In UAE free zones, you can open a new business or a representative office. Note that each zone requires a specific package of registration documents.

Types of companies available in Dubai free zones:

No matter the type of company one decides to set up in one of Dubai’s free zones, the following licenses are available:

  • General trading licenses;
  • Trading licenses;
  • Industrial licenses;
  • National industrial licenses,
  • Service licenses.

There are 2 ways of starting up a business in UAE:

  • Setting up an Onshore company: A non-Emirati shareholder partnering or setting up with a UAE National partner or sponsor who owns a majority share in the business, also taken by a number of organizations.
  • Setting up your business in a Free zone- An increasingly popular option among entrepreneurs nowadays. A company can be registered a Free Zone Company or a Free Zone Establishment. FZE and FZC are limited liability companies, with the FZE having a single shareholder and FZC, 2-5 shareholders. To operate outside the free zone, a local agent is required to distribute the products. Both FZEs and FZCs are also allowed to import merchandise, equipment, and goods from any foreign country without paying customs taxes, though some goods are prohibited in free zones.

The cost-benefit of having your startup in a free zone:

  • Full control of business activities- 100% ownership.
  • Full repatriation of capital
  • Exemption from import and export duties – a boon for trading companies who would otherwise be required to pay different custom duties
  • No tax on corporate gains or personal income – except for individual cases, investors are guaranteed zero tax liability
  • No currency restrictions
  • Reduced cost of operations

Here are 10 reasons why you should consider opening a company in FTZ:

  • 100% foreign capital, no local partner, agent required.
  • No taxes or charges. Such company is exempt from income tax, VAT, export/import customs duty.
  • No restrictions on capital or profit exports.
  • Opportunity to obtain resident visa for investors, employees and their family members.
  • Explicit and stable legislation.
  • Affordable energy prices.
  • Possibility to hire employees from abroad.
  • Developed infrastructure in each free zone in compliance with the prioritized activity.
  • Rapid economic growth.
  • No political leverage on economic decisions.