Welcome to UAE Free Zones
A free zone is a geographical region allowed to perform a predefined business activity or set of business activities in the UAE. Businesses that wish to operate in the Dubai Free zone require a license. The free zone licenses are issued based on the type of business activity/activities an organization conducts.
Free Zone Authority (FA) is the governing body that regulates and is in charge of the pivotal activities connected with free zone operations and license issuance. Therefore, the commercial laws that govern the mainland companies in the UAE do not apply to the businesses that operate in the free zone.
When your business gets approved to perform in the Free Zone, the Free Zone authority will issue any of the Dubai Free zone licenses such as Trade License, Industrial License, Service License, or National Industrial License.
What are the free zones in the UAE?
Around 40 Free Zones are operating in the UAE, with more under construction. These free zones are designed around one or more commercial categories and only issue licenses to companies within those categories.
Out of the 40 free zones in the UAE, the principal Free Zones and their license activities include
- Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) – Healthcare, Medical Education and Research, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment
- Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – Banking, Financial Services, and Legal
- Dubai Internet City (DIC) – Internet and Communications Technology
- Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) – Human Resources Management, Training, and Personal Development
- Dubai Media City (DMC) – Media related business activities
- Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) – Commodities Trade and Exchanges
- Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) – Telecom, Information Technology, Electronic and Engineering
- Dubai World Central (DWC) – Logistics, Aviation, Light industry, and Ancillary Services
- Fujairah Creative City (FCC) – Media, Communications, Consulting, Design, and Technology
- Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) – Trading, Service, General Trading, Logistics, and Industrial
- Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) – Trading, Service, General Trading, Industrial and Educational
When selecting the right free zone for your business, the type of your business or business activity plays a crucial role. Generally, a business can form 3 types of business entities in a UAE free zone, such as,
- Free zone establishment (FZE) – has one shareholder
- Free zone company (FZC) – has two or more shareholders
- Branch of a business concern – A representative office of an existing or parent company based within the UAE or abroad
Key benefits a business that incorporates in a free zone area can avail includes,
- 0% corporate tax
- 100% foreign ownership
- Exemption from custom duties
- Exemption from import and export tax
- Exemption from value-added tax (VAT)
- Increase in the limit of foreign employees.
Obtaining a free zone license or any other free zone services requires proper planning, especially in analyzing the right free zone for your business. Along with that, the requirements, legal processes, and procedures for each free zone are different.
While this all can sound complex to understand, at Perfect Plus, we handle all the required Free Zone service on your company’s behalf – be it from determining what the best free zone for your business to obtaining appropriate free zone licenses is.
Perfect Plus has a thorough experience with all the major free zones in the UAE, and so we can save you the trouble and hustle of understanding and identifying the right free zone for your business. Should you have any questions regarding our free zone services, please fill the form below for a free consultation.