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How to Become a Licensed Freelancer in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates has been long known as one of the main destinations for large businesses and companies, already housing many large corporations such as Facebook and Google, to JP Morgan and Verizon. However, the UAE is also housing plenty of solo entrepreneurs and startups. The huge advantages of starting a business in the UAE, such as low startup costs and minimal bureaucracy, equally applies to small businesses and benefits them even more in some cases. The freelance visa and license’s ready availability are two more encouraging factors for starting a solo career in the UAE. 

 

Benefits of freelancing in the UAE

There are plenty of advantages to freelancing in the UAE: 

  • As of 2020, more entrepreneurs are embracing the casual staff and remote working even in the middle east and also the UAE,
  • The country’s legislation is designed to facilitate the business operation,
  • Favorable task regime, as freelancers pay zero tax on both corporate and personal incomes,
  • No physical space rental or staff employee requirement,
  • Incredibly quick and easy to get started,
  • Cost-effectivity of the business,  
  • Zero currency restrictions and the possibility to repatriate all capital and profits,
  • Wide range of available and in-demand business activities, 
  • Freelance licenses are issued for any of the Department of Economic Development’s 2,000-plus listed activities (covering all sort of business activities from manufacturing to consultation),
  • Affordability of the freelance visa, 
  • Easy application process for obtaining a freelance visa. Entrepreneur visa, a relatively new visa suitable for freelancing, does not even require freelancers to show proof of on-going business or an offer of employment to apply for this visa. 

 

 

How to apply for a freelance license in Dubai?

To be legally eligible for running a business as a freelancer in the UAE, one needs to obtain their free license, also known as the freelance permit. To this aim, there are two options for obtaining a freelance permit:

  1. Applying to the Dubai Department of Economic Development or the municipality of the selected Emirate. You can get assistance from Business Setup Experts like Smart Zone Dubai to make sure the registration process is smooth and hassle-free.
  2. Applying to one of the UAE’s many Free Zones. 

 

The costs of the freelance license is around AED 5,750 to AED 17,000. The costs are similar in both UAE mainland or in a free zone. The license is usually issued between two to seven days, without any complications involved in the application process. 

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