Firstly, there are certain key questions to ask from the outset and these answers will dictate the best method of setting up a company in Dubai, UAE:
- What is your activity and where are your target market?
- Do you need a physical presence, are you selling products or services?
- Do you want access to Government Companies or Oil and Gas?
Should I set up in a Free Zone?
The Free Zone vs Onshore question is a key issue that new companies in the UAE often deliberate.
The Free Zones are a very popular route to market for many foreign companies wanting to operate in the UAE (there are circa 40 Free Zones throughout the Emirates). These dedicated areas offer a foreign company 100% ownership and the set-up costs are often cheaper in the early stages. However, Free Zone companies can only operate within that Free Zone, and they cannot legally trade with Onshore companies or government entities.