Business Setup in Dubai Free Zone

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Business Setup in Dubai Free Zone

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business setup in dubai free zone

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Dubai free zone license

Start your business in Dubai free zone?

Each emirate in the United Arab Emirates has a free zone, also known as a free trade zone, which is a defined geographical area. The absence of duties and all kinds of taxes in the free zone encourages trade, particularly the import and export of a wide range of goods and services. As a result, Dubai’s free zone business setup has proven itself to be the best option for investors.

What is Dubai Free Zone License?

Dubai free zone license is a major requirement to register your business in FZE, FZ LLC. Dubai is one of the Middle East’s most financially rewarding and business-friendly destinations. It is an ideal investment hub due to its ease of access to Asia and other countries. Moreover, Dubai free zone company provide facilities for the successful launch of new businesses along with the expansion of the existing ones. As a result, the Dubai free zone company formation has become the most popular for both aspiring entrepreneurs and established multinational corporations.

free zone license in Dubai

Benefits of business setup in Dubai free zoneMajor pointers that convey how beneficial it is to start business in a freezone in Dubai, UAE

One of the key benefits of forming a mainland company in the UAE is that it allows for 100% foreign ownership. Everyone is aware of the introduction of corporate tax in the UAE. Dubai’s freezone business setup provides immense benefits including corporate tax exemption. The corporate tax in UAE free zone is set at 0%.

100% ownership for expats

No local partner is required, 100% foreign ownership is possible.

Tax exemption

Tax-free zones where an investor is not required to pay any taxes.

No physical office required

No need to be physically present and business can be easily done virtually.

No limits on money tansfers

There are no restrictions on foreign currency exchanges & money transfers.

Visa validity

Employee as well as the employer visa is valid for 3 years

Simple and fast process

Applying for a business license is a simple and fast process.

What are the types of legal entities in UAE free zone?

It is essential to determine the legal entity of your business before setting up a business. The options you can select from are the following:

Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC)
or Free Zone Company (FZ Co.)

You can have several shareholders in your firm after setting up a FZ LLC (a maximum of 5 shareholders). The characteristics of a business with FZ LLC business entity are as follows:

  1. It gives adaptable means of protection against debts and other personal responsibilities. 
  2. It also provides a number of other advantages, including the flexibility to conduct business in any of Dubai’s and the UAE’s free zones.
  3.  Furthermore, FZ LLC does not have any limits on the number of visas. 
  4. You may, however, be eligible for more visas when the size of the office increases.
business setup in dubai freezone
freezone license in dubai

Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

The FZE is a free zone establishment, which indicates that your firm can have just one stakeholder. The characteristics of setting up a FZE business are as follows:

  1. You have restricted access to operate in all free zones in Dubai and the UAE if you have a FZE. 
  2. Furthermore, there are limits on the number of visas. 
  3. You have a greater probability of being entirely accountable for the company’s gains and losses if you pick FZE versus FZ LLC.

What are the major authorities for Dubai freezone license?Here’s a list of all the major free zone authorities in Dubai that issues a license for your business.

 There are more than 20 types of free zones in Dubai, all offering trading, services, and industrial licenses to investors. Free zones in Dubai are one of the biggest contributors to the GDP of the city. They offer notable business freedom and unlimited trade choices.


DMCC Free Zone (Dubai Multi Commodities Center) – DMCC is the gateway to unparalleled business opportunities that takes your business to new heights. It is the home to more than 21,000 businesses across a wide range of sectors.


Meydan Free Zone – Meydan has been attracting the attention of many foreign investors since its inception in 2010. It is a visionary concept that offers endless possibilities for businesses looking to flourish in Dubai.


DWC (Dubai World Central Free Zone) – DWC also known as Dubai South free zone offers exceptional logistics and connectivity to empower businesses and help them grow in a sustainable environment.


Dubai Internet City Free Zone – Give an extra edge to your business with DIC. DIC is Dubai’s leading tech hub and the most innovative free zones for tech entrepreneurs and investors.


IFZA (International Free Zone Authority) – IFZA freezone ensures a convenient and strategized business set up with access to global markets. It is one of the most popular free zone choices in Dubai offers an innovative infrastructure for your business.


Jafza (Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority) – Grow your business in the largest free zone of Dubai. Being a flagship free zone, it offers unbounded business opportunities to more than 8700 businesses across many sectors.


Dubai Airport Free Zone – DAFZA is a dynamic business hub for investors worldwide. It supports more than 2000 registered businesses from over 20+ sectors. Start your business in one of the most prestigious locations in Dubai.


Dubai Media City – DMC Media City Free Zone is a flourishing media hub in Dubai that offers endless growth opportunities and creates impactful business footprints.

Documents required to setup business in Dubai freezones

Documents and paperwork must be kept handy before the establishment of a Dubai Free Zone company. So, the entrepreneur will need to deliver some documents and get them approved by the concerned authority.

