Low Cost Business Setup in Dubai, UAE – Guide

low cost business setup in dubai

The UAE solidifies itself with an excellent economy. Due to high economic growth in addition to tax benefits. This offers foreign entrepreneurs an attractive opportunity for a low cost business setup in Dubai incentivized by legislation.

In this article, we will lay out every step for setting up a new business in Dubai. Above all, it aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of all the information for approaching a low-cost business setup in Dubai.

Guide to Attaining a Low-Cost Business Setup in Dubai, UAE

low cost business setup in dubai

Establishing a low-cost business in Dubai is not only attainable but also one of the most appealing opportunities that the UAE provides for entrepreneurs. The country advertise itself as a land filled with opportunities to invest and grow business.

There are very attractive benefits for companies that offer an affordable way to create a business inside the country therefore creating an excellent place to start your new project.

  • Dubai offers access to a diverse market of consumers and an excellent workforce.
  • Businesses in Dubai receive several tax incentives, also if the company is in a freezone it might receive even more.
  • The UAE has an undoubtedly strategic location that can facilitate your reach to expand internationally.

Setting up your business in Dubai has several benefits for the company and its sustainability in the long run. We focused on breaking down the principal points for a low cost business setup in Dubai, UAE

Free Zone versus Mainland

The most decisive factors to consider when determining the cost of setting up a business in Dubai is whether it is a free zone business or a business in Dubai mainland.

These options offer different opportunities that are very important to evaluate, a wrong pick could restrict your business activities. Here we explain important differences between them:

  • “Freezone” is an area with its own specific regulations that do not apply to businesses outside the zone.
  • The mainland business is an onshore entity that is registered with the government without any restrictions on its commercial activities.
  • The principal difference between a mainland business setup in Dubai and a freezone business setup in Dubai free zone, is that free zone business can not do business outside the zone without the help of a local agent.
  • Mainland businesses must have a physical office based on the type of business license they hold, whereas freezone businesses are permitted to have virtual offices.
  • Mainland business receive a 9% corporate tax on profits after AED 375,000 (USD 100,739.09)
  • Free zone business do not receive corporate or personal income taxes.
  • The regulatory body of freezone business is Free Zone Authority (FZA)
  • Meanwhile, The Department of Economic Development (DED) regulates mainland businesses.
  • For visa eligibility mainland has no restrictions depending on the office size while freezone has limitations.

For a low cost business setup in Dubai, a mainland business setup in Dubai are costly, between license, office rent, registration fees, and more. Business setup in Dubai freezone are more affordable with more variation between free zones in the cost.

How to Start Your Company in Dubai: A 4-Step Simple Process

Starting a company is a decision that requires research and planning. The government’s legislation in Dubai encourages business owners consequently making the process of setting up a new business relatively simple.

A low cost business setup in Dubai is possible with the correct guidance. These are some of our tips:

  • Carefully select your location. Since this is a Big factor that will determine your business cost.
  • Ensure all of your legal documents are compliant and updated to avoid penalties.
  • If possible, consider virtual offices and save on rental cost.
  • A business setup in Dubai free zone is more affordable than a business setup in Dubai mainland. Analyze the unique features of your company and determine if a freezone would be a suitable fit for your business.

Once considered the factors, we share with you four simple steps to start a company:

Define Business Activities

This first step will impact the rest of the decisions regarding your business needs, documents and planning. Some things to consider for defining your business activities:

  • Ensure the activities are particularly aligned with the goal of a low cost business setup in Dubai.
  • Study and research the UAE market for profitability and sustainability of the considered activities. Important sectors for the economic growth in Dubai are transportation, the financial industry, wholesale and retail trade and more.
  • When working on a business setup in Dubai freezone some popular activities include education and training, event management, IT services, and media and marketing services.

Reserve Your Trade Name

A trade name is the name in which the business will be promoting itself to others. Reserving your trade name in the UAE is a simple process, the Department of Economy and tourism website states everything you need to know to request to book your trade name.

Some important notes stated by the UAE official website to consider are:

  • The trade name cannot contain names of any religion or governing authority.
  • It cannot violate public morals or the public order of the country
  • The trade name must be compatible with the required type of activity and the legal status of the company
  • The trade name should be be followed by the business structure acronym.
  • The department of economic development registers the trade name while the Ministry of Economy registers the trademark.
  • Trade name certificates are renewable.

