On 15th June, Monday, June 15, Creative Zone organised an exclusive webinar for people in the aviation industry. The aviation sector, like many others, is going through a rough patch ever since the pandemic struck, the industry is witnessing a lot of changes in its structure and the people involved are increasingly finding newer ways to support and sustain themselves.
The session addressed queries related to business setup in the UAE, mainland v/s free zone, license process, and the current business environment.
E-Commerce, an industry that is growing at an exponential rate remained one of the popular topics. Setting up an E-commerce business has not only become easier but is also encouraged by the government authorities by offering stimulus packages and easing many rules. To start an E-Commerce business one needs to get either get a Free zone or a Mainland license. The difference is if one has a free zone license then distribution, logistics, warehousing etc. has to be done through a third party if one needs the products/services to be available in the Mainland. If the products are delivered through the owner then he/she have to be registered under the Dubai Economic Department.
Creative Zone’s business setup advisors explained the difference between Mainland and Freezone busting some common myths. When deciding between Mainland and Freezone, the nature of the business, activities involved and scalability plans have to be taken into consideration otherwise one might end up paying a lot of fines and getting into unnecessary complexities.
While the Freezone is a popular option because of its to lower rates, the decision must be taken only after considering all the possibilities. The Mainland does need a local representative but in many businesses will ensure 100% ownership and gives flexibility and room for scaling the business.
When it comes to General Trading, it essentially means that one can trade into products without specifically declaring to the authorities, however, this is restricted for when one is dealing in controlled products like- Alcohol, cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, some type of cosmetics etc. Also when opening bank accounts for the general trading license one has to specify the products they are trading and the bank depending on the nature of trade activity will process accounts, loans, credits etc.
SMEs constitute a major percentage in the GDP and are considered extremely valuable by the government too. So small businesses like Salons, Pet Stores, even restaurants they need to acquire a Mainland License and though they will need a local representative 100% ownership will be retained by the business owner.
Some other Q&A were
Q) Is it possible to carry out a side business in the Mainland while on your employers’ visa?
R) Yes, provided you have a NOC from your employer.
Q) What is the option for freelancers, like photographers or someone in the media industry?
R) There is a freelance permit that is a viable option, it allows you to get a visa and open bank accounts in Dubai. However, the difference in prices between a freelance permit a regular trade license is not much plus having a trade license will give you the freedom to scale your business or employ more people later. So all these things should be accounted for before choosing. As freelance businesses are rapidly being pursued especially after COVID-19.
Q) What is the difference between an E-Traders and E-commerce license
R) If you are buying goods and selling them then you should have a trading license, even if you are storing them, relabeling them one still needs a trading license. For E-Commerce, it is essential that trading takes place online and the products are directly sent from the manufacturer to the consumer.
For more Q&As and full video of the webinar please click below.