Start a turn-key business in UAE

Entrepreneurs wishing to set up business in the UAE have two options. They can either start a local/mainland company, or a freezone company, which is a company domiciled in a free trade zone. There are many considerations to factor in if you want to make the right choice of jurisdiction for your future company: it matters what business you are planning to conduct, whether your company will need to lease office space and open a corporate bank account, and how many visas you will need for your staff. A wrong choice of jurisdiction may lead to unforeseen expenses or even make it impossible for you to open a bank account. We are prepared to assist you with the choice of the right business jurisdiction and thus avert a bunch of unpleasant surprises.

Mainland company

A local (mainland) company is the ideal option for mature businesses with a long-term vision. Companies domiciled in the UAE mainland are under the direct jurisdiction of the Department of Economic Development of the host emirate. A mainland company is at liberty to bid for government contracts, seek local investors, and carry on full-fledged commerce or other business in any part of the UAE without restrictions. Mainland companies furthermore enjoy access to some exclusive lines of business, but the best part is that a mainland company can have a corporate bank account opened for it a lot sooner and easier than a freezone company domiciled in a free trade zone.


The service includes

  • Incorporation of a legal entity
  • Visas for the founding members
  • Opening a corporate bank account
  • Support and assistance every step of the way

Additional expenses

  • $1,500 per each founding member in excess of one
  • $500–1,000 to secure a staff quota
  • $1,800–2,000 per employee hired
  • $1,800 visa fee per family member
  • $520 legalization fee per document for a family visa (when the original is in the UAE)
  • $250 legalization fee per document for a family visa or an employee’s degree certificate (when the original is in Russia)

Freezone company

When you set up your company in a free trade zone, you are entitled to a simplified and more affordable registration process. The point to remember though is that going forward, it may cost you more to have your freezone license renewed than it would cost you to renew a mainland license, which is more expensive at the start. The UAE offers a large selection of free trade zones designed around different categories of business. Freezone licenses are typically taken out by IT companies and freelancers that have no intention of offering goods or services for sale in the UAE mainland. Freezone entities are authorized to do business exclusively within the respective free trade zone. However, there are ways for a freezone establishment to offer goods in the UAE mainland, such as by going through a distributor.


The service includes

  • Opening a bank account
  • Visa for the investor
  • Securing a license
  • Establishment Card

Stages of starting your business

  • Consultation with AWATERA professionals

    AWATERA offers a turn-key service designed to assist you with opening your business overseas.
    We will work with you to select the most suitable legal format and type of business for your enteprise, we will come up with a cost minimization plan for you, and we will explain the finer points of doing business in the region.

  • Securing a license

    An operating license is the principal constitutional document in the UAE. It indicates the company’s jurisdiction, types of business, and founding members. A company does not legally exist unless it holds an operating license. We will asist you in securing accreditation with the jurisdictional authorities of UAE, and we will share what we know about the local traps and pitfalls, either from our own experience or that of our clients.

  • Visa arrangements for founders

    No one can have a bank account opened or do business in the UAE without a residence visa and a local Emirates ID. We will guide you through the visa process, from application filing to health checkup and biometric scanning.

  • Opening a bank account

    Unlike what we in Russia are accustomed to, you cannot simply ask any commercial bank to open a corporate current account for you in the UAE. The bank will need to see a profile of your company and its founders, and it’s important to prepare it correctly to the bank’s satisfaction. The bank will also require a specified set of documents. We will help you prepare the required documents, we will escort you to your meeting with the bank manager, and we’ll take care of all compliance matters.

Our Clients' FAQ

This is a wide ranging question, and the answer will be different case by case, being conditional on such key factors as the costs of hiring staff and renting an office, whether or not the company can do business in the mainland UAE, the cost of starting the company per se, and accessibility of the desired type of buisiness.
It is also important to keep in mind that a free trade zone is viewed as high risk territory by banks, which is why it is harder and takes longer to have an account opened for a freezone company.

You will only need scan copies of the founders’ international passports and their 3x4cm photos on a white background.

This is heavily dependent on your choice of jurisdiction. It takes an average of 1 to 3 weeks to open a legal entity.

Two to three weeks on average, but the process is generally speedier for the mainland, taking 1 to 1.5 weeks.

A month and a half to two months for a mainland company, and up to 4 months for a freezone company.

The founder’s presence is hardly ever required to open a company. You have to physically attend the visa process and you have to be there to sign the bank account paperwork. This takes 2 to 3 weeks. There will be a period of one to one and a half weeks during those 2 or 3 weeks when you cannot leave the UAE. After that you can be in and out to complete the remaining procedures.

To keep your visa valid, you only need to visit once every 180 days.

A residence visa is issued for two years.

We have already helped

    • Done
    • Opened a company
    • Help with license registration
    • Opened an account in a certain bank
    • Picked up an office for rent
    • Prepared documents for the relocation of employees
    DoDo pizza company got a new market for business development, launched a franchise in Dubai and many other texts, if it is possible to get some results from the client

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