When looking to start a business in the UAE, it certainly pays to do your research on the nation’s free zones.
Offering incredible benefits such as 100% customs tax exemption, zero currency restrictions, capital and profit repatriation, and much more, they are often the most cost-effective way to launch a company out here.
But not every free zone is equal. Along with the benefits above, each will also offer its own advantages – and charge a difference price for licensing, facilities and support services.
While many free zones are vague about licensing fees, there are plenty of reputable authorities in the UAE that publish transparent costs. To help you decide which is best for you, we have compiled a cost comparison chart across some of the UAE’s most popular free zones.
And remember, whichever one you choose, the process of incorporating your business is always easier when you work with a local expert such as Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ).
What is a UAE free zone?
Free zones are independent economic zones that allowing businesses and solo entrepreneurs to trade in the UAE and beyond while taking advantage of tax exemptions and minimal red tape.
Many free zones are tailored to specific industries such as healthcare, technology or media. Most offer industrial, commercial and industrial licenses to GCC nationals and foreign entrepreneurs.
How many free zones are there in the UAE?
There are currently around 50 free zones operating in the UAE, with more opening all the time. The one that’s right for you will depend on your desired location as well as your industry, budget, required facilities and business activities.
What is the cheapest free zone in the UAE?
With many offering deals and discounts throughout the year, it is difficult to give a definitive answer as to which is the cheapest free zone in the UAE.
That said, there is certainly a wide range of affordable free zones on offer. The total price you’ll pay in any free zone will depend on multiple factors such as the number of visas you need and the types of facilities you require on-site.
Some free zones offer simple co-working spaces while others have residential units, warehousing, factory space and much more.
Right now, Meydan Free Zone is an incredibly popular choice due to its flexible pricing model, easy payment plans, and premier downtown location.
To discuss your requirements and decide which is the best free zone for you, call the expert team at BIZ. After a brief consultation, we will provide a detailed quote.
UAE free zone cost comparison table
|DMCC||Meydan||Fujairah Creative City||RAKEZ||UAQFTZ|
|License cost without visa||AED 20,285||AED 12,500||AED 6,000||AED 5,499||AED 8,000|
|License cost with one visa||AED 24,741||AED 14,350||AED 16,000||AED 11,200||AED 11,507|
|License processing time||3 to 5 days||1 to 3 days||1 to 3 days||1 to 3 days||1 to 2 days|
How to set up in a UAE free zone
With the support of BIZ, setting up in a UAE free zone is fast, affordable and straightforward. We can guide you through the following process, liaising with all relevant authorities and assisting with any applications.
1. Set out your business activities
Before doing anything else, we’ll need to explore your intended business activities so we can advise on the best free zone and license type for your operation.
2. Choosing your company name
Next, we will help you choose a company name. There are a few key things to keep in mind at this stage.
In short, you should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e., Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting.
3. Applying for your free zone license
Now it is time to apply for your free zone license. You can make this application to the managing authority of your chosen free zone.
BIZ can manage this application on your behalf, liaising with all relevant authorities and ensuring your application is correct and complete before filing.
4. Applying for your visas
You’ll also need a residency visa to work in the UAE. Again, BIZ can assist with this step.
As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others for their visas too. This could be a spouse, parent or child, or a domestic worker such as a housekeeper.
5. Opening your corporate bank account
To take and make payments freely within the UAE and beyond, you’ll require a corporate bank account.
Accessing such services is not always an easy task for non-GCC nationals. However, working with BIZ can help smooth the process. We can advise on the banks and other institutions best suited to your needs and assist with applications to ensure all is in order before submission.
Why work with BIZ?
That’s all there is to it. As you can see, if you’re armed with the right knowledge, business setup in Dubai doesn’t have to be overly complex – especially when you set up in a free zone.
That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.
To help you to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as BIZ when establishing a new company in the UAE.
We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
As well as handling your license application, BIZ can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.
We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visas applications that are required to trade in the UAE.
cIn short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.