Free Zones Company Formation

Business Formation in UAE Free Zone

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Business in UAE Free Zones

Free Zone or free trade zone is an area with special tax-free status and low trade barriers where goods can be manufactured, imported/exported, handled, or reconfigured without paying any customs duty. Free trade zones are generally located in the strategic geographical locations like national borders, international airports, and major seaports to maximize trading advantages.

UAE government has setup multiple free zones in the Emirates, each designed for specific business activity. UAE free trade zones offer lucrative facilities to non-resident corporates like convenience of single window administration, no bureaucratic red tape, and 100% ownership. There are about 30 free zones situated all over United Arab Emirates that have attracted foreign direct investment in the form of 200,000 companies contributing to the UAE GDP growth.

List of Free Zones in UAE

Most of the UAE Emirates have setup free zones to boost economy in the region, promote foreign investment, and drive growth. Free Zone Authority is the government body that registers and issues business licenses to non-resident companies in UAE free zone. There are more than 30 free zones in United Arab Emirates, these are:

UAE Free Zones

DUBAI

ABU DHABI

RAK

  • Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ)
  • RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA)
  • RAK Media Free Zone (RMFZ)

Why Setup Business in UAE Free Zone?

The companies registered outside UAE free zones can’t be owned solely by a foreign national (a maximum of 49% foreign ownership and at least 51% ownership by a UAE national is mandatory), which is one of the primary reasons why global investors throng to UAE free zones for business investment.

Free Zone Incentives

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% Repatriation of capital and profits
  • 100% exemptions from corporate, personal, or income taxes
  • 100% free transfer of funds, and no foreign exchange controls
  • Exemption from all import and export duties
  • Low freight charges
  • Abundant and inexpensive energy
  • Inexpensive workforce, and easy recruitment procedures
  • Efficient communication procedures and single window administration
  • Liberal government policies and legal framework
  • Timely and streamlined immigration process
  • Sponsorship and visas for affordable skilled work-force
  • Flexibility to operate 24/7
  • Freehold offices available on sale or lease
  • Ready-made offices, factories and warehouses
  • Easy start-up and licensing procedures
  • Unique industry clustering and purpose-built infrastructure
  • 3 years UAE residence visa
  • No restrictions on hiring expatriates

Free Zone Limitations

  • A free zone company is not allowed to trade directly with UAE market. The free zone companies can undertake business activity in the local Arab markets only through locally appointed distributors
  • 5% customs duty is applicable to pursue local business

UAE Free Zone Company Formation Services from Commitbiz

Each free zone offers unique advantages to its investors, so selecting the right free trade zone that best suits your company’s requirements is the key. Commitbiz has vast knowledge and experience in company formation and can recommend the best free zone for your company set up, based on your investment budget, preferred business activity, and visas & office requirements.

We provide a vast spectrum of company formation services in UAE that include property selection, visas, licensing, and registration requirements. Additionally, we take care of;

  • Analysing UAE laws
  • Collecting required documents
  • Completing legal formalities
  • Recommending suitable Emirate and free zone location for business setup
  • Preparing required documents for free zone company registration
  • Following up with the free zone authorities to the complete registration process

Additionally, we ensure that all the formalities required to avail business license in the United Arab Emirates are fulfilled by our clients, these include:

  • Obtaining the Trade License required to pursue business activity within a free zone
  • Contractually appointing a local agent or distributor, in case the client wants to perform business activity locally, as companies licensed under free zones are not permitted to operate in the UAE market
  • Annual renewal of license from the date of issue (license is valid for a year)
  • Issuing an annual audit report, mandated by some free zones in the UAE
  • Depositing minimum shared capital in the UAE bank account within a week of company registration to receive the Trade License

Process for Business Setup in UAE Free Zones

UAE free zone company setup is smooth and hassle-free, as the Emirates government has eased the company incorporation process to draw maximum foreign investors. With the minimum capital investment, following types of business entities can be setup in the UAE free trade zone:

  • Branch of a foreign or local company
  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE) with single shareholders
  • Free Zone Company (FZC) with 2 to 5 shareholders

Commitbiz has specialization in handling the business setup process from start to finish and helps applicants with a range of services including, defining the business activity, finalizing most suitable free zones, selecting the company name, setting up the required infrastructure and handling staffing, business registration, and licensing requirements among others.

Licensing Requirements

Business formation in UAE free zones is incomplete without procuring a business license. Following types of business licenses can be obtained by the applicants in the UAE free zones:

  • General Trading License – Allows investors to trade in all kinds of products
  • Trading / Commercial License – Grants a time-limited authorization to perform industrial, commercial, or consulting activities
  • Service License – Allows law firms, accounting firms, and business consultancy firms to operate
  • Industrial License – Permits importing raw materials, manufacturing goods, and exporting finished products, across global boundaries
  • Warehousing License – Investors can avail this license to avail warehousing facilities on lease for distribution, packaging, and storage of goods
  • Manufacturing License – Permits applicants to manufacture goods

Documents Required

A number of documents need to be translated into English, attested, and notarized by the GCC or Arab Embassy.

General Documents

  • Duly filled application license form
  • Business card of the contact person
  • Passport copies of partners and business managers
  • Original bank reference letters and license of partner's existing company

Documents for Consultancy License

  • A copy of degree or diploma certificate mentioning the desired activities, or the experience certificate (any of these documents is must)

Documents for Industrial License

  • Business feasibility study
  • Existing company profile
  • Duly filled form for the investor’s project profile

Documents for Branch of Companies

  • Attested copy of the registration certificate, incorporation certificate and the Memorandum of Association & Articles
  • Original Board Resolution that guarantees financial commitment of the branch
  • Original Power of Attorney of legal representative, and passport copy
  • Last three months’ bank statements of the parent company

Commitbiz for UAE Free Zone Company Formation Services

It takes about 1 week to complete UAE free zone company setup process, and around 2 to 3 weeks to obtain UAE Residence Visa in case the applicant contacts Commitbiz for support. We are a registered company, completely aware of the company formation rules and regulations in the Middle East, and have been helping companies gain a foothold in the United Arab Emirates since a long time.

Free zone company setup in UAE is rewarding with tax exemptions, lower establishment overheads, business-friendly government policies, and hassle-free administration. If you are in search of a business partner to ease your company formation process in the UAE, and launch your dream pad without any hassles, contact our team for assistance.

Short Description

Free zones allow incorporation with 100% ownership (even for a foreigner), complete repatriation of capital and profits, and tax exemption. The UAE has over 40 free zones, based on location and domain.