Management Consultancy Licence in UAE

Management Consultancy Licence Dubai: Everything You Need to Know

Considering the idea of establishing a management consulting business? There’s no doubt that this is a rewarding venture, especially in the Gulf region where the consulting market records an annual turnover of approximately USD 3 billion!


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When it comes to choosing the ideal location within the GCC, the UAE stands out. The country not only hosts a diverse range of businesses, creating a strong demand for consultancy services, but it also offers the advantages of a low tax rate, a stable economy, and minimal entry barriers. The UAE boasts the second-largest consulting market in the GCC region, showcasing a remarkable growth rate of over 16.6%.  Setting up a consultancy business in the UAE is so straightforward that, with the assistance of a company formation expert, you could be up and running in a matter of days.

As businesses in Dubai continue to experience rising turnover, they increasingly rely on consultants to help them in roles, strategic adaptations, and critical tasks. This creates a golden opportunity to embark on your consulting career.

In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps for launching a successful management consulting business in Dubai.

Three Common Routes

Did you know that in the UAE there are three common routes to starting a consultancy business?

You can either form a company on the mainland, in a Free Zone, or set up as a freelancer.

If you choose the mainland for business setup, you will need to submit your business licence application to the local municipality or Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). One important thing to remember is that when trading on the mainland, you have the option to set up anywhere and can also take on government work.

For business setup in a Free Zone, you will have to apply for a business licence directly from the relevant Free Zone authority. Free Zones offer plenty of business benefits which is why they are a preferred choice. You can expect 100% customs tax exemption, no currency restrictions, along with the ability to repatriate all capital and profits to your home country.

You can also set up as a freelancer, either on the mainland or a in a Free Zone, and conduct your business under your name.

In all three cases, an experienced company formation professional can help streamline every stage of the application process on your behalf.

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Steps to Set Up Your Management Consultancy Business in Dubai

Becoming a management consultant in Dubai is a straightforward journey. As previously mentioned, the critical first step to success is obtaining your business licence. Here are the essential steps you need to follow to get your licence as a management consultant in Dubai:

  1. Define Your Business Activities:

As a management consultant, you’ll need to specify the scope of your consultancy services. This step is crucial when seeking approval from Dubai authorities. It’s important to note that some business activities may require prior approval from government regulators. Luckily, our experts at IFZA provide advice and guidance on these steps.

  1. Choose a Business Name:

Next, select an appropriate company name. Avoid names containing offensive language or abbreviations, as unapproved names from the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) could affect your business launch. One of the benefits of working with IFZA is that our naming guidelines are aligned with DET.

  1. Determine Your Jurisdiction:

Free Zone communities like IFZA are highly popular for successful startups.  Depending on your business nature, a Free Zone licence and DED permit may be more suitable. Launching your business in a community like IFZA offers additional on-demand business support services.

  1. Apply for Your Business Licence:

It’s time to apply for a professional licence outlining the consultancy services you intend to offer. IFZA Professional Partners can assist with the application process, including discussions with governmental authorities on verification procedures. The process is efficient, and you can expect to receive your business licence within a few days after applying.

  1. Open a Business Bank Account:

To facilitate your management consultancy activities, you’ll need to open a business bank account. This will simplify expense tracking and cash flow management from the outset. Contact local banks or financial institutions within your chosen jurisdiction to arrange meetings and discuss financial solutions.

Why You Should Start a Management Consultancy Business in Dubai

  1. Low-Cost Venture

Unlike many other start-ups, a management consultancy tends to require minimal equipment and can be operated from various locations such as a home-based office or a shared workspace. With just a computer and other basic office supplies, you have already covered most of your initial expenses.

  1. Easily Diversified

Did you know, management consultancy is highly versatile and not limited to a single industry? This means you can apply your skills in various domains such as market assessment, human resource management, marketing management, sales and even business process innovation. By developing a set of transferable and innovative skills, you can seamlessly transition from one industry to another.

  1. Financial Rewards

While a home-based consultancy may not initially generate corporate level-revenues, the income potential can be substantial. You have the flexibility to determine your weekly work hours, the way your business is managed and even your desired income. If you do notice a revenue drop in the initial months, you can simply boost your marketing efforts to secure new clients.

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Set Up Your Management Consultancy Business In Dubai’s Most Dynamic Free Zone Community

Setting up a business in the UAE may present its fair share of challenges. However, with proper planning, strategic execution, and the support of expert guidance, you can easily overcome these obstacles.

IFZA offers streamlined processes and a wealth of benefits, making business setup in the UAE a hassle-free endeavor. We have a team of business advisors or Professional Partners who can help you every step of the way. They can provide you with guidance on the legal, regulatory, and tax aspects of setting up a business in the UAE.

Embracing the opportunities available in the UAE, coupled with the right knowledge and support, can pave the way for your business to thrive in this dynamic and prosperous market.

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