The United Arab Emirates has historically been a business hub, and over the years, the economic development of the nation has been closely associated with the entrepreneurial spirit of the UAE community. To further push innovation and foreign investment, the UAE authorities have set up special economic zones which allow businesses to thrive with minimal expenses and procedures.
An expatriate wanting to set up a business in the UAE or its Emirates has the option of either a company with a license to operate anywhere in the UAE or the company can be registered with one of the many free zones in the UAE. A free zone is an exclusive economic zone where businesses can operate and receive considerable tax and fee exemptions. Expatriate residents can also have a 100% foreign ownership. Companies within the free zone are governed by authorities designated for the specific zone.
Today, we are going to discuss starting a business in Abu Dhabi Free Zone.
Business Setup in Abu Dhabi Free Zones
The government of Abu Dhabi promotes foreign investment in its free zones, due to which starting a company is simple and straight-forward. First things first, you need to decide on the business entity. There are four main types, which are –
- Free Zone LLC – An LLC is an independent legal entity with corporate and individual shareholder or a mixture of both.
- Branch of a Foreign Company – A branch or a subsidiary of a foreign company may carry on its principal activities in the UAE or establish an office or branch after the Ministry issues a license.
- Branch of the UAE Company – A business incorporated in the Emirates can also open an office in free zones, offshore, and the mainland.
- Freelance License – A freelance permit can be granted to the freelancers, who are identified as a sole proprietor and enables them to conduct in one’s birth name.
The next step is to register your business. You can register in one of the Abu Dhabi free zones depending on your business activity. The Abu Dhabi free zones are dedicated to different activities of businesses, and hence you need to choose the one that will help your company. The free zones are –
- Abu Dhabi Global Market – Dedicated to the financial sector
- Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone – Logistics sector
- KIZAD – Industrial sector
- Masdar City – Green Technology sector
- TwoFour54 – Media and Communication sector
- Industrial City – Industrial and Manufacturing sector
- Abu Dhabi Ports Company – Infrastructure and Real Estate
Once you choose the Abu Dhabi free zones, now you need to register your business with the free zones authority. You can register your business by filling an application form, attaching the required documents, and submitting it to the police. The documents are stated as under –
- Form of application
- Passport copies of shareholders, directors, and owners
- Number of visas required
- Bank or professional reference number
Why Start a Business in Abu Dhabi Free Zone?
There are many incentives offered by free trade zones for business setup in Abu Dhabi. The advantages are mentioned as under –
- Repatriation of capital and profits
- State-of-art infrastructure
- Easy incorporation process
- Exemptions from personal or corporate income
- Fast immigration procedure and quick entrance to skilled professionals
- Freedom from customs duty
But with benefits comes some restrictions, which are –
- Corporate processes must be conducted within the geographic limits of their designated zones
- Any business activities with mainland customers must be done through distributors or agents
- A mainland DED license must accompany dealings, tenders, contracts with the local government
How can we help?
Commitbiz has a professional team with extensive knowledge of all business formation rules and guidelines in Abu Dhabi free zones and can help you with business incorporation in Abu Dhabi. We have a specialised team of experts who are well-versed with the legal formalities and can make this process hassle-free. Contact us today- we’d be happy to assist you.