Business Setup in Studio City Dubai

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Background Information: Dubai Studio City

Studio City in Dubai was established in 2005 as a companion Free Zone to Dubai Media City. It offers a world-class infrastructure and caters to broadcast, film,television and music production companies. Among the ultra-modern facilities are studios, sound stages, warehouses, workshops, office spaces, backlots, stages areas, and satellite communication facilities. Some additional features of the world-class sound stages are: fully equipped dressing rooms, star suites, animation studios, dubbing facilities, makeup and costume design spaces. Dubai Studio City also has indoor water tanks for underwater shoots. Almost anything needed for media production is close at hand, including a host of freelance professionals to complement your production staff.

Advantages of Business Formation in Dubai Studio City

Businesses in Dubai Studio City enjoy these business-friendly advantages:
• The region has experienced a 10 year GDP growth rate of 8%
• Per Capita Income among highest in the world – over $20,000
• Free Zones offer 100% ownership
• There are no foreign exchange controls, trade barriers or quotas
• There is no Corporate Tax or Income Tax
• Dubai Studio City has a Diversified economy – Oil and Gas sector contributes only 6% to GDP
• Proximity to to a huge talent pool of 13.8 million skilled workers
• Immigration friendly – Expatriates constitute over 75% of UAE’s population
• Excellent facilities for leisure, sports, education, shopping and healthcare
• Internationally renowned sports facilities include golf, tennis, water sports, horse riding, dune driving and sand skiing

Supported/Allowed Business Sectors

Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA) administers business formation and licensing in Dubai Studio City. Licenses are available for these business activities:
• Broadcast TV
• Broadcast radio
• Broadcast support services
• Broadcast Service Providers
• Animation
• Film Support services
• Film, TV, Radio Production
• Production Support Services
• Music and Entertainment (including distribution)
• Themed amusement and recreation facilities
• TECOM General

Permitted Business Types

There are three business types permitted in Dubai Studio City. These types are:
• A Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC) is a separate legal entity doing business under its registered trade name. It may have a corporate shareholder or a single natural person as shareholder. There are variations in document requirements among these FZ-LLC types -detailed below. (Corporate Entity and Corporate Person indicate a shareholder-based organization)
• A branch of a foreign or UAE company is not a legal entity – it is a legally dependent part of a parent company. Branches do business in the name of and under the licensed authority of the parent company. There are two business types: a branch of a foreign company and a branch of a UAE company. The document requirements are different for these types
• A Freelancer license allows a person to operate as a sole practitioner and conduct business in their birth name. The documents requirement is much smaller than the other business types.

Required documents for a Free Zone Limited Liability Company with an natural person applicant:

• The registration application. Applications are available from DTMFZA and must be completely filled out.
• Proof of trade name registration – A name registration can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development (DED)
• Proof of initial approval for business formation activities. This initial approval can be obtained through the DED.
• Completed personal information sheet for the applicant
• Lease agreement specifying a physical address that meets minimum requirements
• Proof of deposit of the minimum required capital – AED 50,000 or US$13,968 (Broadcasting businesses must prove AED 2,500,000 – US$684,931)
• If you have contracted for the services of a local agent (highly recommended) a notarized Power of Attorney for your designated local agent
The local authority may request or require additional documents.


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Required documents for a Free Zone Limited Liability Company with an Corporate Entity applicant:

• The registration application. Applications are available from DTMFZA and must be completely filled out.
• Proof of trade name registration – A name registration can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development (DED)
• Proof of initial approval for business formation activities. This initial approval can be obtained through the DED.
• Copies of shareholder passports
• Completed Personal Information Sheets for each shareholder and manager
• Passport copy and C.V. (resume) for the designated manager
• Lease agreement specifying a physical address that meets minimum requirements
• Notarized and attested (by the UAE Embassy in the origin country) Memorandum of Association and/or Articles of Association
• A resolution from the board of directors of the Corporate Entity expressing the intent to establish a new business abroad. This must be notarized by the UAE Embassy in the origin country
• A certificate of registration for the Corporate Entity applicant from the registrar of businesses in the origin country. This may be a Certificate of Incorporation, a business license or other applicable documents notarized by the UAE Embassy
• Proof of deposit of the minimum required capital – AED 50,000 or US$13,968 (Broadcasting businesses must prove AED 2,500,000 or US$684,931)
• If a you have contracted with a local agent (highly recommended) the designated agent must have notarized power of attorney documents.

