If you are considering setting up your business in the UAE, Dubai is the perfect avenue to cater to all your expectations. The UAE government has invested remarkable efforts in providing overseas investors and entrepreneurs a haven. The goal is to attract an influx of global talent to one of the world’s most booming economies.
From getting privileges like 100% tax exemption to 100% foreign ownership, Dubai Free Zones are becoming the eye candy for foreign investors around the globe. One of these great Freezones business avenues, the Dubai Design District, was introduced in 2013. Dubai Design District or D3 Freezone is intended to facilitate business activities related to fashion, art, design, and culture.
This blog post will highlight how to set up a business in Dubai Design District Free Zone to leverage the perks of its budget-friendly ecosystem. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about company formation in Dubai Design District and what to expect from the D3 business ecosystem.
How to Setup your business in Dubai Design District Free Zone?
If you are worried about how to set up a business in Dubai Design District, the process is straightforward. The goal of the UAE government is to reduce all the obstacles and complexities in the company formation journey of foreign investors. To ensure accessible and hassle-free entry to the market, the company formation in Dubai Design District follows simple steps.
Step 01 – Choose Your Business Activity(s)
Choosing a suitable business activity before applying for company formation in Dubai Design District is vital. Your company’s legal structure (Like LCC, GCC, etc.) and business license costs and type changes significantly based on your business activity. The type and number of activities you choose for your company formation in Dubai Design District further define the path of your business setup journey, including the types of approvals required, concerned authorities, size of office or warehouse space, time to the establishment, etc.
Step 02 – Register your Tradename
You must select a unique tradename for your business. Before applying for tradename registration, ensure that:
It does not collide with Dubai’s religious and moral values
It must be unique and relevant
It doesn’t show any inclination toward religious or sectarian groups.
It doesn’t contain any words or phrases reserved for Public bodies, departments, or authorities.
As mentioned above, the roadmap to secure your trade license in Dubai Design District Free Zone is based on your business activity. The general requirements, documentation, and approval from concerned authorities are almost identical. It is recommended to onboard an experienced business formation services provider to help you choose the right trade license category and lead you through the entire trade license application process. The Dubai Department of Economic Development carries out the entire process unless you need additional approvals for particular business activities.
Step 04 – Setup your office space
Choosing your office space is mandatory for business registration in the UAE. You need to provide the tenancy agreement when you get your final approval. You can rent or purchase dedicated office spaces or co-working workspaces that suit your budget. The size of your office space also determines the number of employee visas you can apply for. The criterion is one employee visa per 800 square feet of office space.
Step 05 – Final Approval
The final approval is your permit to start your business activities in Dubai Design District Free Zone. You must ensure that you have completed all your documentation and approvals from relevant authorities. The steps discussed above are the mandatory prerequisites for your final approval for company formation in Dubai Design District. Once done, the stage is all yours to leverage the perks of skyrocketing UAE’s economy.
Requirements for Company Formation in Dubai Design District Freezone?
Company formation in Dubai Design District requires you to complete all the paperwork and meet mandatory requirements. The steps and documents involved in the final approval of your business include:
Initiate a business registration application with the DED
Providing your business’s memorandum of association
Acquiring the Trade License,
Submitting an application for an establishment card to the Ministry of Labor (issued by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The documents required for the said case include:
Original Emirates ID
Passport of UAE sponsor/shareholder (in case of shared partnership in Mainland – Shared partnership is not Obligatory after 2020)
Old Immigration card
A valid Trade License
Copy of Passport with valid visa page of all partners for Freezone Company
Confirmed and potential employees must be registered with the Ministry of Labor, with the documents required as under
Note: Some additional documentation may be required to approve specific business activities from concerned authorities.
Benefits of Starting a Business in the Dubai Design District Free Zone
Dubai Design District is the most suitable business avenue for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers. Let’s now explore some of the benefits of starting a business in the Dubai Design District. Whether you’re looking to tap into the region’s rapidly growing design market or take advantage of the supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, D3 is worth considering as your next business destination. So let’s dive in!
1. Inclusivity and Diversity:
D3 Free Zone is home to international talent from all over the world. In Dubai Design District, foreign investors and entrepreneurs can elevate their exposure by becoming a part of its unique community. The Free Zone is known for its cultural and social diversity. Its inclusivity makes it a perfect place for female creators and designers, as women own over 100 businesses in D3.
2. 100% Business Ownership
Like the rest of the Free Zones in UAE, you can exercise 100% ownership of your business as a foreign investor in D3. You don’t need any local sponsor for company formation in Dubai Design District. It means you have the liberty to run your business on your terms.
3. Tax Exemption
Businesses that earn less than AED 375,000 annually are exempted from paying any corporate or personal tax. Once you cross this benchmark, you must pay the UAE government a 5% corporate tax. Similarly, the Import/Export duties are almost negligible for Dubai Design District Free Zone businesses.
4. No Currency Restrictions
You can invest in the Dubai Design District Free Zone in the currency of your choice. This remarkable privilege of company formation in Dubai Design District attracts many overseas investors from every corner of the world.
