Business Setup in Dubai Free Zone

Business Setup in Dubai Free Zone

For Maximum Profit, Set Up Your Business In The Dubai Free Zone.

A free zone is a geographical area with its own set of laws that do not apply outside the zone. It is often referred to as a free trade zone or a free zone authority. The Free Zone Authority is responsible for handling the registration procedures and granting business licences to non-resident corporations or corporations with foreign ownership in Dubai’s free zones.

Those companies that register with Dubai free zones get several benefits, such as tax exemption and attractive financial schemes. Free zones also bring a wealth of networking, teamwork, and, most importantly, economic growth opportunities.

Why Choose Dubai Free Zone License?

Choosing a Dubai free zone license offers several advantages for entrepreneurs and businesses:

100% Foreign Ownership

Many Dubai free zones allow for 100% foreign ownership, providing full control and autonomy over the business without the need for a local sponsor or partner.

Tax Benefits

Free zones offer various tax incentives, including zero corporate and personal income taxes, import and export duties exemptions, and no restrictions on currency repatriation.

Easy Setup Process

Free zones typically have streamlined and efficient company formation processes, with minimal paperwork and bureaucracy. This makes it easier and faster to set up a business compared to mainland registration.

World-Class Infrastructure

Free zones in Dubai boast state-of-the-art infrastructure, modern office spaces, warehouses, and facilities tailored to specific industries. This creates an ideal environment for business operations.

Strategic Location

Dubai’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa provides easy access to global markets. Additionally, the city’s world-class transportation and logistics infrastructure facilitate international trade and connectivity.

Business Support Services

Free zones offer a range of business support services, including administrative assistance, visa processing, legal and accounting services, networking opportunities, and access to financing.

Flexibility in Business Activities

Free zones allow businesses to engage in a wide range of activities, including trading, manufacturing, services, media, technology, and more. This flexibility enables entrepreneurs to pursue their specific business interests.

Visa and Immigration Benefits

Free zone companies can obtain residency visas for owners, employees, and their families, facilitating talent acquisition and retention. The number of visas available depends on the size of the office space leased.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Free zones often offer enhanced privacy and confidentiality protections, with strict regulations governing data protection and information disclosure.

Networking and Collaboration

Free zones bring together companies from diverse industries and sectors, fostering a dynamic business ecosystem conducive to networking, collaboration, and partnerships.

Overall, choosing a Dubai free zone license provides businesses with a competitive advantage, enabling them to benefit from a favorable regulatory environment, tax incentives, world-class infrastructure, and access to global markets.

Dubai Free Zone License Activity List

Dubai offers a wide range of free zones, each with its own set of permissible activities. While the specific activities allowed can vary depending on the free zone, below is a general list of common business activities that are often permitted in Dubai free zones:

Trading Activities

  • Import and export of goods
  • Wholesale and retail trading
  • Distribution of products

Consulting and Professional Services

  • Management consulting
  • IT consulting
  • Legal and accounting services
  • Engineering services
  • Advertising and marketing services
  • Healthcare and medical services
  • Educational and training services
  • Human resources and recruitment services
Media and Creative Industries
  • Publishing and printing
  • Film and video production
  • Advertising and media agencies
  • Graphic design and animation
  • Music and entertainment production

Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunications

  • Software development
  • IT consultancy
  • Telecommunications services
  • Hardware and networking solutions
  • Data centers and cloud services
Logistics and Warehousing
  • Freight forwarding and logistics services
  • Warehousing and storage
  • Packaging and distribution

Manufacturing and Industrial Activities

  • Light manufacturing
  • Assembly and fabrication
  • Food processing
  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices
Real Estate and Construction
  • Property development
  • Real estate brokerage
  • Architecture and engineering consultancy
  • Construction contracting

E-commerce and Online Business

  • Online retailing
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Digital marketing and advertising
  • Web development and design
Education and Training
  • Educational institutions
  • Vocational training centers
  • E-learning platforms

Healthcare and Wellness

  • Medical clinics and hospitals
  • Dental clinics
  • Wellness centers and spas

Types Of Business licences in the Dubai Free Zone

Obtaining a business licence in the Dubai Free Zone is necessary to run your business officially. Several options are available, which are as follows:

Commercial Licence
This licence allows businesses to trade goods and services freely in the free zone. Such activities include postal, retail, medical, real estate consulting, etc.

