United Arab Emirates (UAE) has steadily picked up the pace to redefine the core of its economical foundation; from being one of the biggest oil-driven economies across the globe, UAE has now become a go-to business hub for all international investors. This transition did not just come about but was rigorously planned.
Business culture has exponentially increased in the UAE ever since the very early days which is helped by the ever-growing free zones in various cities of the country. One of the most renowned free zones is called Jebel Ali Free Zone, which specializes in different fields and provides numerous types and licenses of company formation.
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Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)
Situated in the far western end of Dubai, Jebel Ali Free Zone is a free economic zone. The Jebel Ali Free Zone operations started from year 1985. Since its inception, the free zone has seen tremendous growth and the growth record stands at 294.5 billion Dh, which lifted 17 percent of the non-oil industries. To put this drastic growth into numbers, the Jebel Ali Free Zone had 19 companies in 1985 to 500 companies in 1995 and now has over 8,000; these 8,000 companies also have nearly 100 of the Global Fortune 500 enterprises.
According to their officials, “Jafza proudly stands as a dynamic base for thousands of businesses from over 100 countries, sustains more than 135,000 jobs, and attracts 23.9% of Dubai’s foreign direct investment.”
The free zone offers variety to its participants and the following are the different types of licenses provided in the region:
- General Trading Licence enables the holder to import, distribute and store all items according to rules and regulations of Jafza.
- Trading Licence enables the holder to import, export, distribute and store items specified on the license.
- Industrial Licence enables the holder to import raw materials, do the manufacture of specified products and export the finished product to any country.
- Service Licence enables the holder to carry out the services indicated in the license within the Free Zone. The kind of service must fit in with the license of the parent company, issued by the Economic Department or Municipality of the applicable Emirate in the UAE
- National Industrial Licence is intended for manufacturing companies with an ownership or shareholding of no less than 51% with AGCC (Arabian Gulf Co-operation Council) nationals/natives. The value added to the item in the Free Zone must add up to at least 40%. This company license enables the holder the same status as a local or AGCC inside the UAE.
Documents Requirement to Acquire License in JAFZA
Oftentimes businesses fail to successfully complete the process because they do not have the list of documents required to do so. Failing to complete the registration process due to incomplete documentation is one of the most common reasons as well; this is precisely why it is important to address the matter. Following is a complete list of documents to successfully register the license in the Jebel Ali Free Zone:
- Passport copies of all the investors and partners
- Bank statements of each person involved
- Description of the project
- Profile of the parent business (in the case of a branch company)
- Registration Application for a Free Zone Business (FZCO)
- Requisite for Free Zone Establishment (FZE) Registration
- A non-refundable investment amounting to Dh 500
These are basically all the documents you will require but remember that the free zone often updates its process from time to time, which is why you should also follow up with the officials of the free zone for confirmation.
How to Obtain License in Jebel Ali Free Zone
Before moving on and talking about the renewal process, first, we also have to look at the license registration process. There are a number of steps involved that are to be followed exactly for successfully attaining the license in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.
Traditionally, the first step always remains the same which is to fill out the application be it online or in-person. Once the initial registration process has been completed and approved by the Jebel Ali Free Zone authorization committee, they will grant an initial business license to the firm.
The business will then select a ready-fitted office from a wide range of offices offered within the free zone. It is important to note that the options range from cheap to premium so that the free zone can cater to all the business needs.
Following the contract finalization process, the lease papers are issued and the legal documents for the company registration must be completed. These documents are then sent to the free zone authority and after their approval, the license will be handed in 2 to 4 weeks’ time.
After being handed the license, the next time is the bank account opening procedure which can be carried out by the company at any point in time.
License Renewal in JAFZA
The renewal process is similar to other free zones, which are simple and easy to follow. The renewal processes are often revised to ensure ease. In order to renew your license in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, you have to ensure that you have an updated audit report of your business because it has to be provided for the process to be completed. Oftentimes, an untimely audit is carried out by a financial firm that is approved by the UAE and that is also acceptable.
When it comes to the fee of the process, it is the same as the JAFZA corporation’s registration process. Earlier in 2010, the JAFZA authorities introduced the concept of renewing your license online and that trend has been carried out since then. You can find more information regarding that on the official website for the Dubai Trade portal.
JAFZA remains one of the best destinations for business operations and to help you with all the tedious details and processes, we at Rizmona are working day and night. You can contact us and get all the information regarding the company formation, company registration, or any other process.
Jafza is home to more than 7,500 companies with more than 135,000 employees. The Jafza team is 6,347 strong. Of these, there are 529 companies from the food and beverage production industry that hail from over 67 countries. Based in Jebel Ali for manufacturing and production are companies such as Nestle, Mars, Unilever, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Heinz, McCormick, Don, Griffith Foods, Hunter Foods, Bayara, Al Khaleej Sugar, Alokozay Group of Companies, Gulf Food Industries, California Garden, Fonterra and Mister Baker.
These comprise local, GCC and international firms. There are around 22 US companies, 28 British, seven German and 13 French.