5 mistakes entrepreneurs make when setting up a company in the UAE

Both local and international entrepreneurs choose to set up or expand their companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for many good reasons. These include the country’s continuously thriving economy, its business-friendly legal framework, generous tax incentives, good global standing, manpower accessibility, and its world-class amenities, to name a few. In fact, the UAE ranked first in Middle East and fourth worldwide in the Global Entrepreneur Index in 2020.

If you’re an entrepreneur who’s looking to set up a company or expanding your international business in the UAE, this article will help you avoid the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when setting up in the country.

Securing licences and gathering documents is essential in legally and successfully setting up a company in the UAE, regardless if you’re a local or a foreigner. However, sometimes, entrepreneurs exaggerate the importance of paperwork to the point of not paying as much attention to other crucial factors in a newly formed business.

When the paperwork is done, some entrepreneurs don’t know what to do next. This is also why it’s best to hire a business setup consultant who can guide you through the entire journey so you don’t skip any important steps. These include knowing the right business jurisdiction for you, educating you on business setup laws in the UAE, knowing your risk factors, planning for worst-case scenarios, helping you open a bank account for your startup, and more.

One of the most common reasons why companies fail in their early stages is they don’t spend enough time researching about market demands and trends, e.g., how much of the services is the market willing to avail or purchase at a certain amount, their competitors and the like.

For example, you want to start a foreign exchange company in Dubai and your target customers are foreigners in the emirate, locals who work with companies overseas, and those who plan to go abroad for any reason. When conducting research, you have to know the percentage of Dubai’s population that belongs to your target market, the number of foreign exchange businesses per specific area in the city, and how much they offer for each currency.

This way, you’ll be able to gauge where to locate your business exactly, and how low or high you can charge for each currency to remain competitive and attractive to clients. At the same time, you have to clearly specify the demographics of your target market and spend enough time learning more about their purchasing behaviour.

Many successful people say that a business partner is almost like a lifetime partner. And that couldn’t be more true. Things are good when they are good, but when something goes wrong with regards to money and operations, there’s a huge chance you’ll know who you’re truly dealing with. 

This is why choosing your business partners carefully and making sure you know they are decent, professional and honest is critical before you finalise and sign any business agreement. Background checking is key.

A banking partner provides valuable insight to companies in terms of huge financial decisions, growth plans and operational challenges. That’s why entrepreneurs should pay attention to their advice, especially in the early stages of a company. This can also help you save your business from unnecessary costs, keep you from missing out on good opportunities and avoid financial surprises along the way.

Some businesses forget about the power of word of mouth and feedback through social media in growing a business. Referrals can help you get a good amount of leads when expanding and establishing your clientele, so investing in powerful referral programs is highly recommended. 

For example, you can give a freebie or incentive to customers who will take the time to post their positive feedback about your business, or give rewards to clients who refer someone to avail your service. You can also offer them a more fulfilling reward if their referral ends up availing your service. 

The rewards or incentives you can offer may vary in sizes and shapes, depending on what could seem attractive to your target market. Therefore, getting enough data and research is also necessary for your referral program’s success.

Are you ready to set up a company or expand your business in the UAE? Speak with the right business setup consultant to ensure that you won’t miss any crucial steps early in your entrepreneurial journey. Reach out to an ExpressPRO representative to discuss the best jurisdiction and trade licence for your business, as well as the paperwork required and other relevant requirements. 

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Sarwat Nasir
Sarwat Nasir
10:22 12 Jul 24
Jean helped us get our trade license sorted out. She is super friendly and professional and makes the process so easy. Everything was completed so fast. Highly recommend!
mohamed ramzy
mohamed ramzy
21:38 11 Jul 24
Express Pro provided outstanding service. Their professionalism, efficiency, and commitment to quality were evident throughout. The team was responsive, delivered on time, and exceeded our... expectations. Highly recommend!---read more
Nikhil Shah
Nikhil Shah
12:34 09 Jul 24
Thank you Irshaad for helping and opening company in soonest possible time 😊
Yousef Batter
Yousef Batter
15:13 08 Jul 24
Highly recommended. Ask for Paul
Maria Gamez
Maria Gamez
08:28 08 Jul 24
Ellie was an amazing support at setting up my business license. She answered all my questions and advised me on what the correct license was based on my needs and ideas. Thank you for all the help.
Saad Aalyani
Saad Aalyani
11:27 05 Jul 24
Excellent Business Registration service. Professional staff who guided me throughout with the procedure. Highly Recomended to everyone who wishes to register a business in the UAE.
06:32 27 Jun 24
ExpressPRO are very professional and efficient. Especially Sajid who is always available to answer any questions and help in any way. I would highly recommend them.
Matthew Norris
Matthew Norris
04:33 15 Jun 24
Paul and Hassan were excellent in guiding us through the process. I’d recommend these guys to anyone.We had a small issue with the freezone to begin with but once we arrived in Dubai, everything... was taken care of and completed very quickly. Paul and Hassan were always available to answer our questions and willing to help with anything we needed.Thank you both 🙌read more
Emma Ticehurst
Emma Ticehurst
03:12 15 Jun 24
Paul & Hassan did a great job of supporting us through a complex process. It was a relief to know we had them helping us at every step of the way.We did loose some time at the start of the process... as incorrect forms were completed, however this was the only slight bump in the road. Once we arrived in Dubai, the whole process, including our phone number and bank account was finalised within 2.5 weeks. The Express Pro team also sat with us whilst we set up the bank, to ensure the correct forms were submitted.Big thanks to Paul & Hassan, they were readily available at all times and no ask was too much for them. 😊😊read more
Sus Master69
Sus Master69
19:02 11 Jun 24
**Review for Express Pro Company - Trading License Setup**I recently used the services of Express Pro Company to assist me in setting up my trading license, and I couldn't be more satisfied. Hassan... Ali, the dedicated representative assigned to my case, displayed exceptional professionalism and expertise throughout the entire process.From the initial consultation to the final approval, Hassan was proactive in guiding me through every step with clarity and precision. His attention to detail and prompt responses to my inquiries ensured a smooth and efficient experience.Express Pro Company's knowledgeable team, coupled with Hassan's personalized assistance, made the daunting task of obtaining a trading license a seamless and stress-free endeavor. I highly recommend their services to anyone seeking reliable and efficient support in business setup.Thank you, Hassan Ali, and Express Pro Company, for your outstanding assistance in facilitating my trading license setup.read more
Sarah Morris
Sarah Morris
10:36 10 Jun 24
Fast and helpful service, Paul was very helpful at setting up a company in RAK for me.
Lessie Sabanal
Lessie Sabanal
07:08 07 Jun 24
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