UAE free zones
UAE free trade zones can provide a wide range of incentives for investors from around the world. The following information will help you decide whether establishing your company in one of the UAE free zones is beneficial for achieving your business objectives.
Healy Consultants assists with all facets of FZ company formation, including i) company registration ii) assistance in obtaining the trade license iii) lease premises and iv) assistance in opening a corporate bank account. Our staff will handle all formalities without our Client needing to visit Dubai.
International entrepreneurs can establish one of the following entities in the free zone. Healy Consultants will be pleased to assist our Clients in choosing the optimum business entity:
- A free zone company (FZC) – this entity requires a minimum of two shareholders;
- A free zone establishment (FZE) – this entity requires a minimum of one shareholder;
- Branch of a foreign company;
- Representative office from the parent company.
Advantages of a UAE free zone entity
- Investors who choose to setup in the UAE free zones enjoy the following benefits: i) 100% foreign ownership ii) 100% import and export tax exemptions iii) 100% repatriation of capital and profits iv) corporate tax exemption for up to 50 years v) personal income tax exemption and vi) assistance with labor recruitment and additional support services, such as sponsorship and housing;
- Other benefits include i) low bureaucratic requirements for incorporation ii) fewer restrictions relating to staff recruitment iii) high quality infrastructure facilities and iv) competitively priced energy and utilities;
- There are more than 35 operational free zones in the UAE. These include more than 25 in Dubai, 7 in Abu Dhabi and 8 in the Emirate of Sharjah and the Northern Emirates;
- Free zone activities allowed include i) import of raw materials ii) manufacturing iii) processing, assembling and packaging iv) export of finished products and v) storage/warehousing of products.
Disadvantages of a UAE free zones entity
- FZ companies must confine their business activities to the zone itself, other UAE free trade zones and international customers. A FZ company cannot therefore cater to customers in within the UAE;
- To be fully established in a FZ, every company must i) lease premises and ii) obtain a license. The type of license will restrict the activities that can be conducted in the company. Company licenses are renewable annually after FZ laws are complied with, including submitting annual audited financial statements to the authorities;
- FZ companies are non-tax resident entities and cannot enjoy UAE tax treaty benefits;
- The paid up share capital varies from US$14 to US$300,000 depending on i) the free zone chosen and ii) the company structure. After incorporation, the share capital can be used to fund the daily business activities of the company;
- A FZ company must rent an office within its zone and cannot rent an office in Dubai city center.
Trading within the UAE
An FZ company can conduct business in Dubai and within the UAE:
- If a UAE 51% local partner is appointed and The Department of Economic Development issues the trading license to the company;
- The FZ company appoints a service agent to sell and distribute goods and services within the city in its name;
- If a branch office is established in the city and the goods and services are distributed through a UAE agent, in the name of the FZ company;
- Custom duty of 5% would be levied on free zone company sales within the UAE.
List of UAE free trade zones
Dubai free zones
|DUBAI FREE ZONES (Click link)|
|1. Dubai Studio City (DSC)||2. Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)|
|3. Dubai Media City (DMC)||4. Dubai Multi Commodities Center|
|5. International Media Production Zone (IMPZ)||6. Energy & Environment Park|
|7. Dubai Knowledge Village||8. Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park|
|9. International Humanitarian City||10. Dubai Textile City|
|11. Duabi International Financial Center||12. Dubai Flower City|
|13. Dubai Outsource Zone||14. Dubai Healthcare City|
|15. Dubai International Academic City||16. Techno Park|
|17. Gold and Diamond Park||18. Dubai Silicon Oasis|
|19. Jumeirah Lake Towers||20. Dubai Internet City|
|21. Dubai Logistics City||22. Dubai Cars and Automotive Zone (DUCAMZ)|
|23. Jebel Ali Free Zone||24. Heavy Equipment & Trucks City|
|25. Dubai Maritime City||26. Dubai Auto Parts City|
Abu Dhabi free zones
|ABU DHABI FREE ZONES|
|1. Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone||5. Abu Dhabi Ports Company|
|2. Free Trade and Logistics Zone||6. Khalifa Industrial Zone|
|3. Two Four 54||7. ZonesCorp|
|4. Masdar City|
Sharjah and Northern Emirates free zones
|SHARJAH AND THE NORTHERN EMIRATES|
|1. Sharjah Airport Free Zone||2. Fujairah Media Zone / Creative City|
|3. Ajman Free Zone||4. Ahmed Bin Rashid Free Zone|
|5. Fujairah Free Zone||6. Rak Media City|
|7. Hamriyah Free Zone||8. RAK Free zone|
|9. RAKIA Free Zone||10. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone|
Compare different free zone options
Dubai free zones
Sharjah and Northern Emirates free zones
If your company is planning i) to conduct business within the UAE, or ii) internationally, there are other options you may want to consider such as
Frequently asked questions
I want to know how to register a company in UAE free trade zone; what are the steps?For incorporation of a free zone entity in UAE, Healy Consultants will i) obtain the necessary permissions from the relevant authorities ii) reserve the company name iii) prepare the incorporation documents iv) notarize the documents at the public courts v) apply for the business license vi) register the company for tax purposes and vii) obtain work visas for our Clients and their employees.
What will be the benefits if I start a free zone entity in UAE?UAE free zone companies offer several benefits including i) no requirement of a resident shareholder i.e. a FZ company can be 100% foreign-owned ii) no obligation to hire staff iii) no customs duties on goods entering/leaving the zone and iv) high quality infrastructure.
How many directors will I be required to appoint in order to register in UAE free trade zone?Only 1 director is required for UAE free zone company formation.
How many shareholders are required to incorporate in a UAE free trade zone?Only 1 shareholder is required for starting a free zone entity in UAE.