Physical security is often something that many of us take for granted, until we need it. But be it CCTV, lock and key, or security guards, it’s commonplace around the world – and it’s big business.
The global physical security market is estimated to be worth USD 292bn by 2025 – with an annual growth rate of 9.4% between now and then.
Here in the UAE, the market is just as healthy. With so much to protect – be it homes, offices, commercial units and more – the demand for security services is always healthy.
And while there are a couple of extra boxes to tick when starting a security business, with the right guidance, setting up in the UAE can be a smooth and stress-free process.
How can I start my own security company?
The first few steps to starting a security company in Dubai are standard practice. The same steps you’re required to undertake when setting up any business here.
The first is to decide on your company name. This should not include any offensive or blasphemous language or make reference to known organisations and corporations.
If you are going to include your personal name in your business name, it must be in full – no abbreviations or initials. You must also check that your chosen business name is available to be registered. A company formation expert can do this for you as part of the license application process.
You’ll also need to make a decision regarding a free zone or mainland setup. If you establish your business in the mainland, you are free to trade directly with the local market, without using the services of a local agent. You can also bid for government contracts – which can be lucrative in the field of facilities management.
On the other hand, if you set up in a free zone, you can take advantage of 100% exemption from customs tax. UAE free zone business owners also have full freedom to repatriate all invested capital and profits. There are also no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions.
With these boxes ticked, you can now apply for your license. There are two steps to this process.
First, you should apply for your trade license. To start a security company in the UAE, you’ll need a professional services license. You can apply for this either to the Department of Economic Development, if you’re setting up in the mainland, or the relevant managing authority if you’re setting up in a UAE free zone.
In both cases, the application process follows the same basic steps. Whether making your application yourself, or through a company formation agent, you are usually only required to provide a few details and some standard documentation, including:
- Completed application form
- Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
- Two colour passport size photos
Once you have received your license, you will also require police clearance in order to undertake security activities in the UAE.
Finally, depending on the nature of your security business, you may require approval from the UAE’s Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA). In certain circumstances, you may be asked to attend a training course in order to gain SIRA approval. SIRA provides security approval for a range of activities including guarding, consultants, dog handlers, CCTV operators, and more.
You should also apply for your visas at this stage, including those of your employees and any domestic staff or family members that you wish to sponsor.
The final step is applying for a corporate bank account. A company formation specialist can handle all applications for you, liaising with relevant authorities on your behalf.
If you’re looking to get an idea of cost, it’s best to speak with a company formation expert, as your final spend will depend on a range of factors. These include where you choose to set up, how many visas you require and more.
Set up in a free zone such as Fujairah Creative City, for example, and you can expect to pay in the region of AED 22,200 including the cost of one visa. If you also wish to use the free zone’s coworking facility, that figure rises to AED 24,775.
Ready to start a security company in the UAE?
If you’ve got the right skills and are armed with the right knowledge, starting a security company in Dubai doesn’t have to be overly complex.
That being said, 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 to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist 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 visas 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.