Each free zone is governed by an independent Free Zone Authority (FZA) responsible for only the free zone that is allocated to it. The FZA provides the infrastructure, ancillary services and the regulatory framework to support free zone business set ups. Therefore, you will need to apply to the respective FZA for permission to start your business (see Main free zones in Abu Dhabi overleaf).
The advantages of setting up a company in a free zone include:
- Option of having 100% foreign ownership of the business
- Waiver of corporate tax for 15 years; this can be renewed for another 15 years upon expiry not withstanding any subsequent change to federal or local laws
- Import and export tax exemptions of up to 100%
- Personal income tax waiver
- Documentation is less and is mostly in English
- Repatriation of capital and profits up to 100%
- Assistance in recruiting labour assistance in sponsorship and housing and other support services
Companies can operate as the following:
- A branch in a free zone (of an existing parent company overseas)
- A free zone establishment (FZE) with a single shareholder
- A free zone company (FZCO) with two or more shareholders
- A limited liability company (LLC); setting up an LLC can be a slightly longer process and have a minimum capital requirement which varies from free zone to free zone, but is not required for a in certain branch companies
- A sole proprietorship
- Minimum capital requirement is set by each individual free zone authority
What to bring
- Application form downloaded from free zone website
- Passport and residence visa (copy) of shareholders and managers
- Business plan template
- Board resolution and/or power of attorney for the manager; this must state the manager’s full name as per passport
- Check with the free zone to see which types of licences it supports
- Applicant deals with the FZA on the premises
- For a fee, FZA will assist with visas, permits and various government paperwork
- Submit application for registration online
- Submit all paperwork to the relevant FZA
- Pay required application fees
- Open a corporate bank account
- Open a company PO Box
- Deposit minimum capital amount (not required for branch company)
- Submit proof of capital letter to FZA
- Licence and lease is prepared (two days)
- Sign sponsorship agreement and lease agreement
- Collect licence (and keys if applicable)
Latest NewsView More
We’re less than a month away from the launch of the capital’s second annual Mother of the Nation Festi...
The 2017 rendition of Abu Dhabi Festival is now well under way, and the inspiring Picture This! event is back for its...
In line with the UAE government’s push to promote sustainable living, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is b...
It’s the most important meal of the day and, in Abu Dhabi, it can also be the most delicious! We’ve put t...
Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, hosting visitors from abroad or just want to get the whole gang ...