Why You Should Start Your IT Business in Dubai’s Free Zones
Dubai’s market has boomed in recent years thanks to the UAE government’s focus on transitioning its economy away from oil and toward tourism and business. This boom, in part, is thanks to the many free zones located throughout Dubai. These free zones allow investors 100% ownership of their company while having access to an incredible infrastructure that includes transportation, office spaces, and advanced internet connectivity. Additionally, free zones allow full repatriation of profits and capital, giving foreign investors the ability to return their earnings to their nation of origin.
Known as the “Silicon Valley” of the Middle East, these free zones offer abundant business opportunities for investors in technology and IT-related services. Here, an IT company has the advantage of working in a multi-cultural environment with other world-class technology professionals. This has made the region a prime location for investors and technology-based companies.
The Steps for Setting up an IT Company in Dubai
When forming an IT business in Dubai, there are several steps you’ll need to follow. The application process is streamlined and easy to use, but it does take a minimal amount of research and preparation.
1. Determine Your Business Activity and Jurisdiction
The first step in the process will be to determine your particular business activity. Are you planning on opening an IT service-based business? Or do you intend to design hardware and networking tech? Your choice will have a significant effect on which jurisdiction is right for your company.
2. Choose a Legal Structure
The legal structure of your company will dictate how your business handles assets, profits, and debts. This is an important decision that will significantly affect how your business operates in the long term. Many free zone investors choose to form limited liability companies (LLC) that give them the power to conduct business while maintaining a minimal safety net from debt responsibilities.
3. Choose a Trade Name and Draft an AoA
Your next step will be to choose a trade name. You must send your chosen business name to the Department of Economic Development (DED) for approval, taking special care not to pick a name that is taken or one that violates rules for profanity. The DED reserves the right to deny any business name that is found to violate these regulations.
At the same time, you will also want to draft your Articles of Association. This standard business form publishes the names and contact info for all parties involved in your business, including founders, shareholders, employees, and board members.
4. Secure Any External Approvals
Depending on your business activity, some companies will need to provide additional documentation and secure approvals from institutions like banks, embassies, and regional governmental authorities.
5. Submit the Required Documentation
Once you’ve completed the previous steps, you’ll need to gather and submit your documents for approval. You will want to carefully research which documents you’ll need to avoid any issues or delays with the application process.
6. Secure a Professional License
After submitting your application and paying all necessary fees, you will receive your approval for a professional license. This gives you the ability to conduct business as an IT-based company.
Securing a Professional License
As previously mentioned, owning and operating an IT business in Dubai is a fantastic business opportunity, but you’ll need to secure a professional license. The UAE has specific licenses for different business types. A professional license is typically issued to businesses whose operations are based on intellectual skills or advanced education. Therefore, a professional license covers doctors, lawyers, accountants, and IT professionals.
Securing this license is a relatively straightforward process, but many bourgeoning companies choose to hire third-party consultants to help guide them through the logistics of business formation.
When forming your IT business in Dubai, you’ll need to gather numerous documents for the application process. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the documents you’ll need to have ready:
• Passport copies for all shareholders, board members, and employees.
•Written proof of your initial approval fee payment
• Initial approval letter
• Tenancy contracts for office spaces
• No-objection certificates (NoC) for all partners
• Emirati IDs for partners, shareholders, and board members
Dedicated Free Zones for IT-based Businesses
There are several advantageous free zones for IT businesses operating in Dubai. Many large IT and software companies have opened subsidiaries in the region, but there are plenty of options for tech companies of any size.
• Dubai Media City
This free zone is a regional hub for media organizations like publishing companies, news agencies, advertisers, and broadcast facilities. It’s also home to over 13,00 different companies and features a modern infrastructure with connectivity through fiber optic cables.
• Dubai Internet City
Dubai Internet City is an IT and technology-based business park founded as a strategic home base for businesses targeting emerging technology markets in the region. This area has an exceptional infrastructure and an abundance of prime commercial office space.
• Dubai Silicon Oasis
This technology hub was created to cater to the needs of high tech and telecommunications industries. With a robust infrastructure, this sector is dedicated to improving sustainable business practices through collaboration and innovative technology.
Why Dubai? 5 Reasons to Start Your Company in the UAE
There are many reasons investors choose to set up an IT company, but let’s take a closer look at some of the most significant benefits of company formation in Dubai.
1. Investment opportunities in Dubai’s IT sector
IT-based businesses are booming in Dubai. As a result, there are ample financial opportunities to be found in the region. And with Dubai being internationally recognized for its commitment to professionalism, your business can achieve success, recognition, and respect.
2. Lack of corporate taxes
Taxes can be a prohibitive barrier for many businesses. Companies operating in Dubai’s free zones are free from income and corporate taxes, allowing them to function efficiently, maximize profits, and achieve the financial success they seek with minimal government overhead.
3. Dubai is an international IT business hub
Dubai may be a destination for all things business, but this is especially true for IT-related brands. The UAE is among some of the most technologically advanced regions in the Middle East, with a reputation for innovation and progressive regulations.
4. A hub for foreign investors
Dubai has long been a hub for industry, and many foreign investors regularly travel to the region seeking the business opportunities available there. By forming your business in the area, you and your company will be opened up to an enormous pool of investment potential. For those seeking investors and donors for their next business endeavor, Dubai has it all.
5. Servicing clients across the globe
Why limit your potential? Thanks to a respected economy, progressive regulations, and advanced infrastructure, clients from around the world can utilize the services your company provides.
Find Your True Business Potential with MSZ Consultancy
The future is digital! The IT industry will be here for a long time, and as long as there are individuals who utilize hardware and software, there will be an inherent need for IT professionals. It’s time for your business to shine! Form your business in Dubai, the IT and tech hub of the Middle East!
Though the process for forming your own business is streamlined for ease of use, it can still be complicated for those inexperienced with business practices in the region. Many investors choose to work with a company that has unparalleled experience conducting business in the UAE. Our dedicated team of experts are knowledgeable in company formations, visa applications, PRO services, and much more. We are happy to serve businesses of any type and size, from small startups to enormous corporations. With over two decades of UAE business experience and over 32,000 satisfied clients, we have the skills and know-how to help you succeed in Dubai’s IT industry. Call us today at +971 52 544 1248 and let us help you get back to business!