Starting a Business in a Free Zone

Starting a business in a free zone is beneficial for so many reasons. Indian entrepreneurs and investors enjoy complete business ownership, cost-effective company incorporation, tax-free reforms, and a lot more when they set up a free zone company in the UAE.

Furthermore, there’s an added advantage of launching your business in a free zone. It’s the specialized business environment that you get in accordance with your company’s nature. Moreover, the registration process is straightforward, and the business experts at the Shuraa Business Setup assist you with the same at highly competitive prices.

What are the Key Steps to Set Up a Company in a Free Zone?

Company formation in a free zone authority is a regulated process governed by the concerned free zone jurisdiction. Here are the key steps to set up a business in a free zone:

1. Determine the Type of Legal Entity

Two of the most common legal entities in free zones include:

  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC) or Free Zone Company (FZ Co.)
  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

However, it’s critical to note that both these legal forms aren’t available in all the free zones. Therefore, you should always consult with the desired free zone authority before registering your company. The best part is that you can also open branch offices in the free zones. Furthermore, the capital requirement also varies from one free zone to another.

2. Choose a Trade Name

All free zone companies in the UAE must have a registered trading name. Moreover, the name shouldn’t be a gimmick of any other renowned or existing brand. 

Here are a few considerations before finalizing the trading name of your free zone company:

  • Should always adhere to the public morals or the public order of the country.
  • must be followed by the legal structure of the organization, for example (FZ-LLC, FZE, DMCC, etc.)
  • Is unique and not reserved previously.
  • Should be compatible with the desired business activities and legal framework.
  • Should be free of words that hint towards any religion, or administrative authority, nor names or emblems of any external bodies.

3. Apply for a Business License

The next step in starting a business in a free zone is applying for the required free zone trading license. The business consultants at the Shuraa Business Setup help you apply for a business license after analyzing your business activities. Moreover, it’s a critical step as an incorrect license can lead to operational inadequacy.

There are more than 2,000 permissible business activities that you can carry out in the free zones. In addition, some of these include:

  • Advertising and animation
  • Film production and printing
  • Graphic designing
  • Music production and recording
  • Marketing Communications
  • Consultancy and trading
  • Manufacturing
  • E-commerce

Therefore, you can get in touch with the designated free zone authority to know more about the permissible business activities pertaining to that free zone.

In addition, note that you must renew your free zone business license time and again. An invalid trading license can result in suspension, termination, penalties, or even blacklisting of your free zone firm.

4. Choose an Office Space

Businesses must have office space in the UAE-free zones. You can either rent an office space or work on a virtual address depending on activities and Free Zones.

The size of the office also depends on your business activities alongside the participating members in your business. Therefore, you can start with a cost-effective mini space and upgrade to larger spaces as your business observes growth.

Furthermore, you can also acquire a virtual office space by signing a sustainability agreement with the legal advisors at the Shuraa Business Setup branch. It’s a modern-day solution that empowers you to launch your company remotely in the free zone of your choice.

5. Get Pre-Approvals, Register Your Business and Get Your License

You need to follow the steps mentioned below to register your firm in the desired free zone and secure visas for yourself and your family members:

A. Initial Approval

The initial approval certificate is mandatory to acquire a free zone business license. Moreover, you can apply for initial approval to the concerned jurisdiction by submitting the documents mentioned below:

  • Application form
  • Comprehensive business plan
  • Registry Identity Code Form

B. Registration

The next step is to pay the free zone business registration fee. It’s an obligatory fee that all Indian investors and other expatriates must pay to start a business in a free zone. Therefore, ensure that you submit the following:

  • Registration application form
  • Power of Attorney given to the Director (notarized & attested)
  • Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Articles of Association (AoA) ((notarized & attested)
  • Information regarding shared capital

C. Licensing and Visa Process

You can finally obtain your business license after you’ve completed everything discussed above. In addition, you can then apply for visas. Moreover, note that visas can be secured for yourself, your family members, and domestic help too.

The legal consultants at the Shuraa Business Setup provide end-to-end visa assistance from filing the application to obtaining the desired visa permits. Therefore, simply get in touch with us, and we’ll handle the rest.

Documents Required for Starting a Business in a Free Zone

Here’s a curated list of documents that you need to submit to the free zone authority for establishing your company in the desired free zone:

  • List of trade names (3 to 4)
  • List of business activities
  • Passport copy of the shareholders
  • Entry stamp or visa page
  • Passport size photograph as per the protocols (size, background color, etc.)

Which free zone is suitable for Indian Companies in Dubai?

With its stable political leadership, diverse economy, robust capital flow, welcoming tax environment, and open trade policies, the UAE has quickly become a well-regulated and extremely secure global economic powerhouse.

The IFZA, a world-class facility in the center of Dubai, is soon going to emerge into a significant investment destination for the United Arab Emirates’ expanding economy. providing highly personalized approaches, cost-effective solutions, and efficient worldwide service standards. With IFZA, the focus is on their journey toward client and commercial success.

Launch Your Business in a Free Zone!

Free zone companies enjoy lenient business laws and cost-effective business solutions. Moreover, the best part is that resource availability is never an issue when you form a free zone company. Therefore, you’re headed in the right direction for starting a business in a free zone.

All you need to do now is collaborate with the free zone company formation experts at the Shuraa . We help you apply for the desired business license, obtain external approvals, and also take care of translation requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the ownership status of free zone companies in the UAE?

Owners of free zone companies can enjoy complete operational and legal ownership of their businesses in the UAE. In addition, a local service agent (LSA) would help you in setting up your company. However, he/she won’t have any shareholding in your enterprise.

Which businesses are suitable to set up in free zones?

Several industry-specific free zones cater to your specific business needs. Moreover, general free zones welcome businesses belonging to finance, education, media, trading, hospitality, and a lot more.