How to get a Virtual Commercial License in Dubai?

by Zaara 28, May 2021

How to get a Virtual Commercial License in Dubai?

The Emirate of Dubai has always believed that a business idea should not be limited to where you live or work. That is why Dubai, during the launch of its Investment Week, announced the start of a new virtual commercial license. The scheme is an effort to boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Dubai. What makes this new Dubai commercial license program stand out? We’ll explain.

What is Dubai Virtual Commercial License?

The Dubai Virtual Commercial License is a program that allows the investors from all over the world to coordinate all enterprise-related activities online, including document signing and digital submission, with them being lawfully binding in the UAE, under the utmost legal standards. In plain words, it is a new directive that allows overseas entrepreneurs to digitally establish a business in Dubai without acquiring a residence in the city.

Application of the new virtual license in Dubai is open to foreign businesses from over 101 countries and covers main sectors, including creative industries, technology, and services. The new Dubai Virtual Company License aims to align with the third Article of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s 50-Year Charter to build a Virtual Commercial City in Dubai.

When launching the initiative at Dubai Investment Week, Dubai Economic Department Director-General Sami Al Qamzi noted that,

“The virtual license scheme corresponds with the third article of Dubai’s 50-year charter, which promises policies and initiatives that will ensure progress, growth, and Dubai’s sustainability and prosperity.”

The authorities who launched the scheme hope that this new virtual commerce hub will bring at least 100,000 corporations worldwide. The initiative hopes to continue maintaining the Emirate’s momentum as one of the top ten destinations for FDI in the past decade.

What is the Eligibility Criteria for the New Business License in Dubai?

Some of the necessities to obtain a virtual commercial license in Dubai are provided below.

To open a virtual company in Dubai -

  1. Applicants of the Virtual Company License cannot be the residents of the UAE.
  2. Owners of virtual companies in Dubai must be national or tax residents from any of 101 approved countries. This includes Canada, India, Pakistan, the United States, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, etc. (Visit VCC’s official website for the full list of approved countries)
  3. Only business activities from the predefined sectors can set up a virtual business in Dubai. The predefined sectors include service activities related to printing and advertising, consultancy, computer programming, associated activities, and design activities in jewelry, fashion, and interiors.

The virtual company owners in Dubai must remember that their companies will continue to remain subject to corporate, individual income, and social taxation of the country where they are based. If the virtual company’s revenue within the Emirates exceeds $100k per year, they will be subject to the 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) in the UAE. This means that a Dubai Virtual Company License holder will be obligated to register the company with UAE’s Federal Tax Authority.

Another vital thing to note is that the Dubai Virtual Company License does not automatically ensure physical access to the UAE through a business/visitor/resident visa to any of the company members. The same applies to open a business bank account in the UAE. Opening a bank account will be subject to the discretion of commercial banks.

Benefits of Obtaining a Virtual Commercial License

The Virtual Commercial Licence interprets the work and life of entrepreneurs and freelancers through the provision of:

  • Moderate costs and administrative burdens to start and grow your company
  • Online access to your business
  • Access to business opportunities in Dubai
  • Access to new customers, markets, and investment opportunities
  • Participation in virtual companies’ directory

How to Apply for the New License in Dubai?

  1. Fill in the online business registration form
  2. Background check, which will take around 1-30 days
  3. Identification and validation visit
  4. Payment and obtaining the Virtual Company Licence

The fee is calculated based on the license validity term you selected in the online company registration form.

The Virtual Company Licence, a joint initiative of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai Economy, Smart Dubai, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA), and the Supreme Legislation Committee, focuses on three main sectors:

  1. Creative industries
  2. Technology industries
  3. Service industries

If you are interested in obtaining this license, or what to get more information on the same, do contact us today. We’d be happy to assist you.


Can I open a virtual office in Dubai?


Who is eligible for a virtual commercial license?

Non-resident businesspeople and freelancers are eligible for a virtual commercial license.

What are the activities that come under virtual commercial business?

  • Design & Artwork Services
  • Promotional Gifts Preparing
  • Web-Design
  • Social Media Applications Development & Management
  • Cyber Security Architecture
  • Marketing Services Via social media
  • Fashion Design
  • Jewellery Design

Is it necessary to keep a name for the virtual commercial office?


How much does it cost for a trade name reservation?

It costs around AED 200

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