Tech company licence Dubai: Costs & Requirements


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Dubai has grown its reputation as a thriving business hub over many years, with a wide range of industries fuelling this growth. And recently, one has taken centre stage: technology.

In fact, Dubai is now being heralded as one of the world’s most attractive tech hubs. Startups from across the globe are flocking here to work side by side with the likes of Microsoft, Google, Facebook and more.

If you’d like to join them, this article covers the key considerations to keep in mind throughout the company formation process, including:

  • Benefits of starting a tech company in Dubai, UAE
  • Documents required to start a tech company in Dubai, UAE
  • Timeline to start a tech company in Dubai, UAE
  • Cost of starting a tech company in Dubai, UAE
  • Successful tech companies based in Dubai
  • Why start your company with Set Hub?

Benefits of starting a tech company in Dubai, UAE

Let’s start with the benefits of setting up any kind of business in Dubai, UAE. There is the UAE’s famed tax rate of 0% on both corporate and personal income, along with a low and flat VAT rate of 0%.

The UAE is also incredibly well positioned to trade with markets around the world. At the heart of the Middle East, it has incredible connections by land, air and sea, and a time zone that overlaps with many of the world’s other business and tech hubs.

When it comes to technology companies specifically, the benefits continue. Dubai is full of accelerators, incubators and schemes designed to help tech companies grow and thrive out here. This is on top of the emirate’s high tech infrastructure and range of free zones tailored to the technology industry.

Start your tech company with Set Hub, and we can be your Dubai free zone business guide, taking the time to understand your needs before advising on the most suitable solution.

Documents required to start a tech company in Dubai, UAE

The documents required to start a business in Dubai will depend on several factors such as your setup type, company location and the nature of your business activities. But in most cases, you will be required to submit the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Business plan
  • Coloured passport copies of the company’s shareholder/s and the appointed Manager/Director for the new company
  • Specimen signature of the company’s shareholder/s and the appointed Manager/Director for the new company
  • Two years’ audited financial reports for corporate entity or certificate of reference from a personal bank of the individual shareholder

Once obtained, you will also need to submit:

  • Board Resolution appointing Manager/Director (notarised and attested)
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (notarised and attested)
  • Lease agreements will be prepared by the authority (if applicable)

Timeline to start a tech company in Dubai, UAE

The following is a simple guide to the process and timeline of starting a technology company in the UAE. When you work with Set Hub, we can manage these steps for you to ensure a fast and hassle-free process.

Step 1 – Select your business activities

First, you will need to clearly outline your business activities. Technology is a broad term, so you will need to specify exactly what it is that you intend to do. Set Hub will then help you align these to one or more of the 2,000-plus activities permitted by the Department of Economic Department (DED) to ensure that you are correctly licensed.

You will need to carry out this step first as it could have a bearing on the licence and setup type that you require.

Step 2 – Choose your trade name

The next step is to choose a trade name for your Dubai technology business. At this stage, you will need to keep in mind a few naming conventions. In short, your name cannot include any blasphemous or offensive language, nor can it be similar to any existing businesses or institutions.

You must also use your full name if naming your business after yourself. For example, Jack White Technology is permitted but J White Technology is not.

Step 3 – Apply for your technology licence

With these steps out of the way, you can apply for your trade licence. If you are setting up in the mainland, this application is made to the DED or local equivalent. If you are setting up in a free zone, you can apply directly to the managing authority.

Set Hub will manage this process for you, ensuring all documents are in order before submission and liaising with all authorities on your behalf.

Step 4 – Apply for your residency visa

If you wish to live and work in Dubai, you will need a residency visa. As part of this process, you will be required to undergo a fitness test, blood test and chest X-ray. At this stage you should also apply for your Emirates ID card.

Once you hold a residency visa, you can sponsor visa applications for your dependants such as a spouse, children, or domestic staff.

Step 5 – Open a corporate bank account

The final step before launching your technology business in Dubai is to open a corporate bank account. As this is not always the most straightforward of processes for non-GCC citizens, Set Hub is once again on hand to help.

We will talk you through all available options before deciding together on the bank that best serves your requirements.

Cost of starting a tech company in Dubai, UAE

A licence to start a technology company in Dubai costs in the region of AED 20,000 to AED 20,000. However, this will vary depending on your office and visa requirements, location and intended business activities.

You will also need to account for staff costs, premises, and additional permits if setting up in the Dubai mainland. For a detailed and personalised quotation, get in touch with the team at Set Hub.

Successful tech companies based in Dubai

Unsurprisingly for a global tech hub, Dubai is packed with incredible technology companies – from household names like Amazon, Oracle and Apple to innovative new startups, with more setting up by the day. Other conglomerates include Xerox, Epson, IBM and Hewlett Packard.

Two high-performing startups, proptech firm Hupsy and tech facilitator Tag Ventures, recently raised USD 47m and USD 250m in funding respectively to grow their ventures. And stories like this are far from uncommon. Quite simply, if you’ve got an innovative tech idea, there is no better place to launch your business.

Why start your company with Set Hub?

The Dubai company formation process is designed to be straightforward and transparent. But like all processes, it does require a level of planning and prior knowledge – especially for those new to the region.

When you work with Set Hub, our international experience and local knowledge are yours. We will first take the time to understand your business and its requirements, then we will manage the pathway to UAE business ownership for you, assisting with applications and communicating with all necessary departments and authorities.

And, after launch, we stay by your side to help you grow and thrive in this incredible tech hub.