“There is no motivation higher than being independent and working for yourself!”, or this is what most entrepreneurs said when they finally got a grip of their business idea and started harvesting the benefits from what they previously planted. Nobody said is easy though, it’s a journey that at least you owe it to yourself to try and test.
Regardless of your inner motivation, a decision to value and monetize your skills could actually turn into something that you might regret that you didn’t start earlier!
Is entrepreneurship for everyone?
I would say yes, although the latest rules out there, where a lot of startups went through challenging stages and impressive achievements, will fit only certain business ideas. Unicorns, for example, are something very rare to achieve so most of the startup advice, roots in projects that developed at a staggering scale. In most of the cases, is not applicable. Just start somewhere! Everyone has a set of aptitudes, a diploma (or 5!) and could definitely showcase them to even a small audience. We can brainstorm about that together!
We are lucky to live in a country where opportunities arise extremely often, and where the government implements flexible solutions for each one of us, expats. The business scene in the United Arab emirates is impressive, aggregating local companies, private establishments in both mainland and free zones, residence opportunities for talented individuals or investors and a continues exposure to conferences or other business events.
With the new era of “being your own boss”, a lot of diverse activities are also implemented according to the ongoing changes and demands that currently exists in the market. On top of this, consultants such as our group, can also raise a request for new activities. If you have a diploma specifying a skill that you do not find in our activity list, you may contact us to raise a request for it. In this way, you also contribute to the local community of freelancers!
As soon as you get your business license as a freelancer, you are able to monetize on your skills right away. You are allowed to use your personal bank account but we highly suggest you get a business bank account, where your credibility in the market will increase exponentially. Another benefit of having a business bank account is that you can use many services that might be extremely helpful for your business, where a trade license is required, such as payment integrations in local currency.
The most important feature this license enables you is to apply for your own visa, valid for 3 years. Freelancers were able to only get an employment visa or a work permit until recently, but as mentioned previously, the local government enabled extremely flexible opportunities to choose from, when it comes to residing in the UAE. With an investor visa that the license enables you to receive by sponsoring yourself, you can also sponsor your immediate family. Not to mention the risks associated with having a visa under employers who have power of decision in choosing to cancel your visa or even issue a labor ban.
According to a recent study, 45% of all high paying skilled jobs will be contracted out to freelancers over the next 5 years. We currently have more options than ever before due to technological expansion, variety of skills that can be almost instantly turned into paid opportunities or cost reduction such as not needing to rent an office.
You can work for anyone in the UAE, full time, part time, contract based etc. without having to be bonded by their residence sponsorship or medical insurance. This way you can increase your hourly fees, have and gig you prefer on a side, whenever ready or terminate any contract without probation.
Coming to the UAE as an expat full of dreams and aiming utmost success was in our plans from the beginning, but not without rules to follow. Sponsorship, employment or investment were mostly the only options that could extend our stay in the country. Now having the opportunity to be independent with our visa, you can easily work on what you like without having to think of probation periods or termination of any job.
UAE is not the cheapest country to live in but you get what you pay for. Having an individual insurance gets you access to the most modern medical equipment, a wide hospitals and clinics network and access to benefits for specialty departments such as dentistry, chiropracts or even therapy. As an independent freelancer, you also need to take responsibility for your health which, on the long run, will enable you to take better care of your customers too.
With a residence visa you can easily rent an apartment, own an Eejari contract or open a bank account. Operationally, you need to consider even small things like having a postpaid SIM card contract since all these decisions will collectively work towards achieving you goals as a small business owner, until you will be ready to open a fully serviced company to even employ staff and deploy your tasks that you will already be accommodated with.
The renewal or cancellation fees are minimal with a freelance visa, summing up to AED 3,000, when deciding to upgrade to a better opportunity.
FIDA Group will be assisting you throughout the process transparently as your dedicated PRO, offering continuous support before starting the process in order to take the most suitable decision, during application if any transport or other similar aid required, and build a professional relation with its clients further as follow up.
We wish you luck and success in your next steps in the independent journey you have chosen and remember that you are not alone and, above all, you matter!