Opening A Consulting Business In The UAE: Process & Documents

This article delves into the key steps for opening a consulting business in the UAE. It further covers the reasons why the UAE is an ideal location for setting up a consulting business, and details the necessary documentation for acquiring a consulting license.

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Starting A Consulting Business In The UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a major global hub for enterprises and entrepreneurs due to its advantageous position and rapidly expanding economy. Particularly in the field of consulting, the UAE offers a plethora of opportunities for professionals looking to establish their footprint. This article delves into the key steps for opening a consulting business in the UAE. It further covers the reasons why the UAE is an ideal location for setting up a consulting business, and details the necessary documentation for acquiring a consulting license. 

Why UAE is a Good Location for a Consulting Business?

The UAE stands out as an exceptional location for setting up a consulting business for several compelling reasons:

Strategic Geographical Position

The UAE has unmatched access to a vast array of international markets because of its location at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa. This strategic location is ideal for consulting firms looking to expand their international reach.

Robust Economy 

The economy of the UAE is renowned for its quick expansion and diversity. Sectors like tourism, banking, real estate, and technology are thriving, creating a fertile ground for consulting services.

Pro-Business Legislation 

The UAE government has implemented business-friendly policies, including the ease of setting up new businesses, flexible immigration laws for skilled professionals, and the introduction of long-term visas for investors and entrepreneurs.

Tax Advantages 

Among the strongest reasons to choose the UAE is its tax regime. The country offers no personal income tax and has numerous double taxation agreements, making it financially attractive for consulting businesses.

Superior Infrastructure

The United Arab Emirates is home to cutting-edge telecommunications, contemporary office buildings, and first-rate transit systems.

High-Quality Life and Work Environment 

With its cosmopolitan cities, the UAE provides a high quality of life, attracting top talents from around the world – a key asset for a consulting business.


Procedure to Start a Consulting Business in the UAE

Starting a consulting business in the UAE involves several key steps:

Identifying Business Niche 

Clearly define the consulting services you plan to offer, focusing on areas where there is high demand in the UAE market.

Choosing the Location 

Decide whether your business will be based on the mainland or in one of the many free zones. Each has its benefits, like 100% foreign ownership in free zones.

Business Licensing 

Select the appropriate license type based on your consulting activities. This could be a professional license, commercial license, or industrial license.

Legal Formalities and Registration

Register your business with the UAE’s Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant free zone authority. This involves choosing a company name, submitting your business plan, and fulfilling any specific legal requirements.

Compliance with Local Regulations

Ensure compliance with local business laws, including those related to employment, operations, and commercial activities.

Setting Up Operational Infrastructure

Establish your physical or virtual office, set up essential services, and prepare to launch your operations.

Documentation for Acquiring a Consulting License in the UAE

To acquire a consulting license in the UAE, several documents are required:

  • Application Form: A completed application form for a consulting license from the relevant authority.
  • Passport and Visa Copies: Copies of the passport and, if applicable, UAE visa for the business owner and any partners.
  • Educational Certificates: Relevant educational and professional qualifications, attested by the UAE embassy in the nation of origin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE.
  • Business Plan: A detailed business plan that describes your consulting services, target market, growth strategy, and projected financials.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC): If you are currently working in the United Arab Emirates, an NOC from your employer.
  • Local Sponsor/Service Agent Agreement: Required for mainland companies; this document outlines the terms between the foreign entrepreneur and the UAE national sponsor or service agent.
  • Tenancy Agreement: A valid tenancy agreement for your business’s physical address in the UAE.


Setting up a consulting business in the UAE is a lucrative and strategic decision. The region’s robust economy, coupled with its business-friendly environment, makes it an ideal location for consulting ventures. Nevertheless, it might be difficult to navigate the legal and regulatory system.

This is where OnDemand International steps in. As experts in UAE business setup, OnDemand International can assist you with every aspect of starting your consulting business, from business registration to obtaining licenses, managing documentation, and even setting up a bank account. With our guidance, you may make sure that the launch of your consulting firm in the UAE goes smoothly and effectively.

By choosing the UAE as your business destination and OnDemand International as your partner, you are setting the stage for success in the dynamic world of consulting.

opening a consulting business in the uae


The UAE offers a strategic location, a diverse and growing market, a business-friendly environment, and a multicultural setting.

It depends on the jurisdiction; mainland businesses typically require a local sponsor, while free zone businesses do not.

The timeframe varies based on the chosen business structure and location. It usually takes one to four weeks.

Yes, in most cases, foreigners can have 100% ownership of their consulting businesses, especially in free zones.