Dubai Free Zones

company formation dubai

Dubai is among the Middle East's most lucrative and welcoming locations for investors. It is the ideal investment location due to its proximity to and ease of access to Asia and other nations. In Dubai, there are a number of free zones that provide resources for companies to expand. Dubai has thus developed into a refuge for both emerging entrepreneurs and well-established corporations.

Opening a business in a free zone in Dubai has many benefits. One of the largest is complete tax exemption and ownership of the company in its entirety i.e. 100% ownership. For foreign firms and business owners that want to use the UAE for local manufacturing or as a distribution base, the tax exemption is the best choice.

For business owners, investing in these designated economic zones in Dubai offers a lucrative opportunity due to the 100 percent ownership and complete tax exemption.

A vibrant commercial district in the center of international trade with direct access to the busiest airport in the world, DAFZA provides the best entrance to the Middle East as well as unmatched connection to Europe, the Indian Subcontinent, and the Far East. More than 1,600 registered firms and 15,000 professionals are currently based in DAFZA, which offers a business-focused regulatory and tax environment that allows for 100% ownership, complete earnings repatriation, and a variety of top-notch services.

Types of licenses issued by DAFZA –

  • Trade license
  • Service license
  • Industrial license
  • General trading license
  • Dual license with DED *
  • Talent pass license for individuals who want to conduct their freelancing activities within the media, technology, or education industries.

**The dual license allows the DAFZA registered company to operate without the need of a physical office space in the mainland once the application is granted by the Department of Economic Development.

Types of legal status offered for companies in DAFZA –

  • Free Zone Company (FZCO) – allows 1 – 50 shareholders with a minimum share capital of AED 1.
  • Public Limited Company – Suitable for those companies that want to get listed on the stock exchange & offer its Initial Public Offering (IPO). There is no limit to the shareholding this company.
  • Branch office – The branch office of an existing company. Does not require any share capital.

Advantages of DAFZA registered company –

  • 100% foreign ownership.
  • 100% repatriation of capital & profits.
  • Tax benefits – No corporate tax, income tax & VAT exempt.
  • Strategically situated near the Dubai Airport.
  • Cargo & logistics facilities.
  • No currency restrictions.

The Dubai Government built the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) in 2002 to offer the physical, market, and financial infrastructure necessary to develop a centre for international commodities trade. It consists of more than 21,000 companies & is one of the biggest free zones in the world.

Types of licenses issued by DMCC –

  • Trading license
  • Industrial license
  • Service license

Types of different legal status for companies in DMCC –

  • Limited liability Company as a newly formed company.
  • Limited Liability Company - wholly owned subsidiary of a local or foreign company (Parent).
  • Branch of a local or foreign company.

Advantages of setting up a company in DMCC –

  • One of the best free zones in the world.
  • 100% foreign business ownership.
  • 100% repatriation of capital & profits.
  • No taxes & duties for 50 years.
  • Elementary accounting requirements.
  • World class infrastructure.
  • Growing business network.
  • Range of permitted business activities to choose from.

The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), which was founded in 2004 and is entirely owned by the Government of Dubai, offers an integrated community for both living and working. Companies working in the innovation park can take advantage of incentives and perks provided by Silicon Oasis, a free zone authority. The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority supports cutting-edge infrastructure, in-house business services, and advanced technology-based companies inside an urban master-planned neighborhood. In addition to being a large corporate and residential community, Dubai Silicon Oasis is a free zone. It is among the most alluring locations in the UAE to establish a business

Types of licenses issued by Dubai Silicon Oasis –

  • Trade license
  • Industrial license
  • Service license
  • Business operation permit
  • Entrepreneurial business license

Types of different legal status for companies in Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority–

  • FZCO – Free Zone Company incorporated with a minimum of 2 shareholders.
  • FZE – Free Zone Establishment registered under 1 shareholder.
  • Branch of a local or foreign company.

Advantages of registering a company in Dubai Silicon Oasis –

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Tax benefits – No corporate or income taxes
  • 100% repatriation of capital & profits
  • No import or export tax
  • Swift company formation
  • Advanced infrastructure
  • Low cost of operations
  • The DSOA offers a balanced, integrated community for both living and working

The diverse variety of activities that are welcomed in Dubai South include specialized commerce and logistics activities. Dubai South was previously also known as Dubai World Central. The main selling feature of the free zone is its advantageous location, which is directly connected to Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Port, making it the ideal hub for international trade, logistics, and travel.

