UAE Launches Virtual Business License

by Zaara 10, Oct 2019

The land of Dubai stands as one of the first choices of international investors and business owners when it comes to the business establishment proceedings. Holding the 11th rank in the Ease of Doing Business, the ground of UAE has become one of the favourable business investment destinations. The Government has been initiating multiple initiatives to grab the attention of international investors and establish the region as one of the global commercial ground.

The pro-business destination, the UAE on 1st October 2019 made the introduction of Virtual Business License. This introduction stands as a game-changer for the global business investors and professionals looking out for an opportunity to invest. The move provides complete flexibility to the owners to conduct their business activities in Dubai virtually, without any physical presence, and thus, there stands no need to obtain a residence visa.

The launch of virtual license targets the business professionals and freelancers to take a step forward and establish their business roots in the ground of UAE. Let’s deep dive and understand what the virtual license is all about and how it can benefit you.

What is a Virtual Business License?

Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the visionary leader and Ruler of Dubai on 1st Oct 2019, the concept of virtual business license gets aligned with the Article of the 50-Year Charter that opens up flexibility for global investors to conduct business activities at a virtual level that would uplift the international legal standards. The Virtual Business License stands as a joint initiative of Dubai Economy, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), General Directorate of Residency Foreigner’s Affairs, Smart Dubai and the Supreme Legislation Committee, which projects to attract more than 100,000 companies from 101 nations.

With this move, the region of Dubai has made significant strides in widening the business regulatory framework and standing as one of the most convenient platforms for business establishment. The license will allow freelancers and business professionals to come forward and join hands with the existing companies in Dubai. To strengthen the strategy made, numerous initiatives have been taken forward to affix the position of Dubai further. Now, let’s have a look at the eligibility criteria that need to suffice to hold the virtual license.

Eligibility Criteria to Hold a Virtual Business License in Dubai

The guidelines that need to be met to hold a virtual license includes the following:

  • The applicants of the Virtual Company License can’t be the residents of the UAE
  • They need to be tax resident from any of the approved nation
  • Business professionals dealing with the specified industries can carry out the relevant operations
  • The companies must suffice towards the corporate, individual income and social taxation in the country of incorporation
  • The activities must get operated transparently wherein the names of the owners are expected to be registered in the public registry
  • There will be no physical existence of the company
  • Special measures have been laid down against money laundering and tax evasion in connection with the International Agreements
  • The Dubai Government Authorities will conduct strict background checks, and the business can get its existence only after getting qualified
  • Business owners can’t get physical access to the UAE in the name of being an owner of a virtual company. However, the Emirati government is making continuous efforts to simplify the visa process for the investors.

What are the Benefits of Obtaining a Virtual Business License?

By now, you must have got a gist about the core concept of a virtual license, right. Well, now let’s proceed and have a look at the benefits that you can avail by holding a virtual business license.

  • Low operating cost
  • Digital access to your company
  • An opportunity to get involved in multiple business opportunities
  • An expansive target market and extensive investment options
  • Access to participate in the virtual company’s directory

Now, let’s take a step forward and understand which industries are eligible to obtain the newly launched license.

Who Can Obtain the Virtual Business License?

According to the latest report, the virtual business license can be held by a UAE as well as a non-UAE based company. The major players who hold the right to obtain a virtual business license are:

Creative Industries

Business owners and investors who are involved are the creative works now gets a golden opportunity to expand their business operations. This segment includes the following businesses:

  • Fashion Design
  • Jewellery Design
  • Interior Design
  • Calligraphies & Painters
  • Product Design

Technology Industries

The tech industry has become an inseparable part of the corporate world and is infused with every possible business activity. Dubai stands as a lucrative platform for the tech-based business, and the virtual business license allows the tech industry professionals to come ahead and carry out business operations in the following segments:

  • Computer Systems & Communication Equipment Software Design
  • Electronic Chips Programming
  • Web Design
  • Social Media Application and Development and Management
  • Cyber Security Architecture Public Networking Services
  • Cyber Risk Management Services Auditing
  • Reviewing and Testing Cyber Risks
  • Managed Cyber Security Services Provider
  • Marketing Services via Social Media

To know more on the incorporation of IT business in Dubai, click here.

