The United Arab Emirates federal constitution, the federal laws linking to free zones as well as the authorities secured by the single Emirates under the federal framework, enable each Emirate to establish ‘free zones” for general or for those industry-specific enterprises. The objective of free zones is to encourage foreign direct investment into the United Arab Emirates.  Free zone entities are not typically required to have any UAE nationals as owners.  This opposes with most firms integrated in the UAE outside of the free zones, wherein UAE nationals are generally required to own a minimum of 51% of the firm’s investment. If you are taking into account physically moving your business to the United Arab Emirates, a Free Zone firm is the best option. Here, you can acquire the local presence and make business in the core of UAE.  Indeed, you may consider leasing an office space and obtain visas for you and your staff immediately. Different free zones have been established in the UAE, wherein most of them are located in the Emirate of Dubai. Furthermore, free zones are licensed to execute their very own laws and regulations in particular locations wherein there are events when some cases regulated Emirate and federal law. For instance, the Dubai International Financial Centre or DIFC which is considered as a financial free zone inside Dubai, possess its very own body of law, comprising of contracts law, corporate law, employment law and it also has its very own court system. Each of the free zones possesses their own free zone power. These refer to the money-making entities; their main reference of income is frequently coming from collecting license fees, leasing office space and rendering services to the firms running in the free zone. Everyone shares the features guided below but vary along:

  •  Focal point of the free zone; usually attracts businesses from a specific sector even though there’s remarkable flexibility
  •  There’s a minimum office space required. For instance, flexi desk and smart office options
  •  There are support facilities granted by the free zone
  •  Yearly license renewal fees
  •  There are paperwork required in establishing the business
  •  Investment or capital requirement
  •  The number of visas allotted per square meter of office space

Primary Benefits

Setting up a business entity in one of the United Arab Emirate’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs) may be an attractive alternative for foreign investors. Ever since, the free zones are fruitful in enticing considerable number of firms and foreign direct investment and growing net non-oil exports. Moreover, the United Arab Emirates free zones are deemed as part of the strong support of the nation’s economic performance inviting the majority of foreign investments, boosting job opportunities and administering the necessary technology transfer of technology into the country. Additionally, the free zones account for over one half of the nation’s non-oil exports and base the United Arab Emirates’ status as the third most notable re-export center in the globe.

Forms of Free Zone Firms

  • Branch or foreign company office (associate of an already existing mother firm in UAE or overseas)
  • Free Zone Establishment = FZE (one partner – which may be individual or a legal entity)
  • Free Zone Company = FZCO, FZC, FZ-LLC and others (a minimum of 2 partners or shareholders)
  • Offshore Firm (requires a registered agent, businesses are not permitted to run inside UAE, the number of permitted activities is stringently monitored)

Main Benefits of UAE Free Zones comprised of the following

  •  100% Foreign ownership
  •  100% Tax exemption intended for corporate and personal income
  •  100% Repatriation of capital & profits
  •  Avant-garde purpose built infrastructure
  •  No foreign exchange controls
  •  Firms can run 24 hours, security around the clock
  •  Easy recruitment of the required staff
  •  Guarantee for fifteen up to fifty years against the future imposition of     corporation tax

Free Zone Set up Support ready for use both for Local & International Investors

  •  Exhaustive firm formation consultation setup
  •  Preparation and submission of all legitimate and necessary application     documents
  •  Acquire business license and all legal documentation from Free Zone
  •  Support with all complications in terms of firm formation
  •  Management of visa application formalities (for instance, medical test and bio metrics)
  •  Arrangement of Office fit out work
  •  Opening of bank account in UAE

What are the Factors required in order to be considered when selecting a Free Zone

  1. Distance from intercontinental air and seaports
  2. Facilities and infrastructure provided at the free zone
  3. Real estate substitutes
  4. Types of activities permitted by the respective free zone authority and outside the zone
  5. Yearly rent for office space and the size of office units
  6. Lowest amount of investment or capital required; registration, trade license fees as well as the processing time of application

Below is the list of Free Zones in UAE where you will have the choice to set up your business and avail the advantage

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