UAE Free zones

Setting up in a Free Zone Company in UAE

A free zone company allows foreign companies and non UAE nationals to own 100% in a corporation.

The premier option for choosing to start your company in a free zone location would be Dubai; due to its location, logistic connective and facilities on offer. Also, some Dubai free zones are already preapproved by UAE local banks due to the initial due diligence and compliance checks done by the free zone registry before they onboard clients.

The following are the steps in setting up a free zone company in UAE.

Activity : The business activity of a company determines the apt free zone suitable for a business. If these are regulated activities, additional approvals are required from external agencies.

Number of visas : Free zones in Dubai offer license packages, hence, the kind of facility a business would require depends on the number of visas that a company wants to issue . A registered flexi desk or office is mandatory to issue a license. The facility must also be located within the free zone jurisdiction. Flexi desk /part time desk packages usually give provision to apply from a minimum of 2 visas. Additional visas if needed would require a bigger facility.

Share Capital : Some of the Dubai free zones, require an initial share capital to be deposited in the corporate account before the license is issued. But most of them like Dubai South in order to promote SME businesses do not have this requirement.

Documentation and Legal Documentation : Depending on the company structure, the free zone will have their documentation and legal process and this must be followed. Missing or wrong documents will stall or delay the process.

License Issue and Visa : After the license is issued, the company can then apply for its officers and employees. Your agent will be able to assist in this.

VAT registration and Accounting : Depending on the company turnover and the business model, all businesses must be VAT registered. Also the company needs to maintain proper accounting records as they might be subject to random check from the Tax authorities.

Aside from these, your corporate service providers will be the main point of liaison between you and the free zone, hence choosing the right provider makes a huge difference in the smooth setting up, operation and maintenance of your business.

For any further queries feel free to contact me at +971 521273490 or email me at

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