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If that full-time job now feels too draining, or the desire to set up something on your own is driving you crazy, a freelance business can be a great idea. It not only provides you with an opportunity to pursue a hobby, it also makes a perfect companion to earn a few extra bucks.
In the UAE, freelancing is legal and individuals need to procure a permit. The licencing authority issues trade licences pertaining to the kind of business one starts and accordingly, the licence holder must abide by the laws of the land. In Dubai, freelancers may obtain a licence from the Department of Economic Development (DED) or free zones like Dubai Media City, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Airport Free Zone and others. While the first one allows freelancers to start a business, it does not offer the same benefits offered by free zones, where an expat can fully own the firm without having to partner with a local.
Those with full-time jobs or on spouse’s visa may also apply for a freelancer licence provided they get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from their employer and husband.
A freelancer visa not only allows one to be the business’ sole proprietor, it also gives one access to a hot desk and business facilities including a post office box. Besides, residency visa is also granted to freelance permit holders.
It may take a week or longer to complete all the formalities, but hiring a pro may ease the process.
• A licence is required when starting a freelance firm
• Freelance permit identifies you as a sole specialist
• In Dubai, licences are issued by DED and free zones
Source: Shabnam Mondal, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer