Setting Up an IT Consultancy in Dubai

by Zaara 15, Apr 2019

With several foreign investors coming to the UAE has led to the development of various industries. Among these a booming industry is IT consulting. With Dubai as a primacy hub for tech start-ups, IT is becoming one of the most significant growth sectors in the Middle East.

Prompted by the Dubai government to streamline focus on technology oriented lifestyle where innovation shall churn Dubai to its optimum direction. According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the Dubai tech market is theorised to reach AED 22 billion by 2019.

It is the emirate’s status – fabricated by Forbes – as the next big tech startup hub that has really caught the attention of investors and entrepreneurs from around the globe.

There are other factors to also be considered: Dubai’s favourable tax and customs rates for one. With approximately two billion people living within a four-hour flight of the bustling emirate, Dubai can serve as an optimum platform to trade with the burgeoning  Middle Eastern, Asian, and African market.

So if you’re all set to get your IT consultancy operate in Dubai, below is everything you need to know to get started.  

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Where to Set Up IT Consultancy Firm in Dubai?

With different options on setting up business in Dubai, there are two ways in which to establish an IT consultancy business in Dubai:

1.  Free zone company formation

With numerous ways to get IT consultancy set up in Dubai, the obvious benefits of setting up a free zone consultancy are:

  • 0% corporate and personal tax.
  • 100% company ownership.
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits.

With over 30 Dubai freezones to choose from:

  • Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP)
  • Dubai Internet City (DIC)
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSOA) are among the few who welcomes a tech consultancy business.

2. Mainland company formation

It is also possible to set up an IT consultancy on the Dubai mainland. One significant limitation to forming a business, a free zone company is not permitted to trade outside of that free zone, and must appoint a local distributor in order to provide products or services on-shore. As per the Federal Law, it is mandatory for a commercial company in Dubai to have not less than 51% local equity (participation of UAE nationals).

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Why to Set Up an IT Consultancy in Dubai?

With Expo 2020 approaching, businesses in the surrounding are investing huge figures into technology infrastructure to engage with the 25 million additional visitors who will be drawn to the region. So much so that the local tech industry is expected to grow by an additional 2% before and during the event.It is the fact that Dubai is such a business epicentre that makes it the perfect place to launch your IT company in Dubai.

Below are few more reasons for you to start an IT consultancy company in Dubai.

1. Fast and easy business setup

Starting your IT consultancy company in Dubai is a lucrative deal particularly if you set up in a free zone. Many free zones simply require an application along with colour copies of shareholder and director passports to get started – you may also require a business plan. Provided all is in order, you should receive your IT consultancy licence in just two working days. And it’s affordable, with licences starting from just AED 12,500.

2. Set up as a freelancer

If you work solo and don’t wish to establish a new free zone enterprise or mainland company, you also have the option of setting up as a freelancer. You can apply for a freelance permit either directly to the Department of Economic Development (DED), or from one of Dubai’s free zones, such as DKP. While neither option is particularly difficult, the free zone route is probably the easiest. The application process is simple and your licence is usually issued in 7-10 days.

3. Set up with multiple shareholders

While it’s easy to go on your own and get your IT consultancy set up in Dubai, that’s not to say you must. The IT consultancy license is celebrated with larger organisations as well since it allows for setup with multiple shareholders.

4. Plenty of visa options

IT consultancy licences are essentially popular with smaller businesses as it’s possible to obtain multiple visas without commiting to physical office space. As policies differs for every free zone, pick your cards strategically. Simply set up in a free zone such as DKP and you can apply for up to six visas for your employees. Should you require more, setting up in the mainland is the better option as it has no upper visa limit. However, this is dependent on the size of your office – the general rule of thumb being 100 sq. ft. of office space per visa.

As well as being able to apply for visas for you and your employees, as a business owner in the UAE you can sponsor your dependants for their visas as well. Whether you require a visa for a spouse, child, maid or driver, the process is straightforward: entry permit, status adjustment, a medical fitness test, then Emirates ID registration and visa stamping. Keep in mind, however, that it is slightly easier for men to act as a sponsor than it is for women. Either way, since this is such an important part of the process, it’s a good idea to get advice from an expert in setting up UAE businesses to ensure that before starting an application, both you and those you are hoping to sponsor meet the entry criteria.

6. No paid upfront share capital

Yet another factor that makes getting your IT consultancy set up in Dubai so affordable is the upfront share capital requirement. Whether you start up in a free zone or on the mainland, you are not required to put forward paid up share capital.

7. Easy to arrange your corporate bank account

As soon as you have your IT services license in the UAE, you’ll be able to arrange your business bank account in Dubai – and the application process is both quick and simple. If you’ve established your business in a free zone, the relevant authorities are on hand to advise on the best bank to suit your needs – and can even arrange meetings in-branch for you. For those setting up on the mainland, a company formation specialist can provide the same service. Or alternatively, you’re welcome to approach any local or international bank on your own.

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Getting an IT Consultancy Licence in Dubai

Business setup in Dubai is rewarding. Some economic activities don’t depend on the legal form or the activity type. They have other laws determined by DED or the body governing the activities. The documents to be submitted with the Department of Economic Development and with the UAE Federal Ministry of Economy for the commercial license to be issued are:            

  • An application form where the company name will be mentioned in English and Arabic.
  • The original lease contract for the company’s registered address.
  • The permit issued by the Dubai Municipality Building Department clearing the use of the office space as a business address for the company.
  • Proof of paying the fee for the issuance of the trade license.

Based on these documents, the Department of Economic Development will release the commercial license for the Dubai company.

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Technology and Telecom commercial license

It includes providing technical services and consultancies with respect to information technology and applications like internet, internet and data warehousing to enhance the administrative and technical performance in different corporations. In addition to offering consultancies, to involve proposing the adequate software and handling the surveys and studies to determine the appropriate technology consistent with the nature of the firm, these firms are not entitled to market or produce any of the software or products related to said technology.

For all you know, more than anywhere outside of Silicon Valley, the technology industry here in Dubai is truly in ascending. Aid for tech startups given by the government, as part of the Dubai's well appreciated strategy to diversify its economy away from oil, alongside a number of startup incubators (such as In5, Silicon Oasis and i360accelerator) is predicted to help the Dubai tech market top AED 22bn by 2019, according to the Dubai Chamber. For setting up your IT consultancy firm from scratch, be it - registration, application for license, best location to chose and getting office space to accounting and tax paying guidance-Contact us at Commitbiz for any query and support for setting up an IT consultancy company in Dubai.

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