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Burj Al Arab

Free zone company in UAE

The United Arab Emirates have in total more than 30 Free Trade Zones. The Free Trade Zones in Dubai and the UAE were established in order to attract foreign investors to the country and to develop the business relationships of United Arab Emirates with other countries. Each FTZ has their own legislation.

Each of the Free Trade Zones has its specifics, e.g. Dubai Media City is the best for media companies but the companies being in the cargo ships management business are often registered in Jebel Ali Free Zone.

Onshore companies registered in Free Trade Zones of the UAE are not subject to taxation, there is no VAT, almost no deductions or taxes related to wages payments. The only exceptions are, for example, the companies doing business in oil industry and tourism.

Companies in the UAE FTZ (Free Trade Zones of the United Arab Emirates) can be registered as either independent companies or as a branch establishments or representative offices of local and international companies.

By opening a Free Zone company, the business gets presence in UAE for the new opportunities in the region and the possibility to have real office and be managed from the territory of the country of its incorporation. (vs Classic offshore companies that often cannot be managed from the territory of its registration.). There is also a possibility to transfer part of the business/production cycle in Free Trade Zones with the absence of taxes and cheaper workforce as well as perfectly developed logistics infrastructure for operating in international markets.

Main advantages of the UAE Free Trade Zone company:

  • 100% company ownership by foreign shareholders / investors;
  • Company is a full UAE resident, but not subject to taxation (some industry exceptions apply)
  • No import tax for import and export of goods and services;
  • Zero VAT;
  • No restrictions related to capital and profits repatriation;
  • Zero income tax;
  • Inexpensive energy resources;
  • Stable legislation;
  • Stable political and economic situation.
  • No limitation on residency or citizenship of Free Zone company directors and shareholders / investors.
  • Shareholders can be either physical or legal entity.
  • The company registered in Free Trade Zones gives company shareholders, managers and personnel the possibility to receive residence visas.

Licencing in Free Trade Zone

Companies registered as onshore companies in Free Trade Zones of the UAE are considered as resident companies and must receive the license for the chosen activity. The requirements for receiving a license can be from formal ones, for example, if you register a trading or holding company, to quite detailed and complex ones, for example, opening a fully functioning commercial hospital or university.

Main types of Free Trade Zone licenses:

  • Commercial Trade License – for trading companies;
  • Service license – for provision of different services, for example, consulting;
  • Manufacturing / industrial license – for production facilities.

In order to get the initial advice on companies’ incorporation please contact us.