Freezone Company

Free zones (sometimes called a free economic zone, duty free zone, tax free zone, trade free zone or free trade zone) are geographically distinguished areas governed under laws and regulations different from the laws prevailing in the Mainland of UAE. The company registration in free zones is insulated from the different laws governing the land of UAE. Free zone company setup allows 100% foreign ownership, is one of such deviations from laws governing UAE lands outside the free zone.

  • 100% ownership
  • No tax on corporate gains or personal incomes
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • Ready-made offices, factories, warehouses and easy start-up and licensing procedures
  • Exemption from import and export duties
  • Single window clearances which means the same government administrative office to facilitate any dealings with the government like licensing and immigration

Business Registration in UAE’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs) can be an attractive option to foreign investors due to above reasons. The Free zones have been designed to complement a

Some Free zones are created in city-clusters or districts with specific services or industrial specializations like media and IT specialized zones, which include Dubai Media City, International Media Production Zone, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority.

There are various other Free zone options for Company Incorporation in UAE like Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Ras-Al-Khaimah Investment Authority, RAK Free Trade Zone, Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, Dubai Multi Commodity Center etc. The procedures and costs for Business setup vary with each Free Zone.

And contribute to UAE’s growth and development but their legal status is extremely unique with the companies operating in them being legally treated as foreign companies or companies operating outside the UAE.

Key Differentiators Free Zone Non-Free Zone
Foreign Ownership 100% Foreign Ownership 51% Local partner required
Income & Corporate Tax 100% Tax Free 100% Tax Free
Business Horizon Meant for export only. However, entities in free zones can also sell products within UAE through local distributor or agent licensed in UAE. But for such sales normal customs duty is levied Free to do business within UAE
Capital & Profit Repatriation 100% Allowed 100% Allowed
Hiring of Expatriates No restrictions UAE labor laws will apply

The type of license(s) depends on the type of activities.

License Type Activities Covered
Industrial License Manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging etc.
Trading License Import, export, distribution, warehousing, trading (maximum 5 activities from similar product lines or 3 different activities from 2 different product lines).
General Trading All kinds of trading, import, export, warehousing and distribution of goods
Commercial License Activities covering contracting, repairing, maintenance, renting, shops, restaurants etc.
Consulting / Services License Any type of management, business, industrial consultancy or professional services including real estate consulting.
Media License All kinds of media and communication services.

Clients whose activities fall under different categories will be issued separate Licenses for each category of activity (e.g. a licensee who is carrying out both trading and manufacturing will be issued two Licenses one for the trading activity and the other one for manufacturing. Whenever possible, a separate Lease will be drawn for each activity.

Both Free Zone & Non Free Zone Companies

Entity Type Explanation
Establishment (FZ/IZ) This can be formed only by one shareholder, either an individual (a person) or a non-individual (a company).
Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC/LLC) This type of company can be formed by a minimum of two or more partners. The partners can be individuals (people), non-individuals (companies) or a combination of individuals and companies.
Foreign or Local Branch Under this category licenses are issued to companies holding a valid license from any licensing authority either in UAE or outside UAE.

 

Single Owner (Establishment) Two or More Partners (Limited Liability Company) Branch (Foreign/ Local)
Application Form Application Form Application Form
Business Plan (For industrial licenses) Business Plan (For industrial licenses) Business Plan (For industrial licenses)
Professional & Experience Certificate (For professional /Consultancy/ Services licenses) Professional & Experience Certificate (For professional /Consultancy/ Services licenses) Passport Copy of Owner/Manager or Copy of the Book of Nationality (for UAE National only)
Passport Copy of Owner/Manager or Copy of the Book of Nationality (for UAE National only) Passport Copy of Owner/Manager or Copy of the Book of Nationality (for UAE National only) Bank statement of the last 3 months(Original)
Certificate of incorporation * ( (Attested & Notarized)
Memorandum of Association & Articles of Association *(Attested & Notarized)
Board resolution to Set Up Branch * (Attested & Notarized)
Power of Attorney Appointing Representative *(Attested & Notarized)

*The documents form outside UAE are required to be attested or legalized by UAE or GCC or Arab embassies in the country from which the documents originates
Additional documents may be submitted if required

Single Owner (Establishment) Two or More Partners (Limited Liability Company) Branch (Foreign/ Local)
Application Form Application Form Application Form
Business Plan (For industrial licenses) Business Plan (For industrial licenses) Business Plan (For industrial licenses)
Professional & Experience Certificate (For professional /Consultancy/ Services licenses) Professional & Experience Certificate (For professional /Consultancy/ Services licenses) Passport Copy of Owner/Manager or Copy of the Book of Nationality (for UAE National only)
Passport Copy of Owner/Manager or Copy of the Book of Nationality (for UAE National only) Passport Copy of Owner/Manager or Copy of the Book of Nationality (for UAE National only) Bank statement of the last 3 months(Original)
Certificate of incorporation * ( (Attested & Notarized)
Memorandum of Association & Articles of Association *(Attested & Notarized)
Board resolution to Set Up Branch * (Attested & Notarized)
Power of Attorney Appointing Representative *(Attested Notarized)

* The documents form outside UAE are required to be attested or legalized by UAE or GCC or Arab embassies in the country from which the documents originates