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Few tips for self-employed entrepreneurs in the UAE

Knowing your options in business is step one

You can become self-employed in the UAE whether you’re freelancing, contracting, or running your own business. It opens up a world of opportunities, including lucrative business deals and funding to help get you started. 

Neverthelessthere are a few things you should know about self-employment in the United Arab Emirates in order to make the most of itHere are some helpful tips.

1. Understand your business options

The UAE allows several ways for entrepreneurs to do business in the country, including:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Civil Company
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Foreign Company Branch
  • Free Zone Company
  • Freelancers

In the UAE, you can start a business as a freelancer or set up a civil company, both of which are 100 percent foreign owned. Unlike a sole proprietorship, civil corporations can have more than one shareholder.

Using a commercial or industrial firm could also be an option, but you’ll need a local partner if you’re an expat, such as an UAE national or a corporation.

It is advised that all self-employed workers have professional indemnity insurance in place to safeguard them, regardless of their business structure. An expensive lawsuit is the last thing you need when you’re just starting started.

2. Obtain the right license

The UAE allows several ways for entrepreneurs to do business in the country, including:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Civil Company
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Foreign Company Branch
  • Free Zone Company
  • Freelancers

In the UAE, you can start a business as a freelancer or set up a civil company, both of which are 100 percent foreign owned. Unlike a sole proprietorship, civil corporations can have more than one shareholder.

Using a commercial or industrial firm could also be an option, but you’ll need a local partner if you’re an expat, such as an UAE national or a corporation.

It is advised that all self-employed workers have professional indemnity insurance in place to safeguard them, regardless of their business structure. An expensive lawsuit is the last thing you need when you’re just starting started.

3.Do you work freelance? Look into free zones

If you wish to work as a freelancer, you can apply for a visa and freelance permit in certain open zones. Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Fujairah Creative City Free Zone, Ajman Free Zone, and Ras Al Khaimah Economic Free Zone are among the free zones available.

You must submit an application form to the appropriate regulatory authorities, along with supporting documents, such as a copy of your passport, a passport-size photo, a curriculum vitae (CV), and, if applicable, a No Objection Certificate from your sponsor.

4. Set up a foundation

The self-employed can rent offices in more business-friendly emirates and locations, or work from their clients’ offices. A co-working space, which is typically rented monthly, is a good option if you’re a freelancer.

4. Set up a foundation

The self-employed can rent offices in more business-friendly emirates and locations, or work from their clients’ offices. A co-working space, which is typically rented monthly, is a good option if you’re a freelancer.

5. Understand how the tax system works

VAT was introduced in the UAE in 2008, so if you make AED 375,000 or more, you must register. Your annual income must not exceed AED 187,500 to avoid VAT registration. Be sure to keep all receipts and documents up-to-date to prove this.

6. Stay in touch with your corporate environment and network

UAE’s most important industries include oil and gas, industrial, IT, construction, and finance. In the UAE, however, there are many multinational corporations that offer careers in tourism, media, design, and fintech.

Learn as much as you can about the business culture in the UAE if you’re new here. In order to reach out to potential clients or attend trade shows, personal contacts are crucial. Talk about personal topics before business, and remember to exchange gifts when meeting new clients.

If you are self-employed in the UAE, you will be able to expand your business to new markets and clients, as well as access new financing sources.

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