Dubai, a bustling metropolis known for its modernity and business-friendly environment, has long been a hub for entrepreneurs and investors. One of the most attractive options for setting up a business in Dubai is the Free Zone. In this article, we will explore the various costs associated with establishing a company in the Dubai Free Zone, breaking down the expenses and requirements to help you make an informed decision.
What is a Free Zone?
Before diving into the costs, it’s essential to understand what a Free Zone is. A Free Zone is a designated geographic area within the UAE, offering various benefits to businesses, such as 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and streamlined procedures.
Choosing the Right Free Zone
Researching Free Zones
The first step in establishing your company is choosing the right Free Zone. Dubai boasts several Free Zones, each catering to specific industries. Depending on your business activities, you’ll need to research and select the Free Zone that best suits your needs.
Types of Licenses
Different sorts of licenses are available in free zones, including trading, industrial, and professional permits. The cost of your license will be determined by your business operations, so choose wisely.
Initial Setup Fees
Fees for Registration
You must pay registration costs to the Free Zone government to begin the company formation procedure. These prices vary depending on the Free Zone selected and the type of license required.
The first step to starting a free zone firm in Dubai is to register with the appropriate authorities. The registration fees vary depending on the free zone, however they normally range from AED 12,900 to AED 50 000. This charge involves the costs of registering the business and obtaining the appropriate licenses.
Renting office premises in the Free Zone is a required condition. All free zones require businesses to have a physical office address within the zone, and the cost of renting an office will vary greatly based on its size and location. Some free zones, on the other hand, provide cost-effective flexible office alternatives for startups and small businesses. Coworking office spaces are another option. The annual cost of office premises in a free zone might range from AED 25,000 to AED 50,000.
Visa fees must be budgeted for if you or your workers need visas to work in Dubai. The total cost will be affected by the number of visas required. In Dubai, a work permit costs about AED 1,000 per person while a residency visa runs about AED 3,000 per person. The number of visas you can obtain depends on the size of your office space.
Fees for Renewal
Your company’s license and lease agreement will need to be renewed on a regular basis which cost AED 13,000. With additional renewal fee costs AED 3000. It is critical to include these charges in your budget preparation.
Hiring and maintaining staff incurs costs such as salary, health insurance, and gratuities. These expenses may differ based on the industry and the number of employees.
Bank account opening fee
Opening a bank account for free typically depends on the bank you choose and the type of account you wish to open.
Bank account opening fees in Dubai free zone companies can range from AED 1,500 to AED 5,000, depending on the bank and the type of account required.
Fees for Sponsorship
If you do not intend to live in Dubai, you will require a local sponsor. This sponsorship comes with a cost, which you must account for when calculating your expenses.
Fees for Legal Representation and Consultation
The regulations of establishing a business in Dubai Free Zones might be complicated. Hiring legal and business advisers is recommended and will increase your first startup costs.
Cheapest free zone in Dubai
Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) and Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)
These two Free Zones in the UAE are known for being budget-friendly. If you want to start a business there, the cost of getting a trade license is quite reasonable. SRTIP’s trade license costs AED 5,500, while SHAMS charges AED 5,800.
Quick and Efficient Setup
The good thing about these Free Zones is that they make it easy and fast to set up your company. You can get your business up and running in less than a week. That’s because they have excellent infrastructure, smooth operations, and speedy paperwork processes.
Variety of Business Options
These affordable Free Zones offer a wide range of business licenses and activities. You can choose the one that suits your company best. It’s not just about the license; they also provide things like office space and visa support.
Top Cheapest Free Zones in 2023
In 2023, the top affordable Free Zones in the UAE are
- International Free Zone Authority (IFZA), it cost AED11,900 without visa
- Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), it cost AED5,500 in sharjah without visa
- Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), its cost11,440 without visa
- Meydan Free Zone in Dubai, it cost AED 12,500 without visa
- DUQE in Dubai,it cost AED 12,500 without visa
These places offer business license packages at a low cost.
Competitive Business Environment:
The Free Zones in the UAE are in competition with each other to provide the best deals for businesses. They offer not only low-cost licenses but also support services to help companies succeed. Investors are always looking for ways to keep their setup costs low, and these Free Zones help with that.
To make things even better for investors and keep their overall business costs down, these Free Zones provide various business facilities. They understand the importance of helping businesses thrive while keeping expenses in check.
In a nutshell, if you’re thinking of starting a business in the UAE and want to save money on setup costs, these Free Zones like SRTIP and SHAMS are great options. They offer affordable trade licenses, a smooth setup process, and a variety of business services to support your venture.
Can I own 100% of my business in a Dubai Free Zone?
Yes, in most Free Zones, you can have 100% foreign ownership of your business.
How long does it take to set up a company in a Dubai Free Zone?
The timeline for setting up a company can vary but typically ranges from a few weeks to a few months, depending on various factors such as business type and Free Zone choice.
What is the cheapest free zone license?
IFZA(international free zone authority) is the cheapest free zone in Dubai which cost AED 11,900
What are the types of businesses I can do in a free zone?
You can start a business in any industry, including finance, education, retail, hospitality, and media, to mention a few. Check with the relevant free zone authority to see what businesses are permitted on their grounds.
Establishing a business in the Dubai Free Zone has various benefits, but it is critical to be aware of the accompanying fees. Budget is essential for a successful company, from registration costs to everyday expenses. Keep in mind that fees will vary depending on your business type and Free Zone of choice.