The Free Zones of the United Arab Emirates have gained great popularity among entrepreneurs from different parts of the world due to their almost free tax policies. Aspects such as 100% ownership, no currency restrictions, and zero personal and corporate tax are some of the features that you can enjoy when creating a company in Dubai Creative Clusters Authority.
In this article, you will find information about what is the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, what types of Free Zones you can find there, why and how to start a company in one of these zones, and also how we can help you succeed.
- What is Dubai Creative Clusters Authority?
- Types of Free Zones in DCCA
- How to start a company in a free zone?
- Benefits of setting up a business in Dubai Creative Clusters Authority
- Types of licenses issued by DCCA
- Why should you start a company in Dubai Creative Clusters Authority?
- How can we help you with the formation of your company?
1. What is Dubai Creative Clusters Authority?
The Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA), formerly known as the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone, was established in 2000. It aims to position Dubai as a world center for knowledge, based on certain industries. For example, movie and production, fashion, science and technology, media, IT, among others.
The DCCA is in charge of regulating seven industries of nine Free Zones. It currently has more than 4,500 companies operating in its territory and around 70,000 people working in the Free Zones.
Basically, this authority is responsible for implementing and developing rules and regulations that comply with international standards. In this way, companies can diligently operate in the Free Zones.
These Free Zones are divided into the following four clusters:
- Education Cluster
- Science Cluster
- Media Cluster
- Information and Communication Cluster
1.1 Types of entities allowed in DCCA
- Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC): This structure is formed as a separate legal entity and is made up of corporates or individuals. The minimum capital required for its incorporation will depend on the productive activity of your company.
- Branch of a UAE or Foreign Company: This structure is not a separate legal entity from its parent. On the contrary, it is considered a business space that is legally part of the parent company and that carries out some or all of the company’s inherent operations in this territory. Also, no share capital is required to start a branch company.
- Freelancer: This structure allows entrepreneurs to obtain a Freelance Permit and carry out this type of work legally. This permit identifies you as a sole practitioner and allows you to run your business under your birth name, instead of a brand name.
2. Types of Free Zones in DCCA
In the DCCA there are many Free Zones, each with a focus on a different economic sector. Some of the activities you can do there are the following:
2.1 Dubai Internet City
It is the largest ITC Hub in the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Dubai Internet City is home to some of the world’s largest technology companies. For example, Google, Dell, Cisco, Facebook, Nokia, and Microsoft.
2.2 Dubai Outsource City
Dubai Outsource City dedicates to international and local outsourcing activities. For example, business process outsourcing (BPO), IT Outsourcing, back office, HR Outsourcing, and call center operations.
2.3 Dubai Media City
Dubai Media City is home to thousands of organizations dedicated to various sectors. For example, media and marketing, event management, advertising and communication, media consultancy, event support services, freelancers, new media, associations.
2.4 Dubai Production City
It is the ideal hub for the local and global production industries. Dubai Production City is home to the most qualified business professionals from around the globe. In this area, productive activities related to publishing, packaging, printing, media production, and graphic art are generally carried out.
2.5 Dubai Knowledge Park
Most of this area is dedicated to learning excellence and human resource management. In Dubai Knowledge Park, there are companies whose area of work is to be academic service providers, executive search firms, assessment and testing centers, and also numerous freelancers.
2.6 Dubai International Academic City
It is the largest Free Zone in the world dedicated to the pursuit of intellectual growth and higher education. Dubai International Academic City is home to many international and local universities and colleges. Thus serving hundreds of students around the world.
2.7 Dubai Studio City
Open to TV, film production, music, broadcasting, and entertainment, Dubai Studio City is the house of the largest sound stages in the zone. Also, this area is ideal for production offices, workshops, recording studios, backlots, sets, film studios, and water tanks for underwater film shoots.
2.8 Dubai Science Park
This area was specifically designed for those companies and individuals working in the life sciences. The Dubai Science Park is home to large laboratory spaces and ample offices. Its target audience is entrepreneurs within the science community and the nurture businesses.
2.9 Dubai Design District
Offering a mix of open-plan land for development and office space for lease, Dubai Design District is mainly dedicated to those industries related to fashion and design. It is home to several world-renowned brands, along with fashion houses and also boutique design studios.
3. How to start a company in a free zone?
Firstly, no matter which DCCA’s Free Zone you choose, they will all provide you with a nurturing and buzzing environment, equipped with all the guidance and support to help you make your business a success. If this is the type of business you want to aspire to, the steps to start a company in Dubai Creative Clusters Authority are the following:
3.1 Determine the type of legal activity
The types of companies you can open in DCCA are the following:
- Branch of a Company
- Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC)
3.2 Choose a trade name
After choosing the legal entity of your company, you need to choose the name. In most cases, it is recommended that you check with the Department of Economic Development (DED) about the names that are allowed and if the intended name has already been registered.
