UAE is an excellent marketplace to start a restaurant business. Though the competition is remarkably high, there is a huge chance that if you run your restaurant with sheer smoothness, effectiveness, and professionalism, you can make a hefty profit.
In general, opening a restaurant in UAE free zones doesn’t require a lot of paperwork, is not that hard and time-taking. There are a lot of fantastic free zones where you can set up your restaurant. Don’t know how you can do that? This concise yet impactful guide can help.
In this piece of writing, we are going to describe the whole process and give you all the necessary information that you should know if you plan to open a restaurant in the free zones of UAE. Read on to find out all the details, requirements, and recommendations of the procedure.
Table of Contents
Required Licenses and Documents for Application Submission
Following is the list of documents that you need to submit to the relevant authorities for opening your restaurant in the free zones of UAE:
- Passport and visa copy of your sponsor
- Two colored passport-size photos
- Construction permit
- Pork permit
- Food delivery permit
- NOC letter
- Educational documents (if required)
- Trading license
- Restaurant’s business plan
Food license; following documents are required for this license:
- The layout of the restaurant premises
- First approval issued by the DED (Department of Economic Development)
- Approval from the Planning Department (for those restaurants that are located outside a shopping mall)
Liquor permit; following documents are required for this permit:
- Personal information which meets the requirements set by the government authorities
- The layout of the premises where alcoholic beverages will be sold
- Information about the place where the alcohol is stored
- A fire safety certificate
- An estimation of the cost related to selling alcohol in the restaurant
Guide to Start Restaurant in Free Zones of UAE
Follow these steps and you can open your restaurant without facing any difficulty:
Step 1: Choosing the Right Type of Business Structure
First, you will choose the form of business that suits you the best. Company structures that are acceptable in free zones of the UAE include civil company, free zone establishment, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). We recommend the LLC as it is the most common form of business that is followed by the companies.
Step 2: Choosing Restaurant Name
Choosing the right trade name is also very important. Your name should be according to the criteria set by the authorities of UAE.
Step 3: Choosing the Free Zone and Area
Next, you have to choose the free zone out of the available options and the area where you will establish your restaurant. While choosing the area, you have to keep some important factors in mind. These factors include the availability of space for a large number of people to pass, the restaurant should be far away (at least 30 meters) from disposal or waste disposal sites, and cost, visibility, and space of parking area.
Step 4: Getting a Food and Trade License
Post that, you have to obtain a food and trade license from a free zone authority. Obtaining a business license is not that much of a problem. After getting your trading license, you will then get your food license. For that, you have to submit your restaurant plan to the Municipality Food Safety Department. The plan to be submitted consists of the following:
- Entrances and exits
- Food processing areas
- Food storage areas
- Location of food processing equipment
- Location of washing equipment
- Windows and ventilation systems
- Sanitary spaces such as restrooms
Once the plans are approved, you will have your food license. This step is of immense importance, therefore it is recommended to get assistance from a reputable business setup consultancy in UAE.
Adherence to the Food Code of UAE is extremely crucial in order to keep your license valid. This code encompasses the primary provisions for establishing your restaurant in any part of the UAE. It is designed by the UAE Food Control Department and consists of various law regulations. These guidelines are extremely helpful and useful for not only customers but also for restaurant owners.
Step 5: Getting Liquor, Pork, and Other Permits
After getting the licenses, you then have to obtain permits for pork, liquor, and delivery if you wish to sell these items and offer food delivery service to your customers. These permits are also issued by the Food Safety Department. A liquor permit is issued by the Police department.
Step 6: Obtaining NOC
You also need to obtain NOC from the Food Safety Department and get approval from the Municipality Department of the city where you want to open your restaurant.
Step 7: Getting a Construction License
This license is for those who want to construct their restaurant from scratch. Submission of your restaurant plan is required for getting the license. You can obtain a construction license from Municipality Department as well.
Step 8: Opening a Bank Account
Opening a bank account in a free zone bank is the final step to getting started with your business. A bank account will let you make payments, keeping an eye on expenses, profits, salary transfers, and more. Plus, you will also be able to pay your taxes with ease. You should opt for a bank that offers you the most suitable and effective financial solutions for your business.
Some of the famous banks of UAE to open a free zone account include:
- Banque Misr
- Emirates NBD
- Mashreq bank
- RAK Bank
- National Bank of Fujairah
- Emirates Islamic Bank
- Ajman Bank
In general, it will take two to four weeks to open an account for an LLC company in the free zone.
Open Your Restaurant in UAE Free Zones With RIZ & MONA
UAE is no less than heaven to invest time and money in the food business. Although this guide is good enough to give you a direction for opening your restaurant in UAE. Still, if you are looking for well-known and professional business consultants in UAE like RIZ & MONA, feel free to contact us any time. We will not only provide you with valuable insights and assistance in starting your restaurant but also take responsibility for completing the whole process on your behalf.