Home-based businesses are growing in popularity around the world. Whether joining the gig economy, starting a side hustle, or setting up a fully-fledged business, more and more entrepreneurs are forgoing the office walls.
Half the UK workforce is expected to work remotely by the end of 2020 while the most recent US census revealed over eight million people to be running home businesses. The UAE is beginning to follow suit.
As well as freedom and flexibility, home-based businesses in Dubai also benefit from the emirate’s low tax environment and straightforward company incorporation process.
Setting up a home-based business in Dubai is much the same process as setting up a regular business and should always be carried out with the help of a company formation expert. Here’s everything you need to know before you get started.
Pros and cons of home-based businesses
It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of any business decision and starting a home business in Dubai is no different.
There are certainly many positives. For one, there are very few overheads involved. There’s no need to pay rent on your office or account for travel costs to get to your place of work. All you need is a trade license and a suitable space in your home to operate.
When you start a home business in Dubai, you’ll also benefit from an incredibly supportive environment. The UAE’s rulers are committed to supporting and nurturing small businesses and the market is full of initiatives and schemes to help those working from home. DubaiStore – the first local online marketplace to cater exclusively to home-based businesses and SMEs is just one example.
As for the cons, there are very few to consider. If you are planning to meet clients on a regular basis at your place of work, home working may not be suitable. On a similar note, some organisations prefer suppliers and vendors to work from formal business premises, though this is increasingly uncommon.
Home-based business ideas for moms
Home-based businesses are particularly convenient for those who have to spend much of their time at home, such as mothers of young children.
There are plenty of home-based business ideas for moms that can work around childcare and allow you to live your business dreams from the comfort of your own home.
You could offer your services as a virtual assistant, helping businesses with admin support. Alternatively, you could become a virtual tutor offering lessons via video conferencing.
Many mums in the UAE also earn a living through e-commerce, either procuring and reselling goods or selling their own creations online. Other great businesses for moms include blogging, fitness/yoga instruction, accounting, and social media management.
Applying for a home-based business license in Dubai, UAE
You must make a few key decisions before you can apply for your home-based business license in Dubai. The first concerns your business activities. Not only must your licensed activities match exactly to those you intend to carry out, your chosen activities will also determine the best setup type for your business and the license that you require.
With so many options, you are sure, with the help of a company formation expert, to find an activity or activities that cover your business. What’s most important is that you clearly state every one that you intend to carry out when making your application.
Next, you must choose your company name. When doing this, you’ll need to adhere to the UAE’s naming criteria.
You cannot include any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any references to Allah or Islam in your company name. If you wish to include your name in your company name, you must use it in full rather than just your surname or initials. You must also check that your chosen name is available to be registered.
Only now can you make your license application. If you haven’t already, it is a good idea to consult with a company formation expert before undertaking this next step as any mistake can cause costly delays.
The process here is slightly different depending on whether you have chosen to set up a free zone or mainland business. Again, a company formation expert can help you make this decision.
If you’ve decided that the mainland is a better base for your business, you’ll need to make your application directly to the DED or the equivalent in another emirate. Most of this process takes place online.
Alternatively, if you have decided on a free zone setup then you can make your application directly to your chosen free zone. As free zones are self-regulated, you do not require additional approvals to trade, making the process faster and more efficient.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be able to set up as a freelancer first then from there establish a full business. The application process is similar in both cases.
Start your home-based business in the UAE
The company formation process in the UAE has been designed with simplicity in mind. That said, it does take some in-depth knowledge of the region and its many customs and regulations.
That’s why it’s always advisable to acquire the services of a business setup company who can not only advise on the process but also seek out the most suitable license and setup type for your business, based on your needs and your budget.
When you use business setup services, you also gain peace of mind that your license and visa applications are free from errors and omissions – both of which can lead to delays and rejection.
When you work with a company formation specialist, all you need to provide is some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to start trading. It really is that simple.