How to Set Up a Company in Dubai Free Zones?

Free Zone Company Set up

According to reports, UAE is one of the most progressive countries globally with sustainable growth in many areas such as economy, trade, and investment. If you are starting a business for the first time in Dubai, you should know that it is a long and dull process. 

Starting a business in Dubai is a challenging task. An individual must fulfil all the legal requirements to establish a place in the city. You should also know all the legal facts and the government measures before starting any business. 

Benefits of company registration in Dubai

Though there are various benefits that one can get in the process of company registration in Dubai. Owners need to pay any capital gains tax in UAE. There is no value-added or sales tax; foreign investors get many investment opportunities because people in the UAE use English as a communication source with foreigners. There are no capitalization requirements for the owners choosing to incorporate in UAE. The most important benefit for the owners is that the UAE is a growing economy. So they will quickly get an ample amount of business opportunities. 

The categories of business that an individual can set up in Dubai free zones are namely freezone company and offshore company. Both have their advantages. 

Around 40 companies are operating in freezones, and many more companies are under construction. In free zone company formation, commercial categories have significant importance, and those companies within those categories get a license. 

Companies in the Free Zones

Free Zone Authority (FZA) is the central authority responsible for giving licenses to the companies in the FreeZones. The same authority regulates the free zone company setup. It is an independent authority, which is an advantage for the people who want to set up business in UAE because there are no foreign ownership restrictions. Also, it is the only authority that manages the freezone company formation. 

In the free zone company setup, there are various advantages that the owners get. Firstly the shareholders, directors, and employees will get residency visas in UAE quickly. Along with this, they will get excellent support services, abundant and inexpensive energy. 

Secondly, there are no currency restrictions, 100% corporate and personal tax exemption, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, 100% foreign ownership, so there will be no need for a local partner/sponsor. Also, there is a wide variety of licensable activities, and the modes of communication are modern and efficient. You can have a physical presence in UAE in the free zone company setup as they offer pre-built facilities. One-stop-shop registration, and good administrative services. 

Names of principle free zones

You can select the free zone based on the nature of business you will carry out. And also, there is very much flexibility in choosing the business activity in Dubai. The names of principle free zones are:

  • Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC): provides licenses for commodities trade and exchange services.
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA): provides licenses for Trading, General Trading, Services, Logistics, and Industrial services.
  • Dubai International and Financial Centre (DIFC): provides licenses for banking, financial and legal services.
  • Dubai World Central (DWC): provides licenses for aviation, logistics, light industry, and ancillary services.
  • Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP): provides licenses for Human Resource Management, Training, and Development Management.
  • Dubai Internet City (DIC): provides licenses for Internet and communications technology services.
  • Dubai Media City (DMC): provides licenses for media-related services.
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO): provides licenses for Information Technology, Telecom, and Electronic and Engineering services.
  • Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC): provides licenses for Healthcare, medical education and research, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment.
  • Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK): provides licenses for Trading, General Trading, Services, and Industrial and Educational services.
  • Fujairah Creative City (FCC): provides licenses for media, consulting, communications, design, and technology services.

Requirements for Freezone Company Formation

There are various requirements that the business owners need to fulfil before the freezone company formation. In the free zone company setup, the investors have two choices in the registration process. Either they can set up the company in the form of a Free Zone Establishment? (FZE) or set up in the form of a Free Zone Company (FZC). The difference between the two is that FZE requires one shareholder, while FZC requires two shareholders. The investors also have an option that if they are an existing or parent company. They can establish the new company as its branch or representative office. As an FZE or FZC is a limited liability company, they follow the free zone rules and regulations. And the UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL) provisions do not apply in case of an FZE or FZC.

For a free zone company formation, the owner needs to submit the following documents. And the authority also requires due diligence from all the company’s shareholders/directors.

Documents needed

The various documents include certified passport copy and UAE visa/UAE entry stamp in case you are a foreigner. Two address proofs that should be dated within 3months. The owner also needs to submit a bank or professional reference letter. The summary of professional history that is Curriculum Vitae, and the company application form, which the authority will provide. According to the nature of the business activity, free zones can ask the owners to submit a detailed business plan. 

After having a legal presence in the free zone, the next step in the free zone company setup . That is the company will have to take premises or land on lease. It will also have to acquire an operating license from FZA. In different types of free zone, there are various types of licenses. There is also a condition that companies need to have a trade and industrial license for free zone company formation.


If you want to set a free zone company setup, you can consult Shuraa Business Setup. 

To book a free consultation with Shuraa’s free zone company formation specialist. Call +971 44081900 or send a WhatsApp to +971 50 777 5554 or simply drop an email at [email protected]

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