How to Start a Business in Ajman: The Complete Guide

A city with bright business opportunities is what attracts outsiders. Ajman in UAE is one such Emirate. It has tremendous business growth opportunities for SMEs, startups, and entrepreneurs. It is affordable, with excellent infrastructure and road connectivity. If these benefits appeal to you, and you are thinking about how to start a business in Ajman, we have the solution.

Business Setup HQ is a leading firm in company formation services in the UAE. We have been helping investors set up and run a company in the various Emirates of UAE. We can also help you with all the procedures related to business setup in Ajman.

Herein, we give you a complete guide on Ajman. This blog explores the Ajman economy and the benefits of starting a business here. We also discuss what you must know before forming a company and the procedure to get a license. You’ll also learn how we can help you in your company formation and operations in Ajman.

start a business in Ajman

How to Start a Business in Ajman: Learn the Basics

With a strategic location on the Arabian Gulf Coast, Ajman is a key commercial center in the UAE. It shares borders with two other Emirates and has good connectivity with other countries. All these characteristics make it a preferred destination for new businesses and entrepreneurs.

Besides, its local economy is on a growth path. Construction, wholesale and retail trade, and transformative industries significantly contribute to its GDP. Economic diversification policies are a significant growth factor in Ajman. Its performance is strong in real estate and education. These industries are growing and provide opportunities for further development.

Other promising sectors in Ajman include food and related sectors, fintech, AI and robotics, renewable energy, and farming. Such promising investment opportunities attract entrepreneurs to set up a business in Ajman. It also has many tourist attractions, contributing to the development of the tourism sector.

The government has also introduced two SME programs (Taziz and Reyada):

  • To attract SMEs to establish their company here.
  • To diversify economically and provide employment opportunities.
  • To improve SME competitiveness and enhance national entrepreneurship.
  • To increase trade activities and less risky economic activities.
  • To encourage youngsters to operate in professional services.

Ajman has introduced many incentives and business development initiatives to promote investment. The government is creating a thriving business climate to attract entrepreneurs. Thus, its pro-business environment, easy regulations, and solid infrastructure attract investors to start a business in Ajman. Businesses also have a pre-built platform to operate, thrive, and succeed in their business.

So, let’s explore the world of company formation in Ajman.

Things to Know Before You Start a Business in Ajman

You cannot just come and start a business in any new place. You need to know its rules and regulations, possible business options, and permissions needed. Here, we tell you what you must know before starting a business in Ajman. You must know the possible locations of your business, legal structures allowed, and license types available in Ajman.

Whether You Should Start a Company in Ajman Free Zone or Mainland?

For setting up a business in Ajman, you have the options of mainland and free zone.

On mainland Ajman, you are a registered company under the Emirates government. Foreign investors can have 100% ownership in commercial and industrial activities. More than 1000 activities fall under these two sectors, where full foreign ownership is allowed. For other activities, you need to have a local sponsor with 51% ownership.

Ajman Free Zone and Ajman Media City Free Zone are the two free zones in the Emirate. They offer the benefits of 100% FDI, no currency restrictions, and tax exemptions. Also, their business-friendly laws and simplified company formation procedures attract investors. However, you can not engage in business activities within the UAE. For that, you have the option of mainland company formation.

Different Types of Company Legal Structures Allowed in Ajman

Any investor intending to form a company in Ajman mainland can choose from the following legal structures:

  • Sole establishment: Establishment with an individual owner responsible for all business financial liabilities.
  • Limited liability company: It is an establishment with at least two partners but cannot exceed 50. Each partner’s liability is based on the number of shares they own in the company. LLCs can operate in any business sector except banking, investment, and insurance.
  • Public/private shareholding company: It is an establishment with equal division of capital into negotiable shares. The partners are responsible for liabilities to the extent of their shareholding in the business.
  • Professional firm: These businesses provide professional services to other companies.
  • Branch office: It can be a branch office of a local or foreign company. Its name must be the same as that of the parent company, which holds the ownership.

In free zones of Ajman, you can operate as a:

  • Free Zone Company: A company with more than one shareholder.
  • Free Zone Establishment: A company with one shareholder that can be an individual or a corporate entity.
  • A branch of a local or foreign company: A company in some part of UAE can open a branch office in the free zones of Ajman. Foreign entities can also form a branch office or a representative office.

