Understanding the Costs of Business Setup in Dubai

Dubai, with its thriving economy and strategic location, continues to attract entrepreneurs and businesses from around the world. Setting up a business in this global hub offers numerous advantages, including access to a diverse market, a favorable tax environment, and world-class infrastructure. However, understanding the costs associated with business setup in Dubai is crucial for planning and budgeting effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various expenses you can expect when establishing your business in Dubai and provide insights to help you make informed decisions. Visit dubaibusinesssetup.ae

  1. License Costs

    One of the primary expenses when setting up a business in Dubai is the cost of obtaining a trade license. The type of license you need will depend on your business activity and location within Dubai. Here are some key points to consider:

    • Mainland License: If you choose to set up your business in the mainland, you will need to apply for a license from the Department of Economic Development (DED). License costs can vary based on the type of activity, but they typically range from AED 10,000 to AED 50,000 (approximately $2,725 to $13,625 USD) or more business setup uae
    • Free Zone License: Free zones in Dubai offer a range of business activities and often have specific packages for different sectors. License costs in free zones vary but generally start at AED 15,000 to AED 50,000 (approximately $4,088 to $13,625 USD) and can go higher depending on the chosen free zone and activity.
    • Offshore License: If you opt for an offshore company, the cost of the license can be lower, starting at around AED 10,000 to AED 25,000 (approximately $2,725 to $6,812 USD). However, keep in mind that offshore companies are restricted from conducting business within the UAE.
  2. Office Space

    The cost of office space in Dubai can vary significantly based on factors such as location, size, and the quality of the building. Here are some considerations:

    • Mainland: Renting office space in the mainland can be relatively expensive, with costs varying between AED 50,000 to AED 300,000 (approximately $13,625 to $81,750 USD) or more per year, depending on the location. Read more
    • Free Zones: Free zones often provide more affordable options, and many offer flexible office solutions, including shared workspaces and serviced offices. Costs can range from AED 15,000 to AED 100,000 (approximately $4,088 to $27,250 USD) annually.
    • Virtual Office: Some businesses opt for virtual offices, which can be a cost-effective way to establish a presence in Dubai. Prices start at AED 5,000 to AED 15,000 (approximately $1,362 to $4,088 USD) per year.
  3. Visa and Immigration Costs

    When setting up a business in Dubai, you’ll need to consider visa and immigration costs for yourself and any employees or partners. These costs can include:

    • Investor Visa: Obtaining an investor visa typically involves fees for application, medical tests, and Emirates ID registration. Costs can range from AED 7,000 to AED 15,000 (approximately $1,906 to $4,088 USD).
    • Employee Visas: If you plan to hire employees, each visa application will incur additional expenses, including the visa fee and associated processing costs, which can range from AED 2,500 to AED 5,000 (approximately $681 to $1,362 USD) per employee.
  4. Sponsorship Fees

    If you choose to set up your business on the mainland, you will likely need a local sponsor, who is required to own a minimum of 51% of the shares in your company. Sponsorship fees can vary based on the agreement but typically range from AED 15,000 to AED 25,000 (approximately $4,088 to $6,812 USD) annually.

  5. Registration and Legal Fees

    Business setup in Dubai involves various legal and registration fees, including:

    • Notary and Legal Fees: Expenses for drafting and attesting legal documents can range from AED 2,000 to AED 5,000 (approximately $545 to $1,362 USD).
    • Company Registration: Depending on the legal structure and jurisdiction, the registration fee for your company can vary but usually starts at AED 1,000 to AED 10,000 (approximately $273 to $2,725 USD).
  6. Corporate Banking Fees

    To operate your business effectively, you’ll need to open a corporate bank account in Dubai. While the account setup itself is often free, be prepared for potential minimum balance requirements and transaction fees. Costs can vary depending on the bank and your business needs.

  7. Additional Costs

    It’s important to budget for miscellaneous expenses that may arise during the setup process, including legal consultations, translation services, government approvals, and document clearance. These costs can add up and vary widely based on your specific requirements.

  8. Renewal and Ongoing Costs

    Keep in mind that after successfully setting up your business, you will incur annual renewal fees for your trade license, visa renewals, office rent, and other operational expenses. Budgeting for these ongoing costs is crucial to ensuring the sustainability of your business.


Setting up a business in Dubai offers tremendous opportunities, but it also comes with a range of costs that need to be carefully considered and planned for. The exact expenses will depend on various factors, including your chosen business structure, location, and industry. To ensure a successful and financially sound business setup in Dubai, it is advisable to work with experienced business consultants who can provide guidance on cost-effective strategies and compliance with local regulations. Know more Minimum investment to start business in Dubai

Remember that while the initial costs may seem significant, the investment in your Dubai business can lead to substantial returns, given the city’s robust economy, strategic location, and favorable business environment. By understanding the costs involved and planning meticulously, you can embark on your entrepreneurial journey in Dubai with confidence and optimism.

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