Legal Requirements for Freelancing in Dubai

3 Mins read

Dubai is one of the fastest-growing economic and industrial centers in the world. In addition to the many new companies that are sprouting in the city, it is also experiencing a rising freelance revolution. Its rapidly growing economy has led to high demand for freelancers who can yield high-quality work. It has therefore presented an opportunity for the city residents possessing the right skills to earn a proper and decent living.

The most attractive aspect of freelancing in Dubai is that freelancers are not required to submit tax returns. They are also not required to keep accounts as they are not subjected to audits. This is the government’s way of allowing them to solely focus on growing their business and meeting deliverable targets. It is the main reason why the number of people seeking freelance work in Dubai is continuously increasing. 

It is always important for entities to comply with legal requirements. This is the only sure way of staying away from suits, litigations, and other legal implications. The process of pursuing freelancing in Dubai legally entails:

1. Applying for Freelancing

First, the applicant is required to fill the freelance application form. This is accompanied by a submission of a business plan together with the applicant’s qualification certificates and passport. The individual is also required to submit his or her No-Objection Certificate. This facilitates the change of the residence visa into a freelance visa. A bank certificate indicating that the applicant has a satisfactory bank record is also essential. 

2. Obtaining a Dubai Freelancer License

Following the filling of the freelance application form, one is required to obtain a freelancer license before commencing freelancing work in Dubai. This process involves the following steps:

Submission of application to the Free zone where the individual intends to operate. 

The applicant is required to submit an application to the relevant Free Zone for interim approval. The application form should be accompanied by a reference letter, a passport copy, and a business plan. The major Free Zones that provide freelance permits in Dubai include:

  • RAKEZ Free Zone, Fujairah Creative City free zone
  • Ajman free zone
  • Go Freelance Program
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • twofour54 Abu Dhabi. 

Each of the free zones provides a unique set of packages and has exclusive terms and conditions. Fujairah Creative City free zone, for example, offers a trade licensed with a validity of up to three years, up to three visas, and a three-year establishment card.

Filling, signing, and resubmission the customer confirmation letter

The moment the application has been approved, a customer confirmation letter is sent from the Free Zone Authority to the applicant. The applicant is required to file, sign, and resubmit the letter.

Clearing all the associated fees

Upon final approval, the clearance of all fees associated with the undertaking follows. These fees include the freelance permit fees, the first rent installments, and the employee visa sponsorship fees. 

Collecting the Freelance Visa and the Freelancer License

Once the required fees have been cleared and a free zone sponsorship is signed, the applicant is able to obtain a Freelancer Visa. Seven working days later, a freelancer license is issued. 

Those that find this process too hectic have the option of seeking the services of Dubai consultation companies to help them with the process of license application.

3. Application of Part-Time Work Permit for Those Who are already in Full-Time Employment 

Employees seeking freelance part-time opportunities in Dubai should render an application for a part-time work permit. This can easily be obtained from the city’s labor ministry. A successful application will require approvals from the applicant’s current employer and part-time freelance contractor. 

4. Establishment of Terms and Conditions

Despite not being a legal requirement, it is important to include the terms and conditions that the clients need to meet in all freelance contracts. Among other things, the rates, preferred means of payment, and the required payment periods should be well stated in the freelance contract. This way, it will be easy to file a payment civil claim in case a client defaults payments. It also ensures that the clients are well aware of what is expected of them. 

A Concluding Note

Companies in Dubai are now shifting from traditional forms of employment and embracing outsourcing freelancing services. More people are also signing up to offer freelancing services in the city. To succeed in the already booming industry, freelancers in Dubai need to ensure that they perfect their skills and proficiencies. This way, they are able to match and compete with the city’s best, most qualified, and favorably priced freelancers. 

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