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Ask Louise

I am a Filipino Mom and I am thinking of starting up my own business in line with food. What are the things that I should do or need to know? I don’t know where to start and frankly, I have no idea how to do it.


Start with the Department of Economic Development or a Freezone.

If you are intending to start a business outside of a freezone please remember non-GCC nationals are not permitted to be majority share holders in the UAE, a system of shared ownership where by UAE nationals formally own 51% of the company and the foreign proprietor owns the remaining 49% must be followed. You will have to obtain a trade licence through the Department of Economic Development but before you can do that separate approvals from varying government ministries will need to be completed.

If you operate in a Free zone then the free zone takes care of nearly every aspect of business set up and management – instead of going to and from separate government departments, businesses working within a free zone deal almost exclusively with the free zone authority. For example, when hiring a new employee, a free zone company will obtain that employee’s visa through the free zone authority, not through the Department of Naturalisation and Residency.

One Response to “Ask Louise”

  1. Anton says:

    I would not do it if i was you – It requires a lot of work. A lot of money and a lot of initiative – and if you are having problems or doubt at this early point – it will honestly be waste of your money.

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