Introduction to Dubai Free zone

Dubai has become a bustling business hub in recent years, attracting entrepreneurs and investors from around the globe. Its prime location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa makes it the perfect gateway to access a vast market of more than 2 billion people.

Dubai free zones are well-known for their favorable to business atmosphere, which draws investors and budding entrepreneurs from all over the world. Dubai Free zone company setup provides several benefits, including 100% foreign ownership, tax benefits, and simplified processes.

What is Dubai Free Zone License?

The Dubai Free Zone License is necessary for you to start your business in one of the Dubai free zones. The license is supervised by the respective free zone authorities. These free zones help promote trade and investment.

To obtain a free zone license in Dubai, businesses must follow certain procedures and adhere to special criteria. Often, this involves finding the best location for the autonomy of their businesses, submitting the necessary paperwork, and paying reasonable fees. The most reliable locations provide a one-stop shop for company registration, visa processing and other administrative services, making the business in Dubai free zones easier and more efficient overall.

What Are The Different Legal Entities in Dubai Free Zone?

It is important to decide the legal structure of your business before you start the business setup in any of the Dubai free zones.

Free Zone Company (FZ Co.)

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

  • It gives adaptable means of protection against debts and other personal responsibilities.
  • 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.
  • Furthermore, FZCO does not have any limits on the number of visas.

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:

  • Restricted access for company operation in Dubai and the UAE.
  • There are limits on the number of visas that you can sponsor.
  • You are responsible for the gain or the loss that your company goes through.

Types of Business Licenses in Dubai Free Zone

There are six different types of business licenses available in the UAE, as well as the requirements for getting them.

  • Commercial license – It is one of the most common types of business licenses. If your business deals with buying and selling goods, you should opt for this license. 
  • Industrial license – If you have a business that requires manufacturing, then this is the license you should opt for. 
  • Professional license – Companies providing professional services such as legal, accounting, etc require this license.
  • Consultancy license – Open a legal, business, financial or management consultancy with this license
  • Service License – This license allows you to provide repair, cleaning, technical or maintenance services.
  • General trading license– You can take part in a variety of trade operations and services.

Types of Free Zones in Dubai

In Dubai, there are over 20 different types of free zones, all of which give investors trading, service, and industrial permits. One of the largest contributors to the GDP of the city of Dubai are the free zones. They provide significant business flexibility and a variety of trading options. The cost of a free zone company setup varies depending on numerous criteria, including the free zone chosen, the type of licence, and the unique needs of your firm.


DMCC Free Zone (Dubai Multi Commodities Center) – The DMCC Free Zone is the gateway to unmatched business opportunities that can help you grow your company. More than 21,000 enterprises from a variety of industries call it home.


Meydan Free Zone – Since its establishment in 2010, Meydan has drawn the interest of several international investors. It is a creative idea with limitless potential for companies seeking to thrive in Dubai.


DWC (Dubai World Central Free Zone) – Often referred to as Dubai South Free Zone, DWC provides superior logistics and connectivity to empower enterprises and support their expansion in a sustainable environment.


Dubai Internet City Free Zone – Give your company a competitive advantage with Dubai Internet City. The most creative free zones for IT entrepreneurs and investors are located in DIC, which is Dubai’s top technology centre.


Dubai Commerce City – It is the first free trade zone in the UAE created to address the business infrastructure needs of eCommerce enterprises. It caters to the enterprises operating in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South Asian markets.


The International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) –The IFZA freezone company setup guarantees a practical and well-planned business structure with access to international markets. One of the most well-liked free zone options in Dubai.


Jafza (Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority) – Expand your company in Dubai’s biggest free zone. As a flagship free zone, Jebel Ali Free Zone provides more than 8700 firms from various industries with limitless business options.


Dubai Airport Free Zone – Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) is a thriving commercial destination for international investors. It serves approximately 2000 registered companies across more than 20 different industries. Establish your company in one of Dubai’s most prominent districts.


Dubai Media City – DMC Free Zone is a thriving media centre in Dubai that provides countless prospects for growth and maximum business opportunities in Dubai Free zones


Dubai South- Dubai South has Al Maktoum International Airport as the centre of the city. It has created new prospects for many industries to establish enterprises at low cost.

Types of Business Activities in Dubai Free Zone

Free zones are the best locations for company setup since they provide a range of activities for your business needs.Some of the activities are:

  • E- Commerce
  • Import Export
  • Crypto, Blockchain, NFT
  • Trading
  • Services (Marketing, IT, Consultancy, Business Management)
  • Manufacturing
  • Logistics
  • Media and entertainment
  • Education

It’s important to keep in mind that each free zone may have different restrictions on the businesses activities that can operate there, and that companies must abide by such rules and laws in order to operate there.

Documents Required for Dubai Free Zone Company Formation

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.

Passport size photographs

Along with passport copy and visa papers, a clear passport size photographs of all the shareholders are required.