The local authority may request or require additional documents.

The required documents for establishing a Branch of a Foreign Company are:

• The registration application. Applications are available from DTMFZA and must be completely filled out.
• Proof of trade name registration – A name registration can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development (DED)
• Proof of initial approval for business formation activities. This initial approval can be obtained through the DED.
• Copies of shareholder passports
• Passport copy and C.V. (resume) for the designated manager
• A completed Personal Information Sheet for each shareholder and manager
• Notarized and attested (by the UAE Embassy in the origin country) Memorandum of Association and/or Articles of Association
• A resolution from the board of directors of the parent company expressing the intent to establish a Branch abroad. This must be notarized by the UAE Embassy in the origin country
• A certificate of registration for the parent company from the registrar of businesses in the origin country. This may be a Certificate of Incorporation, a business license or other applicable documents notarized by the UAE Embassy
• A certificate of Good Standing for the parent company issued by the registrar of businesses in the origin country. Must be notarized by the UAE Embassy in the origin country
• Lease agreement documents specifying a physical address that meets minimum requirements
• If you contract with a local agent (highly recommended) the designated agent must have notarized power of attorney documents.
• A business plan or brief feasibility study for the proposed branch
• A company profile

There is no minimum capital requirement for branches of foreign businesses. The authority may request or require additional documents.

Required Documents for setting up a Branch of a Local Company with an individual applicant are:

• Passport copy of the applicant
• Passport copy and C.V.(resume) of the designated manager. University degree is required
• Completed personal information sheets for the applicant and manager
• Proof of trade name registration. This can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development (DED).
• Proof of approval from the DED for initial business formation activities
• Memorandum of Association or Article of Association for the existing main business, notarized by the UAE notary public
• Lease agreement documents specifying a physical address that meets minimum requirements
• If a local agent is used (highly recommended) the designated agent must have power of attorney documents.
• Certificate of Registration for the existing company. This may be a license or certificate of incorporation notarized by UAE notary public.
• There may be additional documents requested by the authority

There is no capital requirement for branches of local companies.

Required Documents for setting up a Branch of a Local Company with a corporate applicant are:

• Passport copy of the shareholders
• Passport copy and C.V.(resume) of the designated manager. A university degree is required
• Completed personal information sheets for the shareholders and managers
• Proof of trade name registration. This can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development (DED).
• Proof of approval from the DED for initial business formation activities
• Article of Association for the existing main business, notarized by the UAE notary public
• A notarized resolution from the board of directors of the existing company expressing the intent to establish a branch in the Free Zone.
• Lease agreement documents specifying a physical address that meets minimum requirements
• If a local agent is used (highly recommended) the designated agent must have power of attorney documents.
• Certificate of Registration for the existing company. This may be a license or certificate of incorporation notarized by UAE notary public.
• A company profile for the existing business
• A valid Chamber of Commerce certificate for the main business
• There may be additional documents requested by the authority

There is no capital requirement for branches of local companies.

How Push Digits Will Help You

One of the many valuable services PushDigits offers is assistance with the process of business formation in UAE Free Zones including the Dubai Studio City. We can help you navigate the bureaucracy of business authorities in the region. The number of required documents can look discouraging. Don’t worry, we will make sure you have all required documents when and when they’re needed and that the documents are properly completed. We are familiar with the local culture and with the authorities and agencies involved so we can make the process as quick and painless as possible. After the new FZ-LLC or Branch Office is up and running we offer many additional services to make your business life easier. Our original business was accounting services and we have a full range of services to help you manage your business efficiently.


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