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Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority | DSO Free Zone Business Setup

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Inaugurated in 2003, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) was built to be a beacon of innovation, technology, and sustainability. The 7.2 KM square zone is also termed ‘a city within a city’ as it is designed with a leading-edge technology park, office spaces, warehouses, industrial land, apartments, townhouses, and villas.

The Silicon Oasis free zone is famously home to over 900 startups from over 72 different countries. Just in Dubai Silicon Valley’s tech park alone, there are over 500 companies from all over the world. 

Located at the intersection of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and Dubai-Al Ain Road, DSO free zone offers quick access to the Airport, port, shopping malls, and other attractions across the region.   

In addition to its very relaxed regulations and a huge list of permitted business activities, investors enjoy 100% foreign ownership and zero corporation tax on their income.

Today we’ll take an in-depth look at some important aspects of starting a business in DSO’s free zone. Most importantly, we’ll identify why DSOA is the perfect free zone to set up a new business, the process to register a business, and the requirements to do so. 

Dubai Silicon free zone

How to Set up Business in Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone?

Business setup in Dubai is a considerably simple and convenient process and the same is the case with Dubai Silicon Oasis. But, keep in mind that the governing authority conducts strict pre-approval checks for all applications. There are 5 simple steps that entrepreneurs must follow to set up a business in the DSO-free zone: 

Step 01–Application submission

Register on the Free Zone Portal and submit the company registration application form.

Step 02–Get the preliminary approval

After the authorities have given their permission to your documents, get the preliminary approval.

Step 03–Submit the documents

Submit the necessary paperwork and make the necessary payments.

Step 04–Issuing the electronic agreement

Get the digital and lease agreement from the DSO Authority, sign it, and send a letter from your bank confirming your share capital. If you want to learn how to open a bank account, check out our guide on how to create a corporate bank account.

Step 05–Obtain the business license

Get the license for your company.

Document Requirements for Company Formation in DSO Freezone

The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has a defined list of document requirements for company formation in their free zone. Here is the updated list as per the authority guidelines:

  • Completed Application Form
  • NOC for UAE residents only
  • Bank statement(s)/reference letter or audited financial report
  • Company business plan
  • Letter of Intent
  • Passport Copy

What Are the Benefits of Starting a Business in DSO Free Zone?

The DSOA was developed as a hi-tech infrastructure that offers businesses unique benefits for both work and residence. Like its many counterparts, the Dubai Silicon Oasis presents investors with great advantages including

  • 100% Foreign Ownership 
  • 100% capital repatriation 
  • Zero Corporate Tax
  • State-of-the-art IT infrastructure 
  • Tier III Data Center 
  • Zero Import & Export Taxes 
  • Low cost of setup and operations
  • Fast-track business setup and licensing 
  • Dedicated business support services 
  • Access to regional talent and partners 
  • Defined regulations for ease of business 
  • Permission to conduct 7 business activities on one trading license  
  • Ready to use offices 
  • Customizable office spaces 
  • Multifunctional industrial warehousing facilities 

Business Setup Cost in Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone

The Dubai Silicon Oasis free zone offers some of the most attractive setup costs for entrepreneurs and SMBs across the UAE. Here are the basic business setup costs you can expect in the DSO economic zone:

  • Workstation Package
    • Cost AED 30,000 
    • Refundable Deposit of AED 5,000 
    • Includes trading license, work desk, and 1 visa 
  • License & Office Space
    • A trading license costs AED 12,000 
    • Office space of 7 square feet costs AED 14,000 

Other costs can include:

Registration fee AED 5,000 
Name feeAED 200
Insurance AED 900 
Office space (81 sq. meters)AED 130,000 – 140,000 

Best Businesses to Start in Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone?

The technologically progressive Silicon Oasis has been developed and enhanced especially for startups. The DSOA was built to foster research, innovation, and the incubation of startups. Ideal businesses to start in Dubai Silicon Oasis include:

  • Engineering and design.
  • Logistics & Transport.
  • Construction and manufacturing.
  • Food and Drink.
  • specialized services

Business Activities Allowed in DSO Free Zone

The DSO free zone is renowned for its support of innovation, technological research, and emphasis on startup incubation. DSOA allows one of the widest variety of business activities within its borders, while there is a major concentration on technology startups, sustainability tech, and renewable energy solutions. 

Here is a complete list of activities permitted within the economic zone and tech city:

  • Information Technology & Computing Solutions  
  • Telecommunication & Digital Collaboration Solutions  
  • Electrical Systems & Electronic Devices 
  • Engineering Solutions & Equipment  
  • Consultancy Services 
  • Legal Services & Solutions 
  • Fintech Solutions & Financial Institutions  
  • Biotech Research & Solutions  
  • Automobiles 
  • Aerospace Technology 
  • Oil And Gas 
  • Renewable Energy Solutions 
  • Startups 
  • Corporate Branch Offices 
  • Sales And Marketing Services  
  • Business Support & Training Services 
  • Distribution & Supply Chain 
  • Testing & Quality Control 
  • Labeling & Packaging Services 
  • Assembly & Construction 

Alternative Dubai South Free Zones

FAQs About Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone

Do I Need to Have a Local Sponsor to Start My Business in Dubai Silicon Oasis?

Since the free zone offers 100% foreign ownership, there is no need to have a local sponsor to start a business.

How Many Days Would It Take To Get My License for My Business in Dubai Silicon Oasis?

The licensing process for DSO free zone is 7 days. So, everything goes well, you should have your trade license in a week.

Can I Transfer My Company From Dubai Silicon Oasis to Another Free Zone in the UAE?

No, it is not currently possible to transfer your company from one free zone to another in the UAE. The existing license must be canceled to move to a new free zone, and a new one must be acquired from the other economic zone. Another way to locate within another emirate’s free zone is by establishing a branch of your existing business.

What Is Dubai Silicon Oasis?

The Dubai Silicon Oasis or DSOA is a globally acclaimed free trade zone with a purpose-built technology park to facilitate businesses. The globally renowned region is home to some of the leading technology corporations with a strategic location and a leading-edge infrastructure to complement business.

The DSOA was established in 2003 on the premise of fostering entrepreneurship, offering a transparent and secure environment, developing a sustainable community, and creating an innovative culture of business value maximization.

The Dubai Silicon Oasis is also home to DTec or Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus.

This is the largest tech startup incubation center in the UAE. The two DTec campuses are dedicated to offering technology startups a unique environment to launch and scale.


How Airzone Can Help You in Dubai Silicon Oasis Free Zone?

Establishing a new business in the UAE region may become overwhelming for startup entrepreneurs and foreign businesses. At Airzone we offer business setup guides for new businesses, equipping them with the ideal knowledge and insights to understand the dynamics of operating in the Dubai Silicon Oasis.   

We also help people looking to start a business in the UAE by connecting them to the right business formation service providers. Our partner company formation service providers will help you choose the ideal business setup services, secure trading licenses, conveniently obtain visas, and much more.