Cost of Establishing a Company in the Dubai Free Zone

The cost of establishing a company in the Dubai Free Zone,What are the taxes for businesses in Dubai?

Dubai has emerged as a global business hub, and establishing a company in the Dubai Free Zone is a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs worldwide. With its strategic location, business-friendly policies, and state-of-the-art infrastructure, Dubai offers an ideal environment for businesses to thrive. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of setting up a company in the Dubai Free Zone, providing you with essential insights and tips for a successful venture.

The Cost of Establishing a Company in the Dubai Free Zone

Setting up a business in the Dubai Free Zone involves various costs, which can be categorized into the following:

1. License Costs

Obtaining a business license is the first step in establishing your company in the Dubai Free Zone. The cost of the license varies depending on the type of business activity you plan to undertake. Generally, trade and industrial licenses are less expensive compared to service and consultancy licenses.

When choosing a business activity, it’s crucial to consider the associated license costs. For instance, if you plan to engage in manufacturing, the cost of a manufacturing license will be different from that of a service-oriented license. Be prepared to invest accordingly.

2. Registration Fees

You will also need to pay registration fees to the Dubai Free Zone Authority. These fees cover administrative costs related to processing your application and setting up your company in the Free Zone. Registration fees can vary depending on the Free Zone you choose.

It’s essential to budget for these fees as they are a mandatory part of the setup process. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of the registration fee structure in your chosen Free Zone.

3. Office Space Rent

Renting office space is a significant expense when establishing a company in Dubai. The cost of office space can vary greatly depending on the location within the Free Zone and the size of the space you require. It’s essential to choose an office space that suits your budget and business needs.

Consider factors like accessibility, amenities, and proximity to potential clients or partners when selecting your office space. Finding the right balance between cost and location is key to a successful setup.

4. Visa Fees

If you plan to employ staff or require visas for yourself and your team, you’ll need to budget for visa fees. The cost of visas can vary depending on the type and duration of the visa.

It’s advisable to work closely with the Dubai Free Zone Authority or a reputable business setup consultant to understand the visa requirements and associated costs. Proper planning in this regard will ensure a smooth transition for your employees.

5. Sponsorship Fees

Sponsorship fees are applicable if you need a local sponsor to establish your business in the Dubai Free Zone. This fee can vary based on the terms of your sponsorship agreement.

Choosing whether or not to have a local sponsor is a critical decision in your business setup process. The sponsorship fees and terms should be carefully negotiated and documented.

6. Miscellaneous Costs

Don’t forget to budget for miscellaneous costs such as legal fees, document processing fees, and any additional permits or approvals required for your specific business activity.

It’s essential to consult with legal and business experts who are well-versed in the Dubai Free Zone regulations. They can guide you through the documentation process and help you anticipate any unforeseen expenses.

7. Renewal Fees

Keep in mind that there are annual renewal fees for your business license and visa, which should be factored into your ongoing operational costs.

Planning for renewal fees is essential to ensure the continuous operation of your business. Late renewals can result in fines and business disruptions, so it’s crucial to stay organized and budget accordingly.

The Benefits of Establishing a Company in the Dubai Free Zone

While there are costs involved, the benefits of establishing a company in the Dubai Free Zone are substantial:

1. 100% Foreign Ownership

One of the most significant advantages of setting up a business in the Dubai Free Zone is that you can have full ownership of your company without the need for a local partner.

This ownership structure provides entrepreneurs with complete control over their businesses, allowing for efficient decision-making and flexibility in operations. It’s a rarity in many other parts of the world and a significant draw for investors.

2. Tax Incentives

Companies in the Free Zone enjoy tax exemptions for an extended period, making it a tax-efficient choice for businesses.

Dubai’s tax incentives are particularly appealing to businesses seeking to maximize their profits. By minimizing tax obligations, companies can allocate more resources to growth and expansion.

3. World-Class Infrastructure

Dubai offers world-class infrastructure and connectivity, ensuring that your business operations run smoothly.

The city’s modern infrastructure includes state-of-the-art office spaces, excellent transportation networks, and advanced communication systems. These amenities facilitate efficient business operations and enhance productivity.

4. Strategic Location

Dubai’s strategic location provides easy access to global markets, making it an ideal base for international trade.

Being situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa positions Dubai as a gateway to a vast customer base. This strategic advantage significantly benefits businesses involved in import-export activities.

5. Simplified Procedures

The Free Zone authorities have streamlined the setup process, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and saving you time.

Dubai’s commitment to ease of doing business is evident in its simplified administrative procedures. The efficient processing of licenses and permits accelerates the launch of your business operations.

