Setting up your UAE Free Zone Company

Free zone companies in the UAE make up a significant portion of the domestic SME industry, and are widely favored by foreign investors as the means for setting up their businesses in Dubai, the business hub of the UAE.

Free zone companies benefit from certain unique characteristics, including:

• 100% Foreign Ownership

• Resident status

• Unrestricted Access to International Markets

• Limited Direct Access to Local Markets

• Flexible Office facilities and requirements

• Reliable Reputation

• Cooperative Banking Solutions

• Corporate Tax Holidays

Free zone jurisdictions in the UAE enjoy significant support across the public and private sector, allowing the government to attract foreign talent and capital; and foreign investors to gain a foothold within the domestic market.

Despite its overarching benefits and advantages, certain clients may require a solution with a more direct approach into the local economy, thereby opting for a mainland company with mandatory UAE national participation.

Let us now look at the brief procedures when setting up your UAE-based free zone company.

1. Selecting your free zone jurisdiction

2. Selecting your business activity

3. Understanding the licensing requirements

4. Preparing and securing the applicable licensing documentation

5. Obtaining the Registrar-issued Trade Licence and ancillary documents

6. Applying for residence visas

7. Setting up meetings with bankers for the corporate account application

Noteworthy Considerations when Setting Up your Free Zone Company in the UAE

Free zone companies, like mainland companies, are entities registered onshore in the UAE, hence they share similar points of consideration.

1. Business Activity

• Does the proposed business activity fall under a Commercial, Professional, or Industrial licence?

• Is the business activity a regulated activity?

• Are additional qualifications required for the licensed operations?

2. Residence Visa

• How many residence visas are required?

• Are dependent visas required?

3. Physical Office Facilities

• Does the licensed activity require physical office premises, or allows for an upgrade within a set timeframe?

• Which type of office facility within the free zone would be ideal for the company?

• What is the minimum office facility allowed during the initial stages?

4. Additional Requirements

• Value Added Tax (VAT) considerations?

• Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) considerations?

• Appointment of Accountant and Auditors?

Speak to one of our team today regarding more information about your proposed free zone business setup in UAE.

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