Established in 1985, Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) is the flagship operation of Dubai-based and state-owned ‘Economic Zones World’ (one of the world’s biggest developers of economic zones, logistics, and R&D-driven industrial parks) and offers light industrial units, land, offices, and warehouses on a long-term lease.
Spread over 48 sq. km, it is one of the world’s most service-driven, customer-centric free zones. Free from red tape and restrictions, it provides its customers with an environment most conducive to growth.
Its strategic geographical location is also one of the advantages of this free zone. JAFZA is next to Jebel Ali Port, the world’s largest man-made port in the Middle East and the 6th largest container port, served by 150 shipping lines offering 90 weekly services.
Also, Jebel Ali Free Zone is a 30-minute drive from the Dubai International Airport, connecting it to over 200 global destinations. Further, it is well-connected through an extensive road network. It is just 35 km southwest of Dubai city, thus allowing it the fastest possible access to a market of over 2 billion people in South and West Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Africa, making Jebel Ali Free Zone an excellent choice for all types of businesses.
This zone has manifested itself as a globally renowned commercial and industrial hub, attracting crème de la crème investors from the Middle East region, Europe, the Indian Sub-continent, America, Africa, and other nations owing to its unique value-added propositions.
Licenses for the Jebel Ali Free Zone Companies
There are various license categories in this free zone.
1. Trading License
It allows the license holder to import raw materials, export, distribute, and store items specified in the license to any country.
2. Service License
It allows the license holder to carry out the services (like legal advisory, accountancy, and business consultancy) specified in the license within the free zone. The type of service must conform to the parent company’s license issued by the Economic Department or Municipality of the relevant Emirate in the UAE.
3. Industrial License
It allows the license holder to import raw materials, manufacture, process, assemble, package, and export the finished products to any country.
4. National Industrial License
It provides the license holder the same status as a local inside the UAE. It requires manufacturing companies to have a minimum of 51% shareholding or ownership of the Arabian Gulf Co-operation Council.
5. General Trading Licence
This license enables the holder to import, distribute and store all items according to the rules and regulations of Jafza.
6. Innovation License
Dubai is known as a creative city. The city has centered on corporate organizations that construct frameworks dependent on creativity. Holding this in mind, JAFZA provides licenses that these businesses need to keep for creativity.
7. Offshore Registration
Offshore registration can be undertaken only when an existing Limited Liability Company comes into the picture. It is not mandated to have a license, but a Certificate of Incorporation is a must.
8. E-Commerce License
JAFZA offers an e-commerce license for companies wishing to launch and set up an e-commerce business because E-Business has been flourishing worldwide.
Renewing License in Jebel Ali Free Zone
The Jebel Ali free zone license renewal costs the same as a JAFZA corporation’s registration. Renovating the business without entering the Jebel Ali free zone is possible.
You need to include the company's audit report during business renewal. An audit may be carried out by any auditing firm authorized and approved by the UAE. The license may be extended for three years for businesses with land plots and sublease plants.
How to Set Up a Business in Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority?
Specific law regulations about licensing, registration, employment, and resolution of disputes apply to the companies planning for Jebel Ali free zone company registration. The procedure for a company set up in JAFZA is as follows.
1. Be Clear about the Business Activity
Get an idea regarding the business activity you want to proceed with.
2. Select a Corporate Structure
An individual or a corporate entity can set up a company in Jebel Ali Free Zone in any of the following ways:
- Free Zone Establishment (FZE) [entity with one shareholder]
- Free Zone Company (FZC/FZCO) [entity with 2 to 5 shareholders]
- Branch of a Foreign Company
- Branch of a Local Company.
3. Finalize a Company Name
Choose an appropriate business name abiding by the guidelines of the government.
4. Prepare the Company Documents
Submit the following documents:
- Application form
- Passports copy of each individual (shareholders and managers)
- Bank reference for each individual
- Copy of the business plan
- Parent Company’s profile (in case of branch formation)
- Application for registration as a free zone company (in case of establishing an FZCO)
- A one-time non-refundable application fee of AED 500.
Documents Required for Setting up an FZE
- Application form for free zone company setup
- Passport of the selected manager, plus a copy
- Passports of all the individual shareholders, with copies
- No-objection letter from the current sponsor of each UAE resident shareholder
- Summary of the project
- Application form and letter of undertaking for Environment Health and Safety (EHS).
Additional Documents Required for Individual Shareholders
- Business profile of each shareholder
- Board resolution to set up a company
- Manager’s specimen signature.
Additional Documents Required for Non-Individual Shareholders and for a Branch of a Foreign Company
- Specimen signature of the manager, attested by JAFZA
- Attested and notarized Memorandum (MOA) and Articles of association (AOA)
- Certificate of Registration
- Copy of Chamber of Commerce certificate (in case of a branch)
- An official letter from the parent company to set up a branch in JAFZA (in case of a branch).
5. Make the Payment
Pay the fees as required.
Dubai Free Zone License Cost
The JAFZA free zone license cost is stated below:
|License Type||Group||Fee in AED|
|General Trading License||-||30,000|
Registration Free Zone License Cost
The registration cost differs according to the company structure:
|Type||Fee in AED|
|Free Zone Company (FZCo)||15,000|
|Free Zone Establishment (FZE)||10,000|
|Branch of a Company||5,000|
|Memorandum and Articles of Association (MOA)||200|
*Costs are subject to change. Kindly contact us to confirm.
6. Obtain the Business License
Get your specific business license from the respective authority.
7. Open a Bank Account
Get a free zone bank account opened to ease down your business transactions.
8. Get an Office Space
Acquire an office space and commence your business.
JAFZA has some of the biggest names to boast of in the business world. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Proctor and Gamble, Nestle, Toshiba, Rolls Royce, etc., are some of the companies in the Jebel Ali Free Zone. Over 50 world’s top logistics companies are based here, offering huge outsourcing opportunities.
These companies are a driving force for any entrepreneur to set up a business in this Dubai free zone. Commitbiz has been facilitating small and medium-sized businesses and multinationals to invest in JAFZA, an unparalleled business destination in the Middle East.
Contact us to set up your business in Jebel Ali Free Zone, and our team will gladly assist you!
When was the Jebel Ali FZ established?
It was established in 1985.
Which are the biggest companies incorporated in JAFZA?
Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Proctor and Gamble, Nestle, Toshiba, Rolls Royce, etc., are some of the biggest companies present here.
What are the benefits of setting up a business in Jebel Ali Free Zone?
The benefits are as follows:
No paid upfront share capital requirement
No currency restrictions and flexibility for companies to transfer any required capital
0% customs duties on import and/or re-export
A company established here that has built its facility has the convenience of mortgaging its premises on the leased land to any bank or financing company for any of its debts or obligations.
What are the available license types in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority?
The available license types are as follows:
National Industrial License
General Trading License
Which licenses can be extended for three years in JAFZA?
For businesses with a land plot and sublease plant, the license may be extended for three years.