How to Start Your Own Business in Dubai If You Are a Working Employee

by Zaara 17, Aug 2018

How to Start Your Own Business in Dubai If You Are a Working Employee

An organization is a career ladder for an employee whether he is a fresher or an experienced. The workplace helps employees to unleash their hidden potential, discover their talents. The daily activities performed helps them to up-skill every-way and acts as an eye-opener.This builds the base of a future entrepreneur and helps them discover the route to establish their own business empire at a national and global level. So, if you are a working employee and want to start your company in Dubai, you are on the correct path.

Business setup in Dubai is a great idea. Initiating the process of setting up a business empire is a journey of persistent dedication, courage, and patience. Moreover, an international exposure for any business acts as a boon and enhance in building brand value. Dubai, one of the world’s most vibrant city has mastered itself in business building and has successfully established itself with a multitude of options ranging from job opportunities to company formation. It has been ranked 21st for the ease of doing business. The city also provides a number of trade-free zones that provokes working individuals to direct their thought-process towards building their own business, and is a great platform for both startups and established business that motivates the working class to come up with their own dream business. Now, you must be wondering how? Can working employees initiate their own business? Well, the reply to your question is a big ‘YES’.

Let's See How an Employee Can Start a Business in UAE

Well, to start with one must be aware that the United Arab Emirates has established itself as an investment magnet due to its trade free zones that allow foreign nationals to open their own business. Any company needs to have at least one national member. The nation has got more than 30 free zones that have boosted the economy of UAE and has transformed it into an investment hub.

The big thing for working professionals to initiate the process of setting up their business is, to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their current company. Now that turns out to be a complicated process. Most of the companies don’t allow its employees to hold a NOC. To ease out the process, the emirates have got five zones that don’t require a NOC.

The five NOC free zones are:

How to Obtain a NOC to Start a Business in UAE?

An employee who wants to obtain a NOC needs to undergo the following steps:

  1. File a request through Dubai Trade Portal
  2. Submit the required documents
  3. Pay the NOC issuance fee of AED 500
  4. Obtain a NOC approval from the Department of Economic Development

Once the NOC has been approved, the document shall be stored in the current company’s record. In case a company doesn’t provide NOC, the client still has a second option of setting up a company on his/her spouse’s name and appoint them as the Managing Director.

Essential Documents for Obtaining a NOC

The documents required to be submitted for getting a NOC from the current company are:

  • Passport copies of all the partners
  • A copy of the company’s name reservation
  • Copy of company’s Articles of Association (AOA) and Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Bank or cash guarantee of AED 50,000
  • Undertaking letter signed by the UAE national partner

If one successfully obtains a NOC from the current company, he/she has got the flexibility to initiate their business in any part of UAE. If not, one doesn’t need to worry – there still exists free zones that don’t require a NOC. So, whether an employee possesses a NOC or not is not the question. The real question lies whether one is ready to lead the journey as an investor or not.

Does a Freelancer Need to Obtain a NOC to Start a Business in UAE?

For freelancers, there is an added advantage as they don’t need to obtain any NOC from any local sponsor. One can initiate the journey by being a freelancer and can upgrade to the stage of company formation at a later date.

Procedure for a Freelancer to Set Up a Business in Dubai

  1. A freelance permit can be obtained in two ways: either from Department of Economic Development (DED) or from country’s other free zones
  2. There exist a wide variety of scope for freelancers to initiate their journey
  3. There is no compulsion for an official setup
  4. It becomes easier to sponsor the dependents once the visa is secured
  5. There is no mandate for preparation of auditing or bookkeeping
  6. One has the flexibility to own a bank account

Are you bored of being an employee and want to start your own business? Yes? That’s great! By establishing your own business, you can also avail a residence visa in Dubai. At this stage, you do need business consultants who will ease out the entire employee to investor journey for you. Commitbiz helps startups and established businesses to expand globally. Our team of experts will guide you throughout the entire process, will help you right from the alteration of visa processes to the final point of stabilizing your business. To proceed to the next level, do contact us – we’d be glad to assist you through your investor journey.


Is it compulsory to obtain a NOC while starting a business in Mainland?

According to the UAE labour laws, an employed person can start his own business while working full-time by obtaining a No Objection certificate from the company where he is currently working. However, it is the employer's discretion whether to accept or reject the NOC application made by its employee. 

Can I set up a business as an employee without a NOC?

Yes. You can set up a business in any other UAE free zones, as they don't require NOC from the sponsor to register a new license.

Which free zones are the best for starting a business while being employed?

  • SHAMS (Sharjah Media City) free zone
  • Creative City Fujairah
  • Ajman free zone
  • Umm-al-Quwain (UAQ) free zone
  • Fujairah free trade zone

Is it legal to start a business as an employee in Dubai?

It all depends on your sponsor or the company where you are working in the UAE. If your company allows you and provide NOC to start your business license, you can do so. 

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