UAE Business Trends: How to get SaaS Business License in Dubai?

Dubai is the ideal place to set up and grow your SaaS business. With Smart Zones® UAE, you can get your SaaS business license quickly and easily, so you can focus on what matters most - growing your business.

  • 100% Foreign Ownership
  • 0% Corporate Tax
  • Thriving startup ecosystem
  • Easy access to global markets
How to Start SaaS Business License In Dubai - Smart Zones UAE

Why Start a SaaS Business in the Dubai, UAE?

Dubai serves as an ideal location for establishing a Software as a Service (SaaS) business due to its advanced technological and physical infrastructure, an abundance of engaged investors, and government support through incentives. Additionally, Dubai has a thriving community of tech companies open to partnership opportunities.

Furthermore, the favorable tax environment in Dubai, which exempts businesses from taxation, offers a compelling advantage for setting up operations in the emirate. This tax benefit allows companies to reinvest their profits for the expansion of their business.

What is a SaaS business?

A SaaS business, which stands for "software as a service," refers to a company that licenses and delivers software to other businesses through a subscription model. This software is hosted in the cloud, making it easily accessible from anywhere. SaaS has become a popular model in various industries, such as accounting, management, CAD, design, customer relationship management, human resources, and content management.

On a global scale, spending on the SaaS sector is expected to increase to $140 billion, a significant jump from just $100 billion two years ago. The SaaS sector in Dubai and the broader UAE is experiencing rapid growth, making it one of the fastest-growing segments within the IT industry. This trend is likely to continue as more companies adopt SaaS for their software needs.

In Dubai, numerous SaaS providers have already established themselves, but the market is far from saturated. This means there are ample opportunities for businesses with quality products and services to capture a substantial market share.

Benefits of starting a SaaS Business in the Dubai, UAE

There are many benefits to starting a SaaS business in Dubai, including:

  • Supportive government policies: The Dubai government is highly supportive of the tech sector, and has a number of policies in place to encourage the growth of SaaS businesses. These include 100% foreign ownership, 0% corporate tax, and a number of free zones that offer additional benefits, such as reduced visa fees and access to co-working spaces.
  • Global reach: SaaS businesses can be accessed from anywhere in the world, which gives you the potential to reach a global customer base.
  • Thriving startup ecosystem: Dubai has a thriving startup ecosystem, with a number of accelerators and incubators that can provide support and mentorship to SaaS businesses. The city also has a number of angel investors and venture capital firms that are looking to invest in promising SaaS startups.
  • Diverse talent pool: Dubai has a diverse talent pool, with people from all over the world coming to work in the city. This gives SaaS businesses access to a wide range of skills and experience.
  • Cost-effective office spaces: Office spaces in Dubai are generally more cost-effective than in other major global cities, such as London and New York. This can help SaaS businesses to save money on their operating costs.
  • Tax breaks: SaaS businesses in the DSO are exempt from corporate tax for the first 50 years.
  • Scalability: SaaS businesses are highly scalable, which means that you can grow your business quickly without having to invest heavily in additional infrastructure.
  • Recurring revenue: SaaS businesses generate recurring revenue from their customers, which can provide a predictable stream of income.
  • High margins: SaaS businesses typically have high margins, as there are few variable costs associated with delivering the service.
Most common Types of SaaS businesses in Dubai, UAE - Smart Zones UAE

Most common Types of SaaS businesses in Dubai, UAE

Dubai is a global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, and the SaaS industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the city. There are a wide variety of SaaS businesses in Dubai, serving a diverse range of industries and customers. Here are some of the most common types of SaaS businesses in Dubai:

  • Business management software: This software helps businesses to manage their operations more efficiently and effectively. It can include features such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and human capital management (HCM).
  • Marketing automation software: This software helps businesses to automate their marketing tasks, such as email marketing, social media marketing, and lead generation.
  • Sales automation software: This software helps businesses to automate their sales tasks, such as lead nurturing, prospecting, and follow-up.
  • Customer support software: This software helps businesses to provide better customer support by tracking customer interactions and providing automated responses.
  • Collaboration software: This software helps businesses to collaborate more effectively by providing tools for communication, file sharing, and project management.
  • Security software: This software helps businesses to protect their data and systems from cyber threats.
  • Financial software: This software helps businesses to manage their finances, such as accounting, invoicing, and payroll.
  • Healthcare software: This software helps healthcare providers to manage their patients and practices, such as electronic health records (EHR) and appointment scheduling.
  • Education software: This software helps educational institutions to manage their students, courses, and grades.
  • E-commerce software: This software helps businesses to create and manage their online stores.
  • Real estate software: This software helps real estate agents and brokers to manage their listings, clients, and deals.
  • Travel and tourism software: This software helps travel agencies and tour operators to manage their bookings, inventory, and customer relationships.

