DMCC free zone company setup services: start and manage your business in Dubai’s leading free zone with Healy Consultants Group

What is DMCC and where it is located?

Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) is a globally recognised premier free zone located in Jumeirah Lakes Tower (JLT), Dubai – UAE.

The DMCC free zone is well connected from important locations in the UAE.

It less than a one-hour drive from Abu Dhabi, 20 minutes from the Dubai financial district, minutes from Jebel Ali port and Maktoum international airport.

Why should you start your business in DMCC free zone?

DMCC was awarded the Global Free Zone of the Year 2023 from the Financial Times’ fDi Magazine for the ninth consecutive year.

This achievement is driven by DMCC’s commitment to:

  1. Simplifying business setup processes.
  2. Granting 100% foreign ownership.
  3. Maintaining a supportive corporate tax environment.
  4. Delivering high-quality infrastructure and business support services..

Today, DMCC accounts for 11% of Dubai’s annual Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and is home to over 24,000 registered companies.

Why choose Healy Consultants Group for DMCC free zone company formation?

With over two decades of assisting diverse businesses in the UAE, from established global financial institutions, commercial entities to cutting-edge AI, e-sports, Web3, crypto, and blockchain ventures, Healy Consultants Group possesses the expertise and capability to deliver top-tier corporate services within DMCC. No matter the complexities, we are committed to excellence.

Client testimonial

Healy Consultants supported us successfully during all steps of our set-up phase. They were very familiar with the local situation and proposed many good, workable solutions to any challenges faced by us during the process.

Thank you, Healy Consultants, for excellent services rendered to CRA!

Dr. Reinhart Lutz, Director, CRA Guest Relations DMCC

Contact us today to explore how we can support your business.

DMCC company setup guide: Table of contents

Advantages and disadvantages of DMCC free zone company formation

Advantages of setting up company in DMCC free zone

There are several positive reasons for setting up a company in the UAE free zones.

The following are the benefits of setting up a freezone company specific to DMCC free zone in the UAE.

  1. DMCC free zone is the world’s best centre for global trade.
  2. DMCC supports & incentivizes businesses across several ecosystems including proprietary crypto trading business, precious commodities, financial services, energy and latest technologies.
  3. DMCC member companies can also do business in Dubai Mainland under the dual licensing scheme.
  4. DMCC offers commercial and residential properties to buy, with a freehold option.
  5. DMCC has a well-functioning online portal & help center through which it provides top-notch business services.
  6. DMCC provides exclusive business rewards and privileges to businesses through the DMCC Business Rewards programme.

Disadvantages of DMCC free zone company setup

  1. High demand for office spaces in the DMCC free zone. i) All DMCC companies must at least have a small, shared office space within the free zone. Due to this, businesses have difficulties to rent a full physical office space (instead of a serviced / shared office). ii) The cheapest annual flexi-desk rent is estimated at US$5,600 in the DMCC free zone.
  2. DMCC company formation can be expensive. i) DMCC business licenses cost above US$5,500 and need annual renewal. ii) A DMCC company requires a minimum paid up capital of US$13,615 (AED50,000) within three months from the date of company incorporation.

DMCC free zone business types in a glance

Established foreign businesses can choose from the two main types of company setup structures that DMCC offers: New company (LLC/Subsidiary) and branch.

The table below compares these two important DMCC company types.

Comparison of different DMCC FZ entities DMCC LLC / Subsidiary DMCC branch office
Best use of the business entity All products and services All products and services
Can do proprietary crypto-currency trading? Yes No
Can do crypto-currency trading for customers? No No
Corporate director(s) allowed? No No
Minimum paid up share capital? US$13,615 None
Resident company secretary/manager required? No Yes
How long to set the entity up? 6 weeks 8 weeks
How long to open a corporate bank account? 8 weeks 8 weeks
Require annual submission of audited financial statements? Yes No
Regulated by which government body? DMCC FZ Authority

Foreign entities can also choose to transfer the incorporation of company from a foreign location (Re-domiciliation) into DMCC free zone.

Permitted business activities and licences in DMCC free zone

Main business activities supported by DMCC free zone

In DMCC, you can choose from over 1,000 different business activities across 20 sectors. Main sectors are:

  • Commodities.
  • Gold and Diamonds.
  • Crypto & Blockchain – businesses providing proprietary digital economy solutions.
  • Technology.
  • Professional services.
  • Financial services.
  • Construction.
  • Logistics.
  • Energy.
  • E-Commerce.
  • Healthcare.
  • Aviation.

