Have you ever dreamed of starting a business in Dubai? With a 0% tax rate, incredible infrastructure, a thriving business community, and an amazing location at the centre of the world, it’s fair to say many have.
So, if you’re one of them, what’s holding you back? For many entrepreneurs, the answer to this question is money. And that’s understandable. Finances are tight in the infancy of a business, particularly if you’re still at the idea and development stage.
But the good news is, money doesn’t have to hold you back. For one, starting a business in Dubai can be very affordable. And there are also several incredibly achievable ways to get the funding you need to turn your UAE dreams into reality.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best.
Get a UAE bank loan
Many people believe it is impossible to get a business bank loan in the UAE. While the process can be complex, the reality is that many banks are more than happy to lend to new ventures.
The UAE is built for business, so if you can meet the conditions of credit, you’ll find many institutions willing to offer you funds.
These conditions will vary depending on the bank you chose, with some better suited to startups and overseas investors. And you may be required to put up collateral to secure your loan. But if you can meet these criteria, this is certainly a viable option.
Crowdfunding has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years, providing funding for businesses both large and small. From Facebook’s Oculus to the Glowforge laser printer, there are many incredible crowdfunding success stories.
This approach is a great way to raise funds from a range of sources – family, friends, and any other investor that sees the potential in your offering.
As well as the well-known international platforms, the UAE is home to its own Crowdfunding solution, Dubai Next. This allows entrepreneurs of all nationalities to raise funds and launch their businesses.
Secure venture capital
The UAE is a great place to find venture capital (VC). VC is provided by private investors willing to offer funding to startups that show great potential for growth. Naturally, VCs will expect a return on their investment when these returns come to fruition.
Thanks to its thriving business environment, the UAE is home to many programmes designed to help startups match with potential VCs. Popular VCs in the UAE include Global Ventures and Wamda.
Set up in a business incubator
If you’re not ready to secure venture capital right away, securing a place in a UAE business incubator is a great option.
Incubators are supportive environments, designed to assist new businesses at every stage of their journey – from early ideas to financing, product launch, and growth.
With such a large entrepreneurial population, the UAE is home to many such incubators. Among them are PlugAndPlay, Startupbootcamp, Flat6Labs — Abu Dhabi, and FinTech Hive.
Many free zones offer similar services, aimed at supporting the growth aspirations of new businesses.
Common mistakes to avoid when raising funds
All new businesses may want funds to help them start up, but the hard reality is, not every new business is ready for it.
To make sure your business and your pitch are appealing to potential investors, there are a few common mistakes that you should avoid.
Going to ground
Meeting and nurturing investors takes time. Very few businesses secure funding at a first or even second meeting. You need to be committed and tenacious.
Be sure to network at every opportunity. And keep potential investors up to speed with current goings on at your business. They may not be willing to invest right now, but as they see your business develop, they could spot something that changes their mind.
Being too early
Ideally, you want to hit your investors with a great opportunity right out of the gate. You don’t want to rely too much on vague promises and developments. That’s why your business needs to be in a position where the potential is clear from the moment you ask for investment.
Asking too early can put investors off. And you’ll have to go through the whole process again later down the line – if they give you a second hearing that is.
…or too late
Asking for investment too late can be just as big a problem as asking too early. Investors want significant returns, and if you’ve already realised much of your early growth they are unlikely to see them anytime soon.
You could be in a position where there is simply not enough for potential investors, without staking a claim to a large percentage of your company.
Are you ready to start your business in Dubai?
With funds secured, the next step is to incorporate your new venture right here in Dubai. And while the company formation process is not overly complex, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process.
What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.
To help you ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist in Dubai such as Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) when establishing a new company in the UAE.
We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
As well as handling your license application, BIZ can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.
We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visa applications that are required to trade in the UAE.
In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.