DSOA company setup: Your essential guide

Free zones are a fundamental part of Dubai’s welcoming and encouraging business environment. While businesses setting up on the mainland can benefit from 0% corporate and personal tax, free zone businesses are afforded a number of other advantages on top of this.

These include zero currency restrictions, the ability to repatriate all capital and profit and customs tax exemption, to name just a few of the many advantages.

Then, within each, there are further benefits to be had. The one we’ll be looking at here, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSOA) is a hi-tech hub in the heart of Dubai offering world-class infrastructure along with low-cost licensing packages, a dedicated business support system and easy access to a skilled talent pool.

So, if you’re looking to start a business in the UAE and are currently considering free zones, here’s why DSOA could be the right choice for your business.

Company registration in DSOA

When undertaking company registration in DSOA, you have the choice of three license types. The license you require will depend on your business activities and requirements (more on that later). The licenses available are:

  • Service Licence: This allows the registered entity to carry out only specified services.
  • Trade Licence: This allows the registered entity to practice activities which are related to import, export, and distribution of items and goods as specified in the licence.
  • Industrial Licence: This allows the registered entity to import raw material, manufacture, and process, assemble, package and export the finished product.

You may also choose from three company types. These are:

  • Branch – A branch of an existing company – either in the UAE or abroad – must be owned wholly by the parent company and carry out identical business activities.
  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – This is a legal entity owned by a single shareholder – either an individual or a corporate.
  • Free Zone Company (FZCO) – This is a legal entity that is owned by multiple shareholders with a minimum of two. Shareholders can be individuals or corporates.

As well as offering a fast and affordable company formation process, DSO also offers a range of premises equipped with everything required to run a modern business.

The free zone features a range of plug and play office space as well as meeting rooms and conference facilities. For those that need a little extra space, DSO offers a range of multiple-use warehousing and manufacturing facilities, as well as Light Industrial Units (LIU’s).

There’s even land for development on offer for those looking to build their own premises. Lots start from 5,000 sqm and extend up to 255,600 sqm.

How to start a business at DSOA

The DSOA company incorporation consists of just three simple steps.

  1. Submit your application. You can do this online via the DSOA customer portal. However, as this is such an important step, we advise making your application with the help of a company formation expert. We can manage the whole process for you to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
  2. Pay your fees. With your application approved, you must now pay your setup fess and submit any requested legal documentation relating to your company.
  3. Sign your agreement. The final step is the process is the signing of the agreement. This must be returned to DSOA along with proof of your share capital.

While the process is incredibly straightforward, there is a little groundwork required before you get to this stage.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make concerns your company name. When making this decision, you’ll also need to stick to the UAE’s clearly defined naming conventions.

In short, UAE company names must not contain any blasphemous or offensive language, any references to well-known institutions or any abbreviations of your name – though your full name is acceptable. Your name should also have a legal entity attached to it such as FZE or LLC. It must also relate to your business activity, not resemble the name of any other company and be available to register.

You’ll also need to decide on your business activities. Activities must be chosen from the DSOA approved list. It’s important that you list every activity that applies to your business when making your application as failure to do so can lead to fines or even license revocation.

DSOA activity list

DSOA’s primary focus is the hi-tech sector. Other permitted sectors include:

  • IT, telecom, electrical, electronic, engineering and related activities
  • Consultants, law firms, finance institutions, and more
  • Bio-tech, automobile, aerospace, oil and gas, alternative energy and others

Understanding DSOA company setup costs

The total DSOA company formation cost will depend on multiple factors such as the number of visas you require, the type of premises you need, your license type and so on.

For this reason, it is not always easy to estimate costs in advance. For a detailed breakdown of the costs, it’s best to talk to a company formation expert who can build a tailored quote for you.

If you are looking for a guide price, however, you should expect to pay in the region of AED 12,000-20,000 for your license. This is not likely to be inclusive of lease and visa costs.

Starting your DSOA business

Wherever you choose to set up, getting the right guidance beforehand is key. That’s why it’s always advisable to undertake the steps with the assistance of a registered company formations agent to eliminate any potential hassles that might arise.

With more than 15 years of experience in company incorporation, Worldwide Formations can help you get your business up and running within a matter of weeks. We’ll manage the entire process on your behalf and correspond with all relevant authorities for you. All you need to do is wait for the green light to start doing business.

Worldwide Formations helps entrepreneurs in the UAE with all their company setup needs. For more information, call us now on 800 FREE ZONE (800 3733 9663).

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