The UAE Free Zones are one of the country’s greatest economic success stories. Encouraging huge amounts of entrepreneurship and exciting opportunities, Free Zones have energized the business environment in the UAE since the first free zones opened here in the 1980s.
According to an article by Arab News, there were more than 60,000 free zone companies registered in the UAE in 2021, an increase of 4.4% from the previous year. This shows how popular Dubai Free Zones are.
So, if you are planning to start a business in Dubai in 2022, you will need to be more than familiar with the formation process and the benefits of starting in a free zone. When you work with Meydan Free Zone, our expertise is yours. We will help you start your business here, assist you with visa processing and liaise with all relevant authorities on your behalf.
What is a free zone business?
Free zone companies are those that operate from designated economic zones within the UAE. They differ from mainland companies in several ways. In particular, free zone companies can be 100% owned by a foreign investor in any case.
Free zone companies can trade freely internationally from their designated free zone as well as locally within the UAE with the help of a local agent or distributor.
Can free zone companies do business on the mainland?
Following recent regulatory changes, companies engaged in certain business activities can open physical offices to trade on the continent. Trading in this way requires a no-objection certificate from the free zone as well as approval from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED).
That being said, many free zones do not allow direct business in mainland Dubai. These companies are only allowed to trade internationally or locally with other free zone entities. Failure to comply can result in significant fines. However, companies in the free zone can trade with the mainland in several ways if they wish.
These include working with a distribution partner registered in the United Arab Emirates or opening a branch.
Benefits of doing business in a Dubai Free Zone
Starting a business in a Dubai Free Zone has multiple benefits. These include:
Being based in a Dubai Free Zone allows you to benefit from a number of tax advantages, which means that you keep more of your profits. Business owners can enjoy 0% income tax rate and no customs tax, excluding import products sold in the mainland. However, VAT is also applicable for business owners in an unclosed free zone, such as Meydan, who wish to do business with a closed free zone.
100% Foreign Ownership with Limited Liability Free Zones allow 100% foreign ownership with limited liability, which provides foreign entrepreneurs with greater personal protection when trading from the UAE. Mainland, in turn, offers unlimited liability with 100% foreign ownership.
Greater opportunities for diversification
Free zone companies can set up with several unrelated activities under a single license. This allows entrepreneurs to trade in many areas through a single company and potentially pivot into new spaces as needed.
What is the difference between a Free Zone and an LLC in Dubai?
An LLC operates in the mainland of the United Arab Emirates and is similar in structure to a corporation. Businesses can engage in any business activity authorized by the DED and enjoy full liability protection.
On the other hand, a free zone is a special economic zone in the UAE which is governed by its respective authority. As a general rule, a free zone license does not require the approval of external authorities. Other benefits include 100% foreign ownership and flexidesk.
How much does it cost to open a free zone business in Dubai?
The cost of opening a free zone business in Dubai depends on the number of visas your business requires for its staff. At Meydan Free Zone, companies that do not need a visa pay as little as 12,500 Dh to set up their business. The price increases for each subsequent visa required, with visa applications costing Dh1,850 per additional visa (although special rates are normally available when purchasing 50 or more visas – up to 200 visas with Meydan Free Zone) . With our easy payment plan, you can pay as little as Dh1,042 per month and start your business right away.
Why choose Meydan Free Zone?
Meydan Free Zone is a premium free zone designed for work, rest and recreation. In addition to a wide variety of comfortable office spaces, it is home to tennis courts, the deepest swimming pool in the world – Deep Dive Dubai, homes, hospitals, clinics, shops and much more. A short drive from Dubai Airport and Ports, it is also right next to Meydan Golf Course and Racecourse. With 24/7 access and all the technology support you need, Meydan Free Zone gives you a great place to start your journey as a Dubai entrepreneur.
Our friendly and efficient consultants can help you with all aspects of setting up a business in Dubai, and if you need help with things like trading goods and services on the mainland, we can also advise you on the best option for you. This means you can grow your business without limits.
We also offer several additional services to help your business grow and grow, including Meydan Commerce – our e-commerce support service; Meydan Pay – the first and only solution in the region that provides new businesses with a guaranteed IBAN once your compliance checks have been completed; and our easy payment plans – which allow you to spread the cost of starting your Dubai Free Zone business over 12 months
To learn more, visit the website or contact the free zone via [email protected] or 800FZ1. If you prefer, you can visit the Meydan Free Zone Business Centre, Mezzanine Floor, Meydan Hotel, Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai, UAE.