being a lucrative business market that is not primarily dependent on the oil-based revenue but has rather diversified its core revenue stream into various sectors such as – travel and tourism, hospitality services, food and beverage, consulting and management services, financial services, and technology innovation sector. For these reasons, Dubai has become a location of choice for doing business in the UAE.

Authorities involved in Business Setup

1. Department of Economic Development (DED)

The Department of Economic Development (DED) of the emirate of Dubai is the corporate governance authority responsible for authorizing economic activities and business operations in Dubai. The DED supports various progressive sectors by developing policies that will benefit businesses and accordingly provide administrative services to business owners for business setup in Dubai. The DED aims to drive Dubai towards building a strategic service-based economy, accelerating the growth of the various companies contributing to the overall economy of Dubai.

The department aims to regulate the economy of the alpha emirate by focusing on four crucial areas, namely - retail development, entrepreneurship development, foreign investment, and retail development. The DED is the authority responsible for issuing trade licenses for the various business entities depending on the nature of the business and the location of company incorporation in Dubai.

The various services offered by the DED to existing businesses as well as new enterprises through their administrative office and the official online e-portal are –

  • Issuing Trade License
  • Reserve Trade Name
  • Renew Trade Name
  • Renew Trade License
  • Issue Initial Approval
  • Issue Branch Initial Approval
  • Print License
  • License Activities’ Terms and Conditions
  • Manage License Contact
  • Pay Inspection Fines
  • Update Mobile Number
  • Issue Legal Contract for License
  • Issue Legal Contract
  • Approve Legal Contract
  • Print Legal Contract

2. Commercial Registration Department

The applicants must apply for necessary permits and trade licenses with the DED. Moreover, the company’s Memorandum of Association (MoA) must be notarized by the DED post which the cumulative documents must be submitted to the Company Registration Department. The department will also charge a fee of around AED 30,000, which includes – AED 15,000 general trading license, AED 10,000 fees to Dubai Municipality, Dh3,000 to the Ministry of Economic, and Dh1,200 to Dubai Chamber of Commerce. This amount is exclusive of the amount charged as a commission by an entity such as a business setup consultancy.

3. Nominal Shareholders

A local sponsor refers to a UAE national (or a company wholly owned by UAE nationals) who acts as a service agent for business setup in the UAE and is generally acting as a sleeping partner of your company. A detailed agreement, stating the responsibilities of the said sponsor towards the business and his/her annual fee, is to be prepared by the business owner. A no-objection certificate from the local sponsor is required for running your business activities.

4. Management Consultants such as Commitbiz

The energetic and ever buzzing business environment in Dubai always leads new business owners to raise questions on how to set up business in Dubai. Well, that's why UAE is home to industry professionals that cater to providing new business owners with step-by-step solutions to set up the business in UAE. We at Commitbiz have been catering to various clients across a tenure of over 15 years, providing our clients with tailor-made solutions for all their administrative activities, from accounting to company secretarial services. Our team of consultants has been diligently working to provide clients with nothing but the best in class services. Contact us to know more.


Who should notarize the Memorandum of Association (MoA) for a Dubai company set up?

The DED (Department of Economic Development) should notarize the MoA.

Depending on which factors is the DED trader license provided?

The DED authority provides the license to different companies depending upon their location and business activities.

What are the three crucial areas on which the Department of Economic Development focuses?

The three crucial areas are as follows:

  • Foreign Investment
  • Retail Development
  • Entrepreneurship Development.

How much fee is charged by the Commercial Registration Department of Dubai?

The Department charges a fee of around 30,000 AED.

Do we require a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) from the local sponsor for business in Dubai?

Yes, NOC is essential from a local sponsor for carrying out business activities.