future entrepreneur in Dubai, UAE
Business Opportunities in Dubai, UAE [2020 Edition]
April 29, 2020

Business setup in a Dubai free zone

business setup in a Dubai free zone

Dubai free zones are a major pull for overseas entrepreneurs looking to do business in the region.

As well as offering a fast and affordable setup process, when carried out with the help of an expert, free zones offer a range of other advantages.

Free zone businesses, like others in the UAE, are subject to 0% tax rates on all income. But there’s more. Unlike other types of UAE business, free zone companies also benefit from 100% customs tax exemption and zero currency restrictions. At the same time, free zone business owners are free to repatriate all capital and profits to their country of origin.

Many Dubai free zones are also industry-specific and offer a focused workplace and ongoing support to companies within certain industries.

As with any important business decision, it’s vital that you seek the right advice before starting the free zone company formation process. Here are a few things you may need to consider.

Company formation in Dubai free zones

There are many Dubai free zones and your first decision is to choose the right one. A free zone should be far more than a base. It should be a supportive environment that inspires innovation, nurtures your business and helps it grow.

The free zone that is right for you depends on many factors – from your industry to the size of your business and your desired location. The best way to find the right fit is to work with a company formation expert who can align your needs with the free zone packages on offer.

As part of this process, you’ll need to outline your business activities. This will help determine the type of license you require. You must clearly define the type of business you undertake. Failure to list any activities that you subsequently carry out could lead to fines or license revocation.

Once you have found your perfect free zone and license package, you should work with your company setup expert to choose a suitable company name. Here in the UAE, there are several naming conventions that you must abide by. They include:

  • Only full names allowed, no abbreviations
  • Cannot include any potentially offensive or blasphemous words
  • Must be available to register

Applying for a free zone license in Dubai

The most vital step of the process is, of course, making your license application. Your company setup expert can manage this step for you. They will liaise with your chosen free zone and ensure all paperwork is present and correct.

Your free zone license package will usually also include the use of desks, coworking spaces and business facilities. This often includes reception cover and access to meeting and conference rooms, as well as the use of telephones, broadband and the like.

Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), for example, offers a range of workspace packages at a scale and price to suit all budgets. These include:

Flexi desks: Company setup with workspace in any of our common areas.

Fixed desks: Company setup with your own fixed workstation in a shared area with lockable storage.

Private offices: Company setup with your own furnished or unfurnished office between 12-50 sqm.

Many free zone packages also include the cost of your visa application and those of your employees, should you have any.

Whatever package you choose, you will be asked to provide some basic documentation such as a passport copy and business plan.

Dubai free zone license and visa costs

The cost of company formation in Dubai free zones varies depending on the package you choose. The cost of a free zone license will also increase with the level of facilities you require, the size of your premises and your number of employees.

If you’re looking for the cheapest free zone license, rest assured that setting up in a free zone is often the most cost-effective method of company formation in Dubai.

Again, to use Dtec as an example, you can take on its flexi-desk package, which includes a service license, the use of a workspace in a common area and eligibility for two visas, from just AED 18,000 per year.

Dtec also offers a license with fixed desks and eligibility for three visas for AED 24,200 per year, plus furnished private offices, inclusive of two visas per desk, for AED 47,820 per year.

Starting a business in a Dubai free zone

If you’re looking to start a free zone business in the UAE, there’s no better base than Dtec.

Apply with us and we’ll handle every step of the process for you – helping to outline activities, registering your company name, applying for your license and visas, and supporting you once you’re up and running.

For technology startups and entrepreneurs looking for flexible coworking or office space in Dubai, Dtec offers a nurturing, supportive community from which to set up your new business.

Dtec is more than just a place to work. It’s a creative coworking space in which to set up a new business in Dubai, collaborate, network and realise your business ideas. Our affordable business setup packages offer a unique location to start your entrepreneurial journey in one of the most innovative places in the world.

Our flexible plans offer hot desk coworking, fixed desk and private office workspaces, accommodating both the individual entrepreneur and more established startups. What’s more, all of our plans are priced annually. So, once we’ve helped you set up your new business in Dubai within the Dubai free zone of DSO, you’re free to think about the more important aspects of running your business and executing your business ideas.

Our 10,000 sqm facility is home to an integrated ecosystem for hundreds of startups, SMEs and technology entrepreneurs from around the world.

Got a great idea you want to see realised? Everything you need can be found in Dtec. Our coworking space encourages collaboration, our accelerator programs and funding arm give a young business setup in the UAE a head start, and our networking events ensure you get your name out there and stay on top of industry trends. We take care of everything, leaving you to take care of your business.