Setting up a business in Dubai: An overview of all costs

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You may be at any corner of the world, but if you are seeking opportunities to start a business in a new geography, you are probably juggling a lot right now. Finalising the idea, sorting the practicality of the business in the new geography, managing the legal and immigration requirements to operate on foreign land—there is probably a lot on your plate that needs your complete attention and demands planning. 

But hold on, did you think of the financial modalities of your journey yet? Have you organised and thought out a path for a smooth sail in terms of costs (the apparent and hidden ones) and are you ready with your long-saved-hard-earned funds and investments to support when needed? If not, we are afraid to say… “You are not ready”. 

Monetary aspect is the most important part of any business. It rather remains so ever since an idea is born on paper or first sprouts in conversations. However, there are not many guiding texts available that can enlighten you on this aspect of your business journey. 

But, worry not! We are here to offer some help. Here, we’ve collated information on all that you need to know about the costs of setting up a business in the city of Dubai.

Dubai – the city of opportunities

Ask any entrepreneur operating successfully in the glimmering Emirate of Dubai and he/she will tell you how important it is to sort out your finances before you jump the bandwagon and join the founders’ club in the Emirate of Dubai. It is rightly said that even if your idea is worth billions, if you leave loose ends in deciding upon the initial financial support you’ll need to inject to get your business started, you risk losing it all. 

The UAE in general, and the metropolitan city of Dubai in specific, are both fertile and enabling ecosystems when it comes to starting a business. Benefits like zero income tax, world-class technology infrastructure, multicultural and truly global work culture—all blend in to make it a conducive address for hundreds of start-ups by people from over 200 nationalities around the world who live and work here. But all this can only be explored and enjoyed if you are prepared to get started on the right (financial) note. So, are you ready to commence? If yes, then, let’s dive deep into the intricacies of getting off to a good financial start with your business in Dubai. 

What do you need to know?

The business market of the UAE is different from that of the US or the UK or bigger Asian markets like China or India. The Government and authorities here believe in creating a level playing field and hence for small or big companies, for start-ups or Fortune 500 firms, starting a business has the same rules and requires the same investment from everyone, regardless. 

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings of 2020 Report placed the UAE 16th globally for starting a business. In this place, the UAE scores 80.9 out of 100 in ease of business score and is the strongest performer in the Middle East and North Africa region. 

As per experts, the initial investment of doing business in the country is pegged at anywhere between US$5000-US$12000, depending upon several factors ranging from the type of the business to the number of employees and the planned infrastructure you are looking at. 

Be aware of the fees

To make sure your business gets off to a safe and secure start, you have to register yourself with a number of Government entities and authorities in Dubai. All of these authorities charge some amount to offer their services and you need to find out what category your business falls in so you are well aware of all these costs in advance. Things like the free-zone or onshore trading license costs also need premeditated attention if you want the journey smooth.

This might not seem like a huge investment initially but later you might realise that prior planning is actually a blessing in terms of keeping things simple and sorted, right from the beginning. 

Other expenses to consider

Everyone takes care of the bigger expenses as they are much talked and written about but most of us tend to miss out on important expenditures like renting office space, buying furniture, putting the needed technology infrastructure in place, catering to visa fees for hiring staff. 

In this regard, good research beforehand would come in handy or you can also rely on a genuine and supporting local partner to guide you through the process. Organisations like the Seed Group constantly work towards creating a welcoming environment for start-ups looking to enter the Dubai market and make it their launching pad for expansion into the Middle East. 

 

If you take the above points into consideration, you will be able to enter the Dubai market with much ease and confidence. Once you enter the business ecosystem here with a clear idea of the foundational investment needed, your business journey in the awe-inspiring city of superlatives is likely to be a pleasant and prosperous one. 

 


READ – The ultimate guide to starting a business in Dubai
Take a deep dive into everything a company of any size needs to know about doing business in the thriving emirate of Dubai.


 

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