The Free Zones in UAE are one of the major driving factors for foreign investment in the region. The 45 plus Free Zones in UAE offer various cost-effective Company registration packages for foreign investors. Investors can register a Free Zone company in UAE and get the benefits of tax exemption for international operations.
What is a Free Zone in UAE?
A Free Zone is an entity formulated by the UAE Government to register companies. Free Zones are aimed at promoting free trade across nations and 100% business ownership for foreign investors.
Free Zones enable foreign nationals to register a company in UAE without the requirement of a UAE National Partner. It acts as a perfect platform for launching a business establishment for foreign ex-pats and obtaining a UAE residence visa under the newly registered company in UAE.
The free zones in the UAE are broadly categorized into two:
1. Industry-Specific Freezones
Based on the business activities available to start a business in UAE, the Free Zones can be categorized into two – Industry Specific Zones & General Purpose Free Zones.
Industry Specific Free Zones
The Industry Specific Free Zone offer dedicated business activities such as eCommerce, Finance, Media, etc. The Free Zones will have a specialized approach to entrepreneurs in niche fields. They have the infrastructure and facilities to support niche business activities.
For example, there are Free Trade Zones in Dubai that are exclusively for creative and media professionals such as the Dubai Media City.
Also, the Industry-Specific Free Zones in the country have a wide range of business activities such as financial services, healthcare, media, general trading, etc. There are specific Free Zones in UAE for Healthcare, Financial Services, Education, etc.
- Improved synergy as companies from similar industries could work in collaboration, outsource projects, and liaise with, others to deliver exceptional customer value.
- Enhanced brand image as the Freezone branding will provide your business an edge among the audience. (For example, Dubai Healthcare City, hosts world-class healthcare services companies & clinics, and being a part of this community has a higher reputation among the customers)
The free zone authorities are very supportive for all your business activities and conduct regular trade shows, conferences, networking events, etc. Hence, there is a high chance of meeting like-minded people, customers, thought-leaders. Hence belonging to the cluster where similar business activities are prevailing, is always a win-win situation.
2. General Purpose Freezones
There are a host of business activities that belong to the General Purpose Business category. For Certain businesses there are no specific niche areas of operations, they follow a more generalist approach. For example, the general trading license category and related business activities.
There are Freezones such as the DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Center), Hamriyah Free Zone, Freezones in Ras-Al-Khaimah, Ajman, Um-Al-Quwain, etc., ideal for General Trading License Category.
Business owners can choose from a list of business categories that are tailored for specific business requirements. Often business owners get confused with the numerous business categories available. Therefore, experienced Business Consultants such as AURION will guide you through registering your company in Free Zones in UAE.
Each of the Freezones provides a detailed list of available licensing under them based on the business activity you would wish to set up. For example, In DMCC, you could choose from over 600 business licenses spread over industry verticals such as:
- Gold and Diamond
- Professional Services, etc.
Arriving at the right business activity and deciding on your preferred free zone is just a start, there is a whole lot of process and paperwork to be initiated before you set up your dream company.
Following are some of the key steps to be considered before you start
- Determine the type of your legal business establishment
- Pick your trade name
- Apply for the business license
- Look for an office space
- Get the paperwork, approvals, and license in place
With certain free zones, the steps vary. For example, to get a license approved for your business in Ras-Al-Khaimah Free Zone a Flexi-Office or shared office space will do fine. Hence based on your requirements you can delve into the detailed offering of each free zone specifically.
While you focus on the core business operations, marketing strategy, and revenue plans of your new business you could always take the assistance of business setup consultants for the hassle-free incorporation of a new business in the UAE.
What are the Key Benefits of the Free Zone Company Registration?
