What is Better Flexi Desk or Virtual Office in the UAE?

Good day everyone, in this installment we will shed some light on flexi-desks. Firstly; what they are and how they differ from a company having just a registered address. We will then take the discussion back to focusing on flexi-desks alone, investigating some of their pros and cons, such that we can outline when they represent a feasible choice for your business. Finally, we will explain how you can get a flexi-desk.


    Ok, so first let’s clarify what a flexi-desk is. A flexi-desk is a dedicated desk and a chair that is typically located in a business center of a free zone. Sometimes flexi-desks give the possibility to use shared office facilities, such as, a phone line, fax, internet and P.O. Box, sometimes they include meeting rooms, videoconference equipment and some other shared facilities. Flexi-desks are usually provided for a limited number of hours per month, which may range from 18 to 25. So when it comes to flexi-desks you will have a real physical PLACE for your startup company to operate from. Free zones, which offer flexi-desks, also allow to use their specific P.O. Box number. Such P.O. Boxes are managed by the free zone and once you receive any correspondence you will be informed by email or phone call to come and collect it. In fact, some free zones offer a special service of correspondence delivery in case you live in a different emirate and it is preferable for you to receive your correspondence to your different address.



    This is where flexi-desk differs from simple registered address. A flexi-desk is a real physical place for you to come, sit and operate from. Whereas, a registered address is just address, with no office facilities assigned. In this case the work station is not provided and you cannot come and stay to work in a particular place. Generally, the purpose of a registered address is just to give an address that can be mentioned on your license and to allow for the company license to be issued. What is also important to mention is that registered address is provided only with those set-up packages, where investor will not need to apply for any visas (for example you currently work in a UAE company and you do not require a visa from your own company). As such, a company with registered address only cannot apply for resident visas and, therefore, cannot employ anyone.
Many entrepreneurs ask which option is better for business: a registered address or a flexi desk? Well, it depends on your initial finances and your business model. Cost-wise, flexi-desks are the more expensive option. This is because of the physical facilities they provide: access to a desk in a business center, which has internet, phones, utilities, post and so on.


    So: opt for a registered address if you are on a tight budget, you already hold a UAE resident visa and you can work from home. Lease a flexi-desk if you want to save money in comparison to renting an office, but at the same time want to benefit from access to a free zone’s business center facilities, as well as to hire someone or get your own investor visa.


    Now that we’ve set flexi-desk aside from registered address, lets weigh up some of the advantages and disadvantages of leasing a flexi-desk.


    The most attractive part of a flexi-desk, is undoubtedly the low initial price and future costs. Although more expensive than a registered address, it represents the cheapest available option for someone seeking a physical place to do their work.   It saves you from having to rent an office or a PO box, from buying furniture and from paying for various utilities directly. We know that for a startup, every dirham, every fills matter. It is better to free up funds for other things.  Such as for marketing and advertising to attract more leads, get more customers, have more sales and support your business. This is probably a much better use of funds than fancy furniture that won’t generate you any revenue.


    A second advantage is the facilities they provide that we’ve talked about – internet, phones and a workspace. In some instances, business centers will give you access to meeting rooms and even videoconference equipment so it means you can immediately start your operations and even meet clients there.


    In this regard flexi-desks are not only good for saving you money, but also time. Registering for and setting up amenities like water, electricity and internet can be a painful process, eating up precious time that you may need for tending to your business in its early stages. With a flexi-desk you are walking into a fully functional work space.


    Usually free zones offer flexi-desk facilities allowing access during the business hours only, but what if you need to stay later than regular timing or come much earlier?


    There can also be some time-costs associated with flexi-desks. The cost-friendly ones are typically located away from popular residential areas, meaning you may have to drive some distance to get there each time. If you are moving to the UAE to set up your business, this could be very expensive in the early stages without a UAE driver’s license.


    Another problem is that not all set-up packages with flexi-desks come with visas, particularly not the cheapest ones. You’ll need to pay attention to whether you receive the sufficient visa quota in your package or not.


    If you think on balance, a flexi-desk is probably the best option to start your business with, you may ask: “Ok, how can I get one?”. You need to know that there are only 3 types of companies in the UAE: mainland, free zone and offshore and a flexi desk option is available only for companies registered in free zones. And even then, not all free zones provide flexi-desk facilities. Usually flexi-desks are offered as a package. Our conclusion: first you will need to decide which free zone you would like to register in, and then make a request about the availability of flexi-desk facilities there.


    If you want to know more about Dubai freezone company formation, feel free to get in touch with our professional consultant team and we would be delighted to assist you and help you to compare Dubai freezone company setup costs and help you to find that free zone, which would suit your business needs the most.


 Disclaimer: Business Boutique UAE-Consultants.com is not affiliated with any particular government or legal entity. Business Boutique does not give professional legal advice nor any other professional advice subject to a public office in the government. This article merely sets out a simple and basic idea as to the reasons of Dubai freezone company setup and Dubai free zone company formation cost. Business Boutique in no way holds nor imposes any official governmental or legal authority and the article herein is only to be taken as a guide. All further governmental or legal issues should be addressed to the corresponding authorities.

Share this news in social networks
You may also be interested to see