What Is a free zone in Dubai? IFZA answers

What Is a free zone in Dubai? IFZA answers

No one can deny that Dubai is an attractive global business destination, offering all the essentials to success, from investment-friendly environments to laws and regulations that pave companies’ way to prosperity.


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Free zones are among many factors that present Dubai as the business lighthouse in the region and the world. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive answer to the question: “what is a free zone in Dubai.” We will explore the advantages of setting up a business in Dubai’s free zones and explain the ABCs of registering a business with IFZA.

What Are Free Zones in the UAE?

The question “what is a free zone in Dubai” may give you the indication that free zones are only found in this specific emirate, but free zones can be found throughout the UAE. The thing is, Dubai’s popularity presents it as the prominent option for lucrative investment seekers.

So, let’s answer the more accurate question: what are free zones in the UAE? A free zone, a free trade zone, or a free zone authority is an economic area ruled by its own specific regulations that do not apply to businesses outside the zone. Free zone companies trade services and products, leveraging special tax and foreign ownership laws.

Establishing free trade zones was one of the initiatives the government took to diversify the economy and attract more foreign investors to Dubai and the UAE in general, allowing them to start a business within an evolving, entrepreneurial ecosystem and boost their profits.

The first free zone in the UAE is Jebel Ali Free Zone, founded in 1985. Today, there are more than 40 free zones located in different parts of the UAE.

What Are the Perks of Forming a Free Zone Company?

There is a reason why free zones are appealing to foreign investors, and that must be the many advantages a free zone company would offer.

Tax Exemptions

Reading our answer to “what is a free zone in Dubai?”, you have probably figured that the tax policy is one of the highlights of setting up a free zone company. For comprehensive guidance on setting up a business in Dubai, visit our complete guide to Dubai business setup. Free zones in the UAE adopt a low tax policy, meaning companies are exempted from most types of taxes, including value-added tax (VAT), corporate tax, and customs.

100% Repatriation

Foreign investors will also enjoy a 100% repatriation of capital and profits.

100% Ownership

When setting up a business in a free zone in Dubai, investors will enjoy 100% foreign ownership with no need for a local service agent.

Easy Process

Forming a company in the UAE’s free zone is known to be a cost-effective and hassle-free process. In fact, some free zone authorities offer an entirely remote free zone company setup procedure. You may set your company in motion within days.

Strategic Locations and Premium Infrastructure

Free zones in the UAE utilize vital locations with great accessibility and offer world-class facilities, such as office spaces and warehouses, that businesses need to thrive.

Easy Access to Regional and Global Markets

The UAE’s free zones allow companies to expand their reach and grow their business by granting them unrestricted trading opportunities with global and regional markets.

No Need for Offices

Those looking to benefit from the UAE’s competitive advantages but consider renting office spaces a barrier will be glad to know that free zone companies can be run virtually with no need for physical office space.

Company Registration with IFZA

Cost-effective, quick, and seamless. Those are the words investors use to describe the company registration process with IFZA.

We offer an entirely remote business incorporation process. Our team will discuss the specifications of your business with you to determine the type of license, visa package, and office space you need. We provide professional, commercial and branch licenses, in addition to many innovative office solutions.

To proceed with your company formation process, you need to submit the following documents:

  • License Application Form (including Ultimate Beneficial Ownership information)
  • Passport Copy
  • Digital Passport Photo
  • Emirates ID and Visa copy for UAE residents

Our team will take things from here and follow up with your application. Once the application is approved, we will ask you to sign two e-legal forms before we issue the incorporation documents. The IFZA team will send you a copy of your business license via email. You can pick up the original copy from our office at your convenience.

All done! You are now a partner with IFZA, Dubai’s leading free zone, where growth and success are the only possible outcomes.

NOTE: All content on this page along with the downloadable guides is created solely for educational purposes. The information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge, and it may not reflect any changes or developments that occur after the date of publication.

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