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Company Formation in Dubai Freezone – A Complete Guide

Company Formation in Dubai Freezone Guidelines
Table of Contents

If you haven’t heard of what a Freezone company in Dubai is, chances are that you are missing out on a business opportunity of a lifetime. Think of these zones or areas as special economic regions that have been established with the sole objective of facilitating expatriate investors. Investors can enjoy a high degree of tax concessions along with custom duty benefits that are lucrative enough to attract any potential investor who wishes for company formation Dubai Freezone.

If you have a company established in Dubai freezone, it is hence referred to as a Dubai freezone company. Freezone company formation in Dubai, UAE is a systematic process that requires following a specialized set of rules and operating under the rule of relevant authorities and regulations that are put in place for freezone company formation in UAE. In this piece, we will try to cover the topic as briefly yet as clearly as we can so anyone can have a crystal clear idea of what it is.

Types of Corporate Entities in Dubai Freezone

Before we get into the depth of freezone company formation in Dubai, we need to understand the corporate entities responsible for the management and governance of the said freezones. This includes:

  • Freezone Establishment (FZE), and
  • Freezone Company (FZC)

The main difference between the two is marked by the number of shareholders. A Freezone Establishment is a single entity (person or a company) that is the sole shareholder of the freezone. On the other hand, a Freezone Company could have multiple shareholders. Speaking from the vendor or the investor’s point of view, both have the same operational benefits to offer.

What is the Difference Between Dubai Freezone And Dubai Mainland?

It is here that we must help our readers understand the difference between Dubai Freezone and Dubai Mainland in terms of business. Forming a company in Dubai freezone may have its perks, but Dubai mainland is where the majority of the population lies. Not to mention business in Dubai mainland allows you to expand across the entire UAE, which is not the case with the freezones. Businesses in freezones are restricted to that particular location with certain zones having limits placed on the number of visas an individual can apply for.

Previously, it was a requirement for businesses on the main land where 51% is owned by UAE national partner and 49% is held by you which has recently been changed; so any and all businesses existing on Dubai mainland can have 100% foreign ownership which puts Dubai freezone and Dubai Mainland on equal planes. Additionally, businesses that wish to transition from freezone to mainland are provided support for their transition. Freezone allows ample opportunities for businesses to grow and strengthen their roots with a convenient single-window business setup system.

Benefits Of Company Formation in Dubai Freezone:

There are a lot of perks of company Registration in Dubai freezone, some of which include:

  • 100% foreign ownership – no local partners required
  • 100% exemption from personal and corporate income tax
  • 100% capital and profit repatriation
  • Multiple types of licensable activities via one window
  • No currency restrictions
  • Communications facilities
  • Cheap energy
  • Perks of better logistic facilities due to business-cluster effect
  • Support services are exceptional
  • SME and startups can have offices and serviced desks although freezone offices don’t require any office space
  • Secrecy of operations with flexibility to engage in international business
  • You can liquidate anytime
  • The cost of setting up a business is surprisingly affordable

How To Form A Company In Dubai Freezone?

In order to form a business in Dubai freezone, a business will apply Dubai freezone company formation via a freezone establishment or freezone company. You require close to no paperwork and the process will take less time than you would expect. Below are the essential steps that will walk you through the essentials of company formation in Dubai freezone.

Steps Of Company Formation In Dubai Freezone

The few steps you need to follow to form a company in Dubai freezone include:

  • Determine the type of legal entity your business will be taking up (either an establishment, an LLC, or a Freezone company – FZE).
  • Choosing a trading name – needs to be consulted with the freezone authority.
  • Apply for a business license – this will depend upon your primary business activities.
  • Choosing an Office Space – this varies as per your business requirements (number of employees, equipment, etc.).
  • Get your pre-approvals and register your business to get your license.

