The Dubai Freezones provide the perfect environment to Start a Business in Dubai with no red-tape, no taxes and flexible investment options. The Freezones are like self-contained business cities within the city limits of Dubai. They have their own customs, immigration, economic and legal systems and tax rates.
What is Free Zone?
The Dubai free zones were established in 2002 to attract international investments, businesses, and trading opportunities in the UAE. The Freezone areas are a part of the Dubai Economic Capital, which was introduced by the Government of Dubai.
As a global business hub, Dubai offers a lot of opportunities to start businesses. Majority of the international banks are based in Dubai, which offers a lot of employment opportunities. In addition, there are many government-approved Free Trade Zones (FTZs) that offers one-stop-shop solution for companies looking to establish their business in Dubai.
A Freezone is an area where the laws and regulations governing trade and industry are different from the rest of the country.
In the UAE, there are two types of Freezones:
- The first type is Federal Freezones, which are controlled by the federal government. Examples of Federal Freezones include Jebel Ali Freezone Authority and Internet City. The Federal Freezones do not require companies to be governed by local laws and regulations. They can conduct their business activities under their own national laws and rules within the Federal Freezones.
- The second type is Dubai’s Freezones – “Dubai’s freezones” are controlled by the Dubai Government. These free zones offer various incentives to attract investors into starting businesses in these areas that operate under rules and regulations similar to those in other emirates of UAE but also allow them exemptions from certain federal laws and rules that apply to businesses.
Advantages to Setup Business in Dubai Freezone
Freezones have become the most popular industrial and commercial real estate sector in Dubai, with a thriving business environment.
The Freezone is an independent, self-regulated area that provides:
- One of the most attractive aspects of doing business in the UAE is its zero percent income tax for foreign investors.
- The UAE has no minimum capital requirements for businesses.
- Setting up a company is also very easy, you just have to submit few documents with government and pay some fees as well.
- A number of tax and customs incentives to investors.
- The entity has full control of its commercial and developmental policies, including taxation, immigration, foreign ownership and labor laws.
- The Freezone Authority (FZA) does not collect corporate income tax or VAT.
- In addition, there are no personal taxes for employees or investors for up to five years.
- In addition to the Freezone Authority’s policies and incentives, there are also various governmental policies in place regarding customs duty exemptions on imported equipment. These include duties on raw materials and components used in the assembly of finished goods; machinery parts; electricity transformers; factory machinery; office furniture; computers; telecommunications equipment; motor vehicles used for transportation; spare parts and accessories for use in manufacturing facilities, warehouses and offices.
- You can save huge amount of money by paying very low taxes compared to other countries where the tax rates are high.
- Free Zones offer investors access to world-class infrastructure and facilities. They make it easy for investors to work within an environment that is flexible, pro-business and supportive of international standards of operation.
- The cost of setup and running your business in Freezone Dubai is half as compared to other parts of UAE.
How One Can Start a Business in Dubai Freezone?
Registering a business with the Freezones Authority is one of the first steps to take if you’re considering starting a business in Dubai, and it’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a process that requires some preparation, but once the paperwork is in place, it’s officially approved, and you’re up and running.
It is easy to start a business in Dubai Freezone, but you will need to follow certain procedures. The best thing you can do is consult an experienced professional who will guide you throughout the process.
Steps to Start a Business in Dubai Freezone
- Choose a business activity (or activities)
The first step in starting a business in free zones is to choose the type of business. Specific procedures vary from one free zone to another, but most will have a list of eligible activities. They may include manufacturing, trading, services and research and development. Choosing a business activity is a big decision that will define your company’s future.
- Find a free zone
Dubai is further attracting entrepreneurs through its free zones, which provide more flexible opportunities than more traditional areas of business. The government has created not only free trade zones for international trade, but also free industrial zones for manufacturing and processing businesses—and even free medical zones for medical tourism and hospital-related businesses. With such freedom and potential for growth, it’s easy to see why so many people choose this region as their launch pad into entrepreneurial life.
There are many free zones in Dubai. You need to find a free zone that provides the best possible services for your business.
The process of starting a business in a free zone is almost the same as other businesses outside the free zones.
- Choose a company name
After locating a free zone, the business needs to have a company name. The company’s name should be selected in such a way that makes it easily recognizable and memorable. A good idea is to include the industry the business will operate in the name itself. For example, if a business will sell women’s clothing, it can be named as “Style Sensation” or “Trendy Fashion”. If the company will offer fitness training services, it can be named as “Healthy Body”. It is possible to use the owner’s name as well. In this case, the business can be named according to the owner’s surname and first name (e.g., Smith & Sons).
- Make your license application
Depending on the type of business you have, there are several steps to get your company started:
- Get a registration number (or license) from the local authorities.
- Pay a sign-up fee with the free zone authority. This varies depending on the amount of capital you will be investing in your new business and what type of industry you are entering.
- Apply for an investment license from your country’s embassy in the UAE. You will need this to get a commercial bank account for your business and pay any fees required by local authorities.
There are various types of licenses required for Starting a Business in UAE. Some of them are listed below:
- Business License (required for all businesses)
- Import & Export License (required for all businesses that import or export goods and services)
- Business Tax Registration Certificate (required for businesses with taxable income)
- Labor Card (required by each employee of your company)
- Health Certificate (required by each employee of your company)
- Endorsement License (if hiring expats)
- Applying for visas
The final thing you’ll want to do is apply for your visas! As an expat who’s working within a free zone, you’ll need specific visas issued directly by the UAE embassy that corresponds with your particular free zone. Be sure to apply for these visas well in advance.
- Opening your corporate bank account
Opening a corporate bank account is one of the most important steps when setting up a business in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or any other emirates. Banks will only open an account for a corporation once the following requirements are met:
- A Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&AA) have been drafted and registered with the Corporate Service Providers (CSP).
- A bank account in the name of the company has been opened.
- The company’s banking references are provided to the bank.
- The bank is satisfied that there is enough capital to meet the minimum balance requirements.
- The shareholders’ signatures are notarized.
Read also: How to Setup Business in Dubai Mainland?
If you are a first-timer and you are looking for the right place to start your business in Freezone, then Dubai free zone is the place to start. This is a marvelous place that has a lot of things going on. The great thing about this is that people of various nationalities can do business here, which is a sign of diversity. Though it may not seem like an easy task to do business in this place but with the help of Dubai free zone registration consultants you can do it easily. The best part about these consultants is that they have experience and expertise, unlike if you register yourself there are chances that you may end up failing.
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