DUBAI FREE ZONE BUSINESS SETUP

Dubai Silicon Oasis company formation

Dubai Silicon Oasis Overview

Dubai Silicon Oasis is a free zone and also a big business and residential community in Dubai.

It serves as a technology hub, being home to IT, online, industrial and research and development businesses.

Dubai Silicon Oasis hosts Dubai digital park a state-of-the-art working spaces and residences, ready to move in. Dubai Silicon Oasis has a lot to offer for its residents: over 80 restaurants, shops, a shopping mall, schools and a hospital.

It is easy to reach by any road and almost free from traffic jams. It is one of the most attractive places for business setup in UAE.

All technological initiatives of the Dubai government are implemented and tested in Silicon Oasis.

DSO Dubai Facilities

DSO has the following types of facilities:

  • Light industrial units
  • Office spaces 
  • Workstations (subject to availability)

The office spaces can be leased in any business tower of Silicon Oasis or in the following towers managed by the free zone:

  • Headquarters building the rent will include utilities
  • Dubai digital park offices
  • Techno Hub

All offices will be fitted, have raised flooring, ceiling and curtain blinds.

Dubai Silicon Oasis authority provides the most flexible rules regarding office rent. You can rent an office under free zone management or from any landlord within the area of Silicon Oasis.

Moreover, companies registered in Department of Economic Development of Dubai can also rent offices in this free zone.

Silicon Oasis Dubai Activities

Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone follows the business activity list of Department of Economic Development.

You can have up to 7 different activities in your license. They should be from the same segment: either trading, or service, or possibly industrial.

However, some activities, which can be set up only in the Mainland are not available.

Freelance category is also not available in this free zone, but if you are looking for it, check out freelance license Dubai.

Costs

Dubai Silicon Oasis company setup can be done in 2 ways:

1. Getting a workstation package

It will include a work desk, license and 1 visa of the owner. Work desks are subject to availability and it may happen that there is no desk for your application.

The cost of such package is 30,000 AED + 5,000 AED refundable deposit.

2. Getting a license + office space

Office spaces start from 7 sq meters. Other small sizes are 15 and 22 sq meters.

License cost is 12,000 AED. If you get a license + 7 sq meters office in Techno Hub, the price will be about 26,000 AED.

Payment for offices can be done by 4 post-dated cheques. Dubai Silicon Oasis company setup cost is one of the best in the Emirate compared to other free zones.

Business setup

Dubai Silicon Oasis company formation starts with picking up of an office facility. It is better to view them to get a full understanding of the offers.

Once you have chosen the office, the process goes as follows:

  1. Company name reservation
  2. Pre-approval of the business
  3. Signing of the lease agreement
  4. Payment
  5. Getting the license

Personal visit of the company owner will be required at the last step.

Company formation usually takes about 2 weeks.

The documents you need to prepare:

  • Passport copy
  • Personal photo
  • Visa or previous entry stamp to UAE copy

Resident visas

Companies in Dubai SIlicon Oasis Free Zone authority become eligible to a certain number of visas based on the office size.

Each 9 sq meters make a company eligible for 1 resident visa. So if you rent a 50 sq meters office, you will get 5 visa slots under it.

DSO does not issue a visa of Investor or Partner. All visas will have some managerial designations.

Important the General Manager of the company must hold a resident visa from Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Dubai Silicon Oasis visa costs (AED):

 DSO feesMedical checkupEmirates IDRefundable deposit
Applicant in UAE4,8606903702,500
Applicant out of UAE3,2606903702,500

Additional fee of 5,000 AED will apply to applicants over 60 years old.

All visas are valid for 3 years.

License renewal

Company renewal is done on an annual basis. You need to pay the office rent and the license fees.

You also need to provide audit reports of your company every year. The first audit is to be done after 18 months from the company registration date.

Amendments

Most frequent company amendments include:

  • Shares transfer
  • Company name change
  • Business activity amendment
  • Change of the company manager

The fees for amendments in Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone company start from 500 AED and go up to 2,000 AED.

Some applications can be done remotely, but change of shareholder requires personal presence.

Business liquidation

Dubai Silicon Oasis has easened up the liquidation procedure and reduced the costs.

Company closure fee is about 2,000 AED now.

You need to provide final audit report and return all original company documents when you apply for liquidation. Lease agreement should be terminated and visas have to be closed.

Opinion

DSO is a great place for companies looking for cheap offices within Dubai. It is easy to employ people there affordable accommodation is available within the same area.

Dubai Silicon Oasis is situated next to Academic City, where you can find students for some projects in your company.

Since there is a techno hub, you are likely to find a lot of qualified people within the area too.

Alternative, but more expensive solution to Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone company formation is a DMCC company formation.

