Exit stage left, centre or right? Why you need an exit strategy for your business even before you start

It seems strange to be planning to exit your business before you even get started. But this is something that all savvy entrepreneurs do when preparing to launch a new company. It only makes sense. You owe it to yourself, your employees, and your other stakeholders to have a plan in place for the time when you need to move on. This kind of change, even if it’s a positive move for the business, can be difficult and distressing for people who’ve been with you from the start. So it’s important to start thinking about your options as soon as possible. Here are some of the things you should be considering – even at the start of your journey – in preparation for an exit scenario.

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Setting up an LLC or sole establishment in the UAE: which is right for you?

When setting up in the UAE, entrepreneurs have a number of options. However, there are two main choices here: form a limited liability company (LLC) or set up a sole establishment. The major difference between the two is that LLCs can be formed with multiple shareholders, while sole establishments cannot. This also means that sole establishments have unlimited liability for the owner – which could be very costly should your business run into financial or legal trouble. In this article we look at both options in depth to help you decide which one is the right fit for you.

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Tax or no tax – is the UAE tax-free and what does it mean for your business?

The UAE doesn’t have its tax-free reputation for nothing. As the advisory firm PKF International puts it, there are no taxes levied by the federal government on either the income or wealth of companies or individuals. As long as you’re a tax resident, you won’t pay tax on your income. But is the UAE really tax-free? VAT looms for the first time in the country’s history and excise duty on selected goods was also recently introduced. So where do we currently stand, and what is in store in the future?

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What’s eating away at SME profit margins?

If you’re running a small or medium-sized company and seeing your profit margins eroded all round, you’re not alone. Dubai is often seen as a hotbed for SMEs in our region – even globally – yet comparing it with other centres yields a surprising result. Productivity in Dubai’s SME sector is actually lower than other trading and service-oriented economies, including Singapore and South Korea. The UAE Banking Federation reported last year that an initiative to support struggling SMEs had resulted in the restructuring of AED 7bn of debts held by 1,700 companies. In this article we examine four areas that are contributing to the SME situation in our region, and consider some solutions to help entrepreneurs develop better innovative reflexes, drive change and generate healthier profits.

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Dubai Silicon Oasis – the UAE’s high-tech business hotspot

Dubai has long caught attention due to its favourable conditions for entrepreneurs looking to make it big – but its free zones are truly the jewel in the city’s crown. It’s easy to see why. Benefits like 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital, zero income and corporate tax, plus no tax on imports and exports will make even the most hardened business people take a second glance. Take Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSOA), which, along with the headline benefits listed above, also affords business owners a host of support services and an affordable, fast and straightforward setup process. So if this sounds like the ideal environment to launch your company, here is everything you need to know about Dubai Silicon Oasis.

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Fail to scale? 10 reasons why some entrepreneurs can’t grow their business

In a surprising number of cases, it is the business owner who is responsible for the stagnation of the company. The inspiration, single-mindedness, perseverance and attention to detail that breathed life into the business in the first place can become the millstone that drags it down. It’s important, then, for all business owners to be aware of the traits within themselves that can lead to the arrested development of their enterprise. In this article we identify 10 common problems, which, individually or combined, can keep a business forever knocking on the door of expansion but never being allowed in.

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