If you’re looking to do business in Dubai, one of your first ports of call should be to investigate the emirate’s free zones. There are many to be found across Dubai, all offering numerous benefits to the ambitious entrepreneur.
Arguably, the biggest advantages of setting up in a Dubai free zone include 0% personal and corporate income tax and 100% exemption from customs tax. What’s more, unlike in many other countries, UAE free zone businesses are able to repatriate all invested capital and profits. There are also no foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions.
These headline benefits can be found across the board in all of Dubai’s free trade zones. When you begin to delve deeper into each free zone, however, it becomes increasingly clear that each also offers its own unique set of advantages.
Take Dubai Media City (DMC) for example. Home to 20,000 people and more than 2,000 companies, the free zone is a thriving creative hub and the ideal base for media-related freelancers and businesses. What’s more, Dubai Media City license fees are low and the application process incredibly straightforward.
Setting up in Dubai Media City in 5 simple steps
Dubai Media City is incredibly well-placed for businesses both large and small. Just 20 minutes from Dubai International Airport and well-connected by road, travelling to neighbouring emirates and the wider world is easy.
Another reason behind the free zone’s popularity is its super simple company formation process. So simple in fact, that it’s possible to establish your business in just five simple steps.
1. Select your business activities
The first step when starting a business in DMC is to outline the business activities that you wish to undertake clearly. While the free zone is tailored to those in the media, it still opens its doors to a wide range of organisation, covering everything from advertising and communication to event management and media consultancy.
2. Choosing a company name
A tough task anywhere in the world, this item on the to-do list is made a little more difficult by Dubai’s rather particular business naming conventions.
But while they may be particular, that’s not to say they are not easy to abide by. In short, you should choose a name that does not include any offensive or blasphemous language or make reference to known organisations and corporations.
Also, if you wish to name your business after yourself, you can only do so if you include both your first and last name.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must check that your chosen business name is available to be registered. A company formation expert can do this for you.
3. Applying for your Dubai Media City free zone license
With your name chosen, it is time to apply for your license. There are several Dubai Media City free zone license types available, including freelance, trading and professional services.
The license type that’s right for you will depend on the nature of your business activities. Once again, a company formation expert can help at the stage, recommending the setup that best suits your needs.
As part of the application process, you’ll be required to pay Dubai Media City license fees. These will vary depending on the type of license you apply for and the size of your business.
Generally speaking, Dubai Media City license fees are comparable to mainland setups or other free zones in the region.
4. Applying for your visas
As well as applying for your business license, you’ll also need to apply for any visas you might need. As well as your own visa, it’s possible to apply for visas for your employees too. The maximum number you can apply for will depend on your license type and the size of your business.
You’re also free to sponsor dependants for their visa applications too. Whether you wish to bring your family – including children, spouses, and dependant parents – to the UAE, or you need to hire domestic staff such as housekeeper, the process is simple.
As for Dubai Media City freelance visa costs, these are often combined with license costs and therefore vary depending on the nature of your business.
5. Opening your bank account
The last step in establishing your Dubai Media City business is to open a corporate bank account.
A company formation expert can help with this step of the process too – advising on the best banks to suit your needs and arranging appoints for you.
The exact steps required to start your company in Dubai Media City will largely depend on the nature of your business and your chosen business setup. In most cases, however, in order to start your application, you’ll be required to provide the following documentation:
- Completed application form
- Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
- Two colour passport-sized photos with white background
- Proof of share capital as required
In the majority of cases, the DMC company formation process takes only a matter of days, providing that your application is complete and correct. However, it is vitally important that you keep in mind that errors in your application can lead to delays or even rejection.
That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as CREATIVE ZONE when forming a new business anywhere in the UAE. We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
Our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin, making UAE company formation easy.