Passport and visa photocopies

Applicant has to submit the passport and visa copies at the time of registering their company under freezone license.

Address proof dcouments

Residential proof needs to be submitted at the time of business setup for freezone license.

Passport size photographs

Along with passport and visa photocopies, passport size photographs will also be needed for the documentation.

Approvals required

Any kind of required approvals on the documents from the concerned authorities should be settled.

Detailed business plan

Before proceeding with any further query, a full proof detailed blueprint of the business plan should be prepared beforehand.

Additional documents if any

Any kind of additional document which can influence the business setup should be submitted when required.

What are the steps to setup business in Dubai free zone?

Setting up a business in a free zone is an easy process. Follow the steps given below to set up a free zone business in the UAE:

  1. Choose the Right Free Zone: When deciding to start a business in a free zone in Dubai, one must first determine the nature of the business. Since there are more than 40 types of free zones in the UAE, one must choose the best freezone as per his/her requirements.
  2. Choose a business name: Once investors have decided on a business nature, it is time to choose a name for it for the Dubai freezone licence. It’s always recommended to adhere to the government’s naming conventions while choosing a trade name.
  3. Obtaining a business license: If you want to start a business in the Dubai free zone, it’s important to have a Dubai Free zone business licence. A licence is permission granted by the government to conduct your business in the country. It is necessary to carry out various activities for your business throughout the Emirates. Apply for a business license after submitting the required paperwork, paying the licence fee, and receiving the initial approval. The concerned free zone authority will issue the business licence.
  4. Office setup for freezone: The best thing about a freezone licence in Dubai is that you don’t need to have a physical office setup. You can simply operate virtually from your home country. You just need to get an office address (lease agreement) and you are good to go.
  5. Final approvals from authorities: Authorities will issue a Dubai free zone licence but before that investors must obtain all necessary approvals. The investor can begin the business after getting all the necessary approvals.
Freelance license in UAE

What are the limitations of business setup in Dubai freezone?

Even though Free zone company formation is one of the most preferred ideas for business setup in Dubai, there are certain disadvantages associated with setting up a business in freezone.

1. Trade boundary restrictions

You cannot trade outside the freezone if you possess a freezone licence in UAE. Your business activities have to be limited to the area where your business is situated and other freezones in the UAE.

2. Restriction on expansion

With a free zone licence, you are restricted with where you can expand your business. A free zone company will have to switch to a mainland licence in order to expand their business to the Dubai mainland.

3. Office locations

You can choose an office space in the freezones only. Since your business is not allowed to trade outside the freezones. This limits the options for an office, making the mainland locations off limits for you and your company.

4. Limitations of business activities

The business activities that you can choose for your business are limited. before choosing freezone license for your business, you need to ensure that your desired business activity is available under the freezone.

business setup in dubai freezone

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Frequently Asked Questions

The UAE’s Freezones are each governed by their own Free Zone Authority. They approve employee visa applications, and provide guidelines for fair business operations, among other things.

There is no such thing as the "best freezone". The best freezone depends on your business needs. Radiantbiz experts help you figure out the best options according to your requirements to help your business flourish.

There are around 40 Free Zones operating in the UAE, with more under construction. Each Free Zone is designed around one or more commercial categories and only offers licences to companies within those categories.

Freezone companies can't do business in the UAE mainland zone.

All freezone companies in Dubai are permitted to own property in the so-called Designated Areas. Freezone companies can own properties/assets inside UAE. They just need a NOC from the concerned Freezone.

The cost of freezone company formation is determined by the area you setup in, the legal entity and the size of your business. To know the exact cost of your business setup, you can fill in your details in the RadiantBiz cost calculator. We provide you with an estimate to assure that you can set your budget for your dream venture.

Below is the list of top 5 cheapest free zones in the UAE:
* Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP)
* Ajman Media City (AMC)
* Sharjah Media City free zone (SHAMS)
* Ras Al Khaimah free zone(RAKEZ)
* International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)
* Meydan Free Zone

Yes, you can stay in Dubai if your company is registered in another emirate. You can travel to work everyday. The visa obtained for free zone company formation is valid for stay in any emirate of the UAE.

Yes, you can proceed with a free zone company formation in the UAE while still being a resident in the UK. You can work from a distance and own a virtual office space. The UAE allows dual residency to those obtaining a visa here.

There are around 40 Freezone authorities and localities that provide business-specific programmes. Select the suitable freezone for your company formation in dubai free zone and the package, create a company, and you'll be the owner. If you have more than one individual, you divide your ownership according to your investments.

Yes, you can set up a free zone company formation in Dubai while being outside the country. You can work from a distance and own a virtual office space. The UAE allows dual residency to those obtaining a visa here.

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