How to Start a Software Company in Dubai, UAE: Startup Guide

software company in Dubai

Do you know how to start a software company in Dubai? Compliance with regulatory requirements to guarantee operational alignment. Identification of unique selling points for differentiation in a competitive market. Building partnerships with local stakeholders to bolster collaboration and support. Implementation of innovative solutions tailored to fulfill specific local needs and challenges.

In this article, you can learn about the cost and how to start a software company. Extensive research and proactive engagement with industry leaders and governmental entities are indispensable for navigating this complex journey effectively.

Setting up a Software Company in Dubai, UAE

software company in Dubai

When launching a software company in Dubai, UAE, it is paramount to proceed through these stages:

  1. Initiate the naming process: Kickstart the process by selecting a unique name that meets regulations.
  2. Opt for your desired locale: Choose between a Dubai-free zone (0% tax) or a mainland setup (affording access to the UAE market and government contracts).
  3. Select your business structure: Decide on the most fitting entity, such as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company (LLC).
  4. Apply for your trade license: Submit your application to relevant authorities like the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and Dubai’s Department of Economic Development.

Ensure you gather all required documentation, including:

  • Completed application forms
  • No Objection Certificates (NOC) for non-UAE nationals
  • Partnership agreements for mainland setups
  • Passport copies and residence visas
  • Articles of Association delineating your company’s objectives
  • Partnership agreements for businesses involving multiple partners.

Following these steps will enable you to establish a successful software company in Dubai, UAE while maintaining complexity and dynamism throughout the process.

Software Company License in Dubai and Across the UAE

When embarking on a software company in Dubai and across the UAE, obtaining a professional license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) is fundamental. Afterward, the DED will evaluate the application and related documents prior to bestowing the business license for operation initiation.

Based on your business activities, supplementary permits and licenses such as a commercial license, work permit, and VAT registration might be needed. You possess the liberty to opt for setting up your company within a Dubai-free zone or on the mainland.

The expense of a software company license in Dubai fluctuates contingent upon the license type and company size. Pertinent documents for inaugurating a software company in Dubai consist of a business plan, proof of address, passport copy, and evidence of financial stability.

Cost of Software Company License

When starting a software company in Dubai, the cost can vary depending on factors like location, legal structure, and number of shareholders. Initially, the basic cost starts at AED 12,900 and can increase up to AED 50,000 with more shareholders, workforce, and larger premises.

In certain free zones, establishing a software company with 1 visa quota can cost between AED 15,200 to AED 17,900. The cost breakdown includes expenses like:

It is advisable to have at least AED 100,000 saved initially to sustain the business.

Cost of Starting a Software Company in Dubai Mainland

The cost of initiating a software company in Dubai mainland varies based on the license type and company size. As indicated, business license costs in Dubai range from AED 5500 to AED 21,185, depending on the location and nature of the IT company.

Moreover, the estimated initial setup cost could span from AED 5500 to AED 40,000 alongside an annual renewal fee. Furthermore, one must take into account other expenses, such as documentation fees, legal fees, and office space rental costs.

Note that these costs can differ significantly due to numerous variables, including the kind of business activities planned, the number of visas required, and the location of the office.

Cost of Starting a Software Company in UAE Freezone

Boarding on establishing a software company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) free zones unveils a labyrinth of unique financial considerations. Opting for a solo proprietorship in a free zone could entail an intricate web of initial setup costs.

Spanning from around 15,000 AED to 20,000 AED, encompassing not only annual renewal fees. But also, a myriad of additional charges like licensing fees, immigration card fees, stamp duty, and investor residence visa fees. These figures serve as mere approximations, subject to significant fluctuations contingent.

Benefits of launching a Software Company in Dubai, UAE

Launching a software company in Dubai offers a multifaceted landscape brimming with possibilities. This metropolis presents a dynamic marketplace for software services, attracting entrepreneurs from diverse sectors.

