Business Setup in UAE Free Zone

Successful Free Zone Business Setup

If you’re wanting to be a part of the UAE’s growing economy while having complete ownership of your company, then a Free Zone is the perfect location for your business. Many entrepreneurs don’t like the idea of having a UAE national as a partner that will have 51% shares in the company. That’s not the case with a company in the Free Zone. With this company type, 100% ownership is allowed, and you’ll still get all the benefits of doing business in the UAE.

There are 45 Free Zones in the UAE right now. Free Zones are an area where goods can be manufactured, imported, exported, handled, or reconfigured without paying any customs duty. Not only are the benefits great, but so is the location. Free Zones are located in strategic locations that maximize trading near national borders, international airports, and major seaports.

Check out and follow some easy and simple steps for setting up your company in Free Zone UAE. The process includes determining business activity, choosing your trade name and legal structure, drafting an MOA, submitting the required documents, getting approvals, and opening a corporate bank account. The important documents you need to submit are a tenancy contract, MOA, board resolution, passport copies of partners and business managers, copy of the business plan, application license form, and approval letters. 

Planning to start a business in Dubai? For business establishment services in the UAE, contact MSZ Consultancy, one of the leading business consultants in Dubai. We understand you may find this process challenging, but MSZ consultancy solves all your concerns about starting your company in Free Zone.

Our expert consultants will provide you with all the information that will not only make your company setup process easy but quick and hassle-free. 

Steps for UAE Free Zone Business Setup

There are dozens of Free Zones throughout the UAE, each designed for specific business activity. These areas vary in their focus, the setup costs, and the paperwork that is needed for business setup. Here are the basic steps for UAE Free Zone Business Setup:


Select a license type and business activity

Determine what type of business activity you will be doing so you will know what type of business license to apply for. Each Free Zone has different rules for the number of activities that can be added to one license.


Choose a Free Zone

Choose a Free Zone that will be best for your business. Each Free Zone has certain activities that are allowed, visa quotas, and facilities that are available. You will have to choose which Free Zone will work best for the type of business activity you will have.


Select a corporate structure

Choose what type of corporate structure your business will need. You should also make sure your corporate structure is allowed with the Free Zone that you want to form your company in. The types of corporate structures available are:

  • New Company
  • Subsidiary Company
  • Joint Venture Company
  • Branch of a Local or a Foreign Company

Select trade name and prepare documents

You will have to narrow your desired trade names down to three and submit the name choices with the required documents. Each Free Zone has its own document requirements.


Apply for initial approval

In this step, your company name, business activity, and company structure will get initial approval.


Sign legal documents for company incorporation

After you get initial approval, a face-to-face or video call with a Free Zone representative will be setup. You’ll have to sign the required documents like the MOA, Board Resolution, and any other documents required by your Free Zone.


Establish business location

Now, you’ll have to find property for your company in the Free Zone that you’ve chosen and sign a Tenancy Contract and get an Ejari Certificate. You may be required to provide other documents depending on the type of facility you choose for your company.


Collect business license

After you’ve signed all the required documents, paid all the required fees, and gotten all the approvals you need from authorities, then you’ll be able to get your business license and get your company going.

Documents Required

Application license form
Business card of the contact person
Copy of business plan
Notarized and attested Memorandum of Association (MOA)
Notarized Articles of Association (AOA)
Passport copies of the partners and business managers
Original bank reference letters
License of the partner’s existing company, if applicable

Making Your Company Legal in UAE Free Zone with a Business License

Free Zone Company in UAE will not be complete without a business license. All companies in the United Arab Emirates must have a business license in order for their business to be legal. There are six types of business licenses available for business setup in a UAE Free Zone:

General Trading License

With this license, your company will be able to trade in all kinds of products. A general trading license allows your company to export, re-export, import, or trade different types of goods like food, clothes, furniture, and more.

Trading/Commercial License

This license is required if you plan on having a trading company in one of the UAE Free Zones. You will be able to have 10 similar product lines or three different product lines with this license.

Service License

A service license is for a skilled individual that uses their degree or experience for a profession. This includes consultancy, carpentry, repair services, graphic design, and more.

Industrial License

This license allows businesses to assemble, process, redesign, or repackage goods using local or imported natural, or man-made raw materials.

Warehousing License

You’ll need this license if you plan on leasing warehousing facilities. With this license, you’ll be able to use a warehouse as a hub for major distribution, storing, and packing goods.

Manufacturing License

This allows companies to transfer parts of raw materials into a finished product. This includes textiles, auto parts, paper, aviation, and many more.

