For several years, Dubai holds the U.A.E.’s flagship as its global city and was dubbed as the shopping capital of the Middle East. With its amazing skyline, showcasing some of the world’s best architectural design it is no wonder that Dubai have found its own appeal to the world, totally independent of the country itself.
The U.A.E. aside from Dubai’s grandest infrastructures and state-of-the art facilities have another offering that investors would find it hard to resist- 100% business ownership. This offer is made possible by Dubai government’s establishment of different free zones and as of this date, there are more than 30 fully-operational free zones in Dubai alone. These free zones have their own rules and regulations and are managed and operated by their designated regulatory authorities. To name a few of Dubai’s most popular free zones, DMCC, JAFZA, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Knowledge Village, will definitely be on the list.
Free Zones are established mainly to offer tax exemptions and custom duty and import benefits to foreign investors. Each free zone is designed to accommodate one or more industry categories or business sectors. Most of the free zones in Dubai offer trading, services and industrial licenses. Free zones are best suited to companies that wishes to use UAE as a hub for its regional manufacturing or as a distribution base with the majority of their business done outside of the UAE.
Why Establish a Free Zone Company in Dubai?
There are several benefits of registering a free zone company in Dubai. If the state-of the art- infrastructure, tax exemption and easy capital repatriation is unappealable, future investors should take note of the following additional advantages, among others, for registering a free zone company in Dubai, described below:
· 100 % ownership of business, without the need for a local sponsor.
· Property ownership is allowed;
· Wide range of business activities are available to investors;
· Easy licensing procedures;
· Reasonable renewal fees;
· Easy and convenient way of registration renewal;
· Corporate account opening is allowed;
· No restriction on foreign talent or employees;
· Share Capital amount is cheaper that other parts of the world;
· No physical office required, for some free zones.
· Low operating costs with wide variety of cost-effective office solutions;
· Top notch security protection
· Confidentiality of business is maintained.
The registration process, forms required and set up process may be different form each Dubai free zones, there are basic requirements for registration eligibility such as:
· License for the business activity/activities, renewable annually, at the minimum.
· Office space or shared desk within the free zone.
· At least one shareholder is required.
· Minimum share capital requirement is needed.
· A company’s manager should be appointed.
· The company is not allowed to trade outside of the free zone unless a local distributor is hired.
Process in Setting Up a Free Zone Company in Dubai
The process itself for registering the company in any of the free zone is very straight-forward. See below basic steps, although, these may be slightly different for each of the Dubai free zones.
· Shareholder- decide whether the shareholder will be an individual of a corporate entity.
· Share Capital- Review the minimum share capital from each of the free zones.
· Propose three business names and appoint a company’s manager. Kindly note that the manager’s name will appear on the license.
· Submit application form, mentioning the three proposed names and the relevant documents of the shareholder and company officers.
· Wait for preliminary approval from the free zone authority.
· Deposit share capital amount or pay the same, as per the guideline from the free zone authority.
· Sign lease agreement for office space.
· Submit proof of transfer of share capital, lease agreement, signed incorporation documents.
· Collect fully executed corporate documents from the free zone. This will include the company’s license, share certificate, memorandum and articles of association, among others.
Cost of Business Set Up in Dubai Free Zone
The cost of starting a business in one of Dubai free zones depends on the nature and size of the planned business. For detailed estimate of the registration cost, investors can click on the relevant free zones available in our webpage.
Share Capital Requirement
Depending on the company’s business activity, the share capital amount can range between AED 50,000- AED 1 Million.
Timeline for Registering a Free Zone Company in Dubai
The general timeline for finalizing the incorporation process will take approximately up to one (1) month. In some cases, this timeline can be longer.
One of the perks of having a registered free zone company in Dubai is its qualification to issue residence visa to either its shareholder and company officers and its employees, in the future. The most notable thing to remember regarding the visa allotment to each free zone company is that, the number of visas is dependent on the size of the rented office or the signed -up business package.
Corporate Account Opening
Most of the Dubai free zones require a corporate account opening. This is specifically true to those free zones requiring proof of transfer of share capital into the company’s bank account. The account opening requirement may be tedious for some, but the basic requirements, among others is to show proof that the company intends to do business in Dubai, such as corporate documents, office lease agreement, residence visa of the manager, residential tenancy contract, etc.
Before plunging into the business, due diligence should be performed. First is to identify the type of business venture. Secondly, select the correct Dubai free zone suited for the business needs. This lone decision can affect the future of the planned business. Each free zone has its unique offerings, and are planned to provide the maximum flexibility, comfort and convenience to potential investors. It is only a matter of choice and prudent due diligence.
Starting a business in Dubai Free Zones may sound all easy and enticing. UAE-Consultants.com is a firm believer that a good investor knows when to reach out to others and ask for assistance. We would gladly assist you with the steps, requirements and other relevant information pertaining to any of the Dubai Free zones.