Detailed business plan

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

Address proof documents

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

Approvals required

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

Additional documents if any

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

Steps for Dubai Free Zone Company Setup

If you’re considering free zone company registration in Dubai, here are the steps required for Dubai free zone business setup.

  • Choose right free zone: There are more than 40 free zones in the UAE. Take time to research and compare different free zones. Choose the right free zone for your business according to your needs and wants.
  • Choose your company type: Decide if you want to set up a free zone establishment (FZE), free zone company (FZCO), or branch office. Each company type has its own pros and cons. This selection will determine the rules and structure of your business.
  • Determine your business activity: Dubai free zones allow specific types of businesses to start, so it’s important to ensure your planned business activity is allowed in the free zone.
  • Choose a company name: Choose a unique and compliant name for your company, adhering to the naming conventions specified by the free zone.
  • Obtain initial approvals: Submit your application and documents to the relevant free zone authority, who will review and issue initial approvals such as an initial approval letter or an in-principle approval.
  • Office setup for free zones: There is no need to own a physical office setup. You can take care of your business from any part of the world. You can get a virtual office setup and use the same address.
  • Obtaining a business license: If you are planning to open a business in a free zone, you need to obtain a business license for the same. This will allow you to legally conduct your business there.
  • Open a corporate bank account: Open a corporate bank account in Dubai to start a business. You can choose from local banks or branches of international banks to make this process easier.
  • Visa and immigration processes: If you need visas for shareholders, employees, or dependents, initiate visa and immigration procedures as per the requirements of the free zone. Get guidance from free zone authorities and business consultants.
Benefits of Dubai Free Zone Company Formation

Company formation in Dubai Free Zone offers immense benefits, including corporate tax exemptions. The corporate tax in the UAE free zone is set at 0% .

  • Tax Exemption – Dubai free zones also offer tax exemptions to certain categories of businesses based on their revenue, which means that investors are not required to pay any taxes on their below the specified amount of revenue. This enables businesses to save on costs and reinvest the funds into the growth and expansion of their business.
  • 100% Ownership for Expats- Expats can own and operate their businesses without needing a local partner. This allows them to retain full control over their business operations and make all the decisions without any external interference. This law has increased the ease of doing business in Dubai.
  •  No Need for a Physical Office – Free zone companies require no physical office space. This allows you to run the business virtually and from anywhere in the world. 
  • Multiple activities under one license- You can get your license issued and get the benefit of choosing from a range of activities under one license only. This can provide flexibility to the entrepreneurs.
  • Visa Validity- Dubai offers numerous benefits for investors and entrepreneurs who are looking for Free Zone company registration. Dubai also licenses a three-year visa validity for both employees and employers. The free zone visa process usually takes two to three weeks to complete.
  • No Limits on Money Transfers – There are also no limits on money transfers in Dubai free zones. This allows Free zone companies to conduct international transactions with ease. So, enjoy no limits on money transfers in free zones.
  • The Simple and Fast Process – Applying a Free zone license in Dubai is very simple. The time and effort required is significantly less compared to other regions. This attracts people from worldwide and retains talented individuals in the nation.
  • The company formation remotely – Company formation in Dubai can be done remotely and there is no need for physical presence in case of the same.

What are the Laws & Regulations for the Dubai Free Zone Company Setup ?

The UAE has many rules and regulations that a business has to comply with in order to get started with their business setup in one of the Dubai Free Zones.

Employment Regulations

Employers need to follow employment laws which may be set by the UAE government or those set by individual free zones.

Corporate Regulations

Register your company to get started with your business setup in one of the Free Zones. Get the permissions needed from the authorities.

Financial Regulations

Ensure that you are financially transparent and comply with the rules when it comes to your business’s operations.

Visa and Immigration Process for Free Zone Business Setup

Dubai free zones allow people from all over the world to get their business started. To obtain a visa for a free zone in Dubai:

  • Apply for a license in the free zone you prefer. 
  • Apply for a resident visa for both you and your staff. 
  • Submit the required documents. 
  • Get your medical and Emirates ID done after entering Dubai to complete the Residency Process.
Get Guidance with RadianBiz on Free Zone License
RadiantBiz is a trusted business setup consultants based in Dubai, UAE. We’ve been assisting people with Dubai free zone company setup for over 15 years and have made a name as a trustworthy source of guidance and assistance for anyone planning to start a business in the United Arab Emirates.

Some of the most skilled and knowledgeable individuals in the business setup industry make up the RadiantBiz team. We are experts in setting up all different types of businesses, including offshore companies, free zones, and mainland company registration. Given that the professionals in the RadiantBiz are fully aware of the legal and regulatory landscape in the UAE, they can offer personalised services to clients from various sectors of the industry.

We have established a strong reputation for providing clients from all around the world with outstanding outcomes. RadiantBiz takes great pride in being one of the most reliable and effective company formation agents in Dubai and offers amazing customer service. You can relax knowing you’re in excellent hands with RadiantBiz on your side.
Frequently Asked Questions