Launching a business process in UAE is rather perplexing, to say the least. There are various aspects which you need to be mindful of before starting your business in UAE. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. When it comes to starting a business in UAE, you need to consider the fact that the ministry of labour in Dubai or MOL guidelines set the standards for budding business owners.
Before you jump into anything, you need to equip yourself with the necessary legal documentation, resident visas, and the pertinent license registrations, in addition to a host of other details that need to be addressed prior to opening a business. The trade license is quite difficult to acquire in Dubai, which is why you need to consult a company registration professional.
The Communication Style
Since Dubai is a diversified country, startups are not limited to one religion or country. You’ll find people hailing from USA, India, and even Pakistan, who are running successful startups in UAE. This is why you need to have people aboard who are multi-lingual. You cannot rely on one language to drive your business.
In some cultures, a mere ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ says it all, but in others, you need to convey an articulate message in order for people to understand your business and what you’re planning to do. The level of formality also differs for each community. This is why you need to learn the norms of various cultures prevalent across UAE and communicate as per their requirements.
Fund Raising by a Local UAE Sponsor
According to the Ministry of labour in Dubai (MOL), you need to read the following article before you start raising capitals for your start-up. UAE is ripe with opportunities to do business. However, if you really want to start a business which can exploit the potential of Dubai, you need a locally registered LLC business.
If you want to go for a local sponsor in UAE, you are bound to give them 51% of partnership. It is often easy to sell to the locals if they hear that a native is affiliated with the brand since it makes them more prone to trusting a business.
The sponsor is paid in yearly fee which can always be negotiated. Do develop a rapport with your sponsor so that he is ready to help you in sorting out any problems you may face along the way with authorities. An alternative is to go for crowdfunding that is supported by the government of Dubai. You can do it for free by visiting this link.
Location, Cost, and Stability of your Business
One of the main business challenges that every brand has to contend within UAE is to figure out the right location for their business. Setting up a profit-based enterprise in the city wouldn’t do you much good despite the growing economy if your customers or clients can’t reach you.
You need to pick an area which is most lucrative for your business niche. A nifty location in the right city can be selected for a shop or an office if it is popular for the type of product or service that you are dealing with.
If you have a plan to opt-in for a free zone company, you need to select a viable location based on the criteria of distance, the costs that your business can sustain, and the trade requirements of Dubai.
Tenancy contract is another snag along the way. If your startup is small, you need to look into certain aspects of telecommunication, storage, and space inside the establishment. One more concern is that the price of commercial property can vary greatly from time to time.
The Talent & Skills
MENA conducted a study interviewing 65 startup investors. It was concluded that more than 40% of startup owners lack the pertinent financial literacy skills, while29 percent of funders feel that “entrepreneurs lack an ability to pitch their ideas convincingly enough”.
In the same study, one Egyptian entrepreneur revealed that:
“Convincing talented developers to leave corporate jobs and join a startup is a major problem, in addition, to retaining the talent with the low salary budget that we have”.
Furthermore, over 30% of investors who were interviewed, conceded that they were looking forward to offering‘value beyond cash’. The other stats revealed that 65% of other complications deal with securing a visa and work permits in UAE. While 67% talked about the unavailability of technical staff, and the unfortunate reality that the cost of acquiring qualified personnel has come around to 76% of all overheads.
Ensure that you have the Visa Eligibility and Requirement
In order to start a business in UAE, you need to have a visa that permits you and all of your employees to reside in UAE and run a business. It is easy for employees to get the visa, but you need to ensure that every employee has acquired one.
There are certain factors such as the size and the nature of your business, and the category of the employee and investor you are putting your hopes in. As mentioned earlier, if you’re planning to setup your business in Dubai, you will definitely need to get a local sponsor to get your visas processed effortlessly– at least for the first time.
Business visa application in Dubai is not as stringent as rumors would have it, since the bureaucracy is quite open to foreign investors planning to set up shop in the city — “any business is good business” is the motto here.
Apart from the visa and legal requirements set by the Ministry of labour in Dubai (MOL), you need a letter that highlights who your sponsor is in Dubai. Subsequently, you may be allowed to apply for the visas of your employees if your sponsor agrees to grant you that authority.
To wrap it all up
Starting a business is easy but to maintain that business is a tougher nut to crack. Despite how people perceive your business, it all comes down to what you think about it and how your customers see it. I hope that these tips will help you direct your business in the right direction.