Business Set up in Dubai Freezone

A Free zone is a geographical region or jurisdiction which is allowed to conduct a predefined trading activity or set of activities in the UAE. Business set up in Dubai Freezone requires a license and the Freezone licenses in Dubai and UAE are issued based on the particular business activity of the company.

The Dubai Freezone Licenses are issued based on the particular business activity of the company. Certain new free zone regions are under construction and therefore the total number of the free zone would rise in the coming years.

Free Zone Authority (FZA) is the governing body in charge of the activities related to a Free Zone company like license issuance and operation. The Commercial laws governing the UAE mainland companies are not applicable to the Free zone companies. One of the greatest benefits of business set up in Dubai Freezone is that foreign investors can enjoy 100% ownership. Apart from complete ownership benefits, monetary benefits like complete tax exemptions, 100% repatriation benefits, absence of foreign exchange restrictions are the added benefits of Dubai freezone company formation.

When your company is approved for the Freezone business, it is given any of the Dubai Freezone licenses such as Trade License, Industrial License, Service License, or National Industrial License by the Free Zone Authority. These freezone licenses in Dubai/UAE can be renewed annually as long as the lease agreement is in force.

You are supposed to select your desired free zone jurisdiction based on the type of business. Your business activity should match the category of the preferred Free zone. Even though offshore companies share some of the benefits of Freezone companies in Dubai, they are not identical.

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  • Business entities formed in Free zone jurisdiction

    The investors and entrepreneurs can rely on 3 different business entities to form a company in any of the Dubai Free zone jurisdiction. And those entities are:

    Free Zone Company (FZC) – A Free Zone company is a business entity that has 2 or more shareholders.

    Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – A Free Zone Establishment is a business entity that has a single shareholder.

    Branch Office – the investors can also form a business entity that serves as a branch office of a parent-concern. The parent-concern can be in the UAE or an overseas company.

  • Free Zone company formation – step by step instructions

    Select the business entity of your preference – Understand the business category of the Free Zone jurisdiction and choose your desired business or legal entity.

    Select an appropriate and relevant trade name – Select an appropriate trade name for your business concern. Contact the Free Zone Authority of the concerned Free Zone jurisdiction and verify the trade name. You are not allowed to select an already listed trade name. Register the trade name via the concerned Free Zone Authority.

    License application – Based on your business activity, determine the category of license that your business needs. The documentation required for license application varies with the type of license. For example, documentation required for acquiring a Professional License is different from that of an Industrial License. Apply for the relevant license.

    Get sufficient office space – the number of staff and the category of business determines the area of the office space. There are multiple options like flex spaces, office space for lease, etc for startup investors.

    Initial Approval – Now you are in a position to apply for the Initial Approval. Get the approvals from all the concerned departments and agencies.

    Registration – After you get all relevant approvals, you may undertake the registration of your business on the official website of the concerned Free Zone Authority.

    Acquire the business license – you may get the business license within a couple of weeks or a month provided the official formalities are accomplished on time.

  • Benefits of Free Zone company formation
    • Free zone companies are ideal for foreign investors who seek 100% foreign ownership. 
    • Free zone regions have tax exemption benefits. They are devoid of Corporate tax, Income tax and personal tax. 
    • Free zone jurisdictions do not have foreign exchange restrictions. 
    • Hassle-free employee recruitment formalities 
    • Investors can enjoy complete repatriation benefits in terms of profit and capital. 
    • Free zone entities are devoid of export and import charges. 
    • Enjoy logistic advantage 
    • Ideal for start-up ventures, small and medium business establishments. Free zones regions are equipped with full-fledged offices and work-spaces. 
    • Well-equipped and ample communication facilities
  • Major Free zone entities in the Dubai

    There are around 40 Free zone jurisdictions that are currently operating in the UAE. Around 28 Free zones operate in the Emirate of Dubai alone. And yes, Dubai is the most preferred Emirate for Free Zone company formation in the UAE. The major Free zone jurisdictions are listed below.

    Dubai South Free zone – the Dubai South Free zone is located close to the Al Maktoum Airport and Jebel Ali port and hence it has both strategic and logistic importance. The Dubai South is the proposed venue for the international event – Dubai World Expo 2020. The Free zone serves as an aviation, SME and logistics hub.

    Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) – JAFZA offers licenses for a variety of business activities like general trading, trading of machinery, equipment, electrical and electronic items, construction and building materials, jewellery, logistics, aviation, manufacturing etc.

    Dubai Silicon Oasis – DSO, the internationally known Free zone serves as a technology hub that caters to the requirements of telecom and the IT sector.

    Dubai Healthcare City – caters to the entire needs of the Healthcare sector like medical research facilities, clinical and non-clinical services, medical equipment etc.

  • Business licenses issued in Dubai Free Zone

    Business establishments irrespective of their legal structure and size requires a valid trade license to conduct their operations in any of the UAE Free Zones. The Dubai Freezone Licenses issued include:

    Professional License – For service-oriented firms and consultancies. Industrial license – For manufacturing firms, import and export companies General Trading License – the investor can make use of the General Trading license to trade a wide category of goods and commodities. Warehousing license – the investor may acquire this license to meet the various warehousing requirements like storage and distribution.

    Free zone companies are allowed to conduct business transactions within the limits of Free zone and abroad. There are certain restrictions to conduct business transactions in the Dubai mainland. Free zone companies that hold a commercial license should seek the service of a distributor to conduct mainland or local operations.

    Kiltons can guide you throughout the entire Dubai Freezone Company Formation procedures. Kiltons is a registered business consultant based in Dubai serving clients for more than a decade. Feel free to contact Kiltons team of consultants for additional support.

  • Estimated Cost for Dubai Freezone License

    The total cost involved in Dubai Freezone company formation will include license fee, registration fee, visa charges and other similar fees promulgated by the authority from time to time. The charges for business setup in Dubai free zone that we mention here are for reference purposes only. You may contact us to know about the latest Dubai freezone license cost.

    Each Free Zone has its policies and regulations. The validity of the business license and the stipulations will depend on the Free Zone. Normally, a Freezone license in Dubai is valid for 03 years.

  • Free Zone License Cost

    The type of license you seek has a direct implication on the total cost. It will differ according to the type, viz. General Trading, Commercial, Industrial, Service and so on. Generally, the freezone license Dubai can cost around AED 10K to 50K.

  • Registration Charges

    You can opt to establish a Free Zone Company (FZC), Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Branch of a Foreign Company, or Branch of a UAE Company at the Free Zone of your choice. Consequently, the registration formalities and various charges will change. Freezone Company registration will cost you around AED 15K to 50K.

  • Costs for Office Space and Commercial Space

    You can choose from a variety of office spaces available, viz. fully furnished office, Flexi-desk, serviced office space and so on. It is ideal to select the official and commercial according to the type of business activity and the type of business setup in Dubai free zone you are planning, size of the business entity, period of business and similar aspects. It may cost you around AED 20K. Talk to us for renting or leasing a cost-effective and budget-friendly office space.

  • Visa Charges

    The number of visas authorized for each firm is directly proportional to the size of the firm. The authorities may charge you approximately AED 5K for a visa per person. However, the visa processing for a Free Zone company in Dubai is quicker than a Mainland Company.

  • Free Zone Options in the UAE

    The Free Zones available in the UAE are appended below. You can decide the Free Zone that will be productive for your business and company formation in Dubai freezone.

     

    Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) – This is one of the most regulated business regimes, which will support the growth of your business.

     

    Dubai World Central (DWC) – The second largest Free Zone in Dubai, DWC offers ample opportunities for trading, manufacturing and warehousing business operations.

     

    Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) – Aiming to provide exclusive support to media and entertainment, this Free Zone was established in the year 2000.  It is a cluster of 09 segments serving creative and intellectual industries.

     

    Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) – Recognizing the credibility and conducive aspects, there are more than 11200 companies operating in this Free Zone jurisdiction.  Firms in the trading and service sector choose this domain.

     

    Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – Strategic placement of this Free Zone makes it more favourable for business growth. This zone was established in 2002 and it’s considered as one of the most reliable business jurisdictions.

     

    Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) – One of the most advanced business jurisdictions, DAFZA, established in 1996, has been pivotal in the growth of many entities carrying out business in the import and export sector.

     

    Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) – DSO has infrastructure facilities for technology-based institutions and business firms. This completely planned Free Zone is the best for technical establishments.

Free Zone License In UAE

You may opt for any of the Free Zone regions listed below based on your business endeavour.

