Starting a business in the UAE, particularly if you intend to sell products in the GCC region, is highly appealing. Dubai offers abundant commodities, convenient flight connections, seamless travel access, and a rich pool of available talent. It’s hardly surprising that Dubai is rapidly emerging as one of the most sought-after business destinations.
This guide covers essential information you need to grasp before making the decision to establish your company in Dubai. It outlines the fundamental aspects you should be aware of and provides detailed steps for incorporation if you opt for this region as the base for your new venture.
Is establishing your business in Dubai’s Free Zone (IFZA) the right choice for you?
Many entrepreneurs find the prospect of starting their business in Dubai’s Free Zone, specifically the International Free Zone Authority (IFZA), appealing, and for valid reasons. Operating in Dubai Free Zone offers numerous advantages, although there are also drawbacks to weigh before finalizing your decision.
Benefits of running your business from IFZA Free Zone
- Complete Ownership: Free zones are the sole areas in any emirate where, as a foreigner, you can have full ownership (100%) of your business.
- Tax Advantages: IFZA Free Zone offers a low tax regime. You are exempt from personal income tax, there are no currency restrictions, and you can repatriate 100% of your capital.
- There is no restriction on the maximum number of shareholders your business can have within a free zone.
- Free zones are set up with great business infrastructure, and you’ll be surrounded by plenty of amenities.
Cons to operate your business from IFZA Free Zone
Businesses set up in free zones are confined to operating exclusively within that specific free zone; they cannot extend their operations to other areas within the UAE or target consumers in the UAE market outside the free zone. However, these businesses are allowed to conduct international transactions. If they want to sell their products or services within the UAE, they can collaborate with an LLC outside the free zone possessing an import/export license.
International Free Zone Authority (IFZA Free Zone) is not located in central Dubai; however, it is only a 15-minute drive from the city.
Visa Requirements in Dubai:
To establish your company in both the free zone and Dubai Mainland, obtaining a residence visa is necessary. The number of visas you’re eligible for depends on the office space to be rented; simply setting up your company automatically qualifies you for a visa. For businesses within the IFZA Free Zone, a fee of AED 3,750 is required every two years.
Typical Company Types in Dubai: IFZA Free Zone allows only one company type which is a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Alternatively, if your company already exists, you can open a branch or subsidiary of a local or foreign company.
Steps for Setting Up Your Business in Dubai: The following list outlines the basic steps for setting up a business in Dubai’s Free Zone. While the process for setting up outside the free zone is similar, these steps should still be helpful.
1. Choose three preferred names for your business
In the online application, you’ll be asked to list three preferred names for your new business. IFZA Free Zone will verify the availability of the trade name selected and approved.
2. Submit documents for pre-approval
Next, you’ll need to submit the required pre-approval documents:
For each proposed shareholder, manager, secretary, director, or legal representative, you’ll need the following documents for pre-approval:
- Passport and Emirate ID (if UAE resident, the passport visa page, as well)
- Business Plan (if required for your business activities)
- Payment for the pre-approval ( required for the same nationality)
- The pre-approval process generally takes between 5 to 7 business days.
3. Submit registration documents and receive your trade license
Where can I go for help?
We are one of the largest and most trusted business setup consulting firms in the UAE. We assure you of the best service for business setup in Dubai.
For more information on IFZA Free Zone services, call +971 52 104 6088 or email to info@FreeZoneMarket.ae
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