5. Ideal location
Dubai Design District Free Zone is based in the heart of Dubai Downtown, with all famous places and resources in easy reach. With nearby Mohammed bin Rashid City and the beautiful skyline of Dubai downtown with Burj Khalifa in the background, the location of D3 is second to none. It is home to famous restaurants, cafeterias, and bars. The D3 Free Zone has become prominent due to its cultural diversity and the range of fashion shows and expos.
6. Reasonable Bussiness Setup Cost
If you are an entrepreneur looking for a budget-friendly option to set up an overseas business in Dubai, D3 Freezone is the answer. Business setup costs in Dubai Design District start from around AED 18,000. The cost varies depending on the scale of your business and the nature of your business activities.
7. Hassle-free Visa Process
You can get your 3-year investor visa in Dubai Design District Freezone. The number of employee visas you can apply for is one employee visa per 80 square feet of office or warehouse space. The visa application process is fairly straightforward, like the rest of the Freezones in the UAE. Entrepreneurs can also apply for special freelance visas to debut as artists or fashion designers in the UAE market.
Opening a corporate bank account is a mandatory part of company formation in the Dubai Design District. The process is straightforward, with the minor paperwork required. There are multiple business formation service providers in the UAE that further help in opening your bank account, applying for residence visas, and getting your trade license.
With creative artists and designers from around the globe based in the same Free Zone, Dubai Design District is the most attractive and exceptional business avenue. Its modern business ecosystem is full of business-friendly features and facilities to encourage overseas talent for company formation in Dubai Design District.
Best Businesses to Start in Dubai Design District?
The most profitable business activities in Dubai Design District are linked with the creative and design industries. Some of the promising business ideas in Dubai Design District include:
Art & Culture
Lifestyle & Beauty care
Fashion Designing (excluding or including manufacturing)
Interior Designing (excluding or including manufacturing)
Fashion Industry (excluding or including manufacturing
Company Formation Cost in Dubai Design District
Business setup costs in Dubai Design District start from around AED 18,000. The cost varies depending on the scale of your business and the nature of your business activities. This significantly lower company formation cost in Dubai Design District is the main reason behind its overwhelming prominence among entrepreneurs.
Business Activities Allowed in Dubai Design District
Dubai Design District Free Zone encourages various business activities you can choose from. Below are some most profitable business activities allowed in Dubai Design District:
Architecture & Interior Designing
Modeling or Fashion Agency
Art & Cultural Galleries
Performing Arts Management (such as Drama, dance, music, etc.)
FAQs About Dubai Design District Free Zone Company Formation
What is Dubai Design District Free Zone?
What is Dubai Design District, you ask? It’s a special hub in the UAE that’s all about design, fashion, and culture. D3 is located in Downtown Dubai and is perfect for free-thinkers, innovators, and creators who want to shape the future.
The district has everything designers need to get their creativity flowing, with affordable office spaces and shared workspaces available for businesses of all sizes. The first phase was completed in 2015 and included 11 buildings with 1,000 offices and 100 retail units.
If you’re an entrepreneur or foreign investor in the art, design, or fashion industry, D3 is the ideal location to set up shop. It’s a business-friendly ecosystem that encourages innovation, so you can focus on your business without worrying about high costs.
Do I Need to Have a Local Sponsor to Start My Business in Dubai Design District?
Like the rest of the Free Zones, you don’t need any local sponsor for company formation in Dubai Design District. You can enjoy 100% foreign ownership by setting up your business in Dubai Design District Free Zone.
How Many Days Would It Take To Get My License for My Business in Dubai Design District?
It takes around 5-7 working days to get your trade license in Dubai Design District. It is necessary to apply for your trade license while keeping in mind the upcoming holidays in the UAE.
Can I Transfer My Company From Dubai Design District to Another in the UAE?
It is impossible to shift your business from one Free Zone to another in the UAE. If you have a trade license for Dubai Design District, you can only open your branch office in another Free Zone to expand your business operations.
To relocate your business entirely to another Free Zone in Dubai, you need to shut down and cancel your existing business license and apply for new business registration from the beginning. Connect with Airzone to onboard experienced business consultancy providers to get further assistance.
How Airzone can help you start a business in Dubai Design District?
If you find it challenging to fulfill all the documents, get the necessary approvals, and find the right resources for company formation in Dubai Design District, connect with Airzone. We can help you find highly professional and experienced business formation service providers. Our partnered business formation service providers can help you in:
Reserving your trade name
Applying for a trade license
Opening your bank account
Completing required documentation and approvals
Applying for residence or work visas
Airzone is committed to making your journey to set up your business in Dubai and UAE. Whether you are looking for a Freezone business setup or a Mainland business setup, Airzone will get you covered.
Don’t forget to read our dedicated blog about the list of Free Zones in the UAE and explore all Freezone alternatives for your business setup in the UAE.
Dubai Design District Business Setup Costs
Calculate Company Formation Costs for Dubai Design District Free Zone