Business & Services

Doing Business in Dubai Freezone: Everything you need to know

Starting a business in the United Arab Emirates is a promising opportunity for any entrepreneur across the world. It has investor-friendly laws, the best markets, and some smooth incorporation methods. However, there are several key decisions involved while starting a business in Dubai and UAE, such as company name, license type, business activity, and most importantly, suitable location. Dubai Mainland and Dubai Free zone are the two leading options for company formation. Still, Free zones are always the preferred choice for global investors. Why? Because it provides the easiest and most cost-efficient way to commence a business in Dubai. But, before stepping on to free zone company registration UAE, it is important to have suitable knowledge about the same. 

This article will discuss all the relevant areas of UAE freezone company formation and the correct procedure to embark on this course. 

Free zone company registration UAE 

Free zones are basically designated areas where businesses and investors get to enjoy specific status and advantages. These advantages include zero tax on income and trade, 100% foreign ownership, free transfer of funds, etc.  These zones are also known as free trade zones as they can trade with other companies in their jurisdiction as well as internationally. However, there are certain limitations for free zone companies as they cannot trade directly in the UAE mainland or with the customers in Dubai. 

In addition, most of the free zones are geographically located near transit places such as seaports and airports. This particular facility enables smooth trade within as well as outside the UAE. Additionally, there are multiple free zones set up across Dubai with each free zone dedicated to particular business activity. Unlike mainland, the respective free zone authorities look after the registration and licensing of the companies in their region. 

Advantages of UAE Freezone company formation 

  • Full ownership of the business 
  • No intervention of local partner 
  • Repatriation of profits and capital 
  • No customs duties on import/export 
  • Tax-free zones
  • Flexible policies regarding foreign currency exchange 
  • No limitations on fund transfer 
  • Inexpensive resources 
  • Easy setup procedure 
  • Availability of abundant office spaces
  • Easy access to employee visas
  • No timing restrictions on business operations 
  • Liberal labor laws 
  • Easy recruitment process 
  • Specialist support for business
  • Freedom to select multiple business activities 
  • Access to production and warehouse facility 
  • Reasonable fees in the renewal process 
  • Single window administration 
  • While there are also certain disadvantages to setting up business in Dubai/UAE free zones, such as –
  • No permission to trade directly with the UAE market 
  • Demand for fixed investments during some cases 
  • Restricted to do business in Dubai Mainland 
  • Renting/buying an office space only in the designated free zone 
  • Branch offices are not allowed

You may like it: Difference Between Commercial License and Professional License in the UAE

Free zones in Dubai for company registration 

  • Dubai Multi Commodities Center(DMCC) 

It is the fastest-growing free zone in Dubai. It encourages the trading sector in the country by developing numerous networking options. 

  • Jebel Ali Free Zone 

One of the first and most expensive free zones in Dubai, UAE. However, it provides a variety of business facilities and opportunities to budding entrepreneurs. 

  • Dubai Media City 

Dubai Media City is home to several media giants, including news agencies, publishing houses, online media channels, advertising firms, broadcasting firms, and many more. In short, it is a hub of global media establishments. 

  • Dubai Internet City 

As the name itself states, Dubai Internet City accommodates some of the world’s top internet and communications technology firms. 

  • Dubai South Free Zone 

Dubai World Central, also known as Dubai South Free Zone, provides an integrated urban ecosystem for company formation that enables investors to develop extensive cost-effective business inventions and time management in dealings. 

  • Dubai Airport Free Zone 

This is one of the booming free zones of Dubai that promotes trade in the country through the transport and logistics sector. 

  • Dubai International Financial Center(DIFC) 

DIFC homes over 1327 companies that provide consistent financial services to its clients. 

Types of business structures allowed in the Dubai Free Zone 

  • Free zone Establishments (FZE) – Require a single shareholder for its establishment 
  • Free zone company (FZCO) – Require two or more shareholders for its foundation 

Steps for free zone company registration UAE 

  • Business activities 

The first thing you need to do is align a business activity from the approved list of activities set by the free zone authorities. The investor can select as many activities they want and even add more later if required. 

  • Company structure 

Next, you need to decide the type of company you want to establish in your selected free zone. Nonetheless, the investor must do comprehensive research on different 

Free zones before taking this decision as they all have different requirements for business establishment. 

The business formation specialists of Shuraa can guide you with the necessary information and assist you in finalizing a company structure as per your needs. 

  • Trading name 

Choosing a suitable company name can be a stressful task because of the strict laws of the UAE government. Every investor must abide by these naming conventions. There are certain restrictions and requirements put in place by the government. For example, do not use any offensive or blasphemous language, avoid abbreviations or names of well-known organizations, check for the availability of chosen names, etc. 

  • License application 

Once the authorities approve the trade name and business activities, you can further move on to the license application. For this, you need to submit a few details and some basic documentation, such as an application form, passport copies, photographs, etc. Your application must be submitted to the relevant authorities of the free zone you have selected for your company formation. 

  • Approvals 

The licensing procedure includes attaining mandatory approvals from several officials and departments in Dubai. Once you get all the approvals, the issuance process becomes more quick and convenient for the licensing authorities. 

  • Office space 

Now that you have your business license and you are all ready to start your business, it’s time to search for a proper office space to conduct your business operations. Dubai free zone authorities allow investors to either buy or rent an office area. 

  • Visa application 

Your business has set in Dubai, now you need a residency visa for yourself and your working staff. Therefore, you must apply for visas at the concerned department depending on the size of your business and employee count. This process consists of several steps, such as biometric scanning, medical tests, etc. 

Furthermore, there is an added advantage of acquiring a business license in the UAE that you can also sponsor your dependents(spouse, parents, children, domestic helper) for their visas. 

  • Corporate bank account 

Opening a corporate account in any of the UAE banks helps you in keeping a check on your business transactions. Through this account, you can maintain a record of the cash inflow and outflow in your company. Therefore, you must look for a reliable bank that can provide you with consistent banking services along with long-term business benefits. 

Documentation for free zone company registration UAE 

  • Application form 
  • Business card
  • Memorandum of Association 
  • Articles of Association 
  • Business plan 
  • Copy of passport 
  • Bank reference letter
  • Trade license of the existing business, if any 

Although the overall procedure of free zone company registration UAE is simple, seeking help from company formation advisors can make it easier to attain. Thus, Shuraa Business Setup consultants could be the best choice under this scenario. Our experienced personnel is well aware of all the rules and guidelines of different jurisdictions in the UAE. Hence, they can guide you with the right information and also suggest you an apt location for your business as per your requirements.

So, establish your business with the help of Shuraa. Call our service agents at +971 44081900 or WhatsApp at +971 507775554. You can also visit our official website for further details or simply email us at info@shuraa.com.


Sakina Burhan is a good experience writer, blogger and social media promoter by providing valuable information which helps readers to get more ideas.

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