Notably, the UAE mainland features strikingly low tax rates, whereas Dubai free zones provide a 0% income tax rate, luring budding startups to optimize their earnings. Dubai’s advanced infrastructure comprises state-of-the-art offices and cloud servers. Also, robust internet connectivity creates an auspicious atmosphere for software development.

Moreover, this city nurtures a vast community of competent specialists versed in UX research, interface design, and assorted programming languages, simplifying the hiring process. Dubai also functions as a sanctuary for numerous angel investors and venture capital entities, easing financing accessibility for startups and empowering them to expand.

Furthermore, Dubai cultivates a business-congenial milieu with negligible limitations on employment and fiscal operations, permitting startups to function seamlessly. Finally, Dubai’s cosmopolitan ethos encourages technological advancements while supporting established businesses.

The cost of commencing a software company in Dubai ranges from 15,000 to 20,000 AED for a single proprietorship in a free zone, with various funding channels such as bank loans, angel investors, venture capitalists, and crowdfunding reinforcing entrepreneurial initiatives in Dubai.

Start a Software Company in Dubai: Step-by-step

software company in Dubai

Commencing a software company in Dubai requires traversing a multi-layered pathway. Initially, define the preferred corporate structure, either an LLC, Sole Proprietorship, or Branch Office. Subsequently, opt for a unique trade name and acquire endorsement from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Continue by applying for a Trading License from the DED to validate your trade name and business. Follow this step by registering for Value Added Tax (VAT) and initiating a local bank account. Afterward, procure essential approvals and licenses from pertinent government entities.

The initial setup costs generally range from AED 5,500 to AED 40,000, excluding annual renewal fees. Other potential expenses consist of documentation fees, legal charges, and office space rentals. Dubai’s advantageous business climate, flourishing tech ecosystem, and global market connectivity place. It is an optimal locale for launching a software development enterprise.

Step 1: Partner with Connect Business Centers

Should you be considering the establishment of a software company in Dubai, partnering with Connect Business Centers can significantly streamline and hasten the procedural intricacies.

Moreover, Dubai stands out as an optimal setting for launching a tech startup, boasting a conducive business environment, advantageous tax rates, and a rich pool of skilled professionals. The process of initiating a software company in Dubai entails a series of steps.

Firstly, reserving a trading name is essential, followed by selecting a suitable location and determining the business structure. Subsequently, completing the application process and securing the requisite licenses and approvals are crucial steps.

Additionally, essential documentation such as an application form, NOC for expatriate partners, partnership agreement, passport and visa copies, and articles of association will be required.

By engaging with a specialized company formation entity like Connect Business Centers, you can expedite the process and ensure meticulous attention to detail to facilitate swift approval devoid of errors.

Step 2: Determine the Business Structure

Inaugurating a software company in Dubai necessitates a deliberate approach toward identifying the most fitting business structure. Potential options include a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or customized alternatives tailored to address specific company requirements.

Once the business structure has been determined, it becomes indispensable to secure the requisite licensing and approvals, such as a professional license or a commercial license, according to the distinct needs at hand.

Simultaneously, it is vital to plan finances, construct a team, maintain regulatory compliance, grasp cultural nuances, participate in networking endeavors, and stay informed about industry developments.

Documentation required to open a software company in Dubai includes a business plan and passport copy of the owner/shareholder. Also, visa copies of the owner/shareholder, multiple name suggestions for company registration purposes, and a lease agreement for the physical or virtual office.

Step 3: Choose & Register a Trade Name

When commencing the creation of a software company in Dubai, paying close heed to the selection and registration of a trade name is fundamental. First, strictly comply with the regulations imposed by the Department of Economic Development.

Secondly, judiciously pick three prospective names for submission, steering clear of unapproved abbreviations. Confirming the availability of your chosen name prior to progressing with the application process is mandatory.

Eventually, upon concluding a name, immediately submit the application to the Department of Economic Development for approval. It is essential to acknowledge that registering a trade name is a significant milestone. It constitutes merely one element of the elaborate process involved in forming a software company in Dubai.

