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Free Zone Company Setup in Abu Dhabi

The list of free zones in Abu Dhabi:

  • Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)
  • Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM)
  • Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ)
  • Twofour54
  • Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
  • Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones
  • Masdar City Free Zone

The advantages of setting up a Free Zone company in Abu Dhabi are stated below:

  • No restrictions on foreign ownership;
  • Own 100% ownership of your business;
  • No hassle of employing local sponsor or an agent;
  • Full Tax exemption;
  • 100% Capital & Profit Repatriation;
  • Wide range of licensable activities;
  • Wide range of facilities and good infrastructure;
  • Easy and cheap company registration procedure;
  • Can be liquidated anytime;
  • No commercial levies;
  • In-house IT and telecommunications services;
  • Easy access to regional markets;
  • Airports to facilitate imports and exports;
FreeZone Company Setup in Abu Dhabi

Procedure of Setting Up a Free Zone Company in Abu Dhabi

Step 1: Select the type of Legal Entity

Select the type of legal entity: 

i.Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC), or a Free Zone Company (FZ Co.).

ii. Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

iii. Branch or Subsidiary of a foreign or local Company 

Step 2:

Choosing the name of your company is very important because the chosen name should be a unique one since it must not be already registered or same or copied from other trade names. There are also several restrictions on the choice of names, for example, it must not be against any religion or public order. Moreover, the entities cannot use the names like ‘Abu Dhabi’ or ‘United Arab Emirates’ (source: twofour54 website) and also cannot use the logos of any external bodies.

Step 3: Set your business activity

It is to be noted that, getting the license is heavily dependent upon your business type. First set your business type then apply for a business license. Below is a list of activities that you can run in the particular free zones:

  • Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ): ADAFZ allows to carry out businesses in the sector of Aviation, Airport services, Logistics, Cargo, Freight, IT, Telecommunication, Pharmaceuticals, Consultancy management, Trading, Light Industries, Marketing and events.
  • Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM): ADGM permits to carry out business activities such as Banking, Wealth and Asset Management, Capital Markets (includes Brokerage), Crypto Assets Activities, Listing Authority and Products, FinTech and Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs).
  • Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ): In this free zone, you can perform business activities in the sector of Aluminum, Automotive, Engineered metals, Port logistics, Food processing, Pharmaceuticals, Packaging and Polymer converting.
  • Twofour54: Twofour24 allows to conduct business of advertising, animation, branding, content production (audio visual, corporate, digital and publications), event management, Gaming development, Graphic design and many types of media, software and management services.
  • Industrial City of Abu Dhabi: You can carry out the business in the sector of Engineering & Metals, Chemical and Plastic, Oil and Gas Services, Construction materials, High-Tech Industries, Advanced Factory Units and General Industries.
  • Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones: You can carry out the business in the sector of Chemicals, Food and Beverage, Oil and Gas, Leather and Textile products, Construction materials, Engineering and Metals, Assembling products, Wood and Paper products and Fiberglass and Plastic products.
  • Masdar City Free Zone: Masdar City is a Free Zone where you can carry out numerous types of business activities, such as, renewable energy and energy industry, ICT related activities, human resource development, a wide range of service providing activities (that includes, healthcare, property development, oil and gas).

Step 4: Apply for a business license

After the successful registration of your company, you will get the license.

There are mainly three types of licenses in the Sharjah free zones:

  • Trade License: It grants a time-limited authorization to perform industrial, commercial, or consulting activities.
  • Professional License: it allows law firms, accounting firms, and business consultancy firms to operate.
  • Commercial License: it allows to import raw materials, manufacturing goods, and exporting finished products, across global boundaries.

Step 5: Choose an office space Step

The requirement of choosing an office space fully depends on the type of the business activity and the number of employees.

6: Apply for initial approval You are required to provide the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Business plan
  • Copy of existing trade licence/registration certificate (it is for an existing company and applicable for local company only)
  • Colour passport copies of the company's shareholder(s) and the appointed Manager/Director for the new company
  • Specimen signature of the company's shareholder(s) and the appointed Manager/Director for the new company
  • 2 years' audited financial reports for corporate entity or certificate of reference from a personal bank of the individual shareholder

Step 7: Company registration

Once you get the initial approval, you need to register your company. Registration requires to pay and submit the following documents:

  • Completed application for registration
  • Board Resolution appointing Manager and Director (Notarized and attested)
  • Power of Attorney given to Manager and Director (Notarized and attested)
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (Notarized and attested)  Specimen signature of Manager and Director (Notarized and attested)
  • Passport-size photo with white background of Manager and Director
  • Share capital information (it depends on the business type and authority governing the free zone)

Step 8: Get your Business License

After the successful registration of your company, you will get the license.

Step 9: Open a Bank Account

- Business profile

- Office Lease agreement

- License

- Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association and Certificate of Incorporation

- Passport Copy and Residence Visa Procedure to set up Branch/subsidiary for a company If you want to set up Branch/subsidiary for a company then you will require the following documents as follows:

- Application form

- Ultimate Beneficial Owner Declaration

- Passport Copy of Manager

- Passport size photograph of the Manager

- Proof of Address of Manager

- Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association - Certificate of Incorporation

- Board Resolution & Power of Attorney

- License (if applicable)

- The branch documents should be Legalized & Attested by UAE Embassy or Consulate where parent company exist.

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