An Expat’s Checklist for Starting a Business in Dubai

Are you an expat looking to establish a business in Dubai? Click here for an expat checklist for starting a business in Dubai to ensure a smooth experience.

May 14, 2023
An Expat’s Checklist for Starting a Business in Dubai

Did you know Dubai has experienced a 25% surge in new business licenses in the previous two years? A significant portion of these licenses were issued to expats. This demonstrates how Dubai has become a popular location for entrepreneurs worldwide trying to start lucrative businesses. Establishing a business in an unfamiliar country as an expat can be challenging. To simplify this task, we have compiled an expat checklist for starting a business in Dubai. 

An Expat’s Checklist for Starting a Business in Dubai

Conduct Market Analysis and Research

First, aspiring expats looking to establish a business in Dubai must check market analysis and research off their checklist. When establishing a business in a new country, you must thoroughly research its commercial landscape to familiarize yourself with consumer preferences, trends, and competition. Extensive research will also allow you to learn if the products or services you plan to sell are in demand in the country or not and further alter your offerings according to the market trends and customer demands. 

Develop a Business Plan

Once familiar with the market, your business plan is the next task to check off the checklist. You must develop a well-structured business plan highlighting your goals, financial plans, and target market. In several cases, the government, investors, or potential partners may request your business plan, so having it already can help you save time.

Dubai Skyline Across Body of Water
Dubai Skyline Across Body of Water

Understand the Legal Framework and Get Licensing

Once you have a business plan, the next step is understanding the legal framework and licensing necessary for establishing a business as an expat in Dubai. You will come across several legal structures like an offshore company, a mainland company, or a free zone entity. Each of these legal structures has its benefits and drawbacks, and consulting a business setup consultant in Dubai can help you understand all these factors and make an informed decision. 

Establish a Financial Plan

Starting a business in a new country may require significant investment. Hence, establishing a financial plan can help ensure you have the funds to establish your business efficiently. A financial plan can also help you explore financing options like bank loans, potential investors, or personal savings. When creating a financial plan for your business, make sure you factor in anything from startup costs and contingency funds to working capital requirements and operational expenses.   

Understand the Visa and Sponsorship Requirements

As an expat looking to establish a business in Dubai, you may have to secure a specific visa to be allowed into the country and operate a business. Hence, it is important to consider your visa options and determine the option best fits your case. Hiring visa consultants can help you determine the visa requirements and options and efficiently begin the visa application process. 

Get Assistance from Business Consultants in Dubai

The checklist discussed above is a great way to ensure an effortless experience establishing a business in Dubai as an expat. As discussed above, seeking professional assistance can help you further streamline setting up a business in the Gulf Tiger. We recommend contacting the experts at Capatt Services for the task. Our professional business setup consultants can help you tick every task off this checklist in no time. Get in touch with us now. 

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