This extensive process comprises tasks such as selecting a business location, establishing a legal structure, procuring necessary licenses, and conforming to regulatory standards.

Step 4: Submit an application

To submit an application for establishing a software company in Dubai, it is crucial to traverse through a sequence of complex yet integral stages. First, prepare detailed articles of association, specifying your company’s goals and operating principles.

Later, acquire No Objection Certificates (NOC) for expat partners if relevant and furnish copies of identification documents such as passports and visa pages for foreign nationals. If there are multiple partners involved, draft a partnership agreement accordingly. Set up a corporate bank account to handle financial operations efficiently.

After that, register for Value Added Tax (VAT) since it applies to all software companies in Dubai. Ultimately, seek expert advice from business setup consultants or specialized services to ensure precision and timeliness in the completion of the application process.

  • By diligently following these steps and soliciting professional counsel, you can elevate the caliber of your application and boost the probability of approval.

Step 5: Register for VAT

When launching the best software company in Dubai, it is vital to instigate the registration for Value Added Tax (VAT). Beginning with this endeavor, file an application for a trading license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) to attain endorsement for your business name and activities.

Thereafter, make certain that you possess all the prerequisite documents, comprising a copy of your trade license. Also, passport copies of shareholders/owners/managers, Emirates ID copies, company contact details, Memorandum of Association (MOA), and samples of sales or purchase invoices.

Conclusively, engage in the VAT registration process via the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) online platform. Within thirty days after surpassing the mandatory threshold of AED 375,000 in taxable supplies and imports. You can proficiently accomplish the VAT registration procedure when inaugurating a software company in Dubai.

Step 6: Open a Local Bank Account

When setting forth the foundation for a local bank account for a software company in Dubai, exercising prudence and developing a profound grasp of the regional banking milieu is paramount. The United Arab Emirates encompasses a bustling banking community, inclusive of traditional and Sharia-compliant financial institutions.

Customary documentation comprises your trade license, incorporation certificate, and authentication of shareholder and signatory identities. Financial institutions execute fastidious Anti-Money Laundering (AML) practices in alignment with recognized protocols. Applicants are bound to proffer a succinct exposition of their business operations and funding sources.

A meticulously formulated business plan, an active company website, and a genuine UAE residence permit can propel the account opening process. With utmost vigilance, navigating this phase is nonnegotiable owing to the variable and stringent banking criteria that each distinct bank could impose.

Documents Required to Start a Software Company in Dubai

To establish a software company in Dubai, you need to acquire specific documents. Subsequently, secure a professional trade license by following these steps:

  • Initially, register the trading name at the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  • Then, finalize the application and gather all necessary documents.
  • Next, submit the application to the authority.
  • Additionally, further approvals may be required from government agencies or civic organizations based on the business model.
  • Moreover, license fees vary depending on the type and scale of the organization.

Throughout this process, employ academic language and active voice while avoiding descriptive terms. Utilizing transitional expressions will enhance clarity and coherence.

Software Companies to Open in Dubai: Types

Amid Dubai’s burgeoning technology landscape, a variety of software companies thrive:

  1. Initially, software development firms specialize in tailored solutions.
  2. Subsequently, cloud computing companies offer PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS.
  3. Following that, mobile app developers craft iOS and Android applications.
  4. Lastly, web development companies create and manage websites.

Dubai’s tech growth provides networking, government support, and global market access, making it an ideal hub for software ventures.


Embarking on the establishment of a software company in Dubai presents a fertile ground for advancement and creativity.

Progressing through this journey entails a series of pivotal actions. Including choosing a location, establishing the legal framework, and monitoring industry trends. You can contact us to learn more about it.

By steadfastly following these procedures and seeking guidance from professionals, entrepreneurs can proficiently inaugurate a software enterprise in Dubai. This calculated strategy capitalizes on the city’s conducive business environment and vibrant technological landscape to cultivate triumph within the Middle Eastern market.

Share this post
Contact Us
Have any question? Fill out the form and we'll love to hear, we'll in touch shortly

    Related Blog Posts