- 100% Foreign Ownership and 100% Profit Repatriation
- Zero Taxation on Income and Profits in the UAE
- No Customs Duty on Imports to the Free Zone
- Fast and Easy Company Setup Process
- Easy Customs Clearance for Import-Export from Free Zones
- Get 3 year UAE Residence Visa for the Investor
- World-Class Office Space and Warehouse facility
- Growing Business Community and market opportunity
Free Zone Amenities for Foreign Investors
The Free Zones in UAE offer state-of-the-art facilities for the business investors to easily scale up the business.
1. Customized Office Spaces
Ranging from Flexi-Desk space to fully furnished offices, the UAE Free Zones provide entrepreneurs with a host of different office types to suit all business requirements.
Depending on the business activity and nature of the business, investors can choose their office space accordingly. Each Free Zones offer different office types (Various Sizes, Furnishings) coupled with the business license at attractive rates.
Often, due to the multiple options offered by Free Zones, the investor chooses the wrong one and ends up spending more. This is where experienced Business Consultants who are well aware of the Free Zone Package and Company Setup Process comes in handy.
We at AURION will design the right Company Setup package for you based on assessing all your business requirements.
2. Storage and Warehousing Facilities
The Availability of customized storage and warehousing facility for a wide range of business activities like food processing, packaging, heavy equipment, pharmaceuticals, etc., are making Free Zones attractive among global traders.
To add on, the faster Customs Check and Clearance of goods through the In-house Customs Check post helps traders save time and money.
The well-maintained niche storage facilities and warehouses with a small office space and visa quota for employees based on the selected warehouse size is a very convenient option for traders to store and manage the goods effectively.
3. Light Manufacturing Units
Another major benefit of a Free Zone Company is the availability of the Light Manufacturing Units or Assembling Centers for conducting light manufacturing or assembling of parts, etc.
It is a perfect choice for re-exporters and export companies as well as the product distributors and resellers.
The Free Zones in the UAE offer customized solutions based on investor requirements. Few Free Zones offer the land on lease where the investors can build their facility on their own and operate.
The Light manufacturing Units in UAE help investors in the region to reduce logistics, streamline operations, pay zero import-duty taxes, and save on a lot of overheads through owning or renting a facility in UAE itself. It also helps to easily facilitate the sale of the end products to the international markets from the UAE.
Rather than importing a completely built unit or a finished product and re-exporting, now companies in UAE can make their own Made in UAE products and sell it across the world.
It has given rise to numerous local business opportunities in the distribution, logistics, and selling of locally made goods in UAE markets and the rest of the GCC region.
9 Steps in Registering a Free Zone Company in UAE
1: Select Three Trade Names for your Company and Get the Trade Name Approval from the respective Free Zone
2: Choose the right Business Activity from the Free Zone Activity List. UAE Free Zones have almost 3000+ business activities to cater to wide investor requirements.
3: Select the Right Company Structure – Free Zone Establishment ( Single Shareholder) and Free Zone Establishment ( 2 to up to 50 Shareholders), FZ-LLC (Few Free Zones offer the LLC Suffix)
4: Choose the right Business License Type and Office Space for your requirements. Choose from Flexidesk, Shared Desk, Shared Office, Executive office, Fully Furnished Office, and more.
5: Prepare the documents required to register the company in Free Zone – Investor passport copy, UAE residence visa ( if any), company registration application form, and any support documents if requested.
6: Prepare the Shareholder Agreement ( for FZC) and Draft the Memorandum of Association (MOA). Aurion will assist you with the preparation of the MOAs and other documentation.
7: Submit the documents, Tenancy Contract ( For Office Space), MOA draft, and any special approvals (certain sectors -Healthcare, Transport, Education, Finance, etc) to the respective Free Zone Authority and make the required payment.
8: Obtain the Business License and Company Documents, Company Seal, and Office keys from the Free Zone.
9: Proceed to apply for the UAE Residence Visa and apply for a Corporate Bank Account.
To know more about Company Formation in UAE Free Zone, talk to our expert Business Consultants right away!
Contact: Aurion Business Consultants