The largest of all the seven emirates in the UAE occupying over 80% of the country’s land area, Abu Dhabi boasts a number of free zones that provide a great environment for the business startup to both locals and expatriates. These free zones are part of the capital’s initiative for economic diversification to bolster the local economy and foster overseas investment. If you are setting your sights in any of the Abu Dhabi free zones for your enterprise, there are essential things you need to be aware of.
1. What are the Free Zones in Abu Dhabi?
The following are the free zones that you can select from for your business setup in Abu Dhabi.
- Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD)
- Masdar City Free Zone
- Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp)
- Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi Global Markets Free Zone (ADGMFZ)
- Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) Free Zone
- Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)
2. Reasons to Opt for Abu Dhabi Free Zone When Setting Up Your Business
- The great thing about the business set up in Abu Dhabi Free Zone is that it offers several benefits. These include the following:
- Full foreign ownership
- Tax exemption on corporate or personal income
- Full repatriation of capital and profits
- Exemption from both export and import customs duty for services and goods
- A business-friendly environment with the streamlined procedure of company incorporation
- quick immigration process
- Business-friendly company regulations and legal framework
- Pre-built state-of-the-art infrastructure
3. Ways to Register Your Business in Abu Dhabi Free Zone
After choosing an Abu Dhabi free zone to set up your business in, the next thing you need to think about is your preferred type of legal entity. Here they are:
- Branch of an Overseas Company – With the exclusion of overseas companies licensed to operate from a free zone in the UAE, an overseas firm may still conduct its activities in the country or set up a branch or office after the issuance of a license by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.
- Free Zone Limited Liability Company – This is an independent legal entity with corporate shareholder/s, individual shareholder/s, or a combination of both. In addition, the minimum capital requirement is determined by the type of business activity.
- Freelance License – If you are a freelancer, you will be granted with a freelance permit which recognizes you as a single practitioner and enables you to do business in your birth name.
- UAE Company Branch – A firm that is established in the UAE can also inaugurate a branch in offshore, mainland, or free zones.
4. Requirements in Establishing a Business in Abu Dhabi Free Zone
- Company Application Form
- Shareholders’ passport size pictures with white background
- Shareholders’ passport copies
- 2 to 3 suggested names for the business
- Specifications of the company activity
- Number of visas needed
- 2 proofs of address which are dated within 3 months
- CV for freelance license
- Professional or bank reference letter
Planning to take your earning potential to the next level this 2019? Venture into a business setup in Abu Dhabi to experience the wonderful benefits it has in store for you!