3 things to consider before freelancing in the UAE

Everyone craves for freedom. Whether it’s freedom from the corporate structure or freedom from a strict work schedule that you’ve been so used to all your career life.

Once you decide to leave your desk job, you may find that weighing down your options is an absolute requirement for making the right decision on which route to take. Either you jumpstart a new chapter in the freelancing world or take a leap and set up a company of your own. The choice is yours.

In the UAE, freelancing is not a new thing. Freelancers from around the world are attracted to the country mainly because of its friendly regulations. And just recently, the freelancer permit was launched, which now allows freelancers from the media, technology, and education sectors to offer their specific services legally in the UAE.

However, as you grow your network and become more prominent in the field, being an independent practitioner can limit you in some areas in terms of attracting big clients who have standard corporate protocols. This means that some of your prospect clients may require you to provide a TRN (Tax Registration Number) issued by the Federal Tax Authority—which you cannot do when you are holding a freelancer permit.

At this point, the benefits of getting the appropriate trade license to run your own business legally are far more valuable and profitable. So, when do you need a trade license?

Here are three things to consider before making a decision:

1. Business Activity

First, you have to know that with a freelancer permit, you are only limited to specific sectors such as education, technology, and media. If your talent, skills, or profession do not fall under these sectors, your only best option is to get a trade license and set up your own business.  The free zone or the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) offers a wide array of business activities that cater to almost all industries. You only have to work with company formation experts to make sure the success of your business setup.

2. Scalability

Scalability means your ability to increase your service operation without any legal implications. If your aim in the future is to create a brand that will be known for the services you offer, the only way to do this is to set up a business. Scalability also pertains to your ability to hire people to work for you, which you can only do if you have a trade license. By setting up a company, scaling up and growing your brand is much more attainable than when you are competing your way up with other freelancers.

3. Flexibility

For a business to grow at an exponential rate, you must have the ability to offer your services to the entire UAE marketplace. This is only possible when you have the appropriate trade license at hand. In a nutshell, flexibility to do business anywhere and anytime allows you to attract local and international clients. A freelancer permit can be a huge limiting factor when you have already built a name for yourself but cannot penetrate a wider market.

These key areas all boil down to your long-term goals. Whether you are starting up in the competitive freelancing economy or entrepreneurial arena of the UAE, it’s worth considering the option that categorically aligns with your goals. The UAE is a booming country for both. But there will come a time when smarter choices such as getting your own trade license to run a business in the UAE is a more suitable route.

Starting a company can accelerate your progress in terms of building credibility not only to your name but your own brand. This is not to say that you are limited with how much you can achieve as a self-made freelancer, but rather an opportunity to capitalise on the network you have grown over the years of freelancing. The best way to take advantage of this network is by taking a step forward, getting the right license, and launching your company.

This is where CREATIVE ZONE can help you with different licensing options in the Free Zone or Dubai Mainland, depending on what suits your business plan in the most cost-effective way. Our Business Setup Advisors at CREATIVE ZONE are the experts in the field and have helped many startups in their ventures in the UAE.

Create your account

COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW

By submitting this form, you agree to the Terms and Privacy Policy of CREATIVE ZONE. I consent to CREATIVE ZONE collecting my name, email address and phone number and contacting me either by the email address or phone number supplied.