The Umm al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ) is a strategic project which emphasises on promoting entrepreneurial initiatives and providing the necessary initiatives to businesses to succeed. The UAQ FTZ is located just 45 minutes drive from the Dubai International Airport and is an ideal place for startups, SMEs, and conglomerates.

Although UAQ FTZ is a relatively new free zone and in the short period of time, it has become one of the most sought-out free zones in the region. There are a number of reasons why it has gained traction, here are a few of them:

  • Less taxing for those who are looking to invest,
  • Easier legal framework model,
  • Provides relatively more value against the investment, making it a better cost-effective business option,
  • Easily accessible location, which adds to its value.

In addition to that, UAQ FTZ allows 100% company ownership while offering 0% tax along with no currency restrictions; this is another reason why it is an ideal place for freelancers, micro-businesses, and SMEs.

Benefits and Advantages of UAQ FTZ:

  • No corporate and personal tax
  • Complete company ownership, repatriation capital and profits
  • Exemption from import and export tax
  • No currency restriction along with no share capital required
  • Registration process is simple, straightforward and contains no hidden charges
  • Offices are equipped with hi-tech and contains warehouse facilities
  • Ideal location for SMEs and micro-businesses
  • Located close to 2 international airports as well as sea ports
  • Wide range of businesses activities are permitted
  • No restriction on hiring foreign employees
  • Legal framework which supports new and existing investors
  • Minimum documentation required

License Categories in UAQ FTZ:

There are a total of 6 different license categories which exist in the UAQ free trade zone for conducting business activities and are as following:

  1. Commercial / Trading License: This type of license is given to those who are importing, exporting and re-exporting goods, which can range from garments, food, beverages, textile, furniture, building materials and more.
  2. General Trading License: This enables importers/exporters to trade almost all range of goods with certain exceptions such as alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and crude oils; they require special permission from relevant authorities.
  3. Consultancy License: If you are looking to provide consultancy services then you may apply for this type of license. The businesses might vary from IT services, accounting, HR, or management services.
  4. Premium Consultancy License: Similar to the Consultancy License, Premium Consultancy License is also issued to those who are looking to offer consultancy services. However, these services are termed as “special”. These special consultancy services might include tourism, engineering, legal, financial, investment, shipping services etc.
  5. Micro Business License: This license is issued to those who are looking to set up their startups and do not possess a lot of finances. These businesses also do not require a physical space and a residency visa.
  6. Freelance Permit: As the name suggests, this permit is reserved for people who are working as freelancers and offering their services online. For example, content writers, photographers, event planners and so on.

Cost of Umm Al Quwain Free Zone Licenses:

Commercial License Cost:

  • Registration — 2,000 AED
  • License — 2,500 AED
  • Premium Office — 16,000 AED
  • Address Services — N/A
  • Benefactor Fees — N/A
  • Total — 20,500 AED
  • Visa Eligibility — 2 visas

Consultancy License Cost:

  • Registration — 2,000 AED
  • License — 2,500 AED
  • Premium Office — 16,000 AED
  • Address Services — N/A
  • Benefactor Fees — N/A
  • Total — 20,500 AED
  • Visa Eligibility — 2 visas

General Trading License Cost:

  • Registration — 2,000 AED
  • License — 9,500 AED
  • Premium Office — 16,000 AED
  • Address Services — N/A
  • Benefactor Fees — N/A
  • Total — 27,500 AED
  • Visa Eligibility — 3 visas

Premium Consultancy License Cost:

  • Registration — 2,000 AED
  • License — 14,500 AED
  • Premium Office — 16,000 AED
  • Address Services — N/A
  • Benefactor Fees — N/A
  • Total — 32,500 AED
  • Visa Eligibility — 3 visas

Micro Business License Cost:

  • Registration — 2,000 AED
  • License — 9,500 AED
  • Premium Office — N/A
  • Address Services — 9,000 AED
  • Benefactor Fees — N/A
  • Total — 13,500 AED
  • Visa Eligibility — No visas

Freelancer Permit Cost:

  • Registration — 2,000 AED
  • License — 2,500 AED
  • Premium Office — N/A
  • Address Services — 9,000 AED
  • Benefactor Fees — 3,000 AED
  • Total — 16,500 AED
  • Visa Eligibility — 1 visas

Note: There is additional cost for visas, which is 2,500 AED in addition to the cost of medical and emirates ID card. Furthermore, the 3-year visa extension is also charged separately. The prices mentioned above are for the first-year including RegistrationLicense and Premium Office Facility. The Registration charges are not applicable for annual renewals.

