There are many benefits in conducting your business from a Free Zone. In common with other Free Zones around the world, Free Zones in the UAE feature :
a clearly defined area or district
special tax, customs and imports regime involving a status of extra-territoriality
allow transaction of business with minimum interference
governed by established laws from the government
function as direct government authorities
The UAE Free Zones constitute an important part of the Government’s path towards optimal e-government and elimination of corruption. Business licenses can be issued within 5-6 working days after approval and submission of the requisite legal and supporting documents. In addition to the licence application form, the investor is required to submit a business plan or detailed project proposal which is reviewed by the specialist departments within the particular Free Zone before the formal registration process can be started.
What are the benefits of UAE Free Zones ?
The benefits for your business will of course depend upon its particular requirements. However, such benefits may include :
0 % corporate, import, export, income and commercial taxes
100% ownership of your business
100% repatriation of all capital profits
Residence visas granted for 3 years (renewable)
Abundant and inexpensive energy
Diverse, highly educated and inexpensive workforce
Easy recruitment procedure
One-stop-shop administration procedures
Excellent communications, logistics and postal services
World class banking facilities
State-of-the-art purpose built infrastructure
Excellent leisure, relaxation and dining amenities
What types of Free Zone Companies are available ?
There are a variety of company structures available. We can advise you further when you instruct us. You may wish to consider :
Branch Office – associate of an existing mother company in UAE or abroad
Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – single person (individual or corporate)
Free Zone Company (FZCO) –minimum of 2 persons as shareholders
Offshore Company – Registered Agent required
Apart from the Branch Office set up, all entities operating in Free Zones require documentary evidence of share capital. Share capital can range from AED 300,000 to 1,000,000 depending on the number of shareholders (individual and non-individual) and chosen Free Zone. The business license is issued on the basis that these funds are shown in the bank account of the entity.
Can I operate a Free Zone business without occupying office space ?
Yes, provided your company is a services provider it can obtain a business license without occupying physical office space by using the E-Office (Electronic Virtual Office) facility.
Currently three Free Zones - Ajman, Hamriyah and Ras Al Khaimah - offer the option of setting up a business as an E-Office. This set up provides full business license, residence visa and the option to open personal as well as corporate bank accounts with any UAE bank.
This cost-effective set up is popular with small business owners and freelancers who wish to enjoy the benefits of the Free Zone but avoid the expensive set up costs generally associated with UAE Free Zones. For a relatively small budget the E-Office set-up provides a full range of benefits.
What types of Licenses are available ?
Free Zone companies can engage in a comprehensive range of business activities and we can advise you about suitable categories for your particular business.
Here are some of the types of Licenses we can assist with :
Industrial Licenses – permit import of raw materials, manufacture, process, assembly, package and export of finished products. (Subject to clearance from Health & Environment Dept.) Finished products may be exported outside the UAE. Finished products can only be sold in the UAE market through a local distributor or a local agent.
Commercial Licenses – permit import, export, distribution, consolidation and storage of items specified in the license. There is a maximum limit of three similar product lines. Finished products may be exported outside the UAE. Finished products can only be sold in the UAE market through a local distributor or a local agent.
Trading licenses – permit import, export, distribution and storage og items specified on the license.
General Trading Licenses – a Commercial License permits more than seven product lines.
Service Licenses – permits carrying out services specified in the license within the Free Zone. The type of service must conform to the parent company’s license, issued by the Economic Department or Municipality of the relevant Emirate in the UAE.
Consulting and Services Licenses – permit consulting services in management, finance, investment, legal issues, labour relations, economics (including feasibility studies), industrial development, marketing, and related subjects. Other services include logistical support such as: restaurants or food outlets, catering services, travel agencies, leisure and social activities, insurance, cargo and freight forwarding, accounting, and auditing services.
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