Generally, for the DED to approve the proposal on the chosen name, you must meet the following requirements:
- It cannot contain foul language
- No other company can have the same name
- It must not make any reference to any religion or government authority
- Lastly, it must be compatible with the activity and legal status of your company.
3.3 Business license
In order to operate legally in the United Arab Emirates, you need to apply for a Trade License. This license will depend on the productive activity of your company. Some examples of licenses are the following:
- Industrial License
- Commercial License
- Professional License
- Tourism License
3.4 Office space
At Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, you can either buy or lease an office space in any of the available business centers. The requirements of the offices will depend on the number of employees and also the type of activity you carry out.
3.5 Get approvals
The companies established in the Free Zones are governed by the rules of the respective zone. To receive the necessary approvals, you must submit certain documents. These documents will vary depending on the productive activity of your company, the legal entity, and also the requirements of the chosen Free Zone.
Some of the documents that you must submit are the following:
- Business plan
- Registration Certificate/Copy of existing license (if you are an existing company)
- Colored passport copies of the shareholders (or the director of the new company)
- No Objection Letter from current sponsor (for individuals)
- Letter of intent
- Reference Letter from a personal bank of the individual shareholder or two years audited financial reports for the corporate entity.
- Completed application form
- Unit title deed
- Registry Identification Code (RIC) (Original and notarized)
Those individuals who work under the freelance modality must submit the following documents:
- Bank reference letter
- Application for registration
- Registry Identification Code Form (RIC) (Original and notarized)
After receiving initial approval, you will need to pay the license fees and registration fees. To do so, you must deliver the following documentation:
- Memorandum of Association (MoA) (duly attested)
- Passport size photo of the director of the company (against a white background)
- Share Capital information
- Completed application registration
- Board Resolution Appointing (duly attested)
- Power of attorney given to the director of the company (duly attested)
3.7 Visa and licensing process
At this point, the lease contracts will be prepared by the authorities, the licenses will be issued and the visa application process will begin.
Note that certain activities will require the approval of external authorities.
4. Benefits of setting up a business in Dubai Creative Clusters Authority
4.1 Work among the best
The DCCA is home to some of the world’s largest companies. For example, Dubai Internet City has Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. In Dubai Design District, works Christian Louboutin, Chanel, and Adidas, and Dubai Media City is the home to companies such as CNN, Dow Jones, and Bloomberg.
However, even though very important names work in this region, the DCCA is also welcoming to small and medium-sized businesses.
4.2 Straight-forward setup
Firstly, in any of the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority Free Zones, the company formation process is incredibly straightforward. You will only need to submit certain documents; pay the fees and the process will be complete. This process generally lasts a few weeks.
4.3 Corporate bank account
Once you receive your license and have established your company in the Free Zone of your choice, you will be able to open a corporate bank account in one of the UAE financial institutions. The application process for an account is quite easy. Even the Free Zone staff can advise you to choose the bank that best suits your needs.
A company formation specialist, such as Connect Zone, can also guide you through this process.
4.4 Sponsor dependents
Just as it is easy to apply for your own Visa, it is just as easy if you want to sponsor dependents for their residence visa. Whether you decide to sponsor a family member, a driver, or a maid, the process is relatively easy.
The steps are the following:
- Entry permit
- Status adjustment
- Medical fitness test
- Emirates ID registration
- And lastly, the visa stamping
As this is an important process, it is recommended that you hire a company formation professional, such as Connect Zone, to ensure that each step is completed successfully.
5. Types of licenses issued by DCCA
Some of the licenses that you can acquire in DCCA are the following:
- Licenses under the Radio Segments and Broadcasting TV
- Food Segment License
- Manufacturing and Productivity Segment License
- Licenses under the Storage Activities
- Licenses under the Publishing Segment
- Higher Education Provider License
6. Why should you start a company in Dubai Creative Clusters Authority?
Committed to creating an environment where industries can flourish, the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority is the ideal entity to establish your company. The United Arab Emirates provides monetary support, develops a creative talent pool, creates forums amongst creative industries, and also provides a platform for creativity, research, and community building.
To emphasize, all these aspects drive the economic growth of your company and the evolution of your brand.
7. How can we help you with the formation of your company?
Entering the business world as a novice entrepreneur can be a difficult process to navigate. For this reason, it is advisable to hire professionals in the area to process your documents and carry out all the procedures required by the law of the United Arab Emirates. This is where our agency can be your best ally.
Here at Connect Zone, we can help you with your visa application and company registration, we will maintain an efficient relationship with the relevant authorities and we can also help you choose a space for your office.
Do you want to know more about our business setup services? You can contact us at the following number +97143316688 or write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org where one of our advisors will assist you immediately.
In addition, if you would like to apply for a wide range of jobs in the UAE or many other countries, you can send your CV to thetalentpoint.com or email@example.com. Do not worry about the safety of your information, we will not store or share it.