Earlier in October, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of a new program across the Emirate that aims to encourage non-resident freelancers and entrepreneurs to conduct their business in Dubai through virtual business licenses, giving them a chance to work remotely.
According to MENAbytes, the Virtual Company License is the outcome of the collaboration between a number of organizations including Dubai Economy, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA), Smart Dubai, and the Supreme Legislation Committee.
These licenses will allow individuals and entities around the world to access a government-regulated e-commerce platform. Furthermore, licensed parties can effortlessly work with all Dubai-based companies under the guidance of international law.
The license is to be given in three sectors; Computer programming, consultancy and related activities, Design activities, and Service activities related to printing and advertising.
Acquiring the license does not necessarily guarantee holders the right to open a bank account in the UAE. However, the Virtual Company License can provide holders with access to the account opening procedures.
Along the same lines, the virtual business license does not guarantee a resident visa to the UAE, but the Dubai government is working on a simple visa process for the holders of the Virtual Company Visa.
Applicants from 101 countries can apply for the visa. Here is a map of eligible and ineligible countries.
When it comes to taxes, the companies registered with a Virtual Compay License remain subject to all corporate, individual income, and social taxation schemes in the country of incorporation and/or residence.
However, for some companies, the website states: “Tax registration with UAE’s Federal Tax Authority is required if the company’s revenue within the UAE exceeds USD 100,000 per annum.”
If you would like to apply, make sure to submit the online application on Dubai Virtual Commercial City or apply through VFS offices, which can be found around the world. Authorities will then review the applications in a process which could take up to 30 days, then freelancers and/or entrepreneurs can complete the rest of the documentation process.
In a report by Khaleej Times, the cost of the virtual license can reach USD 231 for a period of one year, while the two-year license will cost USD 411, and three-year USD 589.