Dubai has a diverse and prospering economy, with thousands of new businesses choosing to set up in the emirate each year. Many of those will require printing services, and so for those looking to start their own business and be their own boss, setting up a printing business in Dubai is a promising option.
This article covers these aspects of how to start a successful printing business in Dubai:
- Overview of the printing industry in Dubai
- Why start a printing company in Dubai?
- Steps to start a printing company in Dubai
- How to find the right location for a printing business in Dubai
- Equipment and supplies needed
- How Worldwide Formations can help.
Overview of the printing industry in Dubai
Although Dubai is not synonymous with printing, there is a small but profitable industry in the emirate. The ever-growing number of businesses in Dubai require all manner of printing services – from signage to promotional materials – that they may not be able to do in-house. One of the growing markets is for printed packaging and labels, increasingly demanded by e-commerce and logistics businesses.
Printing businesses can take advantage of the advanced technological infrastructure and high-tech business facilities in Dubai, which can make businesses more productive and efficient. There is also plentiful access to the latest in printing technology.
Why start a printing business in Dubai?
There are numerous reasons why an entrepreneur should start a printing business in Dubai. For instance, the printing sector is supported by the government of Dubai through its Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030 – among others – which aims to promote the sector and aid its development through various initiatives.
As mentioned, there is also a constant flow of new businesses in Dubai, and established ones frequently open an office here. Many of these will need the services of a printer both in their startup phase and ongoing.
Likewise, Dubai has a diverse economy, so whether you want your printing business to focus on certain sectors or adopt a more general approach, there is great potential for profit.
Profitability is key, and Dubai’s low tax environment can help businesses keep more of the money they earn, which can then be reinvested in the business and help it grow further.
Steps to start a printing company in Dubai
The first step to starting a printing company in Dubai is to choose a name. Dubai has certain rules around the naming of businesses that entrepreneurs need to be aware of. Firstly, the name should be unique to your business – no other business should share the same name; this cuts out the risk of confusion. Secondly, the name shouldn’t be profane or blasphemous – although this should be obvious. Finally, if you want to use your name in the title of the business, it must be your first name and surname – initials and abbreviations are not permitted.
Another early step is to determine the legal structure of the business – whether it will be a sole trader, partnership or limited liability company – and the activities it will undertake when trading.
A business plan for the printing business, detailing what the company intends to do, who for and how it will make money – including detailed financial projections – is also important, especially if you are intending to raise money for the venture from banks or investors, perhaps to buy the initial equipment required.
Another crucial step to starting the business is filing company formation forms with the Department of Economic Development. Once those have been submitted, you will need to obtain a commercial licence before you can trade. However, no other specific licences are required to set up a printing business in Dubai, unlike some other sectors.
How to find the right location for a printing business in Dubai
Another important consideration is where in Dubai to locate your business. The main options are in free zones, offshore or on the mainland, which all have different attractions.
In free zones, businesses can take advantage of tax exemptions and benefits with customs, among others. In addition, businesses in free zones can be wholly owned by foreigners.
In contrast, offshore companies can operate internationally, and there are no limits on how much capital or profits can be repatriated. In addition, offshore companies do not have to pay tax.
Then there is the mainland, which is usually the chosen location for businesses that trade within the UAE market. Businesses based here need a local sponsor or partner and must operate within UAE immigration and labour laws.
Where you decide to base your business depends on the sectors your printing business will be catering for. For instance, the Dubai Design District is a hub for companies involved in the design sector, while the Jebel Ali Free Zone has clusters of manufacturing and logistics businesses, and Dubai Media City is a centre for businesses in the media and advertising sectors.
Another factor to consider when deciding where to locate your business is the cost of renting premises. In Dubai, rent rates can vary considerably, depending on where you are and could impact on a decision.
Equipment and supplies needed
Various pieces of equipment and supplies are needed when starting a printing business. Most important are the printers themselves. There is a wide range of printers on the market, and it is worth investing in the latest technology – if you can afford it – to give customers the best possible printed product, as well as ensuring the printers themselves have a reasonable lifespan and potential resale value. One current trend is for printers that are energy-efficient and use minimal ink – customers are increasingly looking for businesses with strong environmental credentials.
Other essential supplies include ink and paper, and it is a good idea to find a local, reputable wholesaler that can provide supplies at reasonable prices.
In the initial stages of the business, the premises will have to be fitted out with furniture for the office and workshop etc.
How Worldwide Formations can help
As detailed above, business setup in Dubai can be complex, and setting up a business – whether in the print sector or any other – always has risks attached. However, consultants such as Worldwide Formations can help entrepreneurs set up a print business as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Worldwide Formations is vastly experienced in how to set up businesses in Dubai, and, with in-depth expertise in the local business environment, our consultants can navigate the complexities with skill and speed to ensure your business is fully set up and legally compliant as soon as possible.
To find out more and to receive a personalised quote, contact Worldwide Formations today.