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  • Writer's pictureEmily Jackson

How to set up a company in a UAE free zone




If you’re sold on the benefits of doing business in a free zone, there’s more good news – set up takes just five simple steps.


Step one: Choose your business activity. There are hundreds of business activities to choose from and it is possible to select multiple activities under one licence. Your business activities will help to determine both the cost of your licence application and the free zone that best suits your needs.


Step two: Finalise your company name. Deciding on a company name can be a challenge anywhere in the world, but here in the UAE – with its specific rules regarding naming conventions – this is a task you’ll want to tick off as early as possible. There are a few things to keep in mind here: offensive language is forbidden, company names cannot contain religious references, or references to any known organisations (anything from ‘FBI’ to ‘Mafia’). As there are a few other quirks to the UAE naming process, it’s best to work with a company formation specialist who can help you decide on a compliant name and check that it is available to register.


Step three: Finalise paperwork and submit your application. Setting up in a UAE free zone usually only requires a few standard documents: completed application form, shareholder passport copies and the like. Some free zones may also require you to provide a business plan. Again, it is a good idea to work with a company formation specialist at this stage who can ensure all is in place before making your application to avoid any unnecessary delays.

It is a good idea to work with a company formation specialist at this stage who can ensure all is in place before making your application to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Step four: Licence notification and opening bank account. You’ll be notified as soon as your licence application is approved so you can collect your corporate documents and get to work. With this paperwork in hand you can open your corporate bank account and start trading. Your chosen free zone can usually help you with finding a suitable bank, as can a company formation specialist. Alternatively, you’re welcome to approach any financial institution on your own.


Step five: Visa processing. The final step in the business setup process is immigration and visa processing. Free zone authorities or a company formation specialist can manage this process on your behalf – assisting with your application and liaising with relevant government departments.


And that’s all there is to it. All that’s required is a few hours of your time and some basic documentation and you could be trading from a UAE free zone – and reaping all the benefits that come with it – in just a couple of weeks.


Setting up your own business has never been easier. Fardan Al Fardan takes care of it all so you can focus on what matters – building your business. For more information about company formation in the UAE mainland or free zones, please call us on +971 4 226 0321, send an email to info.fardangroup@gmail.com

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