Service Industries

The service industry also falls under the category of obtaining the Virtual License, which includes the following business segments:

  • Book Binding
  • Typesetting Services
  • Color Separation Services
  • Design and Artwork Services
  • Greeting Cards Production & Distribution Services
  • Promotional Gifts Preparing

If you deal with any of the business segments mentioned above and stand as a foreign national, then you have a full green signal to proceed ahead. Let’s have a look at the procedure that needs to be followed to start a business in Dubai with a virtual license.

How to Apply for a Virtual License?

To simplify the application process, the Dubai Government has made an online system of receiving applications from investors and business professionals. An online portal has been built through the office of VFS Global and has made a presence across 11 locations at a global level. You need to go through the following steps:

  1. Duly fill the online company registration form
  2. Upload the required set of documents which includes the following:
  • Passport Copy
  • Address Proof
  • Proof of Tax Residency
  • Recent photograph
  1. Once you submit the essentials, track the status of the license
  2. A background check will be conducted within a period of 30 days to match the details provided
  3. You need to confirm your identification at VFS Global by paying an amount of AED 300 + Applicable taxes for selected countries
  4. Upon successful identification, an email will be sent to your address instructing you to pay for the license
  5. Next, you need to make the necessary payment to obtain the license
  6. Once paid, your virtual company license will be handed over.

Cost Structure to Obtain a Virtual License

It is important to note that the fee structure of the license provided is based on the validity of the consent that you hold.



Amount in Dirham

Start-up fee for sole proprietorship establishment to obtain the company name


Virtual License Fee for a one year


Total Fee for a one-year license


Virtual License Fee for two year


Virtual License Fee for three years


Renewal Fee (valid for a period of max four years)


Tax and Corporate Bank Account Scenario

In the year 2018, the VAT concept has been accepted by the United Arab Emirates at a rate of 5%. The Tax Registration under the UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) gets implemented if the revenue of the business entity within the UAE exceeds USD 100,000 per annum. Now, when it comes to virtual business, the tax scenario stands as an obligation. Even if the virtual company’s revenue operating within the UAE exceeds $100k per year, they are liable to pay a VAT amount at 5%. When it comes to the corporate bank account scenario, the virtual license doesn’t guarantee the generation of a business bank account.

With the move of upcoming World Expo 2020, the region of UAE has taken a tremendous step to grab the attention of international investors by making a virtual presence with the ultimate aim of building a Virtual Commercial City. The event is expected to grab the attention of more than 25 million visitors at a global level and is looked ahead as a business collaboration destination. According to the recent reports, Dubai Expo 2020 is expected to fetch a revenue count of $24.2 billion, with a new job count of 277,000.

Today, Dubai stands home to more than 70% of the Fortune 500 companies and holds enormous opportunities for newbies, entrepreneurs, and experienced professionals. Some of the core reasons that grab attention are highlighted in the below section.

Benefits of Incorporating a Business in Dubai

By incorporating a business in Dubai, you can avail the following benefits:

  • One of the booming markets of the Middle East region
  • An attractive multicultural business hub
  • Access to the international market
  • Enhances the reputation of your company at a global level
  • Complete tax exemption on an individual’s earning
  • Friendly government rules and regulations
  • Business-friendly climate
  • Easy availability of local sponsor

The ground of Dubai has been serving as a home to more than 3 million people from almost 200 nationalities. With the recent move, the nation aims to grab the attention of international business professionals and entrepreneurs who aspire to become future business legends. Proceeding ahead on the road alone might stand as a complicated process if you don’t have an idea regarding the legal proceedings that need to be met.

Commitbiz, one of the top business consultants, can help you in the process of attaining a virtual license for your business. Our business experts are well-versed with the government proceedings and business incorporation process and can help you to obtain your business license hassle-free. To proceed ahead, do contact us today-we’d be glad to assist.