Requirements To Form A Freezone Company in Dubai

Forming a freezone company requires you to submit a business license application where you will be required to submit the following documents:

  • Color copy of passport and visa (if you have a shareholder, then they need to submit theirs as well)
  • The completed application form
  • Copy of trade license or registration certificate
  • A complete business plan
  • An untitled deed
  • Board resolution
  • A financial audit report
  • Letter of intent
  • Memorandums and articles of association
  • NOC for current sponsors

Additionally, you need to setup a corporate bank account in the freezone where you wish to setup your freezone business. The registration and licensing fee will have to be paid as per the type of license applied for. It is after this and final approval from the regulating authority of the freezone that you can assume to have laid the foundation of your business.

The Cost Of Company Formation In Dubai Freezone

The total cost for a Dubai freezone company formation can be divided into the following cost essentials:

  1. First, you will need a freezone license which can cost you anywhere from 10k to 50k AED per year depending upon the type of legal activity. the license needs to be renewed on a 3-yearly basis.
  2. Then you need to have an office space with relevant furniture that can set you back by as much as 15k to 20k AED.
  3. Then there’s the one-time registration fee with the freezone which can cost you around 10k to 50k AED.
  4. Then there’s the visa process to give the applicant the status of an investor and permission to conduct business on UAE soil. This can cost around 3k to 6k per person.

On the lower end, we end up at a figure of 38k AED and on the higher end, our costs can be around 126k AED.

List of UAE Freezones

There are about 45+ active freezones operating in UAE. This includes:

Freezones In Abu Dhabi:

  1. Abu Dhabi Airport Freezone (ADAFZ)
  2. Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM)
  3. ADPC – Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ)
  4. Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
  5. Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones / ZonesCorp
  6. Masdar City Freezone
  7. twofour54

Freezones In Dubai:

  1. Dubai Airport Freezone
  2. Dubai Auto Zone
  3. Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park (DuBiotech)
  4. Dubai Car and Automotive City Freezone (DUCAMZ)
  5. Dubai Design District
  6. Dubai Flower Center
  7. Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
  8. Dubai Healthcare City
  9. Dubai Industrial City (DIC)
  10. Dubai International Academic City
  11. Dubai International Financial Centre
  12. Dubai Internet City (DIC)
  13. Dubai Knowledge Village
  14. Dubai Logistics City
  15. Dubai Media City
  16. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre
  17. Dubai Outsource Zone
  18. Dubai Silicon Oasis
  19. Dubai Science Park
  20. Dubai Studio City
  21. Dubai Techno Park
  22. Dubai Textile Village
  23. Dubai Technology and Media Freezone
  24. International Media Production Zone
  25. International Humanitarian City
  26. Jebel Ali Freezone
  27. Jumeirah Lakes Towers Freezone
  28. Dubai South or DWC
  29. Dubai Production City

Freezones In Sharjah:

  1. Hamriyah Freezone
  2. Sharjah Airport International Freezone
  3. The U.S.A. Regional Trade Center (USARTC) Freezone
  4. Sharjah Media City Freezone (Shams)

Freezones In Ajman:

  1. Ajman Freezone

Freezones In Ras Al Khaimah:

  1. Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)
  2. Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority
  3. Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone
  4. Ras Al Khaimah Media Freezone

Freezones In Fujairah:

  1. Fujairah Freezone
  2. Fujairah Creative City

In Umm Al Quwain:

  1. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ)

How Avyanco Can Help You

With strong roots and connections across all freezones in UAE, Avyanco can help you establish your business in the freezone of your choosing. Forming a company in Dubai freezone has never been easier, as our highly skilled and professional agents will help you seamlessly complete the whole process to establish your business and get it running in no time. All we need is for you to reach out to us and leave the rest to us!

Related Resources: How to start a company in Dubai freezone | Cost of freezone and mainland company formation |


About the Author


Jashvantkumar Prajapati

(Founder and CEO of Avyanco Group of Companies; Business Setup Consultancy, Avyanco Tax and Accounting LLC, and Avyanco Auditing LLC.)

He keeps a varied portfolio with core expertise in investment management, corporate structuring, commercial law, business consultancy, lead management, business planning and market research. Aspire to help potential entrepreneurs and investors to come ahead and form their companies in highly emerging economies like UAE.