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Registration and Licensing of Free Zone Companies in UAE

Registration and Licensing of Free Zone Companies in UAE

The UAE Free Zone offered minimal rules for registering a business in Free Zones, setting up a business is relatively easy. The license of the UAE Free Zone is considered highly prevalent since there is no income and corporate tax in the Free Zones. UAE Free Zone is enormously supportive of businesses and investors in achieving their objectives. 

Key Steps to Establish a Business Setup in the Free Zone

Setting up a Free Zone business is much easier, as compared to other mainland business setups. The registration and timeframe requirements by free zone authorities are minimal. The main stages of starting a business in a free zone are listed below:

  • Determine the type of legal business.  
  • Choose a Trade Name.
  • Apply for a Business License.
  • Choose an office premises/space.
  • Get pre-approvals, register your business and get your license.   

Determine the Type of Legal Entity

Determine the type of legal entity your business would establish. In a Free Zone, you can set up one of two types of companies: 

  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC) 
  •  Free Zone Company in a free zone (FZ Co.). Mentioned are the two major Free Zone business categories in the UAE.

The variation between the types of legal entities lies in, how many shareholders are present and whether the shareholders are legal or natural persons. It is also possible that all kinds of Free Zones do not register both types of business licenses. For the establishment of a specific type of company, there is a need for proper registration from the UAE Free Zones Authorities. 

Read More: How to Choose the Right Freezone for your Business

Types and Features of Trade License in Free Zones of the UAE

Trade License

A trade license can be granted to those companies that are legally incorporated outside the UAE for import and export.  

Industrial Licenses

The industrial license can be granted to companies that are involved in industrial and manufacturing activities, that are legally incorporated outside the UAE and are within the Free Zone.   

Services License

Companies in the UAE with a current license from the relevant public body can be granted a services license, however, they must abide by rules and regulations enforced by the relevant government body. 

Emplacement of Offices in establishing a Business Setup in a Free Zone

Office space in the UAE Free Zones is simultaneously available for purchase and rental.  Office expenditures differ depending on the size of the workforce and the nature of the organization. 

Registration of a Business Setup in a Free Zone

With the initial approval, investors are bound to pay all kinds of licenses and registration fees. However, the type of business is the basic point in the required license. The following requisites are essential to submit for business registration in the UAE Free Zones:

  • Application for Registration 
  • An attested and notarized appointing Manager assigned by the board  
  • Notarized and attested Power of Attorney  
  • Notarized and attested MOAA (Memorandum and Articles of Association) 
  • Specimen signature 
  • Director or Manager’s Passport-size photos
  • Information on the Share Capital

Initial approval of a Business Setup in a Free Zone

Investors need initial approval from the concerned authority through the placement of a complete application form with the following details:

Business plan

  • A copy of the current business license or registration certificate (in case the investor already has an establishment in the UAE). There is a need for colored copies of the passport or other identity of the manager or director chosen for the new firm. This requirement is also applicable to other shareholders. Audited financial report of two years or a letter of reference from the individual investor from his/her personal bank in the UAE. With the specimen signatures of the company’s shareholders and the Managers or Directors of upcoming business establishment. 
  • No objection Certificate, in case of an individual or an employee from the current sponsor. 
  • Title Deed and Intent Letter with RIC (Registry Identification Code Form), specifically required for the director of the upcoming establishment. 


The UAE Free Zones are the territory or authority that is permitted to carry out a certain type of economic activity or group of related activities. However, there is a need to take a license to start a business in the Dubai Free zone and other Free Zones in the UAE, and these licenses are given based on the company’s specific business activity. 

Read More : Benefits of Business Setup in Dubai Free Zones