Just coming up for air. So, as I’m getting inundated with emails, i thought it would be a good idea to make a one-stop cheat sheet/FAQ.
Btw, felt really nice all the people coming up to me at the markets saying thanks for the posts! Really good to know that it has helped people.
Right, enough with the false modesty, here’s what you came for.
AT A GLANCE
This is a total rough guide to give you an idea for setting up a small/casual restaurant here
|Setup/licensing||Rough cost DED/Freezone||30-40k||4-6 weeks|
|Hiring||Visa and paperwork per staff||10000||2 weeks|
|Food Photography (per session)||5000||1 day|
|Leafleting||DED approval||500||1 day|
|Community approval (Emaar, Nakheel etc)||500-800||Can be up to 5 days|
|(eg) double-sided a4||15-25fils/leaflet (minimum qty 10,000)||1-2 days|
|Renting location||10% deposit, 5-10% agent fee, grace period of 2-3 months for fit-out work||Vary according to market rates, location etc. Check dubizzle|
|Fit-out cost||Very basic (not including furniture or kitchen equipment)||200/sqft||2 months. Paperwork can delay this by MONTHS (civil defence works not approved, extra power from DEWA needed, licensing not ready etc)|
DETAILED LICENSING STEPS
The setup procedure can be confusing and red-tapey, so this may help. Been a while since i’ve done it so it’s probably changed 🙂
|START||Get a PRO (Public Relations Officer)||5000||Find a referred and effective PRO. Hard to come by. A bad one will make you age early|
|Getting licensed (FZ and non FZ)||Initial Approval Application||1100 (DED)||3-5 days||Passport Copy, Application form, Trade Name for your biz|
|Security check||1-2 weeks||Dont be a fugitive||Need to check if you are legit 🙂|
|License fee/registration||15,000-22,000||1 week||Initial Approval, Tenancy contract||License fee varies according to freezones|
|Memorandum of Understanding (non FZ license only)||8000-20000/year to sponsor||3 days||Applicable only for DED. Sponsor needs to be 51% stakeholder. or a Service Agent, and will be paid an annual negotiated fee.|
|Get a Location||Rent a shell&core unit||Lease deposit and agent fee||Varies according to size,location, market. Check dubizzle|
|Bank Account||Bank Approval||5 days|
|Bank deposit||50,000 (starting)||5 days||Shareholders certificate,Trade license||Minimum holding amount must be deposited (again, depends on freezone, on license activity. Frozen until trade license is ready|
|Hiring||Create a Portal account||1 day||Trade license|
|Apply for visa||7000-9000||2 weeks||Pre-medical from country of origin (if staff from Sri Lanka, Indonesia). Entry Visa, Passport copy of staff. Education certificate, birth certificate.|
|UAE Medical||300-400||1-2 days||Entry Permit|
|Emirates ID and residency||370||2 weeks||Entry Permit, UAE Medical|
|Exit country||600||1 day||Entry Permit|
|Basic Food Hygiene Training||100||1 day|
|Occupational Health Card||100||1 day||Visa/Emirates ID|
|Assign Auditor||Appoint auditor for end of year financials||10000/year||2-3 days||Freezones only||Normally an audt report has to be submitted within 3 months after year end|
Frequently Asked Questions
Can i get a license for Food Trucks?
Nope, not YET. We and a bunch of other startups will be participating with the new Eat Street program which is a group of Food Trucks to promote homegrown concepts. Currently in trial phases, more updates when it happens.
How does Salt do it?
*UPDATE* So, i actually went to Salt and was served up some Humble Pie! I had previously written maybe they got a license through wasta, but the people i met are entrepreneurs like me – real people who have setup a real business through their own efforts – and in hindsight, lighthearted or not, it’s not a nice thing to say, same if someone said Moti Roti got their truck through wasta and not honest hard work! The owners stories were startingly similar to mine in getting approvals in a very inflexible business environment, and they are not the only Emiratis I’ve seen who don’t have it easy and so i encourage others also not to perpetuate the ‘wasta’ stereotype.
Will they allow food trucks in Dubai in the future?
Can i cook from my home?
No way, Jose. However certain fairs and markets can permit baked goods, you need to check with them first www.arte.ae
Do i go for a Freezone or DED license?
In my opinion there is not too much difference between the two, so it’s down to which location you want to setup your business in, and if that location is in a freezone or not.
Where do you get your hair done?
The dudes next to the mosque near Aswaaq
If anyone needs more information i’m doing paid consultancy for startups please go to www.motiroti.me/contact for more details.
Will get back to blogging soon, until then fellow startups and upstarts.