How to Start a Business in Ajman

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What is Ajman?

Ajman is one of several Middle Eastern emirates or “states” located in the Arabian Peninsula. Situated along the Persian Gulf, it is also a member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Formerly known as a member of the “Trucial States,” the major languages spoken in Ajman include: Arabic, Farsi, Kannada, French and English.

There has been a major economic boom in this region of the world mainly due to freehold property law. This means an investor or prospective business owner may own property indefinitely. Theoretically, a property owner could also pay the same dues or rent, forever. Anyone, from any nationality is allowed to buy or invest. Ajman is a very competitive market and there are a few things to know before you start a small business there.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet Access
  • Passport
  • Working capital
  • Pen & Paper
  • Computer

Know your business. You will have to know what type of small business you want to develop in order to contact the appropriate authorities. If you want to start a plant nursery, you have to contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, for example. Starting a small advertising business would mean having to contact the Ministry of Information and Culture. The Ajman Chamber of Commerce (AJCC) can also help direct you to the appropriate municipality, licensing and leasing contract offices. You will need documentation (a schematic or drawing) for your business location.

Submit an application. Contact the Customer Services Center for the municipality where you want your business to be located. An area Inspection Unit needs this information to properly delve out land. This will also entitle you to register and get a trade name. In addition, you will also be eligible for a member certificate with the establishment of a small business contract. Again, the AJCC can give you advice about how to obtain one. Your intended business location may dictate you fees or other application costs. This application process can take as little as two days to complete.

Define your company. You will need to know if your company will be a joint or limited liability, partnership or something called a “Single Commanding” company. If you claim this, you have to already have a lot of money to work with. Local regulators will not consider some businesses without an already existing pool of money. Dirham or Dirhem is equal to about .137 U.S. Dollars.

Contact the appropriate consulate. They will have invaluable information that a Arab regulator may not tell you. Ask about a “Services Agent” and defer to their experience. This will go a long way in establishing a relationship with contacts in the area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get a passport. It will be difficult to do business in a foreign country without one.
  • Know your exchange rates. Dirham is equal to about .0137 U.S. Dollars.
  • In some regions, it may be against the law for certain groups to own property. This refers to women, in particular.

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