The United Arab Emirates is a country mainly known as a perfect destination for tourism, adventure, gigantic skyscrapers, luxurious lifestyle and business community who are looking to invest in multiple trades and investment opportunities. Dubai mainly, is the heart and soul of UAE. Dubai is mainly known for attracting travelers from all over world and also for its luxurious shopping malls and apart from all that is the main trading hub of the United Arab Emirates.
In order to attract the attention of foreign business community, Dubai gives the option to set-up a free zone company in Dubai for the investors who are looking for 100 percent ownership. They also have the advantage of the fact that there is no corporation tax and personal tax involved. Apart from that, there is no currency restriction as well as 100 percent import and export tax is very much part of the deal. Not only that but by getting your business set up in Dubai free zones, you can also get abundant opportunities in ultimate guaranteed growth and many other opportunities of wealth multiplication by networking and collaboration in wealth of opportunities.
Every year Dubai attracts attention of the business community from all over the globe due to its unmatched economic development in the fields of real estate, tourism and multiple business ventures in almost all walks of life. Dubai has welcomed more than 200 nationalities worldwide due to its multicultural approach towards different ethnicities from all over.
Dubai free zones offer no taxes for a period of 15-20 years. Generally they are called by different names such as tax free zones or duty free zones. With over 30 free zones in Dubai, each zone has its own kind of requirement criteria for office space and activities. In UAE there are a number of free zones such as: Dubai airport free zone, Dubai Internet City Free zone, Dubai Automotive city Free Zone, Dubai diamond and gold park, Dubai health care city, Dubai media city free zone, Dubai knowledge village Dubai Industrial city, Dubai silicon Oasis Free Zone, Dubai international financial centre ,Dubai multi commodities centre , Dubai maritime city free zone, metals & commodities Free Zone and Dubai aid city free zone are some of the free zones where you can set up a company in Dubai. Before we get into the details on how to set up a free zone company in Dubai let’s have a look at some of the main free zones in Dubai.
Dubai Airport free zone:
The Dubai airport free zone is located in the surrounding area of Dubai International Airport. Dubai airport free zone has a total area of around 1.2million square meters. This free zone is perfect for IT related businesses, luxury items and could also interest aviation industries. Dubai airport free zone also assists in upcoming companies with multiple services including immigration, bank accounts as well custom rules. The DAFZA offers 100 percent ownership to foreign investors as well as 100% repatriation of capital and profits possible and there is no personal income tax and no corporate tax for the period of minimum 15 years. There is no currency restriction in this free zone and provide an extravagant infrastructure and networking opportunities. The Dubai airport free zone provides information regarding necessary documentation for setting up bank accounts, vehicle registration, driving license etc for budding investors.
Dubai internet city:
The Dubai internet city generally attracts attention of media companies and also offers brilliant infrastructure to IT companies. Companies like IBM, Siemens, Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle are some of the big names that established in this region.
Dubai media city:
The Dubai media city was established by the Media free zone authority. Dubai media city offers complete media related environment for a number of media related industries.
Dubai knowledge village:
The Dubai knowledge village was established back in 2003. The purpose of this free zone is to create perfect environment for professional training centers in order to launch new skill set to improve professional environment according to international standards.
Dubai multi commodities centre:
The Dubai multi commodities were built to provide freehold properties options and up to 50 years tax free zone for multiple commodities industry. These were some of the duty free zones in Dubai. So how do we set up a free zone company in Dubai?
Guide to set up a free zone company in Dubai
So here is guide of how we can setup a free zone company in Dubai. First of all, we need to decide what kind of business do you want to set up in Dubai? Let’s say you want to establish yourself as a free-lancer, which means you want a business in your own name where you can employ others.
Freelancer is a relatively cheaper option, but not all free zones in Dubai offer a free-lance permit. So, your options can be restricted to some of the free zones.
Setting up a free zone company in Dubai depends on the business you wish to set up. There are multiple sectors in Dubai free zone, so it will not be a problem to find a suitable free zone to meet your desired needs.
Once you have established your desired free zone for conducting your business, the rest of the process breaks down in to quick and easy steps. Let’s discuss some of these steps in detail in order to set up your free zone company in Dubai.
