The process of business setup in Dubai has become more receptive toward tech businesses due to the government’s thrust on promoting innovation. The increased appetite for quickly implementing digital transformation, necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has also augured well for the prospects of IT company formation in Dubai. Even though the pandemic catapulted the demand for IT services in Dubai, there is a wide range of other reasons that created a conducive environment for the formation of IT businesses in Dubai.
Some of the reasons include Dubai’s robust digital infrastructure, special support for tech startups, the Golden Visa program to attract tech professionals, free zones that support IT startups etc. Investors who wish to start an IT startup can seek assistance from business setup advisors in Dubai for a speedy licensing process.
Business Setup in Dubai: Mainland or Free Zones?
The process of business setup in Dubai involves a strategic decision of choosing between two important options: the mainland and the free zone. Investors who wish to have customers across the UAE can open a company on the mainland. There are more than 30 free zones in Dubai, but the business can be done only within the free zone premises or internationally. Investors need to consider these major pros and cons before checking the mainland or free zone.
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Company Formation in Dubai Mainland
The Department o Economic Development (DED) is the competent authority that issues trade licenses to all businesses in Dubai mainland. The investors need to formally apply to DED to obtain an IT company license in Dubai mainland. Investors need to undertake a series of steps to incorporate a company in Dubai mainland. Business setup consultants can help them navigate all the steps. Here’s the complete list of steps:
1. Choose a Business Activity
Investors should first choose a business activity to initiate the process of business setup in Dubai Mainland. DED has listed more than 2,000 activities and investors must accurately choose the one that fits their business plan. Business setup consultants in Dubai can help the investors properly select the activities.
2. Select a Legal Structure
Determining an appropriate legal structure is the next step in the process of IT company formation in Dubai. The selection of legal structure is based on the number of shareholders in the proposed company. Limited Liability Company (LLC), sole establishment, branch companies etc are some of the popular legal structures permitted in Dubai. Company formation specialists in Dubai can help the investors to select the appropriate legal structure.
3. Reserve a Company Name
Investors must select a name for their proposed company and reserve it with the DED. The name must comply with the rules of company name registration in Dubai. The name must not be blasphemous, vulgar or confusingly similar to that of a competitor.
4. Apply for Initial Approval
Investors must apply for initial approval by submitting the company name, activity and legal structure. If everything complies with the rules of business setup in Dubai, the DED will issue an initial approval certificate. It means the entrepreneurs can proceed further with the process of IT company formation in Dubai.
5. Rent/ Lease Office Space
Once the DED issues an initial approval certificate, the investors can rent an office space in Dubai. Renting an office space in Dubai is mandatory for all mainland companies as the DED demands the companies to have a physical office address. Entrepreneurs are required to sign a tenancy contract and get it registered with Ejari. Remember, DED doesn’t permit virtual offices in Dubai.
6. Collect the License
Once everything is in order, investors can submit all the documents for DED approval. The DED will issue the IT company license in Dubai after reviewing the documents. Business setup consultants in Dubai can help the investors to expedite the process of license issuance.
Business setup in Dubai Free Zones
The process of free zone company formation in Dubai starkly differs from that on the mainland. Each free zone is regulated by respective free zone authorities that issue the business licenses and implement operating regulations for the companies. Companies must choose an office space within the free zone areas and are not authorised to operate from outside the free zone jurisdiction.
The rules of free zone company formation in Dubai mainland are less stringent than that of the mainland. Hence, an IT company license can be obtained easily, without any hassle. Moreover, there are a handful of purpose-built free zones in Dubai that cater exclusively for the tech industry. It makes the process of business setup in Dubai much easier for foreign entrepreneurs. The following are the major IT Free Zones in Dubai:
1. Dubai Silicon Oasis
Launched in 2004, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is often compared to the Silicon Valley in the US as the free zone plays a greater role in elevating the UAE’s status as a thriving tech hub. The process of business setup in DSO offers the IT entrepreneurs a wide range of benefits including world-class infrastructure, systems and equipment that are essential for tech companies. Moreover, facilities in DSO free zone are created to comply with international standards of energy conservation and eco-friendliness. Consult with business setup consultants in Dubai to understand more about DSO free zone.
2. Dubai Internet City
Dubai Internet City is one of the leading free zones in Dubai, offering an integrated platform for IT companies. Dubai Internet City is home to major tech companies such as Dell, IBM, Sony, Stripe, Cisco, Siemens, Canon etc. The free zone offers Flexi-desks, co-working spaces, commercial spaces etc. to facilitate a quick IT company formation in Dubai.
3. Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus
Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus or Dtec is an initiative by DSO to support and promote the incorporation of tech startups in Dubai. Young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas can set up a tech business in Dtec with ease. Dtec is an out-and-out tech ecosystem that provides IT startups with opportunities for incubation, mentorship, networking and collaboration. Moreover, entrepreneurs need not struggle with finding initial funding for their IT startups as Dtec has a unique accelerator program and a special funding arm.
Choose the Best Business Setup Services in Dubai
Investors who wish to set up an IT firm should consider the process of business setup in Dubai due to the conducive atmosphere in the emirate. Dubai can compete with any country in terms of digital infrastructure, facilities and affordable company formation options. However, investors may struggle a bit when trying to incorporate a company alone as they may be naïve about the regulations of IT company formation in Dubai. This is where availing of the best business setup services in Dubai simplifies the process for them.
Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC) is one of the leading business setup consultants in Dubai, offering reliable business setup services. We have more than 20 years of experience in serving investors, entrepreneurs, SMEs, startups and big corporate groups. JBC has a team of business setup consultants who are well-versed in UAE immigration laws and labour laws. We can simplify processes such as selection of business activities, identifying appropriate legal structure, applying for a UAE residence visa, opening a bank account, legal translation of documents etc. Connect with our consultants today to enjoy the business setup services in Dubai.