Professional Licence
This licence allows the provision of professional services to individuals or corporations freely in the free zone. Such activities as business, legal, accounting, etc.

Industrial Licence
This licence allows businesses to perform industrial activities. Such activities as manufacturing, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, etc.

E-Commerce Licence
This licence allows businesses to operate activities electronically in the free zone. Such activities as portals, licences, virtual companies, E-trade activities, etc.

General Trading Licence
This licence allows businesses to run smoothly in the free zone by carrying out activities such as retail and wholesale sales of goods and services.

Freelance Permit

Some free zones offer freelance permits or licenses for individuals working as independent professionals, such as consultants, designers, writers, and photographers. This allows them to operate as sole proprietors without the need for a physical office space.

Media License

Free zones with a focus on media and creative industries may offer media licenses for companies involved in publishing, broadcasting, advertising, film production, and other media-related activities.

Education License

Some free zones cater to the education sector and offer licenses for educational institutions, training centers, e-learning platforms, and other educational services.

Offshore License

While not strictly a free zone license, some jurisdictions within the UAE offer offshore company formation with a license to conduct international business activities. Offshore companies are typically used for asset protection, tax planning, and holding intellectual property.

These are just a few examples of the types of free zone licenses available in Dubai and the UAE. Each free zone may have its own specific categories and requirements, so it’s important to research and choose the one that best suits your business needs. Additionally, working with a reputable business setup consultant can help navigate the licensing process and ensure compliance with all regulations.

Dubai Free Zone License Cost

cost of Dubai mainland license with 1 visa is AED 20,000/-

Dubai Free Zone License Documents Required

The documents required for obtaining a business license in a Dubai free zone can vary slightly depending on the specific free zone authority you are dealing with. However, typically, the following documents are commonly required:

Application Form

This is usually provided by the free zone authority and needs to be completed with accurate information about your proposed business.

Business Plan

A detailed business plan outlining your company’s objectives, target market, products or services, marketing strategies, and financial projections.

Passport Copies

Passport copies of shareholders, directors, and legal representatives. Some free zones may also require passport copies of employees and dependents.

No Objection Certificate (NOC)

If applicable, a No Objection Certificate from the current sponsor of individuals transferring their sponsorship to the new company.

Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA)

These documents outline the structure and internal regulations of the company. Some free zones may require specific formats or templates for these documents.

Lease Agreement

A lease agreement or tenancy contract for the office space within the free zone.

Bank Reference Letter

A reference letter from the company’s bank confirming the financial standing and creditworthiness of the shareholders or company.

Corporate Documents

Depending on the legal structure of the company (e.g., LLC, FZE, FZCO), corporate documents such as board resolutions, shareholder resolutions, and incorporation certificates may be required.

Power of Attorney

If someone is representing the company during the setup process, a power of attorney authorizing them to act on behalf of the company.

Educational Qualifications

For certain professional activities, educational qualification certificates of the shareholders, directors, or employees may be required.

It’s important to check the specific requirements of the free zone you are interested in, as they may have additional requirements or variations in the documentation process. Working with a reputable business setup consultant can also help streamline the process and ensure compliance with all necessary documentation.

Dubai Free Zone License Processing Time

The processing time for obtaining a business license in a Dubai free zone can vary depending on several factors, including the specific free zone authority you choose, the type of business activity, and the completeness of your application. However, the typical processing time ranges from a few days to several weeks. Here are some factors that can affect the processing time:


Type of License

The processing time may vary depending on the type of business license you are applying for. For example, some free zones offer specific licenses for trading, manufacturing, consulting, or e-commerce, and the requirements and processing times may differ.

Completeness of Documentation

Submitting all required documents accurately and completely can expedite the processing time. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation may result in delays as the free zone authority may need to request additional information.

Security Clearance

Certain business activities or nationalities may require security clearance from relevant authorities, which can add to the processing time.

