It’s the word “virtual” again. You must have noticed that it keeps popping up every once in a while: virtual assistants, virtual services, etc. But, have you ever heard about a virtual company license? It’s now possible to get a virtual company license in Dubai.
In this article, we’ll talk to you about what a virtual company license is, the benefits of a virtual company license, whether you qualify for it, its criteria, how to apply for it, and its fees. Let’s start with what a Dubai virtual company license is.
What is the Dubai Virtual Company License?
A virtual company license is a license that allows a company to do business in Dubai without having a presence in Dubai. Dubai virtual business license is a great idea for businesses who want to benefit from Dubai’s growing markets without worrying about establishing an office there or paying for its expenses. A virtual company license is, in short, your ticket to doing business in the Emirates without having to go there.
After obtaining their license, virtual company owners can run their business from anywhere in the world. This enables overseas entrepreneurs to run their business and make a profit in one of the most promising cities without worrying about additional, unnecessary costs like a physical presence, offices in expensive locations, or utility bills.
Understanding the Dubai Virtual Company License
The best thing about Dubai’s virtual company license is that company members or owners don’t have to be residents of the Emirates. The license is especially for those who don’t live in the Emirates. So, if you live in the Emirates and want to start your business there, this article is not for you. Residents of the UAE are not eligible for a virtual company license.
About the Virtual Company Licence
The Dubai virtual company license is a joint initiative of Dubai International Financial Centres (DIFC), Dubai Economy, Smart Dubai, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner’s Affairs (GDRFA), and the Supreme Legislation Committee.
As per His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, Emirates has launched “the first Virtual Commercial City in the region that will provide virtual license for doing business digitally and without requiring residence in Dubai.” He also added that launching this virtual license “marks a quantum leap in the concept of doing business and will be a major attraction for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Approved Countries and Tax Residency
To get a virtual company license in Dubai, you must be a national or tax resident of approved countries like Canada, Peru, Spain, South Africa, and the United States. You can check the full list of approved countries and non-eligible countries here.
The Legality of Your Virtual Business
This virtual business license allows holders to do business-related activities normally, like electronic signing and document submittal, and electronic signatures are legally binding in the UAE.
You must remember that virtual companies are “subject to corporate, individual income and social taxation in the country of incorporation and/or residence depending on the location of economic activities and international tax agreements.”
As for taxes in the UAE, virtual companies are exempted from taxes if their revenue is less than $100k per year, but if it exceeds that amount per year, they will pay the 5% value-added tax (VAT) in the UAE. And a registry to the UAE’s federal tax authority becomes a must.
The Benefits of Dubai Virtual Business License
A virtual business license in Dubai is “virtual, ” meaning you don’t have to have an office in Dubai and its costs. You will save money as you can run your business at a low cost and avoid the administrative burdens of running the business from Dubai. You get online access to your company and have access to many markets, investments, and business opportunities. And you also get access to DubaiStore.com.
Do You Need a License for Online Business in Dubai?
Yes, if you want to do business in Dubai without worrying about the cost and your business is in one of the creative industries, services, or technology fields. Then, the license is a good idea because your business activities are completely legal by acquiring the virtual license. And as you’ve seen above, it opens many business opportunities to help your business thrive and survive.
Businesses Eligible for a Dubai Virtual Company License
Your business must meet the criteria to apply for a virtual company license. The authorities have decided on some pre-defined sectors that can do business in Dubai. Some of the predefined sectors are:
- Web Design
- Cyber Security
- Computer Programming
- Computer Systems & Communication Equipment Software Design
- Social Media Applications Development & Management
- Public Networking Services
- Auditing, Reviewing, and Testing Cyber Risks
- Marketing Services Via Social Media
- full list
What You Can and Can’t Do with Dubai’s Virtual Licence:
What You Can Do
You can run your business wherever you are in the world. You can have lots of business opportunities in Dubai. You can rent a virtual office in Dubai through a third-party service provider and run your company virtually. This license is Dubai Virtual Commercial City’s gift for entrepreneurs.
What You Can’t Do
This virtual License does not guarantee physical access to open a business bank account in the UAE. And running your business and having a virtual license doesn’t automatically guarantee physical access to the Emirates through different visas to any of the company members.
How do I apply for a Virtual Commercial License in Dubai?
Now that you’re sure that Dubai’s virtual business license is right for you let’s start with how you can apply and the expected fees for this virtual commercial license.
To register, you need to visit Dubai’s Virtual Commercial City’s website, and on that website, you’ll fill out an online company registration form. You must add your name, date of birth, contact details, trade license name, business activity, and passport information.
Upload the Following Required Documents
You must have the following documents ready to apply for the virtual license. You’ll need:
- Proof of Tax Residency (if you’re from a non-eligible country)
- Passport Copy (valid with more than 3 months till expiry)
- Proof of Address (any utility bill or official letter not more than 3 months old)
- A Recent Photo on White Background
Check Your Application Status
Dubai Government authorities will verify your data through a background check, which will take about a month. After the verification process, the applicant will get an email that states whether their application was approved or rejected.
Visit the VFS Global
You need to book an appointment at one of the offices of VFS Global for passport verification. You can schedule an appointment at their website or send them an email. This verification process costs about AED 300 + taxes of your country.
Pay for the License
After visiting VFS Global and completing this step, it’s time to pay for the license. You can pay through ePay, the payment method provided by Dubai Government’s Smart Dubai.
How Much Does the License Cost?
Dubai virtual company license fee depends on how long the license is valid. A license valid for one year costs about 850 AED, broken down into 200 AED for sole proprietorship and 650 for the license. A two-year license costs AED 1508, and a three-year license costs AED 2161.
To Sum Up
Nowadays, it’s an exciting time for entrepreneurs to start making a profit without starting with a lot of money. Dubai’s virtual commercial city’s license for businesses makes the dream of every entrepreneur possible: running their business in one of the most promising cities in the world with reduced costs.
Suppose you meet all the criteria for Dubai’s virtual license, and looking to expand your business, access new markets, and have amazing business opportunities. In that case, Dubai’s virtual company license is for you. Now is when you join many entrepreneurs and start your business in Dubai. A virtual company license in Dubai makes your dream possible.
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