How to start a business in Dubai without money

How to start a business in Dubai without money

Strictly speaking, it’s impossible. Legally you can not start a business in Dubai without money even online even as a freelancer since the tax regulations involved in all UAE business aspects.

To have a legal business in Dubai, you need to be licensed, which costs money of course.

So the only way would illegally, which would be far from a good idea.

Don’t be like those dodgy dreamers that work off the back of a spouse visa, or consider themselves freelancers or influencers, without the proper documentation.

Of course, people fly into Dubai as a visitor, ‘Test the market’ with their business idea yet if it does succeed, very rarely feel compelled to ‘get legal’.

1 How could you open a bank account for your business?

2 How could you raise finance or bill companies?

3 How could you take a registered office address, or lease a home, or car?

Yes, there are start-up groups and hubs, but they all need money. Even if you find a sponsor, you need money in Dubai.

It’s Dubai baby, no money no honey.

If you are technically strong or have some new business idea then it is possible otherwise it doesn’t look possible as for a legal business you must have to spend money.

But again as I mentioned at the start, if you have some skill then you can find some partner (it will not be easy though) who can invest in the business and you take the business to next level using your skillset.

Keep trying, hope luck will favor you. Ideally, it is possible but not realistically.

How to start a business in Dubai without money
How to start a business in Dubai without money

How to Start a Business in Dubai With No Money as a Foreigner

It depends on the type of the business you want to establish (manufacturing, trade, services or retail); however, the following is a broad guideline to keep in view while you do your planning for the capital/finances that you would require:

1 – legal costs (business setup costs, professional fee, government charges, etc): it starts from US$2,000 and goest up to US$10,000. This is the approximate fee for setting up a business in the trade, retail, or services sector and does not include manufacturing.

2 – lease of commercial office / retail space (mandatory for the issuance of business license): commercial office space starts, in Dubai, starts from US$30 /sq ft/year and goest up to US$200 / sq ft/year. Retail space starts from US$90 / sq ft / year to US$500 / sq ft / year. The prices in other emirates are cheaper. To get a license issued, please note, that you would need either the lease of a commercial office space or retail space.

Once you are done with above then you would be able to start the operations of your business. As a thumb rule, I would suggest that you shall have a working capital (in addition to the costs mentioned in point #1 and 2 above) sufficient enough to cover the operational expenses of the business for 4 – 6 months.

Other than above I would strongly suggest keeping your business model where you shall be able to receive cash payments for the services/goods delivered in advance or at least at the time of delivery. Currently, the trade credit cycle is around 120 days.

Business margins are good in Dubai but the biggest challenge is to stay always cash positive.

How much money do you require (minimum) to start a business in Dubai?

Without many details about what kind of business you’re planning or interested in, It’s tough to give you a budget idea.

Apart from that, there are some other factors that play a key role while making a budget plan (Like in which area you are planning to start your business?

In the free zone or near the city? Do you have a local partner? etc.)

  1. If you’re planning to start a grocery store, it will cost around 75–80K AED.
  2. Setting up a restaurant will cost you around 60–70K AED (Prices may vary depends on how luxurious you want to make your restaurant).

However, just to incorporate a business/company, be it in a free zone or by sponsorship, you will need at least 40–45K AED (Excl. Rent and other investments).

There are plenty of companies you can find online who can help you setting up your business there.

What business should I start with 10000 AED in Dubai?

If you want to establish your independent business in Dubai by following legal channels which is LLC (Limited Liability Company) then this amount is peanuts.

Sorry if something hurts you or your feelings but my suggestion would be that please check the complete requirements of business establishment first.

You should be knowing that here you cannot establish a business without the sponsorship of UAE nationals.

Here in every business or company, local nationals are 51% shareholders without any investment because that is the policy by the government because they are the sponsors and you will be only 49% shareholder of the company.

But this is not a thing to be worried about because as of now they are not getting any benefit or profit from you as being your sponsor or partner.

But in the future, it may happen. So be prepared for everything.

How to start a business in Dubai without money

UAE nationals are doing business in establishing new businesses. They take their annual fees of 8–10 thousand Dhs for being your sponsor.

Then 10–25 thousand Dhs annually for license depending on your category of business. If you are thinking of a general trading license it can be around 11–13 thousand Dhs.

