freelance in the UAE: pros-cons

In the last few years, we have seen a growing interest for freelance permits among Millennials. Born in the 1980s and 1990s, this generation is typically perceived as increasingly familiar with digital and electronic technology.

Freelancing became popular in the UAE as it provides flexibility and freedom when it comes to setting up in the country. UAE government initiatives and the cost-effective freelance permits issued by the Free Zones authorities are supporting and pushing this new trend.

So, if your dream is to be your own boss and start your entrepreneurial journey in the UAE, this guide is made for you. Understand what a freelance license is, what the freelancing rules are, and how to legally become a freelancer in the UAE.

First of all, almost anyone can legally be a freelancer in Dubai, even an employee. You can combine an employment contract in a private company and work as freelancer at the same time. In fact, a few Free Zone don’t even ask for a Non Objection Letter (NOC) from your sponsor.

A UAE Freelance license is a permit that allows individuals to work under their own name and legally provide professional services to clients. Most of the time, freelancer are not employed by any particular company as they are considered as independent workers. Usually, they perform jobs in the area of personal development, consultancy, media, marketing, sport, etc.

These Freelance permits are available at affordable rates, and made the Dubai dream possible for a large group of individuals.

The price of the freelance license depends on the Free Zone you will choose to process your Freelance permit. The price of the license is not the total cost as it doesn’t include visa fees, an immigration card, insurance, etc.  If you are under the sponsorship of your parents or a spouse, you don’t need to cancel your visa and get a new one.

BE THE MASTER OF YOUR TIME, THE CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP!

Let’s discover together the Pros and Cos of starting a business as freelancer in the UAE.

PROS

  • Autonomy: You are your own boss, you can control your time and work. You contract with multiple companies across the country.
  • Flexibility: you work for yourself and don’t answer to anyone’s schedule. You are not restricted by office hours and have the full control on your work and your life.
  • If your business grows exceptionally you can always upgrade to a trade license
  • Keep your costs low: if keeping the costs under control is essential for you, then you need to consider the freelancer career. The prices of the license and the visa are affordable. As a freelancer you can work from home so you save the rent of a desk or office.
  • Easy and quick process: most of the Free Zones in the UAE offer the possibility to get a freelance license. All what you have to do is –
    • Choose the right Free Zone
    • Select a suitable activity
    • Gather the requested documents
    • Pay the fees
    • Congratulations on your new freelance license
  • Residence: being a freelancer gives you the opportunity to apply for a residence visa in the emirates where your business has been set up. You can also get resident permits for your family members. (read our article about Residence Visa here)

CONS

  • Unlimited liability: Very risky. There is an unlimited liability with this type of permit, in case of debts personal assets are not protected. It can put you in a position of personal financial risk if things go wrong.
  • No employees: You don’t have the ability to hire employees. Per definition, you are the sole practitioner, meaning you are the only one allowed to work in the business. Your success or failure is totally on you.
  • Selected activities: Not all the professional activities are eligible for freelance; only some selected professional activities are approved by the government. Generally, it is only available for those working in media, education and tech/IT sectors.
  • Banking: You can’t open a corporate bank account as you won’t have a trading name, all the payments will be made to your personal bank account.
  • NOC: if you are employee in another company, you are eligible to get a freelance license. However, you usually need a Non Objection Letter (NOC) from your employer to get the authorization to work as Freelancer. As mentioned above, some Free Zone don’t ask for NOC!
  • No trading name: you can’t have a trading name, the permit will be issued to you as an individual in your legal name.

Having your own Freelance license will opens up many doors in one of the world most dynamic economy in the world.

FreeZoneMarket.ae team provides you a full support on getting your license hassle-free.

We can also assist you to get the residence visa if you need it. Start your journey NOW !

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