Whether you are setting up a new business in Dubai or looking for somewhere better to locate your company, careful considerations should be made about the commercial property you will need. We put together some of the top tips and the different things to think about when looking for a commercial property to lease.

Consider what licenses are required

Many different considerations need to be made before determining what trade licenses are required. If the office is based in a free-zone, then the company will need to apply for a Free-Zone License. Whilst this means that an expat is able to retain 100% ownership of the company, it is important to note that companies in free-zones are unable to trade directly with the local market without the help of a local agent. 

Businesses that are offering a service can apply for a Professional Services license.
Companies operating under this license can retain 100% ownership, whilst outside of a free-zone, however, the company will need a local agent in order to serve, who will command a fee. 

The third type of licence a company can go for is an LLC licence. This allows a company to operate anywhere with any kind of service, providing there is a 51% ownership of the company by a local partner. Before deciding on what and where you want to rent, it is therefore important to decide on how your business will operate and what licences will be needed. Finding out what license you need will help narrow down where your business can operate, especially since certain activities can only be done in certain areas under a specific licence.

If the company is new, then initial trade name certificates and initial trade approval will need to be obtained. Once all of this is done, then both parties can proceed, and the tenant can move into their new workplace. 

Make sure the office suits company’s needs

Naturally, it is crucial to consider the growth expectations of the business. Depending on the size of your office space, you will be eligible for a certain number of visas for your workforce. There are several different types of commercial properties, depending on the purpose, such as warehouses, offices, and retail units. Therefore companies should also consider the kind of commercial property that is most suitable for them. For example, if they just need a warehouse, is there a separate office space for managers to work? 

Another consideration that should be made is if you will opt for a fully-fitted office, or a shell and core. Whilst shell and core properties are generally cheaper; the business will be required to use a fit-out company. Another benefit of shell and core is that it enables the company to make their office suit their specific needs. That being said, a company would need to check the permissions they have for their unit. Companies will need to check with the landlord if they are able to fit inside toilets, pantries, or other significant work for the unit. Companies should be aware that fitting can be expensive, so in the long run, both options should be considered. Fitted offices are more expensive, they are often move-in ready, which can be more efficient and save the company time. It is important to see if the property is in a suitable condition and if any work needs to be done prior to moving in.

Finally, it is not just the office itself that should be considered, but also the surrounding community. Before deciding on a property, it is essential to consider the needs of the employees. Employees may need to use public transport to get to work, so finding an office that is close to a metro station and/or bus stop would be significant. If your employee’s drive, is there parking available nearby? Another thing that might be considered is what your employees will do for lunch. Is there a pantry in the office, if not, is there a supermarket or food outlets nearby. An office space may be perfect, but could also be highly impractical if it is not close to any restaurants, stores, and other amenities your employees might require. 

Go with an expert broker

Navigating the property market can be daunting. That is why it is best to go with an expert who will be able to advise you on the property that will suit your company best. An expert broker will be able to give you informed advice about each area, as well as be able to use their expert knowledge to broker you the best deal possible.  It is always best to go to an area specialist who has experience with specific locations and will be able to provide all of the necessary information required before moving into the commercial property.