Virtual Licences Launched in the UAE

Virtual Licences Launched in the UAE

- James Elliot-Square

Virtual Licences have recently been announced in the UAE. These licences allow foreign investors, who are not residents of the UAE, to set up an online business in Dubai. This will enable foreign companies to operate a business digitally, however international legal standards must be maintained and E-signatures will be legally binding in the United Arab Emirates.

Why is a virtual licence beneficial?

Virtual licences allow for investors to be a part of the growing business landscape of Dubai without the hefty cost of local trade licences, workforce and premises. The initiative has been introduced to enable foreigners, who are entrepreneurs, who reside outside of the UAE, to set up in Dubai without having local presence. However, this only applies to investors who are located within specific locations which shares tax information, this is to fight against tax evasion.

What businesses are eligible for a Virtual Licence?

To apply for a Virtual Licence the following conditions are mandatory:

  1. The investor must reside outside of the UAE
  2. Virtual companies will not be tax-free and are subject to social, personal and corporate tax, which will be determined by the business’ country of origin.
  3. The company must provide a publically shared registry of the owners, which will be shared with the original jurisdictions tax and legal authorities, if requested.
  4. Visas will not be provided to any Virtual Licence holder.
  5. If a Virtual Licence company wishes to open a UAE bank account, this will be at the banks discretion
  6. A background check will be conducted on the applicant for a Virtual Licence by the Dubai authorities
  7. The company will not require local ownership and will be a sole proprietorship
  8. The virtual licence process includes measures to protect against money laundering and tax evasion
  9. The company will be eligible to adopt the UAE’s 5% value added tax if the company’s annual revenue exceeds USD 100,000

What countries are eligible?

An applicant for a UAE Virtual Licence must be a national of, or tax resident of one of the following countries:

What countries are eligible for virtual licence

What business activities can be conducted under a Virtual Licence?

Advertising Services:

  • Greeting card production and distribution
  • Promotional gifts
  • Creative and graphic design
  • Colour separation
  • Bookbinding
  • Typesetting

IT & Consultancy Services:

  • Website design and development
  • Cyber security
  • Cyber risk management
  • Public networking services
  • Social media marketing
  • Audit and review of cyber threats
  • Social media management
  • Digital application development
  • Computer systems software design
  • Electronic chip programming

Design Services:

  • Landscape design
  • Painting
  • Calligraphy
  • Product design
  • Jewellery design
  • Interior design
  • Fashion design

The Virtual Licence is designed to provide freelancers and businesses with an e-commerce platform to facilitate trade and service provision between Dubai and other countries. 

How can PRO Partner Group help?

For more details on the Virtual Licence or any company formation matter please get in touch with us in Abu Dhabi +971 (0)2 448 5120, or Dubai +971 (0)4 456 1761, or send your email to Enquiries may also be submitted via our Contact Form below.

Share this article

Expert Advice

Book a call with one of our company formation specialists.

Please enter a message

Meet the Pro Partner Group team,
a vastly skilled and experienced UAE team