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Free zone company 

Description 

UAE free zone companies allow you to retain full ownership of your business without a local sponsor. Other financial incentives of the UAE free zones include a 0% corporate and income tax rate, no customs duties levied on imports and exports, and the option to repatriate 100% of the profits from the business. Since most free zones are specialise in specific sectors, foreign investors have immediate access to expertise from their industry.

Legality and Regulations

A free zone company must have a trade license in the activity of its intended business and this license must be renewed every year. It must have an office in its own name in the free zone, which is rented must be renewed on an annual basis. The company must also have a manager authorised to act as the legal representative of the company. Free zone companies must have at least one shareholder, the mandated share capital, and is not allowed trade outside the free zone without a local distributor

With a free zone company, you have 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, 100% free transfer of funds, and 100% exemption of import and export duties (if you are not going to bring the goods into the UAE). Forming a free zone company is faster and recruitment procedures are more efficient. Free zones can provide you with 25-year lease options, access to warehouses, facilities, and areas for production and assembly. In the UAE, there are three types of free zone companies:

  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE) for a single shareholder.
  • Free Zone Company (FZCO or FZ-LLC) for more than one shareholder.
  • Branch of a foreign company.

Main Free Zones in the UAE

There are seven Emirates in the UAE and five of them (Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah) have active free zones that welcome foreign businesses. Abu Dhabi has a free zone for media with another under construction near Abu Dhabi International Airport. Dubai has one of the most liberal and attractive business environments as far as rules and regulations are concerned. The Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai has set the benchmark incentives, attracting investors from all over the world. UAE’s prominent free zones include:

  • Dubai Airport Free Zone.
  • World Trade Central.
  • Academic city.
  • Dubai Internet City.
  • Jumeirah Lake tower- JLT.
  • Dubai Media City.
  • Dubai Metal and Commodities Center-DMCC.
  • Dubai Investment Park.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre- DIFC.
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis.
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone.
  • Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah.
  • Sharjah Airport International Free Zone.
  • Ajman Free Zone Authority.
  • RAKIA Free Zone in Ras Al Khaimah.
  • Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone.
  • Fujairah Free Zone.