Umm al Quwain Free Zone Company Formation

This only free zone in the emirate of Umm al Quwain provides lucrative business and investment opportunities, especially to small entrepreneurs. An important benefit of this free zone is its strategic location. The company formation comprises on 5 steps:

  1. Selecting an appropriate company name
  2. Paying the required fees
  3. Providing documents for directors, managers, secretaries, shareholders, and attorneys
  4. Preparing documents for company registration
  5. Submitting company registration application

Documents Required for UAQ Free Zone

UAQ FTZ allows the establishment of FZC (free zone company, for 2 to 50 shareholders), FZE (free zone establishment, for single shareholder), and a branch of an existing company. FZC and FZE require the same types of documents while documents may differ in case of a branch of a company.

  • Passport copy of manager (for all businesses)
  • Passport copy of shareholders & directors (for FZC & FZE)
  • Shareholder’s proof of address (for FZC & FZE)
  • Manager’s proof of address (for branch)
  • Certificate of incorporation (for branch)
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (for all businesses)
  • Board resolution and power of attorney (for branch)

Visa Application for UAQ FTZ:

There is no residence permit in the UAE, which is why the UAE rules require the issuance of residence visas. In order to apply for and acquire a residence visa, either one of the following terms must be met:

  • Investor Visa: You must own a UAE offshore company
  • Work Visa: You must have an employment contract with a UAE offshore company

As mentioned in the article above, the visa duration depends on the business package chosen during the company registration phase. The Investor Visa is extended for 3 years whereas the Work Visa for 2 years. The visas can be renewed after their expiry.

If we consider that the company registration phase has been completed, here are the steps which you will need to keep in mind while applying for the visas:

  1. Opening an establishment card
  2. Submitting your documents
  3. Visiting the UAE
  4. Obtaining a resident ID card or ID Emirates

It is important to note that although you don’t have to permanently reside in the UAE after your visa has been processed but the visa can be cancelled if one stays outside of UAE for more than 6 months.


Company Renewal

Q. What is the company renewal process for UAQ FTZ?

A. The process is rather straightforward, much like the company registration. In order to apply for a renewal you will need to make the payment and submit new copy of flexi-desk lease agreement to the free zone.

Q. Are audit reports required to process the renewal?

A. No, the audit reports are not mandatory for the renewal process.

Q. How long does it usually take?

A. Since the process is simple and straightforward, it takes 2-3 days to have your application processed.

Q. Is there a difference between registration and renewal costs?

A. Yes, the renewal costs are slightly less expensive than the registration process. Once your renewal process is completed, you will then receive a new license and flexi-desk lease agreement.

Company Amendments

Q. What are the possible amendments that can be made?

A. The amendments that can be made include corporate name, business activity, shares transfer, change in managers/directors etc.

Q. Do you have to be physically present to implement the changes?

A. No, all the amendments can be made remotely except the shares transfer, which will require physical presence of the shareholders.

Company Liquidation

Q. What is the basic requirement of company liquidation in UAQ FTZ?

A. The fundamental requirement includes physical presence of the owner or a visit from the PoA holder.

Q. What should we do with the documents?

A. The original company documents must be returned UAQ.

Q. What is the processing time for this?

A. The process can take up to 1 month. The two requirements are that the original documents must be returned and the payment must be verified.

Q. What is the liquidation fee in UAQ FTZ?

A. Unlike other free zones, the liquidation fee in UAQ FTZ is much lower which is around 2,000 AED.


  • We have experience of more than 8 years for company formation in mainland areas and free zones across UAE
  • We provide a wide range of services from translation and attestation of documents to bank account opening
  • We will continuously assist you in handling issues after the formation of your company in UAQFTZ