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Freezone business setup

Freezone business setup

Dubai is one of the best places for new entrepreneurs and businesses. With equal opportunities offered to all investors and business-friendly laws, any investor can set up a business in Dubai.

The freezone business setup is a smooth and easy process due to the provisions the government makes available. You can start a freezone Dubai business with the help of our experts at Dubai Visa and Investment Centre.

Unlike the mainland business setup that requires the investor to have a local partner to start a business, the freezone business setup gives you 100% ownership of the business. The requirements of mainland businesses scare away some investors, but you can take advantage of the freezone business setup.

Freezone company formation

Freezone company formation in Dubai is popular among investors as it offers hassle-free access to different resources, tax benefits, and several other benefits.

Freezone company in Dubai

The freezone company in Dubai is a special economic area where investors have special trade conditions and tax fee status to allow any investor to manufacture and run a business.

The benefit includes no customs duties on import and export goods. The freezone areas in Dubai include areas of transit like airports and seaports to increase trading opportunities. Dubai has several developed freezones, such as the Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Jablel Ali Freezone (JAFZA) and Ajman Freezone.

Freezones are in multiple locations, with each supporting specific business activity. Each freezone can register companies in their line of business and have different sets of requirements, legal structure and costs.

Types of freezone corporate entities

The two main types of freezone corporate entities include

  • Freezone Establishment (FZE)
  • Freezone Company (FZC)

The primary difference between the establishment and the company is the number of shareholders. The freezone establishment requires one shareholder entity, either one company or person. The freezone company is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and requires two or more shareholders. These entities offer the same operational benefits.

Types of licenses

  • Commercial license – covers all kinds of trading activities
  • Professional license – covers professional services, public relations or management consultancy and other services
  • Industrial license – covers all manufacturing businesses or operations involving packaging products or processing goods for sale

Documents for freezone company formation

The investors need to produce some documents and get approval from the Gulf Cooperation Council or the Arab Embassy.

These documents include

  • Business plan outlay
  • Business card
  • Application license form
  • Passport copies
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA)
  • Banking reference and license of any existing business

Requirements for freezone business setup

  • Choose a suitable freezone, depending on the requirements. Some free offer a wider range of support to businesses, and others support specific types of business activities.
  • Determine the number and type of document for your chosen freezone, depending on the type of business activity.
  • Freezones have different share capital requirements, but a few may not need any capital to start a business.
  • Trading between freezones, import and export activity do not incur duty or tax
  • You will pay a 5% duty on services and goods for business activities in the mainland, and the business is only possible through an agent or distributor.


The procedure for freezone business setup includes

  • Type of company

    If you want to start a business in the freezone, you will decide on the type of business and the freezone where you will conduct business because the different freezones have varying requirements.

  • Trade name

    After deciding on the business type, you will choose a business name. This name must comply with the government’s regulations.

  • Business license

    You will apply for a business license after registering the chosen business name with the authority. The different freezones for activities provide different licenses.

  • Office space

    When you get your license, the next step is securing an office space. You can hire or buy the space.

  • Approvals and license

    The investors need approval from different authorities before the license issuance. Once you have the approval, you can start the business. The process can take  2 – 4 weeks, and we can assist you throughout your freezone business setup.

Benefits of freezone business setup

  • 100% foreign ownership because a local partner isn’t mandatory
  • Investors can repatriate profits
  • Tax-free zones, so the investor doesn’t pay taxes
  • No controls over foreign currency exchanges and unlimited fund transfer
  • No duties on goods
  • Inexpensive energy needs
  • Easy business license procedure
  • Many office spaces for rent and sale
  • No time restrictions
  • Easy to get visas for skilled workers
  • Independent bank account opening and maintaining

Dubai Visa and Investment Centre can assist you in setting up a freezone business in Dubai. You can call us on 971 544563095 or visit us at office No. 4108, 41st floor, Churchill Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Frequently asked questions

The UAE has over 50 freezones, each with unique guidelines. Setting up a corporation can take a few hours to several weeks, depending on the freezone. A North Emirate corporation often takes three days to establish. Establishing a freezone company in Abu Dhabi and Dubai can take 2 – 6 weeks.

  • No trade barriers
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Exemptions from import charges and corporate taxes
  • Confidentiality

The company structure will depend on the needs of the business. You can set up a sole establishment, also known as a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Partnership, Professional Services Company or Private Limited Company.

Setting up a mainland company is also possible, but only allows limited liability company structures or an offshore company.

Businesses in the freezones trading in tangible items can consult their business with other freezones businesses, worldwide, or get a third-party distributor to carry out business with mainland businesses.