As well as considering the business setup in Dubai cost the fees to pay for the trade name reservation are:

  • The book or amend trade name fee: AED 600 (USD 163.36).
  • The Knowledge Dirham fee: AED 10 (USD 2.72)
  • The Innovation Dirham Fee: AED 10 (USD 2.72)

Obtain Your License

Your business license will depend heavily on the business activities your company dedicates to. This process especially comprehends one of the most important parts of setting up a business in Dubai.

Obtaining a business license is essential for operating legally in Dubai, failing to do so can end up with severe penalties.

  • There are six types of licenses; industrial license, commercial license, crafts license, tourism license, agricultural license, and professional license.
  • A license could cover multiple business activities.
  • The cost of a business license also depends on the type, the company structure, location and more factors. The range varies between 8,000 AED and 50,000 AED depending on these factors.
  • The range varies between 8,000 AED and 50,000 AED based on these factors. It is especially important that your business license covers and aligns with all of your business activities to prevent penalties. Carefully review the license that could best apply to the business to avoid any inconvenients moving forward.
  • Depending on the type of license receiving approval could take between fifteen minutes to four weeks.

Visa Management

While planning on a new business setup in Dubai, there another must is business visa. A business visa for the UAE will allow foreigners to enter and stay in the country to conduct their companies’ activities.

The UAE official website offers the following visa to foreigners interested in low cost business setup in Dubai:

  • Golden Visa for entrepreneurs: The Golden Visa allows its holders to work, study and live in the UAE with exclusive benefits. It should be noted that entrepreneurs may get the visa for a period of 5 years if they own an economic project. Between the requirements an auditor in the UAE has to state that the project value is not less than 500,000 dirhams (USD 136,132.20).
  • Green visa for investors: This is given to investors involved in commercial activities in the UAE. It is a 5 year long and between its requirements include proof of the investment.
  • Visit visa to explore investment opportunities: It is a single-entry visa that allows you to enter the country without a sponsor or a host between a period of 60, 90 or 120 days. This visa aims to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.

The fees and requirements vary for each visa, however, depending on the specific conditions to which they are applied. An especially important step to low cost business setup in Dubai is properly applying and utilizing a visa that fits your needs and goals in the country as a business owner

What is the Cost to Start a Business in Dubai, UAE

low cost business setup in dubai

The business setup in Dubai cost, particularly relies on different factors focused on what is practical for the company. Ensuring a low cost business setup in Dubai is solidified by proper research and guidance in the process of decision making.

  • When your goal is a low cost business setup in Dubai every decision will be impacting the initial budget and the final cost of everything.
  • The budget of the company will vary between the business activities and trade license that will be needed.
  • Usually a business cost can range between AED 19,000 (USD 5,173.02) to AED 45,000 (USD 12,251.88).

Experience Affordable Business Setup in Dubai with Connect Business Centers

To settle your business in Dubai we offer you listings that adapt to your needs across all the best spots in the emirate. From virtual offices to corporate offices we offer you a range of affordable settings to start your business with everything you need.

  • We have a wide catalog of spaces so you can find the perfect Dubai business center.
  • We have designed our price ranges to adapt to the budget of our clients.
  • In addition, our offices are located in the most sough-out locations.

When establishing your business, a practical workspace is essential. We are ready to provide our catalog of cost-effective spaces equipped with the best tools for those looking to create a low-cost business setup in Dubai.


Setting up a business in Dubai is an attractive idea with several benefits that range from its geographical location to the financial benefits the emirate offers to business owners. The UAE government encourages the development of new companies by offering options for affordable business set up and more.

Setting a low cost business in Dubai is possible thanks to legislations designed by the UAE government to attract entrepreneurs and investors. With Connect Business Center we offer physical and virtual spaces at an affordable rate to start your new company.

Do you want to further your learning about the business development in Dubai and the UAE? Check out our blogs section to keep yourself updated!

Kate Williams

Avatar photoKate Williams
Kate works at Connect Business Centers as Sales Manager, She is graduated from London and moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2017, She is a specialized agent for finding Business Centers, Office space, Co-working spaces to the clients based on their requirement and in addition to it, she also happens to be specialized in UAE mainland Company formation, Golden Visa, Bookkeeping, VAT registration and PRO services.

Share this post
Contact Us
Have any question? Fill out the form and we'll love to hear, we'll in touch shortly

    Related Blog Posts