Top 7 Cost Effective Free Zone for General Trading License in UAE this 2023

Best Free Zone for Business setup in UAE

Setting up a company in a cost effective free zone for general trading license is a strategic move for entrepreneurs looking to establish their business in a zone with world-class infrastructure. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a plethora of business opportunities, and selecting the right free zone can greatly enhance your chances of success. With its rapid growth and investor-friendly policies, the UAE has become a magnet for entrepreneurs seeking to maximize their return on investment.

So, if you want 100% expat ownership of your business in UAE, the Free zone is the best place to set your company in. Therefore, below are the best and cost-effective free zones for general trading licenses in UAE or company formation;

  1. Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)
  2. Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)
  3. Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ)
  4. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
  5. Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams)
  6. International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)
  7. Fujairah Creative City Free Zone
  8. Masdar Freezone

Additionally, different free zone has specific jurisdictions that govern their business model; so that it may boost the entrepreneurial journey of several investors.  They provide an easy and quick business setup, tax-free environment, and full repatriation of funds and capital. To select the best and cost-effective free zone for your business set up this year, continue reading to know every detail that each zone comes with.

Best and Cost-Effective Free Zone for your Business Set up this Year

#1 Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

RAKEZ is one of the best free zones in the UAE that permits different types of activities to be performed. Thus, RAKEZ free zone has divided some of its business activities into educational, e-commerce, media, and commercial activities.

That’s said; if you want to engage in manufacturing activities, then RAKEZ has got a solution for you. It doesn’t mean this zone does not offer other types of business activities, but manufacturing is the top-cake in this zone. The reasons for being a hot-cake in the manufacturing sector are because it provides plots for industrial lands and customizable warehouses for development.

Therefore, one of the biggest advantages of business setup in RAKEZ is its strategic location. Its authorities are situated close to a seaport and in proximity to Ras Al Khaimah airport.

#2 Jebel Ali Free Zone Authorities (JAFZA)

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authorities (JAFZA)

Jebel zone is responsible for providing different types of licenses such as industrial license, trading license, service license, and e-commerce among others. Because of its popularity, JAFZA is the most suitable free zone for multinational corporations, commonly known as (MNCs).

Moreover, it is named the best free zone in Dubai ports world (DP). This is because it plays a monumental role in the Dubai Port world UAE region’s integrated business hub. In addition, JAFZA is situated close to the seventh-largest container port called Jebel Ali Sea Port. So, its strategic location makes it the best free zone for export and import duties.

Through all these stunning features incorporated in this zone, it has primarily established a benchmark for other zones to mimic. The reasons being its good and perpetual work procedures and strategic position is quite attractive. In addition, JAFZA jurisdiction has got an ISO certification and permits diverse business activities. 

#3 Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ)

Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ)

If you’re looking to have a dual license, look for no other free zone but Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ). So, investors who form a company in this zone are eligible to have a dual license. In addition, they provide a myriad of packages for those residing in the UAE. Similarly, before forming your company in SPCFZ, you must know certain types of business structures included in this zone. They include;

  • Free Zone Company
  • Free Zone Establishment
  • Branch company

On top of that, SPCFZ is the first publishing and printing free zone in UAE. It offers entrepreneurs a world-class infrastructure and an amicable business environment. Apart from venturing into publishing and printing, this zone also offers IT-related businesses, e-commerce, consulting, and trading. 

Moreover, one of the finest advantages of SPCFZ is that it permits investors to perform up to 5 business activities under one license without being charged. So, if your business activities are under printing and manufacturing, SPCFZ got you covered.

#4 Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)

DMCC is popularly known to be the number one free zone in UAE. It is also among one of the best free zones for a business setup that permits investors to acquire a dual license. Thus, the main benefit of having a dual license is that you can extrapolate or expand your business to onshore or mainland. However, to get the dual license, you’ll be needed to get a mainland license and a DMCC license altogether.

Also, one license provided by the DMCC can sustain up to six business activities. That means; the DMCC license is not restricted to service, industrial or general trading but it can permit you to engage in Crypto commodities trading.

#5 Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams)

Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams)

Shams provide entrepreneurs with a branch to set up an LLC company formation. In addition, this zone permits investors to register their company or businesses without having the attested documents for business approval. 

Similarly, the zone offers various licenses to investors including industrial, service, trading, freelance, and a holding license if needed. That means; for any freelancer wishing to do his/her freelancing task in Dubai, the Shams zone is the best zone for you. You don’t have to strain so much to get your business set up in Shams, it is one of the best and cost-effective free zone that comes with renewal cost and minimal upfront for business set up in UAE.

#6 International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

A lot of investors are yearning to set up their business in IFZA. This is because IFZA is one of the most stable economic zones for company formation in Dubai. Its strategic position is awesome for any business set up in UAE. 

Additionally, it provides several business licenses for investors to conduct their businesses without any problem in the zone. Some of the license issued in this zone includes e-commerce business license, consulting, service, commercial, and trading license among others. 

In the same vein, the major appealing feature in IFZA is that you need not have a business office or a space to set up your Best Free Zone for Business setup in UAE.  Thus, it gives space even for investors who want to set up their virtual business to do it without looking back.

#7 Fujairah Creative City Free Zone

Fujairah Creative City Free Zone

Fujairah zone is another type of zone that needs not a visa or staff members for you to form your company or business in this zone. Therefore, this makes FCCFZ one of the best free zone and cost-effective for several foreign investors. In addition, the zone provides the cheapest ways to get a visa, and C.

Moreover, it offers cheap services for Best Free Zone for Business setup in UAE and is a zone that also needs not document attestation and requires the least amount of effort to get things done. So, when you decide to conduct your business in this zone, you are permitted to engage in activities such as consulting, media, events, and educational sectors among others.


Business setup in UAE is straightforward and needs not much in different zones for you to get your business up and running. Some zone such as Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams) and Fujairah Creative City Free Zone has the cheapest services any investor can afford. 

Therefore, if you want to conduct your business in a Cost Effective Free Zone for General Trading License, the above zones such as International Free Zone Authority (IFZA), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ), and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authorities (JAFZA) are the best and cost-effective zone you can embrace for your company formation.