Commercially speaking, it is intended to support every conceivable sort of business and industry and produce a wide range of job opportunities. A completely integrated ecosystem, Dubai South is appropriate for all business and investment portfolios. Customers find the ideal integrated urban network at Dubai South, enabling enterprises to operate profitably.

Types of licenses issued by Dubai South –

  • Logistics license
  • Commercial license
  • Trading license
  • Industrial license
  • Professional license
  • Educational license

** Logistics license is only issued by logistics district for logistics services.
** Educational license is used for social, training and educational services as well as educational consulting.

Types of different legal status for companies in Dubai South –

  • DWC – LLC
  • DWC Branch

Advantages of registering a company in Dubai South –

  • Easy business setup
  • 100 % foreign ownership
  • 100 % capital repatriation
  • Strategic location
  • Flexible leasing arrangements
  • Storage facilities
  • Direct access to Jebel Ali Port & Al Maktoum international airport
  • Tax free operations
  • No currency restrictions

The International Free zone Authority was established in Fujairah in August 2018; in August 2020, it relocated to Dubai. The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority now sponsors it (DSOA). Due to its enormous potential for economic growth and prospects, a variety of companies have trusted the International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) as a jurisdiction for company creation in the United Arab Emirates. International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) is also rising to prominence as a major investment destination. One of the most dependable and affordable free zones in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is IFZA. The Free Zone is renowned for providing packages that may be customized to meet the requirements of anyone looking for affordable prices to establish a Dubai free zone business.

Types of licenses issued by IFZA –

  • Professional license
  • Trading license
  • General trading license
  • Holding license
  • Consultancy license
  • Industrial license

Advantages of registering a company in IFZA –

  • Commercial, industrial & professional activities can be combined under one IFZA license.
  • Cost efficient & economical to setup business in IFZA.
  • Fast company incorporation.
  • Physical presence of business owners not required.
  • No paid – up share capital required.
  • Strategic location.
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100 % capital & profits repatriation.
  • No income or corporate tax.
  • Easy to apply for visas.
  • Variety of business activities to choose from.

DIFC is the only free zone in Dubai with an established judicial system based on English common law and a globally recognized, independent financial regulator is DIFC (as opposed to civil law and commercial in other free zones). More than 25,000 professionals operating across more than 2,700 active registered firms make up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region at the DIFC, which is home to the region’s largest and most complete financial ecosystem. A strong regulatory body, a common law system, and government assistance all contribute to the governance of DIFC. It provides the ideal setting for the growth of businesses providing financial and commercial services. The independent supervisor for corporate activities in the DIFC is the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). It includes a broad range of financial activities, including asset management, banking, credit services, trading in securities, investment funds, trading in commodities, and much more.

Types of licenses available for business setup in DIFC –

  • Regulated - For the companies that operate in the financing & business sector.
  • Non – regulated – For those companies that do not operate in the financing & business sectors such as cafes or restaurants.


Types of different legal status for companies in DIFC –

  • LLC – limited Liability Company
  • Company limited by shares
  • Branch offices of foreign companies
  • Partnership

Advantages of registering a company in DIFC –

  • 100 % foreign ownership.
  • 100 % of capital & profit repatriation.
  • Independent regulatory environment.
  • A law framework that is in line with the English Common Law.
  • 0 % tax on earnings & income.
  • A global stock exchange that offers debt and equity products for primary and secondary listing.
  • Advanced infrastructure.
  • Wide availability of skilled professionals.

How can we help to set up your company in Dubai free zones?

Although the process of forming a company in the Dubai Free Zone is relatively simple, there are still a lot of legal requirements and choices to be made & that is where we shall offer our clients the best counselling & consultation for business setup in the right place as per their needs.

 For companies of all sizes, including SMEs, startups & business owners Oxford Auditing offers the best business setup services in Dubai. The technicalities of UAE immigration and labor legislation are also well-known to our highly skilled company formation consultants. With Oxford Auditing's help procedures like applying for a license, getting a visa & renewing a license etc. would be made simpler.