Dubai South Free Zone Authorities, commonly known as DWC have announced in January that a freelance permit was now available for registration. However, the applicant must either be in possession of a recognized professional qualification or be in possession of a university degree from a recognized university.

The cost of AED 7,000.00* is aligned with Tecom Go Freelance permit (AED 7,500.00). Like any other trade license, it must be renewed every year. Both permits exempt the applicant from renting premises and filing financial audit reports yearly.

Tecom Go Freelance permit requires a bank reference letter in the application process while DWC free zone doesn’t.

The Go Freelance (Tecom) is limited to 3 sectors:

  • –  Education; under Knowledge Village Free Zone where only one activity is allowed per license
  • –  Tech; under Internet City Free Zone where only one activity is allowed per license
  • –  Media; with Media City Free Zone where 3 activities are allowed per license

    DWC Free Zone does not specify the number of activities allowed under the Freelance permit.

    We can expect over the coming months a shift from the existing standard Tecom Freelance permit to the new ones.

    While we appreciate these initiatives which demonstrate a willingness from the authorities to alleviate the administrative and financial burden, these annual fees are still prohibitively high for many entrepreneurs.
    Moreover, when will there be a trading license affordable for small entrepreneurs?

    Why not envisage a license that could be renewed every 5 years?
    Have more flexible conditions for the lease allowing for example different license holders to share the same premises and the rent?
    Or have several individuals in the same line of business sharing a license?

*Cost does not include the establishment card and visa