Types of Licenses in Ajman

The different types of business licenses allowed in Ajman include the following:

  • National industrial license: You must be registered with the GCC. The customs duty is not imposed on such licensees. These must be companies producing physical goods, such as manufacturing, industrial, and production businesses.
  • Commercial license: For traders conducting imports and exports and selling goods and services. You can engage in wholesale or retail trading of goods, commodities, and products.
  • Industrial license: For businesses engaging in manufacturing or production activities by importing raw materials. You need the approval of the relevant Ministry or department of your sector of operations.
  • Service (professional) license: For businesses providing services or engaging in professional activities.
  • E-commerce license: For businesses wanting to conduct online operations, specifically through e-commerce platforms.
  • General maintenance license: For businesses engaging in repairs and other maintenance activities.

Foreign companies can obtain trading, industrial, and professional licenses to operate as a branch office in Ajman.

Want to be a part of the booming economy of Ajman?

Let us guide you through the business setup in Ajman.

How to Start a Business in Ajman: Business Setup Complete Process

Setting up a business in Ajman is a gradual process. You start with making some decisions on the business activity and legal structure. Post these decisions, you get approvals on location, sector-specific departments, and other ministries. You choose a company name, submit all documents, and get the license. You can see each of these steps in detail below.

Decide the Business Activity

The first step of starting a business in Ajman is deciding your business activity. You can choose any activity based on your interest and expertise. The business activity type and the company location – mainland or free zone, are parallel decisions. You can compare the pros and cons of the free zone and the mainland to decide the location of your company in Ajman.

You must decide your business activity/activities and mention the same on your application. The choice of business activity affects the type of license you will need in Ajman.

Determine the company's legal structure

The first decision of the type of business activity affects the decision of the type of legal structure. You can select the legal structure based on number of partners and their shareholding. Based on the legal structure you select, the procedure and documentation requirements change.

Obtain an Initial Approval

Now is the time to get an initial approval for your business. You must submit your application form to the local Municipality’s customer service center. You must also submit passport copies and identity card copies.

If you have any queries or need any clarifications regarding the application, you can ask your doubts here. This approval is essential to move ahead. But it does not allow you to start engaging in your business activity.

Approval on location and authorization from other departments

After the preliminary approval, you must select a potential office for your company. You need the municipality’s approval for an owned or rented space as an office location. The Inspection Unit will visit and approve or reject the location based on its feasibility as a company office. You must be careful while selecting office space because the number of employee visas depends on it.

This phase also involves approvals from sector-specific departments and authorities. It depends on the type of business activity you engage in. These authorities can be Ministries like Justice, Finance, Interior, Education, Telecommunications, or Healthcare.

Choose the Company Name for the Application

Choosing a trade name for your company is the next step. You must follow the Emirate’s naming convention rule book while deciding the trade name. The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Ajman handles the trading name task.

It must be according to your business activity and structure. It must not be the same as some other company’s name in the same sector. It must not be against or for any religious, moral, or sectarian beliefs. Also, it must be different from the name of any regulatory or governmental authorities.

After approval of the trade name, you must register yourself in the business register. This registration will entail a membership certificate for you.

Submit all approvals

Now, you must submit all the approvals received in the previous steps. You must also submit the receipts from the Ministry of Trade. These submissions ensure your acceptance into the Register of Companies.

Get the license

You must draft the Memorandum of Association and Article of Association and submit. It’s time to pay the relevant fee to the Customer Services Center. You must also submit the application and get the fee receipt. After a day, you receive the business license. Now, you can start operating your business.

Visas and opening a bank account

Once you get the license, we will apply for visas for you and your employees and dependents (family). The number of employee visas depends on the size of your office space.

This phase also involves opening a bank account for your business. You can choose from local and international banks depending on the facilities and criteria.

