You would be well aware of the popularity of consulting if you’ve ever served in the UAE. Consultants provide a valuable service to lead and advice companies in the country to foster development, prosperity and profitability. But of course, consultants are not a local phenomenon. There can be no debate inside the GCC that the UAE is the perfect location to start a consulting firm. Not only is it home to a vast variety of companies that create demand for advisory services, but it also has a tax rate of 0 percent, a healthy market, and low barriers to entry.
In the UAE, it is very quick to start a consulting business that you could be up and running in a matter of days with the help of a company formation specialist. Before launching a consultancy company in the UAE, let’s take a deeper look at consulting companies and what an investor needs to know.
What is the Consultancy Business?
Consultancy is an area of practice, the primary task of which is to offer consultancy services to private individuals and companies in different fields. For economical, legal, commercial, technological and any other matters, this could be a solution. As a rule, all consultancy firms (or persons working as freelance consultants) joining the market are highly specialised. All levels of activities are difficult to master; thus, as a rule, there are specialities in business consultancy, management consulting, IT consulting, automotive consulting, transportation consulting, shipping consulting, etc.
The primary aim of consultancy services is to examine, and address challenges encountered by a business that obstruct the growth of an organisation or cannot be solved by an individual or a private citizen due to lack of resources, expertise or other factors. There are excellent investment prospects in the UAE, but many international investors do not have adequate local market climate experience and private equity activities, so they need local specialist advisory services for successful strategic planning.
How to Start a Consultancy Business in the UAE
There are three traditional ways to start a consulting company in the UAE, either by developing a business on the mainland, doing the same in a free zone, or setting up as a freelancer in either. If you plan to locate yourself on the mainland, you can apply to the local municipality or the Economic Development Department (DED). You are free to set up anywhere while trading in the mainland and can carry on government jobs.
Alternatively, you should make your submission directly to the appropriate authority if you launch your company in a free zone. You would benefit from a 100 percent customs duty exemption, zero currency controls, and the right to repatriate all money and income to your home country while you do business from a free region. As a freelancer, either on the mainland or in a free zone, it is also possible to set up and operate your company under your own name.
In both instances, any step of your application should be handled on your behalf by a business creation specialist. There are no formal qualifications for being a consultant anywhere you are set up. In your profession, however, you are required to be competent. This expertise could come in the form of suitable credentials for your field or years of industry experience. The method takes only four major steps with the right guidance:
Step 1: Choose Your Business Activity
Even though it is implied that consulting is the activity you are going to pursue, it is important that you determine precisely which area you plan to trade-in. In the UAE, there are many traditional consultancy practices, including consulting for business management, HR consulting, IT consulting, risk management, consulting for policy, consulting for project management, and sales consulting. The DED releases the entire list of approved practices. A professional in business forming will help you select the one that most closely aligns with your venture.
Step 2: Choosing Your Company Name
Choosing the company name is a step in the corporate incorporation process that takes on more meaning here in Dubai and the UAE. That’s because, as well as the need for a catchy name that captures the spirit of your business, you will also need to adhere to the clearly defined naming conventions of the UAE. No blasphemous or insulting words, references to well-known organisation’s or other abbreviations of your name must be used in the UAE business names, while your full name is appropriate.
Your name can also be affiliated with a legal body, such as FZE or LLC. It must also be specific to your corporate operation, not identical to any other company’s name, and must be eligible for registration.
Step 3: Applying for the License
The third, and most important, move is to register for your consultancy company for a trade license. If you are situated on the mainland, you can apply directly to the Department of Economic Growth for your license. You can apply directly to the managing authority of your preferred free zone if you have chosen a mainland configuration. As this is such a vital step, in order to prevent delays and potential dismissal, it is desirable to work closely with a business forming specialist.
Documents Required for a Consulting License
When setting up as a consultant in the UAE, you are usually required to submit several documents along with your application form, including:
- A copy of your passport
- Several passport photos
- Proof of relevant experience or qualifications
- A No Objection Certificate from your current employer (if applicable)
Step 4: Applying for Your Visa
Applying for your visa is the final step. This procedure includes four steps, including biometric capture and a medical fitness test. All in all, it’s normally less than a fortnight. You may also sponsor anyone, such as your children, a partner, or domestic workers, for their visas as the holder of a UAE trade license, provided you meet the eligibility requirements.
Cost of a Consulting License
Without understanding the specifics of the organisation concerned, there is no simple way to put a price on launching a consultancy business in the UAE. The estimated cost of a consulting licence is in the range of AED 15,000 to AED 25,000, but this would depend on a variety of factors, including whether you set up a practice on the mainland or a free zone as a freelancer, whether you take on office facilities and whether you want to take on workers. In most cases, setting up in a free zone with a licencing plan that covers the cost of your visa fee and the use of business services and co-working room is the most cost-effective solution.
Why Start a Consultancy Business in the UAE?
Thanks to its tax-free pro-business landscapes, free zones and clear legal and economic structures, the UAE is the entrepreneurial nirvana for emerging capitalists. As the country has begun to develop its economic stability in the local and foreign markets, new start-ups are strongly welcomed by the region. The UAE is one of the leading Middle East areas for consultancy firms. Although there are ample opportunities for any company set up in the UAE, consultancy remains a very lucrative and in-demand sector as UAE customers strive to attain rapid growth in a brief period of time and a small pool of talents. This is the ideal business environment in which consultancy companies will prosper. Consulting services provide infinite opportunities for customers alongside leading industry sectors such as Oil & Gas, banking services, business services and medical care. Setting up a UAE consulting firm involves acquiring a large customer base along with relevant market arrangements such as growth rewards and steady earnings. In particular, establishing a consulting firm in the UAE was found to be the most flourishing company.
Benefits of Becoming a Consultant in the UAE
There are many great reasons to become a consultant in the UAE:
- Flexibility: Start your own management consultancy in the UAE and you can work alone. Not only does this allow you to choose your hours and your clients but you’ll also have no ties, no expensive overheads and, most importantly, no boss.
- Earning potential: When you set up a consulting business in the UAE, you receive every cent you earn – with no middleman taking a cut and no deductions for tax.
- Easy setup: With the right support, setting up a consulting business in the UAE is easy. All that’s required is some knowledge and experience of your industry and a consultancy license.
Our company set up experts at Riz and Mona Consultancy will complete the company creation procedure; however, issues such as marketing the consulting company and establishing a directory of prospective buyers would need to be considered by the business owner. Please feel free to contact us if you want to open a consultancy company in the UAE and need guidance.