1. Do not make firm plans based only on published information  

It is prudent to verify the validity of the published information before finalizing your company startup plans.

Rules change for company registration in Free Zones as well as in the local Department of Economic Development.

Do not proceed until you have verified your assumptions by a business set up consultant or by contacting the authority in question.

You may find that some documents may be required or that some nationalities require unique permissions or that if you request or negotiate, some conditions may be waived.

  1. Do not choose a license category blindly without confirming if it allows your business model

Developing a business model that will not need a shift is not difficult in the UAE. Very often it takes a lot of change or at least some tweaking.

Make wide-ranging opportunities and confirm that your scheduled license category provides you all the activities that are likely to occur in the business model you plan. Do not choose an excessively narrow license category.

  1. Do not open a bank account without confirming the bank charges

Banks levy varying charges. For a business startup, these can amount to a substantial sum for a bank-dependent operation. Always confirm the requirements and charges beforehand. Do not choose a bank based on only the reputation.

  1. Do not sign a sponsorship with local sponsor without a written legal agreement

Your business startup may need a lot of support initially. A local sponsor may want to charge separately for some services.

Do not go ahead with sponsorship until both sides have agreed on what to expect from each other and a written agreement is drawn up and attested in the local court. Do not rely only on verbal understanding.

  1. Do not register your company in a Free Zone without taking a look at the available office sizes and preconditions

Often the published information for a Free Zone gives a wide choice of offices. The actual availability keeps changing. A business startup normally looks for the cheapest option.

It is probable that when you actually go for registration of the company you may find that only certain office sizes are available. This will throw your budget into disarray.

It may be too late to change your Free Zone then. Or it may happen that certain offices allow only 1 visa that too only for investors and not for the employees. So do not proceed until all aspects of the office are confirmed.