Until recently, the United Arab Emirates did not have an economic development plan, but due to its recent economic development, it has created various opportunities for local investors and foreign investors from throughout the Middle East. A free zone was established in the UAE, inviting millions of investors and job seekers to establish an economic environment that is developed, innovative, and beneficial for all. Dubai’s Free Zones have already attracted a number of investors. Emirates free zones offer various infrastructure and business support services. Currently, there are more than 40 Free Zones in the UAE.
Free Zones in the UAE offer many opportunities for businesses. Foreign investors may have difficulty deciding which free zone is best for their operation in Dubai. Making this decision may not be as easy as you think. Business-free zones can cause you regrets if you make ill-informed decisions. It is therefore important to choose the right Free zone.
Dubai’s Perfect Free Zone: How to Find It?
Launching a business in a free zone is an easy and seamless process. Taking certain factors into account and following specific steps will help you make better business-location decisions.
Describe the type of business activity you plan to engage in
The activities that are permissible within each Free Zone are specific to that Free Zone. Furthermore, there are differences in how many businesses can operate under the same business license in each Free Zone. A license will cost more if you select more activities. Some companies require two or more licenses. Choosing more than one activity from the same activity group with the same license type can work around this problem. This means no additional fees will apply to any activities you select.
Determine Your Workspace Needs
If you aren’t planning on growing or expanding your business anytime soon, co-working spaces offer Flexi-desks. Business licenses in Dubai require these facilities as a minimum. When meeting with clients and bringing on employees, office space is recommended. Retail and warehouse activities are allowed in free zones. It is possible that not all free zones offer the facilities you require. The operations of a company registered in a free zone are limited.
The number of Dubai Visas you need
A resident visa is required for each employee in the UAE. Visa quotas differ depending on the type of facility. Depending on which Free Zone you are in, a shared desk might provide more visas than another. As a general rule, the Northern Emirates qualifies one for a few visas while Dubai qualifies two or three. In addition to space requirements, visas are also restricted by quota: you are generally restricted to one visa quota for every nine to ten square meters of office space.
Select a location that is nearby airports and ports
Consider your business setup in light of the type of activities you will be conducted to determine how far the airport and port are from your location. You should come up with a transportation strategy when you open a business in Dubai. For businesses that trade, these costs are more important. Due to its developed infrastructure, the DMCC Free Zone is a prestigious location.
If you are in the logistics, trading, or manufacturing business, registering in the JAFZA Free Zone would be beneficial. Many warehouse facilities, brokerage firms, and logistics companies are located within the Jebel Ali port. You would have easy access to everything you require. Take these factors into account and make a wise decision.
Get in touch with local banks
Dubai free zones are well known for their reputation and whether they are beneficial for your business. Research the reputation of a location before deciding to open a business there. It may not always be possible to find reliable answers by asking your friends or surfing the web. A great idea would be to consult corporate experts and service providers. You can establish a business with the help of local banks.
Residents of Dubai must obtain a NOC
If you wish to open a business in one of the free zones, your current employer may need to issue you with a NOC. There are different requirements for different free zones, so it’s important to keep that in mind.
Plan Your Budget
Compile the necessary information on licensing agreements, registration, business cards, and rental agreements for the next several years of the business operation. If you desire employee and shareholder visas, you must estimate the visa fees as well. Although it may seem daunting and time-consuming, ensure you finish them all properly.
Requirements for Share Capital
Dubai requires a deposit towards the capital when establishing a new company. Your company can deposit it voluntarily or on behalf of the Dubai free zone authority. You will also have to provide proof of deposit to the free zone authority. Depending on what your business does, you may require to have a certain share capital.
Limitations on shareholder rights
In free zones, shareholders can only be of a limited number of nationalities. The Emirates also allows you to incorporate your company with shareholders from high-risk countries.
A report of your annual audit is required
Financial statements, such as audit reports, are required in some of the free zones in Dubai. You cannot miss it, even if it may not apply to every free zone. In the DMCC Free Zone, for example, the annual audit report is required to be submitted by customers at the end of the year, as per the MOA.