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How to start a business in Dubai Free Zone as a foreigner

Updated time: 09 Dec, 2021, 15:30 (UTC+08:00)

Dubai is a city and an emirate in the UAE, known for its ultramodern architecture, vibrant business community, free trade zones and high life standards. Dubai is a home for international startups thanks to the number of investors starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner is increasing year by year.

You may be wondering how to start a business in Dubai free zone and what are free trade zone benefits for a foreign company? Please rest assured, we will provide you with such information in this article.

Starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner is top choice nowadays

Starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner is top choice nowadays

What is a free zone company in the UAE?

Free zones, a.k.a free trade zones, are special economic areas where goods and services can be imported, traded, manufactured, stored, etc. under specific customs regulation and usually at preferential tax rates. In the UAE, there are 45 free zones across the country, operating with the aim of boosting international trade in the region.

Companies incorporated inside these areas in the UAE are called free zone companies. Those companies are offered free trade zone benefits from the Government. Several remarkable advantages include:

  • A vibrant and diverse economic community with many unexplored business opportunities for international investors;
  • 100% foreign owned tree trade zone company;
  • Fairly easy incorporation process in UAE’s free zones;
  • World-class infrastructure, convenient locations - near sea/air ports;
  • Strong banking system, stable politics;
  • Favorable tax rates for businesses operating inside free zones;
  • Strategic location, as the UAE is the gateway connecting to the Middle East and Africa markets.

Besides the above free trade zone benefits, Dubai is also a famous emirate for its ultramodern architecture, luxury shopping, and a lively nightlife scene. That is why Dubai free zone, particularly DMCC, is one of the most well-known free zones in the UAE for offshore companies.

How to start a business in Dubai free zone as a foreigner?

Dubai free zone is a welcoming destination for foreign business owners and entrepreneurs. That is why this emirate is home to many reputed corporate service providers like One IBC, guiding foreign businesses through the complex visa/license registration, and business formation processes.

Over the years, starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner has become more and more popular. The Dubai free zone has evolved to offer its ever-increasing advantages to overseas companies incorporated there.

How to start a business in Dubai free zone as a foreigner?

International investors attracted to UAE thanks to free trade zones benefits

As an international investor starting out in the UAE, you should first learn about local business practices and regulations. At that phase, it is recommended to get advice from an expert in this field. This is when One IBC’s services come in handy - we will help you gain an early understanding of local customs, then guide you through all those rules and procedures.

Overall, there are 03 main things that you must take into consideration when starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner:

1. Name your new venture: One of the first things to know about how to start a business in Dubai free zone is to name your new venture. Your chosen name:

  • Must not violate the public morals/order of the country.
  • Must include the legal structure of the company (for example LLC, FZE, etc.).
  • Must be valid and not yet registered beforehand.
  • Must be in line with the required type of activity and legal status.
  • In case you wish to name your company after your name, it should be your full name, not just surname or initials.

2. Documents required to start a business in Dubai: Main required documents when starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner include:

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of your passport
  • Proof of residential address in country of residence (e.g. a utility bill or bank statement)
  • 3rd-party approvals for certain regulated business activities (e.g. license, permit)
  • Copy of parent company documents (Required if setting up a subsidiary).

3. Minimum investment to start a business in Dubai free zone: The minimum investment to start a business in Dubai free zone varies from AED 1,000 to AED 1,000,000 depending on the business activities and licences. In general, the average startup cost for a free zone company in Dubai is set at AED 50,000 - AED 70,000.

Even though the incorporation process is not too complicated, starting a business in Dubai as a foreigner does require some local, expert knowledge. Therefore, you should choose a company formation agent who can offer you advice and support along the way, guiding you through each step as well as aligning your company with local customs and regulations.

It is essential to gain a deeper understanding on how to start a business in Dubai free zone

It is essential to gain a deeper understanding on how to start a business in Dubai free zone

When you set up a company in Dubai free zone with One IBC, all you need is to provide us with some basic information about you and the nature of your business. Then, you can relax and let us handle the rest. We will report back once your company is ready to start doing business in the UAE. It is just that simple.

For more information about free trade zone benefits and how to start a business in Dubai free zone as a foreigner, please visit our website or contact us via Hotline/email.

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