GNcareers, from Gulf News

Set yourself up on freelance visa

Freelancing in DubaiImage Credit: Supplied

When you think you’re done with working in an office and having someone watch your every move, perhaps it’s about time you ventured into the world of freelancing. Freelancing allows you to be your own boss, and that means taking care of publicity, logistics, accounts, marketing and admin work. Though it does not suit everyone, it can be a wise option to consider. And with the popularity of social media, you can be sure that you’ll be swamped with work in no time.

It is perfectly legal to go freelance in the UAE as long as you are licensed to do so. The trade license you need to obtain greatly depends on your business activity. In Dubai, you can start a freelance business either through the Department of Economic Development (DED)which issues commercial and services/professional/consultancy licenses, and through a free zone which offers similar licenses but without the need to acquire an Emirati partner. Other advantages of setting up business in a free zone are that you fully own your company and you are spared from taxes.

Most licensing authorities require freelancers to have an office space (smart offices and flexi-desks are aplenty in the country) for them to also be provided with residence visas, except for those who hold a residence visa under family or current employer sponsorship. Processing of freelance licenses can range from one week to 10 days.

Since setting up business involves a lot of work like getting a license and visa, opening a bank account, having business cards printed, among other things, it is always advisable to hire a business setup company to take care of everything.

Handy Hints
• One needs to get a license to go freelance in UAE
• Licenses are being issued by DED and any free zone
• A business setup firm can take care of everything

Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer