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Starting a business in Dubai Free Zone

Starting a Business in Dubai Free Zone – Full Guide

If you are interested in doing business in the UAE, read on. Now, let us explain to you the opportunities of setting up a business in Dubai Free Zones and how you can take advantage of them. Also, we will mention what you need to do to start a business in Dubai Free Zones.

In this article, we will give you all the information you need to feel comfortable choosing a Free Zone. Additionally, you will have a clearer idea of what business activities you can engage in and the documents needed to complete the process. More about the content of the article is below:

  1. Dubai Free Zones.
  2. What are the benefits of setting up a business in Dubai Free Zone?
  3. Steps to kick off your business in Dubai Free Zones.
  4. Documents you need to gather to start a business in Dubai Free Zone.
  5. List of the main Free Zones in Dubai and the activities they allow.
  6. Licenses you can obtain to set up your business in Dubai Free Zone.
  7. What is the cost to set up a business in Dubai Free Zone?
  8. Find an ally in Connect Group to do business in Dubai.

Dubai Free Zones

Dubai is one of the most successful cities in the United Arab Emirates and has a large market. This city is known for creating opportunities for foreigners wishing to establish a business in the UAE. Investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world are looking for a stake in the UAE economy. And one of the main reasons is that the country has Free Zones that are tax-free zones.

In addition, one of the characteristics of Free Trade Zones is that they allow foreigners to keep 100% of their shares. This feature differentiates it from other areas where investors must have a local sponsor who may keep part of the shares. With this in mind, it is easy to understand the inclination of entrepreneurs from other countries to establish a company within a Free Zone.

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It is worth bearing in mind that Dubai has a diverse business model and an attractive tax regime. For this reason, it has become one of the favorite cities for investment projects and company formation.

What are the benefits of setting up a business in Dubai Free Zone?

As mentioned above, starting a business in Dubai Free Zone has many advantages. But if you are still in doubt, here are some of the advantages of setting up a business in Dubai Free Zone:

  • Investors will be able to keep all their properties regardless of their country of origin.
  • Those entrepreneurs who decide to establish their business in Dubai Free Zone will be able to repatriate all their profits and capital.
  • They will be able to count on the total exemption of taxes that could be generated by their profits.
  • There are no limits on the transfer of funds in the Free Zones.
  • Utilities, such as electricity, are inexpensive.
  • Office space is readily available.
  • The procedures for applying for licenses, visas, or bank accounts are much simpler and faster in the Free Zones.
  • Investors will be able to engage in international business without having to apply for extra permits.
  • The entrepreneur will not be charged any fees for goods.
  • Free Zones are free of time restrictions, so you can operate 24 hours a day.
  • Due to the business grouping, Free Zones have a great amount of logistic efficiency.

We can conclude that Free Zones have flexible government policies, good commercial services, and incredible tax exemptions.

Steps to kick off your business in Dubai Free Zones

To start your business in Dubai Free Zones, you must follow a specific procedure. Although they seem easy to follow, it is best to have expert help that can guide you in the best way. Pay attention to the following steps:

The first thing you should do is to choose a business activity and the name of the company.

It is important to know what kind of business activity you will develop from the beginning because the choice of the Free Zone depends on it. Generally, the Free Zones have different requirements according to the commercial activity that the investor decides to develop.

Additionally, it is necessary that you choose the name of the company; it must comply with the established standards. There are several requirements you will need to meet in order to have your name approved. It is worth bearing in mind that the name must be original and unique to be registered.

Click here to read about the Cost of a Dubai Trade License.

Next, find the Free Zone that best suits your needs.

Regarding the previous idea, most Free Zones are industry-specific, which means that you should choose the one that best suits your company’s needs.

Then you must apply for the license and gather all the necessary documents.

Once you have decided on the name and business activity, it is time to apply for the business license. The type of license will depend on the business activity, and you will need to complete an application form and gather all the necessary documents. The duration of this process takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

Finally, open a bank account.

Every business must have a corporate bank account, and once you have completed the previous steps, you must send all the requirements to the financial institution of your choice.

Read more about How to set Up a Limited Liability Company in Dubai.

Documents you need to gather to start a business in Dubai Free Zone

To start your business in Dubai Free Zone you must first gather a series of documents. They are listed below:

  • Application form.
  • A color copy of your passport.
  • A detailed business plan.
  • Business card.
  • Memorandum of Association.
  • Bank reference.
  • Copy of the shareholder’s passport, if applicable.

List of the main Free Zones in Dubai and the activities they allow.

To help a little in choosing Free Zones in Dubai to establish your business, we provide you with a list of the main Free Zones and the activities they allow. The following are the most popular Free Zones in Dubai:

Let’s start with Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA).

Dubai Airport Free Zone is located next to Dubai International Airport and is the best choice for companies with logistics or transport operations. One of its greatest advantages is that it has 24-hour customs services. It also has a state-of-the-art infrastructure for trade and a dedicated logistics center.

If you are a freelancer and want to work in the UAE read this How to start Freelancing in UAE guide.

The second option is the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA).

JAFZA is considered one of the largest, most expensive, and oldest free zones in the UAE. What attracts many businessmen to this Free Zone is that it has its own seaport that facilitates import and export operations. In addition, it has space to provide a wide range of warehousing facilities, so the possibilities for industrial development are limitless.

The third is the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

Here the exchange of commodities such as gold, pearls, and diamonds abounds. Besides, it promotes agricultural trade and has a coffee and tea center. It has a privileged location in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers area.

In the fourth position is Dubai Media City (DMC).

Dubai Media City or DMC is located at the crossroads of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Because of the support it provides for companies with media-related activities, it has become a global media hub.

One of the reasons why many choose this Free Zone is because it has a state-of-the-art infrastructure. Additionally, they have developed strategies and established centers to promote the country’s talent.

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So, it is quite clear why it hosts global media such as CNN, Showtime, Sony, MBC, Bertelsmann, and more. It is worth noting that the licenses that can be found in this area are stand-alone permits and commercial licenses. The following will name the sectors of companies that can apply to set up in DMC:

  • Advertising and communication sectors.
  • For event management and assistance for events.
  • Marketing and media.
  • Media consulting services.
  • Non-profit autonomous companies.

In this list, we must also mention the Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Center (DTEC).

In this Free Zone, you will only find operations related to IT licensing. It is located in Dubai Silicon Oasis and allows you to include in one license up to 5 commercial activities. It is important to mention that they offer virtual office services, something difficult to find in other Free Zones.

The Dubai South Free Zone cannot be left out.

This Free Zone offers various activities, including logistics operations, trade, education, and aviation. It is located next to the Al Maktoum International Airport and is very close to the city center.

Finally, the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)

The Dubai International Financial Center offers licenses for companies with financial activities. Those companies that offer services such as administration, banking, legal, strategic development and similar can apply for a license in this Free Zone.

It is worth mentioning that there are still Free Zones in Dubai to be mentioned, so do not be discouraged if the business activity you wish to develop does not fit among the ones we have mentioned. At Connect Group, we help you to get the Free Zone that best suits your needs and we accompany you in the process so you can set up your business in Dubai Free Zone.

Licenses you can obtain to set up your business in Dubai Free Zone.

These are the licenses that are available for commercial setup in a Dubai Free Zone:

  1. Commercial License: The commercial license is perfect for those entrepreneurs who want to engage in commercial activities related to buying, selling, importing, and exporting goods.
  2. Service License: The service license works for those who want to engage in the provision of a service such as consulting, advertising, beauty salons, accounting, among others.
  3. General Trading Activities: This license has fewer restrictions than the commercial license and works for commercializing all types of goods, although there are exceptions.
  4. Industrial License: Ideal for companies wishing to perform industrial activities such as processing, manufacturing, packaging, packing, among others.

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What is the cost to set up a business in Dubai Free Zone?

You are probably asking yourself, “what is the total cost to start up my business in a Dubai Free Zone?” Well, the truth is that it is not easy to calculate the exact cost of a project without knowing all of its details. To get a proper budget, you must first know the business activity and in which free zone it will be established, among other components.

We recommend that you seek help from an expert in business formation who can consider your budget and needs so that you can start your business successfully. With over 20 years of experience in Connect Group, we offer you the help you need to successfully meet your business objectives.

Find an ally in Connect Group to do business in Dubai.

The United Arab Emirates is a good place to start or invest in a business. Dubai, one of the main cities in the UAE, is recognized worldwide for its diversification in economic and commercial activities. Besides, it has one of the most important and diverse Free Zones in the country.

So it is not surprising that many entrepreneurs around the world want to start a business in Dubai. This way, they can take advantage of the opportunities that the Dubai Free Zones offer. If you are an entrepreneur, investor, or want to start a business in Dubai, Connect Group can help you.

With more than two decades of experience, Connect Group offers you the help you need to start your business. Each of our companies has experts in different areas that, no matter what business activity you decide to develop, will be able to guide you to achieve your goals. We can help you with professional consulting, company formation, visa management, human resources outsourcing, business setup services, staff solutions, and more.

If you want to get a temporary job in the UAE read Temporary Employment Things You need to Know.

Would you like to contact ConnectGroup to receive more useful information and tips about starting a business in Dubai Free Zone? If you have any inquiries or if you want to get more information, email us at contact@connectgroup.co. You can also call us on +97143316688 and you will talk to one of our representatives.

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