Cost to Form & Renew a Tax-Free Company in Dubai Studio City

Understanding the financial obligations for establishing and renewing a tax-free company

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Hey, jet-setter, I know what’s cooking in that entrepreneur brain of yours: “Dubai Studio City cost—can I afford it?” Listen, if Dubai Studio City isn’t on your business radar yet, it should be. This is the promised land folks, a golden child among free zones in the UAE, and yes, in terms of cost, it’s not a Pandora’s box. Don’t believe me? Stick around, and FZBuddy will drop some numbers so cold, they’ll make your Excel sheet freeze.

Why Dubai Studio City?

So, you’ve heard of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the Dubai Free Zone, and maybe even the Abu Dhabi Global Market. But, my friend, Dubai Studio City is the dark horse you didn’t know you needed. We’re talking about a wide range of business activities, phenomenal geographical position, and total repatriation of capital. Yes, you heard it—no Uncle Sam’s hand in your pocket. A mecca for media and entertainment; it’s the Hollywood of the MENA region, sans capital gains tax. The magnetic pull is too real for business owners, foreign investors, and digital nomad visa holders alike.

Read more: Dubai Healthcare City Phase 2 Investor Benefits 2023: Tax Advantages and Incentives Revealed

Initial Setup Costs 

Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks. First stop, company registration. Picture this: a legal framework you can actually navigate. If you’re an overseas guru, you’ve got to consider Dubai Studio City for its straightforward business processes and—brace yourself—zero personal income tax. What’s the registration fee? Think along the lines of $2,000 to $4,000, depending on the type of business activity.

Office space? Ah, the mother of all costs in any business setup. Here’s where you need to keep your eyes wide open. You’ve got options ranging from luxurious commercial property to cozy offices that won’t break the bank. But hey, office packages can make the numbers look a little friendlier—worth looking into.

Costs of Formation

Enough with the preamble. Let’s talk about the full setup cost. Starting your venture in Dubai Studio City isn’t just a one-off event; it’s a smorgasbord of legal requirements. You’ll need different types of licenses, and no, it’s not a pick-and-mix. Trade licenses range from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on your range of business activities and, you guessed it, the type of company you’re launching—whether it’s offshore companies or onshore companies.

And let’s not forget, every business has its little idiosyncrasies. Additional business activities? Well, that’s extra. Want to offer financial services in addition to broadcasting TV segments? That’s a different license, pal. Application for registration? Yep, another fee. Ah, the joys of entrepreneurship.

Also read: Dubai South Logistics District Investor Benefits 2023 (Tax Advantages & Incentives)

Recurring Annual Expenses

Time to switch gears and delve into the recurring annual expenses. The business license needs renewing yearly, costing you around $2,000 to $4,000—let’s call it an annual base fee. Think of it as the subscription service of your entrepreneurial life. Business growth isn’t free, you know.

Ah yes, let’s talk about that lovely office space you acquired. Be ready for a 5-10% increase on that rent when renewal comes around. Don’t act surprised; this isn’t Netflix; prices actually go up.

Miscellaneous costs like health insurance, utility bills, and the soul-sucking, yet inevitable, cost of recruitment procedures for remote workers. Budgeting is not just a suggestion, it’s a survival tactic.

Tax Benefits and Implications 

Hey, remember that whole repatriation of capital deal we talked about? Well, you can literally kiss capital gains tax goodbye in Dubai Studio City. In fact, go ahead and write ‘No Personal Income Tax’ on your forehead, because that’s the selling point here. And hey, unlike our friends over at Abu Dhabi Free Zone or the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, this place offers foreign investors double tax treaties with several Asian countries and European countries. Don’t let the absence of income tax deceive you into thinking you’re free from regulatory requirements, though. You still need to keep your books neat for auditing. It’s not a free-for-all.

Financing Options 

Hearing cash registers in your head already? Slow down, Gordon Gecko. Even with no minimum share capital requirements, the startup world isn’t a cakewalk. But hey, you’ve got options—like obtaining an investment visa, UAE Golden Visa, or tapping into parent company resources if you’re setting up a branch office. Look, you’ve got banks practically salivating to offer you company bank services because you’re in the business hub that is Dubai Studio City. So leverage those corporate credit ratings if you’ve got them.

Pitfalls to Avoid 

Look, every rose has its thorns, right? So, be aware of hidden costs. Read the fine print, or you’ll end up paying more than just the annual base fee. And hey, there are types of licenses you might need depending on additional business activities. You want to do broadcasting radio segments? That’s another permit. Don’t treat this like a trip to the Dubai Gold souk where you haggle your way through. Learn the rules. For example, while you’re focusing on your Dubai Studio City dream, don’t forget there’s also a Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and even Sharjah Media City, each with its own set of recruitment procedures and application procedures. Keep your options wide, like Zayed Road.

Checklist for Budgeting 

Alright, for those of you who love bullet points as much as business growth opportunities, here it is. Let’s break it down:

  • Registration Fee: Mandatory expense. No way around it.
  • Types of Licenses: Different licenses for different business types. Know your niche.
  • Company License Renewal: It’s an annual dance, so budget for it.
  • Professional Services Fees: Lawyers, accountants, you know the drill.
  • Commercial Property Costs: Office space isn’t free, folks.
  • Unexpected Expenses: Like, say, a random property transfer fee. Leave some wiggle room.
  • Recruitment Procedures: Yes, employees actually like to get paid.
  • Application Procedure Fees: You’re not filling out social media bios here; these forms cost money.

Plan and budget like a boss, or end up paying like a newbie. Simple as that.


There you have it, folks—your one-way ticket to setting up your empire in Dubai Studio City. It’s a land of opportunity, but, hey, it’s not a playground. Know the rules, count your dirhams, and for heaven’s sake, read the fine print.


FZBuddy aims to provide accurate and reliable information as you navigate the UAE Freezone space. As such, our writers refer to primary information sources in supporting each article appearing on this website. These include, but are not limited to, published news articles, government portals, research papers, and more.

  1. Dubai Studio City. (n.d.). Global production, broadcasting and entertainment hub|Dubai Studio City.
  2. Home – Executive Council. (n.d.). Executive Council.

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