BENEFITS OF Dubai Silicon Oasis COMPANY

  • Developed Zone with offices and residential area
  • Affordable office rent
  • Modern facility

START YOUR BUSINESS IN DUBAI SILICON OASIS

TRADING AND SERVICE LICENCE COSTS IN DSO FREE ZONE

Number of visas depends on office size

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Trading / Service / license + office 40 sqm no visa AED 103,470 $28,350 download breakdown
Trading / Service / license + office 40 sqm 1 visa AED 108,162 $29,650 download breakdown
Trading / Service / license + office 40 sqm 2 visas AED 112,855 $30,950 download breakdown
Trading / Service / license + office 40 sqm 3 visas AED 117,547 $32,250 download breakdown

DOCUMENTS FOR DSO FREE ZONE SETUP

DOCUMENTS

PROCEDURE

INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDER

  • - Passport copy
  • - Latest utility bill as address proof
  • - Latest UAE entry stamp
  • - Passport size photo
  • - NOC from sponsor for UAE visa holders
  • 3 days- company formation
  • 1 - 3 weeks- establishment card
  • 5 days- entry permit visa
  • 1 day- medical checkup
  • 5 days- visa stamping

Top 10 questions about Dubai Silicon Oasis free zone company

  • If l register a company in a free zone outside of Dubai, can l live and have a bank account in Dubai?

    Yes, you can have a company registered outside Dubai, but reside in Dubai or any other Emirate. You do not have to live in the same Emirate where your visa belongs to. You can also have a bank account in a Dubai branch of any UAE bank of your choice.

  • Can I open a bank account remotely?

    No, you have to visit UAE personally. It is a requirement of a UAE Central bank which all local banks have to follow. Personal visit is required to make sure that the client is known by the bank.

  • Do banks give debit and credit cards or loans?

    Normally you can get a debit card for your newly opened company if there is only one shareholder. You can also have a credit card, but it will be given against a fixed deposit. As for the loan, it is possible to get it, but you need to show company operations and profits to the bank. Upon checking your company's turnovers and profits, a bank may approve a loan. We recommend applying for it at least after one year of company's operations.

  • Can a free zone company hold its offices outside the free zone?

    Officially an office of a free zone company has to be located only within the free zone where this company was registered. If you need an office in Dubai, you have an option to rent a space in a Business center and use it either a few times per month or daily, depending on the package that you choose. However, the free zone minimum required space (flexi desk) cannot be cancelled.

  • Why do I need a flexi desk or office?

    A flexi desk is an obligatory requirement for any company eligible for resident visas. UAE government obliges to have it because it's the minimum physical office space, that a company who has any individual under its visa must have. Apart from that, flexi desk is helpful for bank account opening. The compliance department of the banks needs to see that a company has some kind of office or at least a small physical seat, where it can be working from.

  • Do we have to pay VAT if our company is registered in the Free Zone?

    VAT obligations of the company depend not only on the place of its registration, but on the place where its business takes place. To start with, VAT comes into picture once your taxable turnover reaches 375 000 AED. Taxable turnover means the turnover which was done in the UAE. If your company is registered in a Free Zone, but the trading takes place abroad (for example you sell goods from India to Africa), that turnover is not considered taxable, because the transactions are taking place out of UAE. It means that you do not have to pay VAT. But if you have a free zone company and import goods to UAE, you have to add 5% VAT to your Invoices and pay VAT. If your company is registered in a designated free and sells the goods to another designated free zone or within the same zone, VAT does not appear.

  • Should I pay any other TAX?

    UAE is free from income tax and corporate tax. It has only imported tax 5% for the goods that you bring into the country and VAT 5% for the trading or service transactions that happened in UAE.

  • Why will a free zone company suit me better than an offshore or a mainland entity?

    Everything depends on your business model and requirements, but a free zone setup is the most suitable for the majority of the business needs. Free Zone company has 100% foreign ownership unlike mainland where you need a local partner or agent, it can be eligible for resident visas, allows doing business both in and out of UAE, more favorable by the banks in comparison to offshore companies, can have a flexi desk space instead of an executive office like in mainland companies. Free Zone is a good way to start a business for reasonable fees and without unwanted obligations.

  • Can you guarantee opening of a bank account?

    We do our best when we setup your company in such a way that would make account opening easier for you. Knowing your background and your business model, we can give you our estimation about the chances of successful account opening. The approval of the account fully depends on the bank. Each case goes to a few departments of the bank where it has to be approved before the account gets opened. If the bank has any questions or needs clarifications, it will contact you directly with the inquiries. The more clear picture about your business you give to the bank, the higher your chances of account opening are. Being a consultancy company, we cannot guarantee opening of a bank account, because it depends on the factors which do not depend on us. However, we do our best to prepare you and your company for smooth and fast account opening.

  • Should I renew my company? When? How much does it cost?

    Yes, the company should be renewed annually. The cost of the renewal is usually less than the setup cost. It depends on your company package. You can get the price by downloading the Estimate from this page. Renewal does not require personal presence of the owner and can be done by your agent. After company renewal, the new license has to be shown to the bank in order to extend the bank account. It is always included into our renewal service.

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