Setting up a representative office in the UAE – what you need to know

Overseas entrepreneurs who want to do business in the UAE can choose from a number of setup options, with the two most commonly explored being free zones and mainland LLCs. Both have their pros and cons. Free zones offer a host of tax benefits and 100% foreign ownership, but business activities and trade with the mainland can be limited. Conversely, a mainland LLC allows a foreign entrepreneur to trade directly with the local UAE market, but must be established with the aid of an Emirati sponsor who holds a 51% share in the business. What first-time entrepreneurs don’t always realise is that there is another way: opening a representative office in UAE. In this article we explore that option in more depth to help you make the right decision for your business.

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Burning out? The strategic importance of a work-life balance for entrepreneurs

Burnout is a term used to describe a particular feeling; a tiredness that isn’t resolved by getting a good night’s sleep, an exhaustion that sinks into your bones. Entrepreneurs are well known for the long hours and hard work they put in to establishing their businesses, but a growing body of research shows that there is a price to pay – and it can be severe. A 2015 study carried out by the Australian Institute of Business specifically into stress-related issues experienced by solo entrepreneurs found that 87.5% are being prevented from thinking clearly and completing work quickly, due to stress and fatigue. But successful startups are hard to operate, and without looking out for the signs of burnout and knowing how to deal with them, can you succeed?

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Weighing up pros and cons – individual or corporate sponsorship for your UAE business?

Launching a new venture in the UAE can be exhilarating: the economy in the region is growing faster than ever and attracts flocks of industrious professionals. UAE law requires that foreign nationals have a local sponsor, which depending on the license activity and legal structure (professional license vs LLC), will either need to be in the form of a service agent or 51% shareholder. We will look more closely at LLC companies and for this there are two paths for entrepreneurs: an individual local sponsor or a corporate sponsor. Both take a 51% share in your company but with different implications. In this article we look at their pros and cons to help you decide which option would better suit your company.

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Tell tale signs you cannot handle your company’s finances

Every entrepreneur needs finance skills. But not every entrepreneur has them. Most entrepreneurs will have bags of acumen and expertise in their chosen sector – if they didn’t they wouldn’t be there in the first place. But managing a startup’s finances often proves to be one of those things that is learned the hard way. To be clear: cash flow can be used to predict the success of a business in 83% of cases. So what behaviours, tools and techniques can you use to help you move in the right direction? 

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Your top 10 checklist to set up a company in the UAE mainland

Entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in the UAE have two options on location – some choose to start their company in one of the country’s free zones to take advantage of the many tax, duty and repatriation benefits. Others meanwhile opt to set up a company in the UAE mainland. So which is your best option? Well, if you are looking to trade directly with the UAE local market, undertake a broad range of business activities or take on government work then the mainland option may just be the right one for your business. In this article we go through a 10-step checklist to help you set up your company in the UAE mainland.

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How to tough out those seasonal Dubai business slowdowns

When those difficult business lulls come around, they can spook even the hardiest of business owners. Slowdowns and upturns in sales are all part of the natural economic cycle; but that’s not to say the transitions are easy to handle. So, when business is slower than usual, it’s crucial that we keep cool heads and approach the situation with the same tools we use when addressing any other professional problem: objectivity and logic. It’s all about taking steps to keep our enterprises moving forward, regardless of the current climate. 

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