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
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.