DMCC FREE ZOne Business setup

UAE Free Zone Company Formation, Dubai Free Zone Business Setup

Freezone Business Setup in UAE

Free zone company zones in Dubai are predefined areas within the emirates where foreign companies can operate with various benefits such as tax exemptions, full ownership, and customs privileges. These zones are designed to attract foreign investment and promote economic growth. Some popular free zone zones in Dubai include Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Dubai Internet City (DIC). Each such freezone company zone may have its own set of regulations and benefits tailored to different industries such as logistics, technology, finance, and manufacturing.

What is a Freezone license in Dubai?

In Dubai, a Freezone license refers to a business license issued by one of the numerous Freezones in the emirate. Freezones are designated areas in united arab emirates where foreign companies can establish a business with full ownership, without the need for a local partner (which is typically the legal entity required for mainland businesses in the UAE)Each Freezone may have a trade license with its own set of regulations, benefits, and limitations, so it’s important for businesses to research and choose service license from the Freezone that best suits their needs.


Registering a new company name in a UAE Free Zone involves several steps, but the process for new company name is generally straightforward. Here’s a simplified guide:

  1. Choose a Free Zone: Research and select the Free Zone that best suits your business needs. Each Free Zone might have specific regulations, benefits, and costs.

  2. Select Company Type: Decide on the type of company you want to register (e.g., Free Zone Establishment, Free Zone Company, Branch of a Foreign Company).

  3. Choose a Company Name: Check the Free Zone authority’s guidelines for naming conventions and ensure your chosen name is available for registration.

  4. Submit Application: Complete the application form provided by the chosen Free Zone authority. You may need to provide documents such as passport copies of shareholders, business plan, NOC (No Objection Certificate) from current sponsor (for UAE residents), etc.

  5. Legal Documentation: Prepare and submit the required legal documents, which may include Memorandum and Articles of Association, lease agreement for office space in the Free Zone, etc.

  6. Approval Process: The Free Zone authority will review your application and documents. Once approved, they will issue an initial approval or an in-principle approval.

  7. Payment: Pay the required fees, which typically include registration fees, license fees, visa fees (if applicable), etc.

  8. Sign Lease Agreement: Sign the lease agreement for the office space within the Free Zone (if not done already) and obtain the Ejari (tenancy contract registration) certificate.

  9. Collect License: Once all fees are paid and documents are verified, you’ll receive your business license from the Free Zone authority.

  10. Visa Processing (if applicable): If you require visas for yourself or your employees, you can apply for them through the Free Zone authority.

  11. Bank Account Opening: Open a corporate bank account in the UAE using your company documents and business license.

  12. Commence Operations: After obtaining all necessary approvals and licenses, you can start conducting business operations within the Free Zone.

Remember that the free zones have specific requirements for registration documents and procedures might vary slightly depending on the chosen Free Zone and the type of business activity. It’s advisable to consult with a legal or business advisor familiar with UAE Free Zone regulations to ensure a smooth registration process.

  • 100% Foreign Ownership: Unlike mainland UAE, free zones allow full foreign ownership of businesses, providing greater control and flexibility to investors.

  • Tax Exemption: Free zone companies enjoy complete tax exemption on corporate and personal income taxes for a specified period, fostering a conducive environment for business growth.

  • Ease of Setup: Streamlined processes and minimal paperwork simplify company formation, enabling quick establishment and commencement of operations.

  • Repatriation of Profits: Investors can repatriate 100% of their capital and profits without any restrictions, ensuring efficient capital utilization and ROI.

  • World-Class Infrastructure: Free zones offer state-of-the-art infrastructure, including modern office spaces, warehouses, and logistical support, facilitating seamless business operations.

        Ongoing Obligations for Businesses in Dubai Freezones:

  • License Renewal: Renewal of trade license annually.

  • Employment Regulations: Adherence to local labor laws.

  • Financial Reporting: Submission of financial statements.

  • Visa Compliance: Ensuring employee visa statuses are up to date.

  • Lease Agreements: Compliance with lease terms and rent payments.

  • Regulatory Compliance: Meeting industry-specific regulations.

  • Corporate Governance: Maintaining transparent business practices.

  • Tax Compliance: Fulfilling tax obligations as per local regulations.

  • Trademark Renewal: Renewal of trademarks to protect intellectual property.

  • Health & Safety Standards: Adhering to workplace health and safety guidelines.

