How to start a freelance business in the UAE

June 6, 2024

There are a lot of reasons why the United Arab Emirates is a great place for freelancers to set up shop. One of the biggest reasons is its booming economy and impressive infrastructure. Numerous opportunities exist for freelancers in a variety of fields due to the city’s diverse and multicultural population, which drives demand for a broad range of services. Additionally, the UAE’s progressive laws and encouragement of entrepreneurship help to create a business-friendly environment that fosters innovation and growth.

To register as a freelance service provider, you must obtain a UAE Freelance Visa and license. With this license, you can take advantage of SPC Free Zone’s value-added services and operate anywhere in the UAE. Benefits like simple bank account creation, office space solutions, and networking possibilities are just a few ways these services can simplify your company’s operations. By partnering with SPC Free Zone, you can take advantage of a number of benefits, work online as a freelancer, and set yourself up for sustained success in a rapidly evolving industry.

9000.04: Activities of individual writers for all subjects, including fictional writing, technical writing, etc.

Freelancers who explore this business activity have flexible possibilities when engaging in individual writing activities. This process involves crafting interesting stories, writing comprehensive technical articles or manuals, and meeting the needs of a diverse range of customers. Freelance services can range from writing novels and ghostwriting memoirs to creating captivating blog posts. Freelancers can leverage their creative abilities to fulfill various writing needs. Opportunities to demonstrate one’s writing talent and enthusiasm for a wide range of subjects and genres are infinite in this activity.

Taking this route gives individuals the opportunity to secure freelance writing jobs that truly pique their interest while satisfying their clients’ needs. With the growing demand for freelance writers, there is no shortage of content-writing jobs. This fulfilling venture allows any freelancer to delve into various genres of writing. Anyone with a talent for storytelling, technical writing, or any other form of written communication would thrive on this freelance opportunity, paving the way for a rewarding career in the literary world.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 9000.04. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 9000.04.

9000.03: Activities of sculptors, painters, cartoonists, engravers, etchers, etc.

Pursuing the business activity of sculptors, painters, cartoonists, engravers, etc. presents a dynamic and innovative entrepreneurial opportunity to provide freelance services. This line of work may involve establishing a creative space, such as a studio or location, that customers who value creative expression can experience. It entails creating and promoting artwork for public viewing, giving artists a chance to show off their skills.

This artistic pursuit includes creating sculptures, paintings, cartoons, engravings, and etchings to satisfy the aesthetic demands of viewers. To reach a wider audience, artists might participate in public art projects, host exhibitions, and provide bespoke services. This discipline promotes experimentation and originality across various artistic mediums, offering limitless possibilities for showcasing one’s artistic abilities.

By venturing into this line of freelance work, artists can support themselves financially while satisfying the needs of their customers. Artists can build a reputation and launch lucrative careers in the art world by publicly showcasing their work. For individuals with a natural talent and unwavering commitment to their art form, this career path provides the opportunity to work on projects that resonate with their creative prowess while catering to the artistic needs of a diverse clientele.

This business activity does not include the manufacture of statues (other than artistic originals), the restoration of historical sites and buildings, or the restoration of furniture (except for museum-type restoration).

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 9000.03. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 9000.03.

9000.05: Activities of independent journalists

Selecting the activity of an independent journalist presents a dynamic and impactful business opportunity. This line of freelance work entails researching topics, collecting data, and writing up the results for publication in print, digital, radio, and television media. As they take on many clients as independent contractors, journalists cover a vast array of subjects and stories, or they can choose to focus on a particular (industry) beat.

Independent journalists put in time for in-depth research, draft compelling feature articles, create original multimedia material, and can offer timely news updates. Politics, economics, culture, and human interest stories are just a few of the many topics that independent journalists usually cover. Because of this adaptability, they are able to specialize and become leaders in their respective fields.

Competence in research and writing, dedication to upholding ethical standards in journalism, and the capacity to operate autonomously are all essential in this field. As a freelance independent journalist, creating a diversified portfolio can help them connect with a wide audience and help with the important work of educating and enlightening the public.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 9000.05. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 9000.05.

