The challenges of setting up a company in Dubai & how to overcome them
Dealing with the paperwork, costs and intricate rules of each free zone is not for the faint of heart, but there is one simple way of overcoming these challenges. We are talking about Public Relations Officers, also known as PRO, who can help you navigate the confusing process of setting up a business in the UAE.
The United Arab Emirates have become one of the top business hubs for international expansion over the past years. Being tax-friendly, with straightforward legislation, the country presents an array of business opportunities. But, before you can incorporate and start making business in the United Arab Emirates, you will need to go through a bureaucratic process that can take from weeks to months.
That’s where a PRO comes in, taking over the legal and bureaucratic aspects to guarantee a smoother, faster process.
Establishing company ownership
The first and most important step is to establish your business ownership before you can begin operations in the UAE. Whether you are planning to enter the market by partnering up with a local business or you're looking to open a representative office, all foreign entities will need to find a local partner to set up a Limited Liability Company in the UAE.
Finding a local partner or advisor
So, how do you find a local partner, sponsor or advisor? Finding the right partner can be a challenge on its own, as the person appointed will need to have a strong market knowledge, understanding of the law, and capability to handle the local operations. This is where a specialist PRO comes in, helping you navigate the legal minefield that setting up a business can be.
Securing funds or investments
Once you have gone through the process of establishing company ownership and finding the correct partner, you will also need to prove you have sufficient funds to run your operations. In fact, any foreign entity looking to set up a business in the UAE will need to prove that. All foreign companies are required to have a detailed fund management plan laid out to demonstrate how they will be operating in the long-run.
Obtaining visa or permits
This point applies to both the employer who is setting up the company in Dubai, as well as any potential foreign employees you will be onboarding. All foreign employees will in fact need to obtain a work or residence permit to be in the country. And the same applies to the foreign entity bringing its overseas employees to the UAE. Companies must also comply with all the regulations laid out by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation.
Finding the right real estate
The business licence you will receive for your company must also be associated with its registered address. This makes it vital for companies to operate from a physical office, and its location is key to operations. Though the UAE Free Zones offer plenty of affordable real estate options for foreign companies, you will need to rely on a local expert to find an office space with a size and location suitable for your visa.
Though this isn’t a challenge strictly related to setting up a business in Dubai, it is definitely something to consider. Although English is standard for business communications in the UAE, the official language is Arabic. Therefore, when hiring local employees, foreign companies must ensure that the employment contracts, records, training manuals, and documents are written in Arabic.
Adapting to the local work culture
Lastly, be mindful of the key differences in work culture you will face when setting up a business in Dubai. The key to a successful business is understanding and respecting the social norms and cultures. All foreign companies setting up a business in the UAE must have a good understanding of the Islamic religion, as this includes social norms related to employees, local holidays, cultural norms and working hours.
It’s also crucial, when starting a business in the United Arab Emirates, that you adhere to local laws and regulations. Payroll management and taxation must follow UAE laws, and all foreign companies must adhere to the Wage Protection System (WPS), along with the end of service gratuity payments and benefits.
How can a Time & Motion PRO help you overcome the challenges of setting up a business in the UAE?
A corporate PRO specialist can help you with all of the visas, licences and regulatory support that your business will need to stay compliant. At Time & Motion, we offer a team of professionals, who are completely up-to-date with changing laws, rules and regulations to provide you with the best PRO services on the market.
When setting up a business in Dubai, relying on a PRO will have a number of great benefits, the main ones being:
Support navigating the bureaucratic processes. Your PRO will handle the bureaucratic process from start to finish, allowing you to focus on the crucial initial stages of getting your life off the ground in the UAE.
Avoid penalties and fees. Outsourcing PRO services will help with the timely management of deadlines, avoiding late fees and ultimately reducing the costs of processing and clearing.
Stay in the loop. Though the PRO will be handling the day-to-day tasks of setting up a business in Dubai, you will always know exactly what you are paying for, thanks to our online portal for status updates.
Have access to bespoke support. With a dedicated account manager, we can support you every step of the way, from delivering documents to the local authorities to making sure you avoid any late submission penalties.
Every company looking to relocate or set up a business in the UAE will require the services of a PRO. These specialists can make the process run seamlessly from start to finish, giving you the peace of mind you need to know that your paperwork is being successfully handled.
At Time & Motion, we pride ourselves on always being up to date with the ever-changing process and information on setting up a business or working in the UAE, making the process a whole lot smoother for you.