“Free Zone” companies may be 100% owned by expatriates (no need for a UAE national partner). Business may be conducted worldwide (with limitations only inside the United Arab Emirates).

These are business development areas which allow companies to set up in the UAE, while maintaining onshore status.

SPMC-Dubai has been working with different free zone jurisdictions in the UAE such as Dubai South (formerly known as Dubai World central), Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone(RAKEZ), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Dubai International Financial Centre, Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, TECOM, Sharjah Media Free Zone, Fujairah creative City, Ajman Free Zone and many more.

Benefits and characteristics

  • 100% Foreign company ownership
  • 100% Repatriation of capital and profits
  • 100% Corporate, Personal Income Tax, Withholding Tax exemptions
  • Exemption from all imports and exports duties (except within the UAE mainland).
  • Ability to arrange local residence
  • Can avail the full benefits of Double Taxation Treaties with many counties (http://www.mof.gov.ae/En/publication/pages/doubletaxationavoidanceagreements.aspx)
  • Requires 1 to 2 Directors depending from zone to zone.
  • Some Free zone do not require a resident director
    • UAE is a home to more than 30 free zone jurisdictions and the highest number of these free zones are located within Dubai.
    • Free zones are tax-free and provide purpose built facilities for offices and related activities.
  • Ready-made offices, factories, warehouses and easy start-up and licensing procedures.
  • Single window clearances, which means the same government administrative office provides various government services, e.g. licensing, visas, postal and RTA services.
    • In a free zone environment, a company can be formed as:
  • Free Zone Establishment (single owner)
  • Free Zone Company (with more than owner)
  • Branch
  • Subsidiary

5 Main steps involved in Free zone company set up

  • Completion and submission of required documentation.
  • Obtaining all necessary initial approvals.
  • Finalization of the Service Agreement.
  • Registration
  • License issuance


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