Free Zone Companies

The UAE have established more than 35 Free Zones. Nearly 30 of them are in Dubai and offer excellent conditions for various businesses. All companies must have a physical presence in the Free Zone; i.e. the registration of a company automatically requires the rent of an office or a warehouse. Some Free Zones also offer the sharing of an office space or a desk space on an hourly basis in the Free Zone’s business centre (flexi desk). The Free Zones in the UAE are offering a spectacular variety of choice for all kinds of investments, businesses and even for freelance professionals.

The main advantages of Free Zones are the following:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • No corporate taxation for at least 15 years
  • No tax (but 5% VAT)
  • Freedom to repatriate capital and profits
  • Full exemption from import duties (outside the Free Zone it is 5%)
  • No bureaucratic red tape
  • No recruitment problems
  • Modern efficient communication
  • State of the art infrastructure
  • Attractive working environment
  • Most procedures are in English


Legal Forms

Most of the Free Zones offer four possibilities to establish a presence:

  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE) : This is a legal entity. Owner is either one individual or one legal entity. BVI companies are often used as shareholder.
  • Free Zone Company (FZC) : This is a legal entity. It must have at least two shareholders (individual or legal entity.)
  • Branch of a UAE Company
  • Branch of a Foreign Company



  • Service Licence : All types of services are allowed unless otherwise restricted by the federal or local authorities. This license is usually used for all activities , which are not covered by other licenses.
  • Commercial License: Import, export, distribution, consolidation, storage or warehousing of items specified in the license.
  • Commercial General Trading
  • Industrial License : Import of raw materials, manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging and exporting the finished product.