Operating licenses issued by the DMCC free zone

Each company must secure an operating licence from the ones listed below. Each licence can contain up to six business activities, but they must be related to each other. Additional fees will apply when adding activities that are not related (i.e. commodity trading and management consulting).

  • Trading licence.
  • Services licence.
  • Industrial licence.

What are the required steps to setup a company in the DMCC free zone?

The DMCC company formation process closely aligns with the general UAE company formation procedure.

For comprehensive details on the UAE company formation process, please refer to our UAE company formation steps page.

The basic steps required for DMCC company registration and to start a business in DMCC are the following:

  1. Step 1: Deciding on your DMCC licenses, business activities, company director and shareholder structures, share capital and other company officers.
  2. Step 2: Preparing required documents, paying the company registration fee and completing the DMCC incorporation application.
  3. Step 3: Collecting provisional approval letter and bank letter from DMCC.
  4. Step 4: Initiating the UAE corporate bank account opening process.
  5. Step 5: Choosing a suitable office space in DMCC.
  6. Step 6: Fulfilling the licensing requirements by submitting the required documents to DMCC.
  7. Step 7: Collecting the DMCC company license, DMCC memorandum, articles of association, DMCC company registration certificate and other relevant documents from the DMCC authority.
  8. Step 8: Appointing an external auditor.
  9. Step 9: Submitting other required documents to DMCC within one month from license issuance date.
  10. Step 10: As a final step, applying for UAE employment visa.

Important note: To obtain a business license, there are additional requirements for companies that are:

  • Using owned property for office or
  • Applying for industrial / retail activities licenses or
  • Using DMCC owned towers in JLT or
  • Injecting a share capital greater than US$ 136,000 (AED 500,000).
  • Preliminary list of documents required for DMCC company setup engagement

    The document requirements for DMCC business setup are simple.

    DMCC authority requires you to submit:

    • The copies of your passport.
    • Proof of residence.
    • DMCC office address proof.
    • Approvals from other agencies for certain regulated business activities.
    • Copies of parent company documents (if setting up a subsidiary).

    Healy Consultants Group diligently conducts due diligence on our clients to enhance our service quality. For detailed information about our due diligence process and the necessary documents, please refer to our Due Diligence guide.

    Healy Consultants Group’s fees and timeline to form a DMCC free zone company

    For complex and time-sensitive business needs, partnering with a reputable corporate services company for DMCC business setup becomes essential.

    Our experts at Healy Consultants ensures smooth DMCC company formation, saving you time and ensuring timely operations within DMCC.

    Our average DMCC company formation engagement cost is US$30,124 for DMCC LLC formation.

    This price includes the standard fees charged by DMCC authority to register and issue operating license for a free zone company. Please refer to the DMCC schedule of charges page to know more about the charges.

    It requires 3.5 months to complete a DMCC free zone company setup engagement.

    DMCC FZ entities DMCC LLC / Subsidiary DMCC branch office
    Average total DMCC business setup engagement period? 3.5 months 4 months
    Average total DMCC business set up engagement costs? US$30,124 US$30,124

    Refer to our UAE fees & timelines page for an overview of the engagement costs and timelines of different UAE entities.

    DMCC comprehensive business setup packages

    To attract new investors and to make their UAE free zone more cost-effective, DMCC offers promotions to throughout the year for businesses of all sizes.

    By selecting some of the business setup packages listed below, you can save much on DMCC free zone business setup costs.

    Prime Plus Package

    Suitable for: Larger and medium sized companies.

    Benefits:

    1. Fast-track company setup.
    2. DMCC company stamp valid up to 3 years.
    3. Complimentary office fitness certificate.
    4. Commemorative certificate of incorporation.
    5. Amendments to shareholding, directorship and licensing activities to the company without extra charges (up to 3 months from obtaining license).
    6. Discount on additional services required from DMCC.
    7. Dedicated support from DMCC.

    Package pricing plan for one year:

    • Package price is US$ 10,389 (AED 38,145).

    Jump Start Package

    Suitable for: Start-ups and SMEs.

