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Business Formation in Dubai from UK

business formation dubai uk

The United Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai, has become a global hub for businesses, thanks to its strategic location, investor-friendly policies, and world-class infrastructure. As a result, many UK businesses are considering expanding their operations to Dubai. In this comprehensive guide, Choose UAE will explore the benefits of business formation in Dubai for UK entrepreneurs and outline the necessary steps for a successful expansion.

Business Formation in Dubai from UK: Reason to Expand

Dubai’s strategic location between Europe, Asia, and Africa, combined with its excellent connectivity, provides UK businesses easy access to global markets. Its diverse economy, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly environment create a wealth of opportunities for expansion. Numerous tax incentives, including zero corporate taxes and double taxation avoidance agreements, further enhance Dubai’s attractiveness for UK businesses looking to grow.

Business Formation in Dubai from UK: Steps to Expand

Thorough Research and Preparation

Prior to expanding your UK business to Dubai, thoroughly investigate the local market, business customs, and regulations. This research will enable you to pinpoint potential obstacles and opportunities, helping you devise a detailed business plan.

Decide on the Best Business Structure and Location

Decide on the most fitting business structure for your enterprise, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a Free Zone company, or an Offshore company. Each option presents unique advantages and rules, so carefully select the one that meets your business objectives.

Another crucial decision to make is selecting the appropriate location for your company. In Dubai, you have two main options: mainland and free zone. In this section, we will discuss both options and their respective advantages to help you make an informed decision.

Free Zone Company

Free zones are designated areas that offer various incentives for foreign investors, such as 100% foreign ownership and tax exemptions. Established in the 1980s, UAE now has over 45 free zones and each is governed by a separate regulatory body with its own rules and regulations.

  1. Privacy: Shareholder details are kept private, ensuring confidentiality in your business dealings.
  2. Complete Ownership: 100% foreign ownership is allowed, eliminating the need for a UAE sponsor.
  3. Business Support: Access to valuable networking opportunities and expert business advice.
  4. Streamlined Formation: Fast and efficient company formation process.
  5. Tax Exemptions: Full exemption from import and export duties.
  6. Profit and Capital Repatriation: You can repatriate all profits and capital without restrictions.
  7. Simplified Recruitment: Relatively relaxed recruitment policies for hiring staff.
Mainland Company

A mainland company is an onshore organization registered with the relevant government body of the emirate, such as the Department of Economic Development (DED). Mainland companies can operate without limitations on their commercial activities. However, for specific business activities, a UAE national or local sponsor must hold a partnership in the company.

  1. Global Market Access: Unrestricted access to international markets for trading and expansion.
  2. Operational Freedom: No restrictions on conducting business anywhere within the United Arab Emirates.
  3. Profit and Capital Repatriation: Full repatriation of capital and profits without limitations.
  4. Office and Branch Flexibility: Establish an office or multiple branches anywhere within the registered emirate, strengthening your presence in Dubai and the UAE market.
  5. Government Contracts: Eligibility to bid on and secure UAE government contracts.
  6. Visa Issuance: Ability to issue an unlimited number of visas for employees.
  7. Tax Exemptions: Complete exemption from personal and corporate taxes.
Acquiring UAE Residency Visas

Upon establishing your company in Dubai or anywhere within the UAE, you can obtain residency visas for yourself, your family, and key personnel such as managing directors, general managers, and shareholders. Ensuring that all required documents are in order will facilitate a smooth visa application process. Once the company owner’s visa is issued, you can apply for family visas, domestic worker visas, and visas for other employees you wish to hire for your business, streamlining the process of settling in Dubai, UAE.

Set up a Corporate Bank Account

Set up a corporate bank account in Dubai to manage your business finances effectively. Numerous local and international banks provide customized banking solutions for businesses, simplifying the process of finding the right fit for your company.



Dubai presents a plethora of advantages and growth opportunities for UK entrepreneurs seeking to extend their reach. Its prime location, multifaceted economy, and supportive business environment make it the ideal destination for businesses to flourish on a global scale.

How Can Choose UAE Help

At Choose UAE, our mission is to facilitate your business expansion journey in Dubai. We offer end-to-end support, from determining the best business structure and location to navigating visa procedures and establishing corporate bank accounts. With Choose UAE by your side, you can focus on your core business goals while we handle the complexities of setting up shop in the thriving Dubai market.

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