The UAE’s free zones, especially the ones located in Dubai, have played a decisive role in supporting the country’s shift from an oil-based economy to a knowledge-based one. One free zone that stands out in this paradigm shift is that of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), which provided a solid ecosystem specifically built for the requirement of the IT industry. Launched in 2004, the DSO elevated itself to the status of a world-class free zone courtesy of its focus on tech innovation, sophisticated IT network, and ultra-modern infrastructure. All these factors, along with competitive operation costs, make the company formation in DSO an attractive prospect for foreign investors.

Key Reasons to Set up a Business in Dubai Silicon Oasis

Dubai is a continually evolving global business destination that provides an enabling environment for investors from across the world to set up businesses. Over the years, the emirate has successfully adopted the newer trends in the business world and fresh innovations in technology. The amazing growth of the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) free zone is proof of the Dubai government’s foresightedness about the need to provide a highly sophisticated technological hub which would be the UAE’s answer to the Silicon Valley in the US.

DSO provides high-quality facilities for the companies operating within the technology park with sophisticated infrastructure, systems, and equipment that are an absolute necessity for the IT industry businesses. DSO’s facilities are built and maintained with absolute compliance with global standards of energy conservation and eco-friendliness. The company incorporation in DSO will enable the investors to avail benefits, including

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    • 100% corporate tax exemption
    • 100% foreign company ownership
    • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
    • Single window clearance for supporting company formation in DSO
    • Zero currency restrictions

    Types of Companies Allowed to set up in DSO

    Before commencing the procedures of business setup in DSO, the investors are required to have an in-depth study on the company formation structures in the free zone. The investors should have a clear-cut understanding of the licenses, business activities, and company structures that influence the company formation in DSO. The investors need not spend their resources or time to know more about these processes as what they only need to do is consult the best business setup services in Dubai, UAE. The following are the main types of companies permitted in DSO.

    Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

    An FZE is a legal entity incorporated or registered by a single shareholder. The shareholder can either be an individual or a non-individual, or corporate.

    Free Zone Company (FZCO)

    An FZCO is a legal entity incorporated/registered with a minimum of two shareholders. Shareholders can be either individuals or non-individual(s)/corporate.


    Both foreign companies and UAE-based companies are allowed to open their branch within DSO. However, the branch should conduct the same business activity as the parent company. Also, the branch in DSO and the parent company should have the same name. The regulations regarding the branch company formation in DSO should be strictly followed to ensure successful business incorporation.

    Types of Licenses Permitted in DSO Free Zone

    To start the company registration in DSO, the investors need to formally apply for a license corresponding to the business activity. Depending on the business activities, the DSO mainly provides three types of licenses. Apart from the operating licenses, the DSOA also issues certain special licenses. The following is a list of the licenses issued by the DSOA,

    Service License

    If the company wants to register its business activity in the service-oriented sector, then it must apply for the service license. The service license should be obtained if the investors want to set up businesses like consultancy services in DSO.

    Trade License

    A trade license is one of the most common licenses in DSO as it allows activities related to the import, export, and distribution of items and goods as specified in the license. Since most of the companies in the UAE free zones focus on imports or re-exports (free zone companies are not allowed to trade in the UAE market), the trade license became much in demand.

    Industrial License

    By obtaining an industrial license in DSO, the companies can practice activities like the import of raw materials. Also, the license allows the manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging, and exporting of the finished product.

    Business Operation Permit

    The DSOA issues a business operation permit for the companies registered to operate in the Administrative Zone of the DSO free Zone. The Administrative Zone refers to the areas owned by the private developers within the free zone. The companies registered to set up in the administrative zone can start functioning with the DSO permit and the license issued by the Dubai Economic Department (DED).

    Documents Required for Company Formation in DSO

    The following documents are required while initiating the process of business setup in DSO. All these documents are required from initial approval from the DSOA, and hiring the best business setup services in Dubai is recommended to easily sail through the registration procedure.

    1. Power of Attorney
    2. Project Summary Letter
    3. Passport Copies of shareholders & Manager
    4. Copy of MoA & Articles of Association and Certificate of Incorporation (Branch)
    5. Trade License of the parent company or shareholder (for local companies)
    6. Unit Title Deed
    7. Office Tenancy Contract

    Office Solutions for Company Formation in DSO

    The investors choose a free zone after considering several factors, including cost, connectivity, and the ease of company formation in Dubai. However, one of the most important factors that an investor should give due attention to is whether the free zone is offering the facilities that the company needs. The prospect of business setup in DSO has gained immense popularity among foreign investors due to the sophisticated office setup solutions offered here. Have a look at the major types of offices offered by DSO

    DSOA Headquarters

    The DSOA Headquarters is a world-class office solution best suited for companies that wish to set up regional offices or R & D centres.  The facility is available from 160 sq. ft upward. The features include High-speed Internet, Premier Data Centre, VoIP Connections, Avaya Communication Systems, CCTV & 24 hr Security System.

    Techno Hub 2

    DSO’s Techno Hub 2 is a unique Plug and Play flexible office solution that provides up to 20,000 square metres of office space ready for immediate occupancy. The facility is designed with the provision to enable maximum natural light with fully fitted open plan office facilities that can be divided to accommodate from 2 to 500 employees. The features include furnished offices, Free WiFi, Parking spaces, meeting rooms and a game room, cafes and event facilities.

    Reporting Requirements in Dubai Silicon Oasis

    Investors aiming for the process of business setup in DSO must assess their obligations under certain compliance requirements such as Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO), Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) and Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting of Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT). Companies that fail to meet such obligations are liable to pay a hefty amount as an administrative penalty. The consequences may also include reputation damage, sharing of exchange with foreign competent authorities, revocation of trade license etc. Companies under liquidation should also meet such obligations.

    Choose the Best Business Setup Services in Dubai

    While setting up a business in Dubai, one of the biggest challenges that every investor’s face is choosing the right free zone that befits their business requirements. For an investor who aims at an IT company formation in Dubai, the DSO free zone is the most appropriate jurisdiction. However, an entrepreneur with less experience in the UAE needs to be aware of the different regulations in the free zones. The documents need to be perfectly drafted to avoid any delay in the process. The process of company incorporation in DSO will be hassle-free if the investors hire the best business setup services in Dubai, such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC). JBC is one of the leading business setup consultants in Dubai, UAE, with years of experience in successfully guiding investors in company incorporation in Dubai free zones, including in the DSO.

    JBC has assisted thousands of investors by providing end-to-end solutions for a flawless process of business setup in Dubai. JBC’s core strength is its highly qualified team of business setup consultants who assist the investors in setting up a company in Dubai with ease. JBC’s business setup consultants are well-versed in all the free zone regulations and requirements, and therefore complying with the free zone authority’s standards is not a tough task for the entrepreneurs. JBC provides services including company registration, visa processing, drafting of MoA, and helping to ensure Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) compliance in DSO. JBC is committed to standing strong with the clients in all the processes from company registration to incorporation, thereby helping the investors achieve their business goals in Dubai.

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