    Benefits:

    1. 24% discount on company setup fees.
    2. DMCC company stamp.
    3. Standard flexi desk or co-working space.
    4. One UAE residency visa.
    5. Commemorative certificate of incorporation.

    Package pricing plans for one year:

    • Package price with standard flexi desk option is US$ 11,921 (AED 43,780).
    • Package price with co-working space option is US$ 13,922 (AED 51,129).

    Basic Biz Package

    Suitable for: Entrepreneurs and smaller start-ups.

    Benefits:

    1. DMCC company stamp.
    2. Standard flexi desk.
    3. One UAE residency visa.
    4. Commemorative certificate of incorporation.

    Package pricing plan for one year:

    • Package price is US$ 9,662 (AED 35,484).

    Important note:

    • The above discounts, incentives and promotions are subject to the DMCC Free Zone Authority’s terms and conditions and may be amended by DMCC from time to time in its sole discretion as it deems fit.
    • Please contact Healy Consultants Group to confirm the continuity of the above packages and/or availability of any other promotions.

    Annual renewal of a DMCC free zone company and business licenses

    Independent statutory annual audit of a DMCC company

    • A DMCC company and a DMCC branch office must upload the auditor signed and stamped audited financial statements summary sheet and the audited financial statements report online. This must be done within 180 days of the end of each financial year.
    • Every DMCC entity must ensure that their appointed auditor is registered as an approved auditor with DMCC Authority and is on the Approved Auditors List (AAL). A DMCC branch office may secure an approval to use their appointed international group auditor.

    DMCC company business license renewal

    • According to the DMCC regulations, a DMCC company must annually renew its license (or for 2, 3, or 5 years) to keep operating.
    • DMCC entities must renew their licenses by the expiry date. The companies should submit the license renewal application and make license renewal fee payment to DMCC.
    • DMCC authority recommends initiating the business license renewal process 3-4 weeks before the current license expiration date.
    • For 3-year or longer-term business license renewals, a yearly insurance policy and an undertaking letter are required.
    • Companies engaged in retail, industrial, or regulated activities are not permitted to renew their licenses for multiple years.
    • Operating company in DMCC without a valid license in the DMCC Free Zone is prohibited.
    • If a DMCC entity doesn’t renew its license by the expiry date, it faces sanctions, penalties, and potential license termination.

    Healy Consultants Group DMCC free zone company annual renewal fees

    DMCC company annual renewal services Fees (US$)
    Company annual renewal fees 2,490
    Annual office space renewal fees 4,753
    Establishment card renewal fees 497
    DMCC business license renewal fees 5,523
    Accounting, audit and tax services fees
    DMCC active company accounting services fees 7,970
    DMCC dormant company accounting services fees 1,950
    UAE company annual statutory services fees
    ESR and UBO registry filing services fees 2,150

    Videos on DMCC free zone company formation

    Case studies

    DMCC free zone company renewal

    Our accounting and tax team completed DMCC company renewal for a marketing and advertising services company

    Our client is a marketing and advertising services company registered in Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. The Client engaged us to renew the company’s DMCC business license, lease and establishment card.

    Our Accounting and Tax Department (ATD) was also responsible for completing the company’s accounting, audit and tax obligations with the DMCC authorities.

    Engagement summary

    The client settled the renewal invoice sent by our group financial controller in early February 2023. We then started the renewal process.

    Engagement planning and execution

    An accounting and tax department (ATD) member was assigned to complete our Client’s DMCC company renewal, as well as complete the company’s accounting, audit and tax obligations.

    The steps included i) the trade licence renewal ii) the DMCC flexi desk contract and Establishment Card renewal , iii) preparation of the Audited Financial Statements, iv) submission of Annual Return, v) ESR filing completion.

    By the end of March 2023, all the legal, accounting and tax obligations was successfully discharged with the DMCC authorities.

    Engagement completion

    All the DMCC renewal obligations were completed by the end of March 2023.

    For transparency purposes, once the engagement was completed, the client received a detailed summary of Obligations, outlining the completion of all the required steps to keep the company in good standing with DMCC authorities.

    Additionally, a Deliverables folder containing all the documents prepared and submitted by Healy Consultants Group was provided.

Contact us

For additional information on our company formation services in DMCC Free Zone, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi