Our Guide to Free Zones Business Setup

In the last few decades, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been one of the most popular corporate destinations for business owners all over the world. It has an incredibly liberal trade regime and has a relatively high per capita income, so start-ups and multi-million dollar corporations alike have been finding great success within its shores.

Why You Should Start Your Own Business in the UAE

The UAE government is dedicated to driving the local economy through foreign investments. For this reason, business ownership laws and tax regulations are heavily skewed toward foreign investors willing to start a business.

All legal procedures are fast-tracked when it comes to licensing and registration. For this reason, skilled and unskilled workers flock in droves to the UAE because of high wages and low taxe. When you’re running your business in the UAE, you won’t have to worry about onboarding an affordable workforce for business operations.

Most importantly, the UAE offers a company formation option wherein a foreign business owner can avail of 100% tax exemptions and retain 100% business ownership. To do this, you should register your company under a Free Zone.

What Are UAE Free Zones? 

UAE’s free trade zones were created to boost international business. Today, there are 45 free zones across the UAE wherein business owners retain 100% foreign company ownership and enjoy preferential tax and customs rates.

Some free zones cater to specific business types. For example, the largest port in the UAE is located in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, so many import/export businesses are based there. If you dabble in the medicine industry, the Dubai Healthcare City is a fantastic location for you.

Benefits of Company Setup in a UAE Free Zone

  1. 0% Tax

The biggest reason why business owners flock to UAE free zones in droves is because of the local tax regulations. When you set up a business in a free zone, you benefit from the following:

  • 0% corporate tax
  • 0% personal tax
  • 0% VAT
  • No import/export tax
  • No currency restrictions

There is also currently no personal income tax in the UAE, another compelling reason for skilled and unskilled workers to look for employment in the region.

  1. 100% Business Ownership

In many countries, foreign nationals who want to set up businesses have limited ownership and are required to partner with a local entity if they want to operate. In UAE’s free zones, non-citizens can open their own business and retain 100% ownership (i.e., profit).

  1. Smooth Application Process

If you submit a complete business application in a free zone, you can get approval within two weeks. The exact application process and required documentation vary depending on your chosen location and the nature of your business. In most cases, you only need to provide copies of your passport and basic business documents. The free zone business setup process is straightforward and seamless.

  1. Business Assistance

UAE free zone authorities offer assistance for all foreign business owners, whether for visa application, maintaining corporate bank accounts, and even networking services to help business growth. The UAE government and private sector are eager for businesses to thrive in their free zones.

Conclusion

The UAE ranks as the most attractive destinations for budding entrepreneurs all over the world. There are many advantages to setting up a business in the region, especially in one of its 45 free zones. With the government and private entities nurturing foreign businesses, it should be an easy decision to start your business in the UAE!

If you want to open a business in the UAE, you will need company formation services to guide you through the complicated application and establishment process. Dubai Business Setup will handle all responsibilities to ensure that the formation of your company is successful. Contact our experts for a free consultation!

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