There are over 50 free economic zones in the UAE. Foreign nationals are entitled to 100% ownership of companies registered in the free zones. These zones are a perfect option if you don't plan to sell goods and provide services mainly outside the UAE.
All aspects of companies registered in free zones should be in line with the rules and regulations adopted at the level of each particular FEZ. If a company operates outside the free zone, its activities fall under the 'UAE Companies Act' which have to undergo the licensing procedure and meet all the requirements specified in the law.
Companies established in a FEZ are allowed to do retail activities outside the free zone as long as they work with an official distributor or agent, who is a UAE national.
The key perks of opening a company in one of the UAE free zones are as follows:
- Possibility of full ownership of the company by foreign nationals, without the need to involve Emirati nationals as shareholders
- No duties on imports and exports of goods and services
- The right to full repatriation of capital and profits
- Availability of a developed infrastructure
- The possibility of obtaining long-term visas for shareholders and employees
NBD! All companies established in the Free Zones must have office space that meets the minimum size requirements. In select free zones it is possible to use not only a real office, but also a service-desk. In case of the second option, the company can benefit from eligibility for 1–3 work visas for employees. This depends on the rules of the particular FEZ.
According to current legislation, the following types of companies may be registered in FEZ:
- Free Zone Establishment – a legal entity with 1 shareholder
- Free Zone Company – a limited liability company with 2 or more shareholders. Such a company is a resident of the free zone.
- A representative office or branch of a company registered abroad or in the UAE.
Each of these companies has the right to conduct commercial, financial, investment and other activities. The full list depends on the type of license found below:
- Providing services
- General trade license
Each Free Zone caters to select sectors and industries and is entitled to regulate its own requirements for registering companies and doing business.
To avoid the hassle of registering a company in one of the free zones of Dubai or any other emirate, it is worth contacting a reliable intermediary. Our experienced staff can help you select the most suitable FEZ for your business, taking into account your investment budget, particularities of your company, as well as your office and visa requirements.