Setting up a business in Dubai

September 21, 2016 | By Yasir Saeed

Setting up a business in Dubai

settingup

Setting up a business in Dubai, has become increasingly easier over the years.

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index for 2016 ranks the UAE at 31 among 189 countries, and tops the list in the Middle East and North Africa region. For the UAE, the report looks at data gathered from Dubai, and therefore this ranking holds true for Dubai as well.

Setting up a Limited Liability Company in Dubai

There are many options for anyone looking at starting a business in Dubai. Opening a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in mainland Dubai, requires partnering with a UAE citizen, who will legally own 51% of the business.

If, however, want 100 percent ownership of the business you set up in Dubai, Free Zones are the way to go.

Establishing a business in Dubai Free Zones

There are 45 free zones across the UAE of which more than 20 are in Dubai alone, with each catering to a specific business category. Pioneer among Free Zones in the UAE, in fact in the entire Middle East region is Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza). Launched in 1985 through a Ruler’s Decree, the Jebel Ali Free Zone was a completely new concept for the region, and has since been a benchmark for the regulations and incentives offered by free zones both within the UAE, and across the Middle East and North Africa region. As a result, today, more than 7,000 companies, including a fifth of the Global Fortune 500 companies have their regional hubs and base of operations in Jafza.

With 100 percent foreign ownership and a zero percent corporate tax for 50 years (renewable concession), Jafza has set the standard for incentives which also include no restriction on repatriation of capital, no restrictions on employment, 0% import and re-export duties, 0% personal income tax, zero currency restrictions, and no restrictions on hiring foreign employees.

In addition to the advantages listed above, Jafza’s close proximity to Jebel Ali Port and  Al Maktoum International Airport makes it the ideal place for setting up a business in Dubai. True to the innovative and business nature of Dubai, the entire area enclosing the seaport, free zone and airport is a single custom bonded area, creating a highly efficient logistics corridor that is unmatched anywhere in the world.

The documentation required for setting up a company varies slightly from free zone to free zone, but the process is fairly simple and can be completed in a minimal amount of steps. At Jafza, for example, its as easy as submitting your application, selecting your product, registering and paying the fees, and receiving your license and selected product.

There are a number of formation types and licence types to choose from  depending on the type of business the company is intending to engage in. Each of these options are designed to offer the best possible set of tools to set up and operate a business with ease. More details can be found in the Jafza Rules and Regulations 2016 PDF document.

One Stop Services

Another pioneering concept introduced by Jafza is the ‘One-Stop Shop’ solution, where all services required by a business are available through a single window. In the case of Jafza, these services are available over the counter at one of the service centres, or online, both through the Dubai Trade portal, and through the Jafza Mobile App, giving customers the convenience of applying for services without ever having to leave their desks, or carrying the Jafza Service centre in their pocket.

If you would like more information about setting up a business in Jafza, you can get in touch with Jafza here.

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