How to Start Your Own Business in Ajman With the Required Documents

While submitting the approvals and trade name registration, you must submit the following documents to the relevant authorities:

  • Application form with all filled details
  • Notarized Memorandum of Association
  • Notarized Article of Association
  • Passport copies of shareholders
  • Residence proof of the owner or rental agreement
  • Bank reference letter
  • Business plan

Benefits of Starting Your Own Business in Ajman

If you still have questions on why to start a business in Ajman, look at the benefits below:

  • Ajman offers excellent accessibility to other UAE Emirates because of its strategic location.
  • With its location at the entrance of the Arabian Gulf, it can serve the western and eastern markets.
  • It has progressive infrastructure like industrial zones and transportation.
  • You can easily find various healthcare, power, and telecom facilities in the Emirate.
  • You can find easy connectivity through airports, seaports, and highways.
  • It is a hub for many raw materials, tools, base materials, and resources for other industries.
  • The business regulations are less restrictive in nature.
  • It has pro-business policies and supportive administrative procedures.
  • You can hire affordable labor for different kinds of jobs here.
  • You also have access to a diverse, international workforce.
  • The costs for starting and operating a business in Ajman are low.
  • The cost of living in Ajman is low.

Besides these benefits across the Ajman Emirate, the free zones of Ajman provide other benefits like:

  • Tax exemptions
  • No currency restrictions
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • No requirement to conduct annual audits
  • No visa restrictions
  • No need for a physical presence in UAE to form a company in Ajman free zones

Looking for a commercial hub to start, operate, and grow your business?,

Get in touch with our business setup professionals for more information.

Do's and Don'ts of Starting a Business in Ajman

You have got the answers to how to start a business in Ajman. You know the procedure, documentation requirements, and benefits. Thus, you have many options for investing in Ajman. But you must also be careful of some Dos and Don’ts.

Research is crucial

Entering a new city or country requires you to conduct necessary research. You must know about its economy, business opportunities, and investment scenario. You must research the various options available for new businesses in Ajman. Study the administrative procedures, regulations, and requirements to fulfill before forming a company.

The clarity in business concept

A crucial criterion to fulfill before starting a business in Ajman is clarity in your business idea. You have a business idea or concept which you want to convert into a company. You must have total clarity in it. Like why you want to do it, the main objectives to achieve, where you see yourself one year or five years down the line, etc.

Understand the disadvantages

You conduct your research on Ajman and are attracted to its benefits for new investors. But you should also be aware of the potential disadvantages of setting up a base in Ajman. Knowing the demerits and preparing for them before setting foot in the Emirate is necessary.

Onboard a competent business setup services provider

Hiring an expert to guide you through the business formation procedures is crucial. They can help you with necessary research, decisions, and procedures. Business Setup HQ is one such expert. We have been helping clients with the necessary guidance to launch a business in the UAE. We help you with registration, licensing, location search, visas, and documentation.

Start Your Business in Ajman With Business Setup HQ's Support

Setting up a business in any new place is a daunting task. Though forming a company in Ajman is fairly straightforward, you must take an expert’s help.

Business Setup HQ is a distinguished professional services firm in the UAE. We can help you with all the formalities of forming a company in Ajman. Whether it’s about choosing a trade name, arranging relevant documents, getting approvals from different departments, or selecting the office location, we manage it all.

We have a strong team of business consultants, legal professionals, and analysts to understand your needs and business interests. They are aware of all the legal formalities in Ajman. With their expertise and knowledge, setting up a company in Ajman gets easier.

So, when you are confused about how to start a business in Ajman, we have the best answers. Connect with our team, and we help you with all the formalities of business setup in Ajman.

How to Start a Business in Ajman: Frequently Asked Questions

There are many businesses in Ajman operating in different industry sectors. Its strategic location, modern infrastructure, and ultra-modern facilities attract many businesses worldwide. It offers many incentives, taxation benefits, and low-cost business setup services. These benefits attract businesses to invest here and operate their business.

To start a small business in Ajman, the procedure is the same as any other business. You need to reserve your trade name, obtain initial approval, and get relevant approvals from other ministries and authorities. You must draft a Memorandum of Association, submit relevant documents and approvals, and pay fees. You get the small business license.

The cost of starting a business in Ajman is not as high as in other Emirates. It has the best pricing options for any license, legal structure, and location. You can find cost-effective and affordable company formation services with Business Setup HQ.

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