Choose a business:
Depending on what kind of activities you wish to carry out, first and foremost is to decide which free zone will accommodate that business and will eventually impact registration of your company, for example, the Dubai internet city and Dubai silicon oasis is generally dedicated to IT related activities. Dubai international financial city focuses on finance related activity. The Dubai international academic city is focused on research and development. The Dubai media city accommodates media related activities and the Dubai gold and diamond park is a free zone for luxury jewelry industry. These are some of the free zones to help you decide your business activity in the free zone.
Once your business activity is decided the next step is getting the right license. In order to get a license a few Dubai free zones requires you to spend a specific amount of capital to be deposited for registration purposes. There are three types of licenses available in Dubai for setting a company in free zone; however it may vary from free zone to free zone. You may call your local consultant for those requirements. It is worth remembering that Dubai free zones allow multiple business activities under one license varying from different business activities.
Find a free zone:
The second step after determining your business activity is of choosing the right Free zone in which you want to conduct your business in. There are around 30 free zones in Dubai alone. You must consider a few steps while taking your decision. Firstly, the sector in which you want to invest in a specific free zone. It could be any free zone related to healthcare, production, design, media, outsourcing, IT or science and technology etc. These are some of the free zones that you can choose in Dubai free zones and there are many others depending on your business activity.
If you are still confused about your specific zone there are multiple other options that you can look into as Dubai free zones caters to a wide range of business activities.
Once you have decided on your free zone, the next step is the facilities required in your free zone. Most of the free zone offers meeting rooms and desk space, but if you wish to have specialized requirements such as warehouse then you need to seek out a free zone that can meet your specified needs.
At last, you need to consider the location of your free zone. You need to keep in mind that your free zone is accessible to the main highways. If you are relying mostly on international trade then Dubai airport free zone and Dubai maritime are some of the best examples as they are linked to Dubai international Airport and port Rashid. Depending on your business need you need to find the best possible location in order to conduct your business in one of the many free zones in Dubai.
Choosing your company name:
When you are considering to setup a business the most important aspect is choosing a brand name for your company. It can never be neglected because it represents whole of your company image. Your company name should always be practical and sometimes it should have some emotional link to it. It represents the reliability and the true essence of your company. While choosing a suitable name for your company you need to ensure whether that name is available for registration in Dubai. That can be done if you approach a company specialist and they can check the availability out for you. Secondly, your company name should not have any political or religious aspect related to it.
Lastly, if the company name is named after a specific person, a few things need to be considered. Firstly, the person must be a partner or shareholder and secondly, full name of the person is permissible rather than initials or abbreviations.
Documents required for applying:
Now that we have decided upon the activities that your business will be conducting under what name the final step is to officially apply for a Dubai free zone company by submitting an official application. It will depend upon the type of license are we applying for as well as the free zone that you have selected for the formation of your business. Some of the basic paperwork required for Dubai free zone company are as follow:
- Application form for free zone company setup
- Passports of all the individual shareholders, with color copies (if required)
- No-objection certificate from the current sponsor of each UAE resident shareholder
- Summary of the project
- Undertaking Letter for Environment Health and Safety and Application for
- Business plan
- Boards resolution
- Memorandum and articles of association
Apart from the above mentioned document additional documentations may be required to give additional documents as it varies in different business activities in different free zones. You can also give in your visa application at stage if required. Finally, you will need entrance permit in UAE, status adjustment, medical fitness test, your Emirates ID registration and visa stamp. You can consult a company formation specialist for further guidance.
Setting up your corporate business account:
Once the above mentioned process is complete the final piece in the puzzle is setting a new corporate bank account for your company and trust me it’s very simple. Opening a corporate account requires a few simple steps and the required documentation. Apart from your free zone business license you will be required to provide the following:
- Corporate account form of any bank of your liking
- Board of directors resolution allowing you to set up an account
- Signatories of the account
- Copy of company’s certificate of incorporation
- Copy of memorandum and also the articles of association
- Passport copies of all partners in the company
Once it is all set and done, you will be required to select your financial institution. Dubai is main business hub of UAE. It is the home for one of many international and local bank including Dubai commercial banks as well HSBC, Citi Bank and Barclays , Emirates NBD, Rak Bank , Noor Bank , FAB Bank are amongst the top banks in Dubai and UAE. There are certain banks that require shareholders to be UAE residents with valid visa while others have different criteria. The shareholders will often be required to have minimum cash balance ranging from 5,000 AED to 200,000 AED varying from region to region.
In a nutshell, to set up a free zone company in Dubai, we need to choose the right business, finding the most suitable free zone, setting up a company name, the right documentation and finally setting up a corporate account.