JAFZA

JAFZA

The Jebel Ali Free zone popularly known as JAFZA was formed in 1985 and is regarded as one of the oldest free zones in the Emirates. With more than 7500 companies that comprise of close to 100 Global Fortune 500 establishments, JAFZA serves as a vibrant and happening trading base for business conglomerates around the world. Industrial License, Trading License, Service License, Innovation License are the major business licenses connected with JAFZA. Apart from trade licenses, JAFZA provides investors with a platform for offshore company formation.

DMCC

DMCC

Dubai Multi Commodity Centre was formed in 2002 and is considered as the Gateway to global trade. The DMCC free zone is specifically focused on international trading. The free zone controls and assists in the trading of diverse products like diamond, gold, food products, tea and industrial commodities. DMCC serves as a trading platform for startups as well as MNCs and offers immaculate infrastructure and flawless services for around 17,000 business establishments.

Dubai South Free zone

Dubai South Free zone

Dubai South is a multipurpose economic free zone which is spread around an area of 145 sq.km. The free zone serves multiple sectors like aviation, logistics, ancillary services and light industry. The Dubai South free zone is located in a strategic location and its proximity to Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport offers several logistical advantages. Due to the strategic advantage, the Dubai South Free zone helps the businesses save time and operational costs.

Ajman Media City

Ajman Media City

Ajman Media City Free zone is a media and creativity hub mainly aimed at media houses, creative professionals and entrepreneurs. The free zone is comparatively new and was established in 2018. Entrepreneurs and investors in the field of media, IT and advertising prefer Ajman Media City mainly due to the affordable Business Setup cost.

Shams Free Zone

Shams Free Zone

Shams Free zone or Sharjah Media City Free zone is considered as the fastest developing media related Free zone in the Emirates. The Shams Free zone was established in 2017 in the Emirate of Sharjah. The free zone appeals to media professionals and innovative ventures who rely greatly on creativity. The free zone offers diverse business activities like media, wholesale and retail and services.

Gold and Diamond Park Free zone

Gold and Diamond Park Free zone

Established in 2011, the Dubai Gold and Diamond Park Free zone is dedicated completely to the jewellery and ornament industry. Gold and Diamond Park Free zone promotes the trading of jewellery items and other precious metals like silver, gold, platinum, expensive ornaments, gemstones and other related add-ons. The trade of jewellery and other high-end products are aimed at both inbound customers and international tourists. Gold and Diamond Park free zone is the one-stop destination for jewellery and ornaments related requirements as it houses the world’s best designs and accessories.

International Free Zone Authority

International Free Zone Authority

IFZA is located in the Emirate of Fujairah. The free zone has good access to seaports in the Gulf of Oman as well as the Fujairah International Airport. The free zone offers great investment opportunities to investors all over the world by providing affordable warehouses, residential apartments, hotels, offices and retail outlets. The free zone gives much importance to business sustainability. IFZA caters to the needs of diverse sectors like trading, service and industries. The low business set up cost and the strategic location are two major benefits of setting up a business in IFZA.

Dubai Airport Free Zone

Dubai Airport Free Zone

Widely known as DAFZA, Dubai Airport Free Zone is one of the most celebrated Free Zones in Dubai. The proximity to Dubai International Airport gives a clear advantage to DAFZA over other free zones in Dubai. DAFZA is very investor-friendly and is a safe haven for business establishments that handle logistics, electronics and aviation.

Dubai Knowledge Park

Dubai Knowledge Park

Dubai Knowledge Park provides the necessary infrastructure to serve the needs of the education sector. Educational consultants, educational institutes and training providers and universities operate in Dubai Knowledge Park. Many internationally acclaimed universities provide study centre facilities in DKP.

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FAQ's

Frequently Asked Question on Dubai Free Zone License

  • Can I start a Free Zone company in Dubai in 100% ownership?
    • Yes. A Free Zone company in Dubai doesn’t require a local sponsor. Therefore, you can own 100% shares in the company.


  • How much is the customs duty applicable to a Free Zone company?
    • Free Zone companies are exempted from export and import customs duties.


  • How much is the customs duty applicable to a Free Zone company in Dubai?
    • Free Zone companies are exempted from export and import customs duties.

  • Am I required to be a UAE resident to own a Free Zone company?
    • No, you don’t have to be a resident of the UAE for establishing a business setup in Dubai free zone. Nonetheless, the general manager of the company should be a UAE resident.
  • Which are the types of companies in a Free Zone?
    • You can choose to set up a Free Zone Company (FZC), Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Branch of a foreign company or Branch of a UAE company in Dubai Free Zone for Dubai freezone company setup.
  • What are the benefits of Dubai freezone company formation?
    • The benefits are:

      - 100% ownership

      - Nil corporate or personal tax

      - 100% repatriation of capital and profit

      - Excellent infrastructure

      - Supportive policies


Free Zone Licenses in Dubai

Business establishments irrespective of their legal structure and size requires a valid trade license to conduct their operations in any of the UAE Free Zones. The Dubai Freezone Licenses issued include:

Professional License – For service-oriented firms and consultancies.

Industrial license – For manufacturing firms, import and export companies

General Trading License – the investor can make use of the General Trading license to trade a wide category of goods and commodities.

Warehousing license – the investor may acquire this license to meet the various warehousing requirements like storage and distribution.

Free zone companies are allowed to conduct business transactions within the limits of Free zone and abroad. There are certain restrictions to conduct business transactions in the Dubai mainland. Free zone companies that hold a commercial license should seek the service of a distributor to conduct mainland or local operations.

Kiltons can guide you throughout the entire Dubai Freezone Company Formation procedures. Kiltons is a registered business consultant based in Dubai serving clients for more than a decade. Feel free to contact Kiltons team of consultants for additional support.

Estimated Cost of Free Zone License in Dubai

The total cost involved in Dubai Freezone company formation will include license fee, registration fee, visa charges and other similar fees promulgated by the authority from time to time. The charges for business setup in Dubai free zone that we mention here are for reference purposes only. You may contact us to know about the latest Dubai freezone license cost.

Each Free Zone has its policies and regulations. The validity of the business license and the stipulations will depend on the Free Zone. Normally, a Freezone license in Dubai is valid for 03 years. 

Free Zone License Cost

The type of license you seek has a direct implication on the total cost. It will differ according to the type, viz. General Trading, Commercial, Industrial, Service and so on. Generally, the freezone license Dubai can cost around AED 10K to 50K. 

Registration Charges

You can opt to establish a Free Zone Company (FZC), Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Branch of a Foreign Company, or Branch of a UAE Company at the Free Zone of your choice. Consequently, the registration formalities and various charges will change. Freezone Company registration will cost you around AED 15K to 50K.  

Costs for Office Space and Commercial Space

 You can choose from a variety of office spaces available, viz. fully furnished office, Flexi-desk, serviced office space and so on. It is ideal to select the official and commercial according to the type of business activity and the type of business setup in Dubai free zone you are planning, size of the business entity, period of business and similar aspects. It may cost you around AED 20K. Talk to us for renting or leasing a cost-effective and budget-friendly office space.  

Visa Charges

The number of visas authorized for each firm is directly proportional to the size of the firm. The authorities may charge you approximately AED 5K for a visa per person. However, the visa processing for a Free Zone company in Dubai is quicker than a Mainland Company.  

Free Zone Options in the UAE

The Free Zones available in the UAE are appended below. You can decide the Free Zone that will be productive for your business and company formation in Dubai freezone.

 Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) – This is one of the most regulated business regimes, which will support the growth of your business.

Dubai World Central (DWC) – The second largest Free Zone in Dubai, DWC offers ample opportunities for trading, manufacturing and warehousing business operations.

Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) – Aiming to provide exclusive support to media and entertainment, this Free Zone was established in the year 2000.  It is a cluster of 09 segments serving creative and intellectual industries. 

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) – Recognizing the credibility and conducive aspects, there are more than 11200 companies operating in this Free Zone jurisdiction.  Firms in the trading and service sector choose this domain. 

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – Strategic placement of this Free Zone makes it more favourable for business growth. This zone was established in 2002 and it’s considered as one of the most reliable business jurisdictions. 

Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) – One of the most advanced business jurisdictions, DAFZA, established in 1996, has been pivotal in the growth of many entities carrying out business in the import and export sector. 

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) – DSO has infrastructure facilities for technology-based institutions and business firms. This completely planned Free Zone is the best for technical establishments.