A Free Zone located in the United Arab Emirates is a geographical area in which business is conducted without the taxes or restrictions normally applied to foreign businesses. It is an area where goods can be cleared, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and re-exported without payment of customs duties and import and export taxes- providing vast advantages for trade.
A Free Zone entity can be owned 100% by a foreign individual or Company without the need for Emirati presence (with certain restrictions to this rule, such as if your business is a pharmacy). In this instance, the Dubai Health Authority will require the presence of a UAE National (Emirati) Shareholder in order to issue the required approvals, as an example.
However, the vast majority of trading and serviced-based companies can set-up a in a Free Zone across Dubai and the UAE without any restrictions.
The UAE has approximately 50 Free Zones across it’s seven Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain)- each able to provide you with a business license and a legal address, and other benefits dependent on the package you choose.
Free Zone’s were designed to encourage foreign investment to the UAE providing an easier start-up process as well as labour and immigration procedures with most importantly, 100% ownership for any nationality. Each Free Zone has its own Authority which governs that particular and thus, comes with its own and Rules & Regulations however, fundamentally all Free Zone’s operate via the same core regulations and values.
As a Company operating in a Free Zone you also have the benefit of 100% repatriation of revenue and profits, back to your home Country which is of most importance to foreign investors and business owners in the region.
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