Set up a new business in the Dubai free zone

An offshore company registered in the Dubai free zone represents a great tax-efficient and cost-effective platform for businesses that are conducting international transactions.


GBO is an official Dubai company formation agent that will take care of company formation, opening bank accounts, taxation and everything that you need to run your offshore business.


An offshore company established in Dubai should be a wholly-owned LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), making it fully tax-exempt and with minimal annual reporting and accounting obligations. It can be thought of as a company in the cloud that allows foreigners to offer goods and services all around the world without the heavy administration and financial obligations that attach to companies in other jurisdictions.

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    Setting up a business in a free zone in Dubai

    Setting up a business in a free zone in Dubai can be a cost-effective and streamlined way to establish a presence in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Free zones are designated areas in Dubai that offer a range of benefits to businesses, including tax-free operations, 100% foreign ownership, and easy access to business licenses. Here are the steps involved in setting up a business in a free zone in Dubai:

    1. Choose a free zone: There are several free zones in Dubai, each with its own set of rules and regulations. Choose a free zone that aligns with your business activity and meets your needs.
    2. Determine the type of license you need: Free zones typically offer a range of license types, including trading, service, and industrial licenses. Determine which license type is appropriate for your business.
    3. Choose a business activity: Determine the specific business activity you will be engaging in, as this will impact the type of license you need and the requirements you must meet.
    4. Submit an application: Submit an application for a license to the free zone authority, along with any required documents and fees.
    5. Set up a company: Once your application has been approved, you will need to set up a company by choosing a business structure, registering your company with the relevant authorities, and obtaining any necessary permits and approvals.
    6. Rent office space: Most free zones require businesses to rent office space within the free zone. This can be a shared office or a private office, depending on your needs.
    7. Obtain visas and insurance: If you plan to hire employees, you will need to obtain work visas and insurance coverage for them.


    Overall, setting up a business in a free zone in Dubai can be a straightforward process with a range of benefits. It is a good idea to research the different free zones and their specific requirements to find the one that is the best fit for your business.

    Setting up a new business in Dubai

    Setting up a new business in Dubai can be an easy process, with a number of steps that must be followed to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.


    Some of the key steps involved in setting up a new business in Dubai include:

    1. Choose a business activity: The first step is to determine the type of business you want to set up, as different activities are governed by different regulations.
    2. Choose a business location: You will need to decide where you want to locate your business, which can impact the type of license you need and the requirements you must meet.
    3. Obtain a license: Depending on the type of business you are setting up, you will need to obtain a license from the relevant government agency. This may involve submitting a business plan, paying fees, and meeting other requirements.
    4. Set up a company: Once you have obtained a license, you will need to set up a company, which involves choosing a business structure, registering your company with the relevant authorities, and obtaining any necessary permits and approvals.
    5. Hire staff: If you plan to hire employees, you will need to comply with local labor laws, including obtaining work visas and insurance coverage.
    6. Comply with local laws: It is important to familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations that apply to your business, including tax laws, health and safety regulations, and environmental laws.


    Overall, setting up a new business in Dubai requires careful planning and attention to detail to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. It may be helpful to seek the assistance of a business setup consultant to guide you through the process.


    What are the choices for Dubai Free Zone companies?

    The two primary categories that allow a new investor to set up a company that Dubai offers investors multiple free zones, in which foreign investors can set up their fully-owned companies, are:

    • Offshore
    • Dedicated

    These zones are specialized to offer an efficient infrastructure, along with specific services that smooth the workflow for particular lines of business activity, saving time and effort and boosting profitability.


    The primary benefits of Dubai Free Zones companies for foreign investors are:

    • 100% foreign ownership is permitted
    • Full repatriation of capital and profits is permitted
    • It’s fast and easy to set up a company, with simple procedures
    • Dubai boasts extensively developed business communities
    • Many options suit multiple business models
    • Set-up comes at a reasonable and competitive cost
    • Total exemption from corporate tax and customs duties
    • Dubai has its own independent body of laws and regulations
    • As a member of the broader UAE country, Dubai can deliver access to the global market
    • Dubai can boast a completely modern and sophisticated infrastructure, including internet facilities and support.


    Dubai Offshore Corporations setup
    By definition, a Dubai Free Zone offshore company can support activities such as international trade, can act as a holding company for companies in other jurisdictions and countries, can own real estate in other countries and can offer international consulting services.


    Why select Dubai ahead of other UAE offshore options?
    Dubai is globally-recognized as a jurisdiction that doesn’t carry with it a reputation as a haven for tax avoidance. Instead, a properly structured offshore business setup in a Dubai Free Zone is legally exempt from corporate tax.
    Compared to other options in the UAE, a Dubai offshore company can be set up quickly and simply.

    1. Directors, shareholders and UBOs (ultimate beneficial owners) of the company are not required to register their personal information in the public record.
    2. A registered offshore company in a Dubai Free Zone does not have to lodge annual accounting records, and can pay dividends to shareholders without obligations of withholding or profit tax.
    3. Compared to the other UAE free zones, setting up a Dubai offshore company is cheaper, and getting a Dubai corporate bank account in a local Dubai bank is straightforward.
    4. Dubai permits company documents to be bilingual in both English and Arabic, making it simpler for negotiations with banks, suppliers and investors.
      Investors do not have to have a physical presence in Dubai but can instead register their company in a virtual location, which is not the case for businesses in the other members of the UAE.


    Our team of offshore company formation specialists here at GBO can assist you in all the necessary steps to create the cheapest business setup in a Dubai free zone, including processing applications for investors’ and employees’ visas and negotiations for the opening of corporate bank accounts with banks .



    Is Dubai a special economic zone?
    Free-trade zones in Dubai are deliver customs duty and tax concession benefits to foreign investors. There are around forty Free Zones operating in Dubai.


    What are the established Free Zones in Dubai?
    The top business setup companies in Dubai can make their choice of a free zone that specializes in the area of business that is their focus.


    There are 40 such specialized zones, which are:

    • Free Zone Category
    • Dubai Design District Creative Design
    • Dubai Healthcare City Healthcare
    • Dubai International Academic City Academic
    • Dubai International Financial Centre Financial Hub
    • Dubai Internet City Technology
    • Dubai Maritime City Maritime Services
    • Dubai Media City Media
    • Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Commodity Trade
    • Dubai Outsource City eCommerce and Support Services
    • Dubai Production City Media
    • Dubai Science Park Scientific Research
    • Dubai Silicon Oasis Technology & Mixed-use
    • Dubai South Artificial Intelligence and Futuristic Activities
    • Dubai Studio City Media
    • Dubai World Trade Centre Events and Conferences
    • International Humanitarian City Humanitarian Hub
    • Meydan Free Zone Mixed-use


    Which Dubai free zone is best?
    The choice of what is the best business setup company in a Dubai free zone depends primarily on making a match with your own area of interest. With the help if the GBO experts in setting up Dubai Free Zone companies, it will be a simpler choice than if you try to select from the very wide and diverse list.


    What is the benefit of establishing a company in a Dubai free zone?
    Total foreign ownership, total repatriation of dividends, complete import and export tax-free, total exemption from corporate as well as personal income taxes.

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