Free ZoneBusiness-Setup-Cost-in-Dubai-Free-Zone - Riz & Mona

Dubai’s Free Zones are vibrant hubs that draw businesses from around the globe, offering numerous advantages that make running a business easier and more cost-effective. These designated areas provide a tax-free environment, eliminating corporate and personal income taxes, which can lead to significant savings.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the costs associated with starting a company in these dynamic economic zones. We’ll break down the various expenses and key considerations for establishing a business in a UAE Free Zone.

Cost Breakdown of Dubai Free Zone Business Setup

Setting up a company in a Dubai Free Zone typically costs between AED 10,000 and AED 30,000. The total expenses can vary widely depending on the specific Free Zone, the nature of the business activity, and other individual requirements. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of the potential costs involved:


Expense Type Estimated Cost (AED) Description
License Registration 12,500 – 50,000 Fees for registering the company and obtaining the necessary business licenses.
Office Space 25,000 – 50,000 per year Cost of renting office space within the Free Zone; includes options like flexible desks and co-working spaces.
Visa and Immigration 1,000 (work permit), 3,000 (residency visa) per person Costs for obtaining work permits and residency visas for business owners and employees.
Bank Account Opening 1,500 – 5,000 Fees for opening a local bank account.
Renewal Fees 13,000 (license), 3,000 (visa) per person annually Annual fees for renewing business licenses and visas.
Additional Costs Variable Other expenses such as legal consultations, document translations, and administrative services.

License Registration Fees

The first step is to register your business, which comes with a one-time fee starting at AED 12,500. This fee might be higher depending on the type of company and covers the cost of adding your company to the Free Zone’s registry.

Bank Account Opening Fees

Opening a local bank account is necessary for operating a business. The fees for opening a business bank account range from AED 1,500 to AED 5,000, depending on the bank and the type of account​.

Renewal Fees

Annual renewal fees for maintaining your license and visas are also significant. License renewal fees start from AED 13,000, and visa renewals are around AED 3,000 per person annually​.

Visa and Immigration

Obtaining visas for business owners and employees is another essential expense. A residency visa costs approximately AED 3,000 per person, while work permits cost around AED 1,000 per person. The total visa cost will depend on the number of visas required, which is often tied to the size of your office space​

Office Space

All Free Zones require businesses to have a physical office address. On average, office space costs range from AED 25,000 to AED 50,000 per year. For smaller businesses, cheaper options like shared workspaces or flexi-desks are available.

Additional Costs

Other expenses might include setting up utilities and telecommunications, buying furniture and equipment, and possibly hiring consultants to help set up your business. Each Free Zone might also have specific requirements that could mean extra costs, such as insurance or compliance fees.

Estimated Cost of Additional Business Setup Expenses

Expense Type Estimated Cost (AED) Description
Legal Consultations Variable Fees for legal consultations to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.
Document Translations 50 – 500 per document Costs for translating official documents into Arabic or other required languages.
Administrative Services 1,000 – 10,000 Fees for administrative services such as document processing, application submission, and follow-ups.
Notary Fees 100 – 2,000 Fees for notarizing documents required for business setup.
Attestation Fees 100 – 500 per document Costs for attestation of documents by relevant authorities.
Insurance 1,000 – 5,000 Costs for business insurance policies, including liability and property insurance.
Emirates ID Card Fees 170 – 370 per person Fees for the issuance of the Emirates ID card, which is mandatory for all residents.
Police Clearance 200 – 300 Fees for obtaining a police clearance certificate, often required for visa applications.
Medical Checks 200 – 500 per person Costs for mandatory medical examinations required for residency visas.

Please note that the costs provided are estimates and may vary based on specific business requirements, changes in regulations, and the chosen Free Zone.

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Types of Business Licenses Available in UAE Free Zones

When starting a business, choosing the right business license is crucial because it determines what kind of activities you can do.

Main Types of Licenses:

  • Professional License: For service-oriented businesses, including consultants, accountants, and other professionals.
  • Industrial License: For businesses involved in manufacturing and production.
  • Commercial License: For trading activities, including import and export, distribution, and general trading.
  • Warehousing License: For storage and warehousing activities.
  • General Trading License: For businesses that want to trade a wide range of goods.