Manufacturing License

Reasons to Do Business in UAE Free Zone

  • No corporate taxes
  • No income taxes
  • No customs duties
  • 100% ownership of the business
  • UAE Residence Visa
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • Infrastructure and facilities for Industrial and Commercial purposes

Locations for UAE Free Zone Business Setup

There are several different Free Zones across the UAE for business setup. Each Free Zone works under its own regulations and caters to a specific type of business category. Here are the most demanding spots for business setup in a UAE Free Zone:

Jebel Ali Free Zone

One of the largest business communities in the region, JAFZA caters to the requirements of all companies regardless of size, industry, or sector. The area has become a trade catalyst that enables new opportunities for business growth. A big advantage to Jebel Ali Free Zone business setup is that businesses there have a single point of contact that handles all administration, documentation, and applications, allowing companies to focus on their operations and begin their business with ease and speed. Jebel Ali Free Zone offers a wide range of facilities that are perfect for your company now and are flexible enough to grow with you in the future.

SHAMS Free Zone

Shams Free Zone is also known as Sharjah Media City Free Zone. It is the newest Free Zone in the UAE and continues to gain more popularity with the investors. The mission of this Free Zone is to make creative entrepreneurship accessible and inspire business growth. SHAMS Free Zone is located in Sharjah and is the closest Free Zone to Dubai. Even though it’s called the media free zone, it does not necessarily mean that they only offer media activities. SHAMS Free Zone business setup can include a very broad list of activities like trading, professional services, and others.

Dubai DMCC

Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC) is by far one of the most reputable Free Zones in Dubai. It’s also the largest and fastest-growing Free Zone in the UAE, with over 14,000 companies registered here. Dubai is one of the most attractive destinations for entrepreneurs, especially in free zones like DMCC. DMCC Free Zone is home to the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange and also to the Dubai Diamond Exchange. It also accommodates tea and coffee centers, which encourages agro commodities growth. DMCC business setup offers great investment opportunities with respect to taxes and the business environment.

Dubai DMCC

Business Entities for UAE Free Zone Business Setup

One of the big benefits to business setup in the UAE Free Zone are the government-friendly rules. The government has eased the business setup process to draw maximum foreign investors with the minimum capital investment.

You’ll have to choose what type of business entity you’ll have. There are three types to choose from in a UAE Free Zone:

  • Branch of a foreign or local company – A branch of a local company is 100% owned by a foreign mother company and will need to appoint a National Service Agent, also known as a Local Service Agent.
  • Free Zone Establishment – This type of company is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) with a single shareholder.
  • Free Zone Company – This company type has two to five shareholders.

Easy Free Zone Business Setup in UAE with MSZ Consultancy

There are several rules to follow and decisions to be made when forming your company in a UAE Free Zone. That’s why it’s smart to use an expert consultancy firm like MSZ Consultancy. We will make sure you get all the required paperwork to the right authorities and don’t stumble upon any roadblocks while forming your company. Call the MSZ Consultancy experts at +971 52 544 1248 to get help with your business setup in UAE today!


The experts at MSZ Consultancy will guide you through all the legal advice, paperwork, and procedures it takes to form a company in the UAE Free Zone. We use our in-depth knowledge to provide you with cost-effective solutions for easy Free Zone business setup in the UAE.


We help with every aspect of business setup, from business plans, trademark registration, translation, company registration, visas, and more. We have over 15 years of experience with expertise in business setup in the UAE. We have all the right connections to make your business journey completely hassle-free.


Our business consultants are experts with all business setup in the UAE. We know what it takes for a successful Jebel Ali Free Zone business setup, DMCC business setup, and more! You won’t find better, personalized services that are tailored to fit all your needs.

Trademark Registration

We will help protect your brand by trademark registration services. This includes renewal, amendments, web domain purchase and renewal, and more.

Local Sponsorship

If you need a local sponsor, we will help you find someone that is reliable who you can trust with your company.

PRO Services

We have expert Public Relations Officers that will handle all your documentation and clearing services.

Bank Account Assistance

MSZ Consultancy will help you get all the requirements you need to get your company bank account setup.

Product Registration

Get hassle-free trading with product registration. We will help you get the paperwork together to get your products registered.

Business Centers

We can help you find the perfect office space for your business. We have turn-key offices located in strategic locations.

Company Liquidation

MSZ Consultancy will help you with the liquidation process. We can help prepare the documents you need and make sure you meet all the legal requirements for a smooth process.

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