Approval Process

Each free zone authority has its own approval process, which may involve reviewing your business plan, conducting background checks, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Additional Services

If you require additional services such as obtaining visas for employees or setting up corporate bank accounts, the processing time may be longer as these processes may require coordination with external agencies.

Peak Season

During peak periods, such as the end of the year or the beginning of the new year, processing times may be longer due to higher demand for business setup services.

It’s essential to check with the specific free zone authority you are interested in to get accurate information about their processing times and any additional requirements or procedures. Additionally, working with a reputable business setup consultant can help expedite the process and ensure compliance with all necessary regulations.

List Of Free Zones In Dubai For Company Setup

Here is the list of free zones in Dubai for company formation. Choose your place as per your needs.
  • Dubai Logistics City and Dubai South Free Zone
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
  • Design District and Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
  • Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech)
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Textile City Free Zone
  • Dubai Science Park Free Zone
  • Dubai Techno Park Free Zone
  • International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) and Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA)
  • Dubai Industrial City (DIC) and Dubai International Academic City
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) and Dubai Outsource Zone

Various Advantages Of Business Startup In Dubai Free Zone:

  • Tax benefits exist in free-zone areas. They are free of personal, corporate, and income taxes.
  • Processes for hiring employees that are hassle-free.
  • Many well-equipped communication options.
  • Companies in free zones are excellent for foreign investors looking for 100% foreign ownership.
  • There are no limitations on foreign exchange in free-zone countries.
  • Entities located in a free zone are exempt from export and import taxes.

Documents Mandatory For Business Setup in the Dubai Free Zone

The following are Documents required for company formation in the Dubai Free Zone:
  • A copy of the visa and passport of the shareholders and the owner.
  • The filled-out application form
  • Detailed PDF on a business plan
  • Board resolution authority
  • Article and memorandum of association
  • The Emirates ID and Address proof of the shareholders
  • The detailed shareholders’ information and contact details

How May A Business be set up in Dubai?

After considering in which area of the free zone you wish to operate a business, start considering the following steps for a business set up in Dubai:

Choose The Business Activity


Choosing the business activity is the crucial step on which the entire empire depends. There are several options available on the DED-approved list. Entrepreneurs can invest in a Free Zone Establishment and a Free Zone Company (FZC), with the primary distinction between them being the number of shareholders. Both fall under the umbrella of the Limited Liability Company (LLC) classification and are controlled by free zone legislation rather than the UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL).

Choose The Name Of The Company


The next step, after considering the business structure, is the trade name. Choose a unique yet simple name, as it will represent your brand and identity.


Make sure the name you pick shouldn’t be matched with registered names and also aligns with the DED guidelines. The trade name shouldn’t be offensive to any religion, caste, or violation of public morals. The legal form of the entity (LLC, FZE, or FZC) may be added as part of some name standards.

Registration Of A Business Licence


For setting up a business in Dubai, Obtain a business licence to run a business officially without any legal intervention in the UAE. This procedure is crucial since it establishes the main sources of income for your business.


The type of trade licence you require will directly depend on the goods or services you want to sell. There is a chance of getting a licence for up to 10 years in the free zone of Dubai.

Registration Of A Business


In Dubai, starting a business is an easy process. Submit your application together with the required trade licence, documentation, and paperwork when setting up a business in a free zone. The registration and licencing fees must then be paid.


Once all the documents are examined and approved by the concerned government authorities, you will get your business registered officially.

Open A Bank Account


Well, after completing the above points, you will need to open a corporate bank account to run smooth business transactions domestically or internationally. Make sure you have a business account that is exclusive to your activities in the free zone of Dubai and is distinct from a personal account.


It is not always simple to open a business bank account in the UAE, and there are several things to bear in mind, not the least of which is each bank’s qualifying requirements.

Searching For An Office Space


Selecting office space is a key component of arranging a company setup in Dubai. Free zones give business owners the freedom they need to meet their needs in terms of office space. Whether you prefer to rent or own a property, free zones provide a variety of office spaces.


These choices range in size and feature availability, letting you customise your office space to meet the unique requirements of your company.