7820.04: Freelancers’ Services

Businesses in need of temporary workforce assistance can find a flexible and efficient answer with freelance services. This service provides firms with temporary labor to either augment or replace their current workforce. Members of the temporary help service unit’s staff work diligently to meet clients’ requirements for competent workers without committing to full-time positions.

Supplying a diverse workforce can play a significant role in this industry, spanning from outsourcing customer service, talent acquisition, and administration to other needs such as bookkeeping, photographers, writers, web designers, and graphic designers. The possibilities for freelance services vary depending on demand. This type of service allows clients to concentrate on their core business operations because the temporary help service unit takes care of desired operational requirements.

Here, businesses that provide freelance services can easily adapt their workforce to meet fluctuating demands and seasonal peaks. For businesses that want to keep their productivity and efficiency levels high while keeping their staff costs in check, this is the perfect answer.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7820.00. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7820.00. 

9000.01: Production of live theatrical presentations, concerts and opera or dance productions, and other stage productions: • Activities of groups, circuses or companies, orchestras or bands • Activities of individual artists such as authors, actors, directors, musicians, lecturers or speakers, stage-set designers and builders etc.

Creating live theatrical presentations, concerts, opera or ballet productions, and other stage productions offers a dynamic and culturally enriching experience. This activity requires careful planning and flawless execution of live shows that highlight a wide variety of artistic talents and disciplines, aiming to captivate and engage the audience.

All kinds of group and company pursuits, such as orchestras and bands, fall under this category of commercial activity. Spectacular performances, from musical concerts and dramatic plays to elaborate dance shows and circus acts, result from the combined efforts of these institutions. Every performance relies on a devoted crew of directors, stage-set designers, builders, and technical support to execute their services flawlessly and efficiently.

This endeavor includes the works of individual artists such as authors, actors, directors, musicians, professors, and public speakers. The success of live performances relies heavily on these artists, whether it’s an enthralling solo performance, an insightful lecture, or a gorgeously arranged musical composition.

Production businesses and artists can both benefit from this industry’s ability to promote their work to a wide audience, allowing them to make a significant cultural impact and enhance their portfolio of freelance services. Since live performances remain a popular and sought-after form of entertainment, this field offers both creative fulfillment and the potential for monetary success.

This business activity excludes motion picture and video production, cinema operations, personal theatrical or artistic agents or agencies, casting activities, ticket agency activities, and sports, amusement, and recreation activities.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 9000.01. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 9000.01.

7410.03: Activities of graphic designers

Graphic designers’ business activities provide a dynamic and creative route for visual communication and brand development. To fulfill the unique requirements of customers in a wide range of industries, this activity entails coming up with ideas for, and then creating and executing, visual content. In order to communicate ideas, build brands, and attract customers, graphic designers combine their artistic talents with their technical expertise to make visually appealing designs.

Among the many things that graphic designers do is make logos, pamphlets, ads, visuals for social media, packaging, and many more. They work closely with clients to grasp their goals and vision, then turn those ideas into designs that are both visually compelling and practical. As part of this process, a freelance graphic designer carefully considers the client’s brand and marketing objectives to choose the best typeface, color schemes, images, and layout to create high-quality graphics.

The scope of the freelance graphic designer includes making use of advanced design software and tools, staying informed of emerging design trends and techniques, and optimizing designs for different media channels. Effective marketing and communication strategies rely heavily on the work of graphic designers, who shape the visual identity of organizations and corporations.

This business activity does not include web page design and programming, architectural design, engineering design (i.e., applying physical laws and engineering principles in the design of machines, materials, instruments, structures, processes, and systems), or theatrical stage-set design.

  • Third-party Approval: This business activity does not require third-party approval.
  • Filing of Economic Substance Returns: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7410.03. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: This requirement does not apply to business activities under 7410.03.

Did you find what you were looking for? Explore the other guides in our Activity Hub for exploring unique business ideas in Dubai and navigate the essentials of business setup with ease.

You can also calculate your business setup costs easily using our handy cost calculator and choose from our customized company setup packages to find your perfect fit.

Get your business license in the UAE today and explore a world of opportunities waiting for you.

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