How to Establish a Company in the Dubai Free Zone

1. Research and Planning

Begin by researching the Free Zone that best suits your business needs. Each Free Zone may have specific regulations and benefits tailored to different industries.

Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience and competition. This information will guide your business plan and help you make informed decisions during the setup process.

2. Choose a Business Activity

Select the type of business activity you want to engage in. Ensure it aligns with the activities allowed within your chosen Free Zone.

Review the list of permissible activities in your selected Free Zone and choose one that matches your expertise and market demand. Be prepared to provide a detailed business plan that outlines your intended operations.

3. Select a Company Name

Choose a unique and meaningful company name that complies with Dubai’s naming conventions.

The chosen name should be distinctive, relevant to your business, and free from any trademark or copyright issues. Ensure it adheres to the specific naming guidelines provided by the Dubai authorities.

4. Apply for a License

Submit your license application to the relevant Free Zone authority. Ensure that you provide all necessary documentation and meet the eligibility criteria.

Prepare a comprehensive application that includes your business plan, financial statements, and any other requested documents. Pay attention to the application deadlines and requirements specific to your chosen Free Zone.

5. Lease Office Space

Secure an office space within the Free Zone. This is a mandatory requirement for most businesses.

Visit potential office spaces within the Free Zone and negotiate lease terms. Ensure the chosen location meets the criteria set by the Free Zone authority, such as size, facilities, and accessibility.

6. Visa Application

If needed, apply for visas for yourself and your employees. The Free Zone authorities can guide you through this process.

Compile all necessary documentation, including passport copies, photographs, and medical examinations, as required for visa applications. Stay updated on the latest visa regulations to ensure a smooth application process.

7. Registration and Licensing

Once your application is approved, complete the registration and licensing process.

Attend the registration appointment with the Free Zone authority and provide any additional documents or information as requested. Pay the necessary registration and licensing fees promptly to expedite the process.


Can I have full ownership of my company in the Dubai Free Zone?

Yes, one of the significant advantages of establishing a company in the Dubai Free Zone is that you can have 100% foreign ownership.

Foreign investors can fully own and control their companies without the need for a local partner or sponsor. This ownership structure offers flexibility and control over business operations.

What types of business activities are allowed in the Free Zone?

The Dubai Free Zone caters to a wide range of industries, including trade, manufacturing, services, and more. You can find a Free Zone that aligns with your specific business activity.

Dubai’s Free Zones are designed to accommodate diverse industries, from logistics and technology to healthcare and media. Ensure that your chosen Free Zone permits your intended business activity before proceeding with the setup.

How long does it take to set up a company in the Dubai Free Zone?

The timeline for setting up a company can vary depending on the Free Zone and the completeness of your documentation. However, the streamlined procedures in the Free Zone generally expedite the process.

In many cases, businesses can be fully operational within a matter of weeks. Efficient documentation submission and compliance with Free Zone regulations can significantly reduce setup time.

Are there any tax benefits for companies in the Dubai Free Zone?

Yes, companies in the Dubai Free Zone enjoy tax exemptions for an extended period, making it a tax-efficient choice for businesses.

Dubai’s tax incentives are designed to attract foreign investment and promote economic growth. The absence of corporate and personal income tax, as well as customs duties, contributes to cost savings for businesses.

Do I need a local sponsor to establish my business in the Free Zone?

In many cases, you do not need a local sponsor to establish your business in the Dubai Free Zone. You can have full ownership of your company.

Dubai’s Free Zones offer unique ownership structures that allow foreign investors to retain full control of their businesses. However, certain business activities may require specific licensing and sponsorship arrangements, so it’s essential to consult with Free Zone authorities.

What is the strategic advantage of Dubai’s location for businesses?

Dubai’s strategic location provides easy access to global markets, making it an ideal base for international trade.

Dubai serves as a central hub connecting businesses to markets across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Its strategic location enhances supply chain efficiency and facilitates international trade and commerce.


Establishing a company in the Dubai Free Zone offers numerous benefits, including tax incentives, 100% foreign ownership, and a strategic location. While there are initial costs involved, the long-term advantages make it a wise choice for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to expand into the thriving Dubai market. With simplified procedures and a business-friendly environment, Dubai Free Zone is the gateway to success for many businesses.

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we provide full support for everything related to business setup, and transaction clearance to help our customers setup their businesses whether the mainland or in the free zone, and for any size business.
ITQAN offers license renewal services and packages in collaboration with a team of consultants and professionals who will take care of renewing your trade license and changing your business without any hassle.
Once the setting up process is completed, you can open your bank account right away through a short, easy, hassle-free process with ITQAN Team who is specialised in clearing legal transactions and following up all governmental procedures you won’t have to provide any additional paperwork or make visit bsnks.

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