Classification Based on Company's Name Suffixes

We have discussed briefly the topic of company names in module 1. In this chapter, we will specifically talk about various free zones and how suffixes may vary from one free zone to another. Based on our experience, it may be important for businessmen to stick to the names with words “limited” or “LLC”, when you have multiple companies around the globe and you want to keep the same name format in all jurisdictions, where you are present. As such, the purpose of this chapter to show you, which suffixes you will have in your company name, once you decide to proceed with registration in one or another free zone.



   First of all, there are free zones in the UAE, which add their unique suffixes to the company names. Those are usually abbreviations of free zones’ names. For instance, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, which is a free zone in Dubai, or DMCC for short, adds suffix “DMCC” to company names, so that a company becomes, for example “XYZ DMCC”. Dubai South, which is new brand name of Dubai World Central free zone, assigns suffix DWC-LLC to its member companies and companies become “XYZ DWC-LLC”. 


   We have already discussed that if you come across a suffix “FZE”, you should remember that it is always assigned to free zone establishments, to companies with a single owner. Companies with two (2) or more owners receive suffixes “FZCO”, “FZC” or “FZ LLC” and the suffixes stand for a free zone company.  Such free zones in Dubai, as Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) and Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), they all assign suffixes FZE and FZCO to all their free-zone member companies. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ) in Umm Al Quwain, Hamriyah and Sharjah International Airport Free Zone in Sharjah, Ajman Free Zone in Ajman and a number of others use suffixes “FZE” and “FZC” within company names. Fujairah Creative City free zone in Fujairah, for example, assigns “FZE” suffix to companies with one owner only, while companies with several shareholders have a “FZ LLC” ending.


   There is also a big cluster of companies, containing suffix “FZ-LLC” in the names, regardless of the number of company owners. Well known to everyone living in Dubai - Media City, Internet City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Design District, Dubai Outsource City, Dubai Production City, Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Science Park are all governed by the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority and in any of them you can register a free zone company, provided the activity you wish to conduct is available within the cluster you choose. If you decide to form a free zone company in any of the mentioned clusters, the company name of your legal entity will include the suffix “FZ LLC”.


   It may also surprise one living in the UAE for quite some time, but a recently established free zone in Sharjah, SHAMS, offers its all free zone companies a suffix “LLC”. As such, if your customers or clients are from jurisdictions, where the names with FZE, FZCO and alike are not understood and LLC sounds more familiar to them, feel free to check out SHAMS free zone, which also offers a wide range of business activities.


   The suffix “Limited” is very much associated with offshore companies and it is quite often that, when one sees the word “Limited” in the company name, it is immediately assumed that this is an offshore company. Although, this is actually so in most of the cases, still there is a free zone in Abu Dhabi, registering free zone companies with names, bearing the ending “Limited”. And this is Masdar Free Zone. If you register a free zone company in Masdar Free Zone, its name will be “XYZ Limited”. Even banks in the UAE are often confused, when corporate documents of Masdar Free Zone companies are presented for account opening. If it happened that you registered a free zone company in a Masdar Free Zone and you struggle to open the bank account, as the bank’s representatives assume that you have an offshore company, refer to the web-site of Masdar Free Zone, where you will find regulations with a relevant clause in it. This clause will say that Masdar Free Zone companies bear “Limited” ending. Show this document and clause to the bank and this will immediately help to avoid any possible misunderstandings between you and the bank.


   In some of the cases, when establishing a free zone company, there will be no suffix added to the company name, or, vice versa, the name will contain various international endings, such as Inc., GmbH, s.r.o etc. This is usually the case, when you establish a branch of your foreign company in a free zone. When you establish a branch, the exact name of the mother company  is used, which then followed by the word “Branch” in the brackets. In other words, a branch of a, say, German company incorporated in some UAE free zone, will be called “XYZ GmbH” and in brackets “Branch”. As such, you can always recognize the branch, as soon as you see the name of the company, containing the word “Branch”.


   Finally, you should also remember that some free zones in the UAE can establish not only free zone, but also local/mainland companies. As such, the names of the latter ones will be containing L.L.C. at the end. We discussed the names of local companies in the first module. Feel free to revisit the relevant chapter on company names. 


   If you are not working with a specific jurisdiction for which you might need to choose a free zone assigning suffixes “Limited”, “LLC” or others, you may not need to focus that much on the suffixes within company names. Instead, it may be better to base your choice on other aspects, such as time for registration, share capital requirements, infrastructure and so on. All of the said parameters we will discuss in the chapters that are yet to follow.  

    If you want to know more about Dubai freezone company formation, feel free to get in touch with our professional consultant team and we would be delighted to assist you and help you to compare Dubai freezone company setup costs and help you to find that free zone, which would suit your business needs the most.


 Disclaimer: Business Boutique is not affiliated with any particular government or legal entity. Business Boutique does not give professional legal advice nor any other professional advice subject to a public office in the government. This article merely sets out a simple and basic idea as to the reasons of Dubai freezone company setup and Dubai free zone company formation cost. Business Boutique in no way holds nor imposes any official governmental or legal authority and the article herein is only to be taken as a guide. All further governmental or legal issues should be addressed to the corresponding authorities.

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