Step-by-Step Process to Get SaaS Business License in Dubai, UAE

Starting your own SaaS business in Dubai, UAE involves a series of essential steps:

The most common business structures in Dubai are limited liability companies (LLCs) and free zone companies. LLCs offer more flexibility and control, but require a local partner who holds at least 51% of the company's shares. Free zone companies are 100% foreign-owned and offer a number of benefits, such as tax breaks and fast-track visa processing.

Your business name must be unique and must not contain any offensive or blasphemous language. You can check the availability of business names on the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) website

Once you have chosen a business structure and name, you can register your business with the DED. This process can be done online or in person at a DED office. You will need to provide a number of documents, such as a business plan, passport copies, and proof of address.

Once your business is registered, you will need to obtain a business license from the DED. The type of license you need will depend on the specific activities your business will be undertaking.

You will need to open a corporate bank account in order to receive payments and manage your business finances. There are a number of banks in Dubai that offer corporate bank accounts for businesses of all sizes.

If you are not a UAE citizen or resident, you will need to apply for a visa in order to work in Dubai. There are a number of different types of visas available, depending on your job role and nationality.

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Required Documents for SaaS business license in Dubai

You will be required to provide certain fundamental documents, which include:

  • Certificate for Reserving a Name
  • Memorandum of Association Copy
  • Initial Approval Certificate
  • Documents for the Commercial Lease (attested by RERA)
  • Passport Copies of all Partners (except for sole proprietorships)
  • Any Necessary Approvals from External Departments (if required)

Cost of getting a SaaS business in Dubai, UAE

Starting a SaaS business in Dubai doesn't necessarily require a huge budget. On average, the initial cost typically ranges from AED 20,000 to AED 25,000. However, it's important to keep in mind that there are additional expenses to take into account when making your business plans. For instance, if you intend to hire employees from other countries, you'll need to budget for visa costs. Additionally, you should factor in the expenses related to renting office space, acquiring necessary hardware and software licenses, and it's a good idea to have some working capital on hand to cover unexpected costs, we recommend reaching out to Smart Zones® UAE to receive an accurate quote.

Asked Questions (FAQs)

Dubai offers a fantastic environment for SaaS businesses due to its advanced infrastructure, investor interest, and government support. The favorable tax system, which doesn't tax businesses, is a significant advantage. Additionally, Dubai is home to a thriving tech community open to partnerships.

A SaaS business, or "software as a service," provides software to other businesses through a subscription model. This software is hosted in the cloud, making it accessible from anywhere and is widely used in various industries.

There are several advantages, including supportive government policies, a global customer base, a thriving startup ecosystem, access to a diverse talent pool, cost-effective office spaces, tax breaks, scalability, recurring revenue, and high profit margins.

SaaS businesses in Dubai cover a wide range of industries, including business management, marketing automation, sales automation, customer support, collaboration, security, finance, healthcare, education, e-commerce, real estate, and travel and tourism.

The process involves choosing a business structure, selecting a unique business name, registering your business with the Dubai Department of Economic Development, obtaining a business license, opening a corporate bank account, and applying for the necessary visas.

You will need to provide documents such as a certificate for reserving a name, a copy of the memorandum of association, an initial approval certificate, documents for the commercial lease (attested by RERA), passport copies of all partners, and any necessary approvals from external departments if required.

The initial cost typically ranges from AED 20,000 to AED 25,000. However, additional expenses, such as visa costs, office space rental, hardware, software licenses, and working capital, should also be considered when planning your budget. It's advisable to contact Smart Zones® UAE for an accurate quote.

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