open an IT Company in Dubai

How to Start an IT Company in Dubai?

We were running around looking at all options with different free zones and sponsors, but it was very straightforward in the end” says Chris Leighton, Co-founder, AirZones, a UK-based company that was established in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in September 2021. It has just been a short while and the company is already thriving in the UAE and seen as a promising competitor in the market. 

According to the UK’s Department for International Trade, more than 6,000 UK-based companies are already registered in the UAE, with bilateral trade set to reach £25 billion (Dh127.1bn). 

UK businesses that choose Dubai as their base can access undeniable support and a uniquely nurturing environment for development. In fact, establishing an IT business in Dubai comes with a host of benefits.

What are the benefits to start an IT company in Dubai

  • Taxation is one of the important benefits of setting up an IT company in Dubai for freedom from corporate taxes and free differentiation of profits when it’s set in a free zone. Moreover, you receive hassle-free availability of resources such as skilled workforce from all over the world along with avant-garde internet facilities. 
  • Considering the favourable market conditions and ease of global reach in Dubai, your IT business can have an edge over others in the industry. Furthermore, information and communications adoption in the region in blend with digital implementation makes it a hotspot for new investors and growing entrepreneurs. 
  • Dubai offers many free zones to motivate local and foreign investors for starting their businesses. Also, IT-oriented free zones in Dubai guarantee extraordinary business conditions, integrating office structure and accommodation areas for companies and personnel.

What Are the Steps to start an IT business in Dubai

The process to open an IT Company in Dubai is smooth and convenient. It hardly takes a week to complete, given the steps to start an IT business in Dubai are followed carefully. The process of setting up an IT Company in Dubai starts with these six important steps:


1. Determine the type and location of your IT company

To start with, you’ll need to decide the type of business you want to set up. This is because your business type will determine the type of licence required — commercial professional or industrial, as you will need approval from other departments. Moreover, the Department of Economic Development (DED) lists 2100+ activities for business owners to choose from, including various IT business activities. Additionally, the 45 free zones in the UAE each have their own regulations and formalities. Dubai free zones allow companies to undertake IT-related activities, but some free zones have specific licences for such activities. 

2. Select a suitable location

Now, you must decide where to establish your IT company. You can choose a location in the free zones, such as DMCC Authority Free Zone and Creative City Fujairah. Though, DIC (Dubai Internet City) is the most preferred location to open an IT company in Dubai.

3. Secure the premises

Once you settle the legal procedures and select the location, you can search for your office, based on cost, size, location and other facilities.

4. Choose a trade name

The name of your company should reflect the nature and type of IT business in Dubai the company is involved in. However, if your IT company is a branch of another company that already has a name, then its name should not be offensive, provocative or insulting to anyone.


5. Designate share capital

Decide on the share capital in your IT company. The Memorandum Of Association of your IT company decides the minimum share capital. Often, business owners do not have to pay minimum capital to start an IT business in Dubai.


6. Hire employees 

After setting up your office, start the hiring processes. Dubai has an abundance of skilled workforce. Hence, you can have a manager ready to be on board before you get the approval to set up a Dubai IT company. Although, in some cases, you may not be able to hire a workforce, and therefore, you may need to involve contractors.

How to obtain a professional licence for an IT company in Dubai

Once an investor chooses to start an IT company in Dubai, it is mandatory to obtain a professional licence from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai before starting operations. To obtain a licence, you must hire a local agent who can perform various tasks related to your IT business, from applying for name reservation and registering your company to securing a location and also hiring a workforce, etc.

What are the Documents required to open an IT company in Dubai

The investor has to submit various documents to the Department of Economic Development. The list of documents is as follows.

  • Passport of the owner and the partners of the firm
  • Entry Stamp / UAE Visa
  • The local partners chosen by the investor need to submit a neutralisation book.
  • NOC for expatriate partners’ from the various sponsors chosen.
  • The agreement of partnership must be signed in front of the notary.

What is the Cost to open an IT company in Dubai

Setting up an IT company in Dubai includes various costs, ranging from company registration and licence fees to office expenses and share capital amount.

Company Registration Fee is a one-time payment. The cost for registering to open a company in Dubai in a free zone is AED 9,000 to AED 10,000. Contrary to the company registration fee, licence fees are a recurring cost. It can cost anywhere between AED 10,000 to AED 50,000 per year. 

Conclusion

The support and a uniquely nurturing environment for growth found in Dubai are unmatched. From the ease of doing business to taxation, everything is hassle-free. Moreover, the IT industry in Dubai has tremendous potential for growth in local as well as overseas markets. Got a great business idea you want to execute? Everything you need can be found in Dubai.

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