Remember you are allowed to do business only for the category you have selected. Like if you have taken a license for a software company then you can only deal with software distribution or selling. You cannot sale or install any hardware unless you have a license for that category too.

If you are going for the LLC option then before getting a license you should have office space.

The government will only give you a license depending on your office space.

Your license would have limitations depending on the office space and category you select, like a number of work visas you can have for your employees will depend on this.

Company name reservation 1000 DHS. In special cases, you have to pay 2000 DHS extra every year.

Office rent will be included as per space. Starting from a minimum of 25 thousand a year which can be given in 4 installments.

Afterward, visas expenses are there. 6000 Dhs for you and you each family member or employee.

3000 visa processing fees and 3000 security deposit which will be returned on visa cancellation.

Then minor expenses for documents typing. Like EJARI. Etc etc.

And so on…

If you are looking for a thing like freelancing or self-employment in which you don’t want to have office space and visas for your employees you can go for a Free Zone option known as FZE in which you will get a license to work and visa for yourself only.

And you can work as a freelancer but in this option business categories are limited and still the first time you will be needing 25–30 thousand Dhs. initially excluding paperwork cost and then 15–25 thousand for license annually.

So let me conclude here by saying that 10,000 is nothing.

If you want to establish business with cool office space comes with 100,000 or at least 50,000 for low budgeted business.

Please, not that the mentioned amount is to establish the business. Running expenses are excluded.

For other states like Ajman or Sharjah, it may be possible but for Dubai, it will not gonna work.

Here are some great ideas for a small budget:

  1. Food Processing & Delivery Services
  2. Green Business
  3. Handyman
  4. Home-Based Cooking Business
  5. IT Industry
  6. Jewelry making
  7. Photography
  8. Poultry Farming
  9. Real Estate
  10. Recruitment Agency
  11. Recycling Business
  12. Retail
  13. Security
  14. Telecommunication
  15. Tourism
  16. Transportation
  17. Vending Machine
How to start a business in Dubai without money
How to start a business in Dubai without money

Can a foreigner start a business in Dubai?

Dubai is a strategic location for many international companies that operate their businesses here.

Dubai is ranked as the world’s easiest place to do business by the World Bank.

UAE welcomes individuals and corporations that are interested in doing business in Dubai, With a sound financial system and a stable political environment.

Dubai offers an excellent springboard to jump-start or expands your business in the world.

Many global corporations chose to relocate their headquarters in Dubai because of benefits like attractive corporate tax rates, availability of funding, talented workforce, flexible immigration policies for expatriates, advanced infrastructure, low crime rate, etc…

The Key Points of starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner are :

  • Get to know and understand Dubai first
  • Company Registration
  • Finding a reasonable business property
  • Complying concerned law’s
  • Apply for the work permit

How to start a business in Dubai without money

Of course, a foreigner/ex-pat can start a business in Dubai. Dubai welcome all investors, entrepreneur from all over the world with open arms.

Starting a business in the UAE should not take you more than a week once you’ve sorted all your legal procedures.

Some of the basic steps for a foreigner to start a business in Dubai are-

1)Type of Business-our type of business will determine the kind of license you require. Whether it’s commercial, professional, or industrial licenses, these will define the basis of your operations.

2)Ownership-If you are looking for mainland company setup than 51% will be for UAE nationals and 49% will be for the ex-pat. It requires a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 50 shareholders in order to run the business and if you’d like 100 percent ownership of your company, you need to opt for a license and location in one of the many free zones of the UAE.

3)Legal form-Depending on your location and type of business, there are rules regarding the make-up of the company.

4)Trade Name-Trade name is a very important part of the legal procedure. The company name should ideally indicate the nature of the business unless it is a branch of another company.

5)Share Capital-Minimum share capital is usually set out in the Memorandum of Association of your proposed company.

6)Premises-Once you have your legal procedures and forms ready to go, it would be best to shortlist some offices with costs and other details

7)Employees-In most legal forms of the DED, you need to hire a manager to oversee operations and have him ready to be on board before your registration is approved. But in other cases, you may not be allowed to hire at all.

8)Local agent-For DED licenses, it is mandatory to have a local agent, partner or sponsor and this is great support for foreign nationals who can help in all government offices.

For any more inquiry contact us for a free consultation.

How to start a business in Dubai without money as a Foreigner Legally

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Nancy Ajram

I am Nancy Ajram from Dubai, the beauty queen of UAE.

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