There are various Freezones in UAE which offer you best available packages depending upon your business activity. The cheapest so far is with Sharjah Media city Free Zone( SHAMS). There are many factors to be taken into consideration while picking up the freezone based on your business activity as most of them are incubators for different sectors to grow.

          Research: Explore available free zones, considering location, facilities, and industry focus.

  • Cost Analysis: Compare setup costs, license fees, and ongoing expenses across different zones.

  • Legal Analysis: One has to make sure your Business activities complies with free zone guideliness

  • Infrastructure: Evaluate the quality of infrastructure, including office spaces, warehouses, and utilities.

  • Business Support: Look for zones offering assistance with visas, banking, and administrative processes.

  • Networking Opportunities: Assess networking events, trade shows, and business communities present in the zone.

  • Taxation: Understand tax benefits, exemptions, and any applicable customs duties.

  • Flexibility: Consider flexibility in lease terms, company structure, and ownership regulations.

  • Future Expansion: Think about long-term growth prospects and the ability to scale your business within the zone.

  • Reputation: Research the reputation and credibility of the free zone authorities to ensure reliability and trustworthiness.

  • Sole Proprietorship:

    • Simplest and most common structure for small businesses.

    • Owner has full control and receives all profits but also bears all liabilities.

    • Easy and inexpensive to establish and maintain.

  • Partnership:

    • Involves two or more individuals sharing ownership.

    • Shared responsibilities, profits, and liabilities.

    • Partnerships can be general (equal responsibilities) or limited (one partner has limited liability).

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC):

  • Offers liability protection like a corporation but with fewer formalities.

  • Flexible taxation options, can choose to be taxed as a partnership or corporation.

  • Ideal for small to medium-sized businesses seeking liability protection without extensive regulations.

Setting up a business in a Dubai free zone offers numerous benefits foreign investors, including 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and streamlined regulations for international markets.

  • However, trading with the local UAE market from a free zone entity has certain limitations and regulations to consider.

  • Free zone companies can trade with local UAE markets through authorized channels by partnering with a local distributor or obtaining a mainland trading license.

  • It’s crucial to research and comply with the specific requirements and restrictions imposed by UAE authorities when conducting local trading activities from a free zone setup.

  • Cost Efficiency: Freezone offers competitive rates and often exempts businesses from taxes, reducing operational costs.

  • 100% Foreign Ownership: Unlike in many other jurisdictions, Freezone allows complete foreign ownership of businesses, providing full control to entrepreneurs.

  • Streamlined Setup Process: Freezone facilitates a quick and hassle-free company setup with minimal paperwork and bureaucratic hurdles.

  • Access to Infrastructure: Businesses in Freezone benefit from state-of-the-art infrastructure, including modern office spaces, logistics facilities, and connectivity.

  • Strategic Location: Positioned in key economic hubs, Freezones offer proximity to markets, suppliers, and skilled labor pools, enhancing business opportunities.

  • Incentives and Support: Freezone often provides incentives such as free trade agreements, grants, and business support services, fostering growth and success. to enhance growth

  • In Dubai Free Zones, hiring expatriates involves certain regulations and restrictions aimed at ensuring compliance and promoting local workforce participation. Here’s a concise overview:

    • Visa Regulations: Free zones typically offer simplified visa procedures for expatriate hires, but quotas may apply, depending on the zone and the industry.

    • Nationality Restrictions: Some free zones prioritize hiring Emiratis or GCC nationals for certain positions, particularly in government-related sectors.

    • Industry-Specific Rules: Certain industries may have additional requirements or restrictions on expatriate employment to safeguard national interests and encourage skill development among locals.

    • Compliance Measures: Free zone authorities enforce strict compliance with hiring regulations to maintain a balance between expatriate expertise and local employment opportunities.

    • Consultation Services: Employers can benefit from consultation services provided by free zone authorities to navigate hiring regulations effectively while optimizing workforce diversity and talent acquisition strategies.

    Navigating these regulations is crucial for businesses operating in Dubai Free Zones to ensure seamless operations while adhering to legal requirements and contributing to the development of the local workforce.

    • Zero Corporate Tax: Free zone companies in the UAE are exempt from corporate tax for up to 50 years, providing significant savings and boosting profitability.

    • 100% Foreign Ownership: Unlike mainland companies, free zone entities allow full foreign ownership, enabling investors to have complete control over their business operations.

    • No Customs Duty: Import and export goods within the free zone are exempt from customs duty, reducing operational costs and increasing competitiveness.

    • No Currency Restrictions: Free zone companies can freely repatriate all capital and profits without any currency restrictions, facilitating efficient financial management.