Additional Types of Licenses:

  • E-commerce License: For businesses conducting online trading and e-commerce activities.
  • Freelance Permit: For individuals who want to operate as freelancers in fields such as media, technology, and education.
  • Media License: For businesses involved in media production, broadcasting, publishing, and related activities.
  • Educational License: For institutions and businesses offering educational services or training programs.
  • Healthcare License: For businesses providing healthcare services, including clinics, hospitals, and medical labs.

Popular Free Zones in the UAE and Their Associated Costs

The UAE offers many Free Zones, each catering to specific industries and providing unique benefits. Here is a quick overview of key Free Zones and their startup costs:

Free Zone Industry Focus Starting Cost (AED)
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Commodities trading like gold, diamonds, and tea 35,484 – 50,000
Dubai World Central (DWC) / Dubai South Logistics, aviation, and light manufacturing 25,000+
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) Technology-based businesses 12,000 – 50,000
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Financial services and banking 50,000 – 100,000
Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) Logistics, manufacturing, e-commerce 10,000 – 50,000
Meydan Free Zone Media, professional services & consultancy, commercial, e-commerce 15,000 – 30,000
Dubai CommerCity E-commerce businesses 12,000 – 25,000
Dubai Internet City IT and tech startups 15,000 – 50,000
Dubai Media City Media and advertising 15,000 – 30,000
Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) Healthcare and medical services 10,000 – 25,000
Dubai Design District (d3) Design, art, and fashion 15,000 – 40,000
International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) Various business activities 15,000+
Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) Various business activities 10,000 – 20,000
Sharjah Media City (Shams) Startups and media companies 5,750
Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) Small and medium enterprises 6,000

Freezone Company Formation Packages

Company formation in UAE Free Zone involves specific requirements and costs set by each free zone authority. At RIZ & MONA CONSULTANCY, we offer simplified solutions, with costs starting from AED 5,750* to AED 50,000*. Some of the most cost-effective and affordable options are:

At RIZ & MONA CONSULTANCY, our experts help you choose the best free zone for your business based on your activity and budget.

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How to Save Money Setting Up a Business in UAE Free Zone

To start a cost-effective business in Dubai, entrepreneurs can take several key steps to save money while taking advantage of the city’s supportive business environment.

Choose Cost-Effective Free Zones

Dubai offers numerous free zones, each with its own cost structure and benefits. It’s essential to research and compare these zones based on not just initial setup costs but also ongoing expenses like renewal fees and office rent. Free zones such as Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) and Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) are known for their affordability, making them ideal for startups​.

Leverage Expert Consultation Services

Engaging business setup consultants can be a cost-effective strategy. Consultants provide comprehensive packages that cover everything from registration and visa processing to legal compliance, often at a lower overall cost than managing these tasks independently. They offer invaluable guidance to avoid costly mistakes and ensure a smooth setup process.

Utilize Flexible Workspace Solutions

For new and small businesses, large office spaces may not be necessary initially. Consider virtual offices or flexible desk options to significantly reduce costs related to physical office space while still providing essential infrastructure. This approach can save substantial amounts in rent and utilities.

Negotiate Lease Agreements

When selecting physical office space, negotiating lease terms can lead to significant savings. Many free zones offer incentives such as reduced rent and extended lease terms for startups. Co-working spaces or shared offices also provide cost-effective alternatives to traditional office rentals.

Optimize Documentation and Legal Processes

Properly handling business agreements, contracts, and essential legal documents like the Articles of Association (AoA) and Memorandum of Association (MoA) is crucial. Efficient management of these documents can prevent costly legal issues and ensure smooth operations.

Invest in Technology and Automation

Embracing technology and automating processes such as accounting, customer service, and inventory management can significantly reduce labor costs and improve operational efficiency. This approach helps maintain low operational costs and enhances productivity.

Benefits of Setting Up a Company in Dubai Free Zone

Free zone company formation in Dubai offers many benefits, especially for foreign companies and entrepreneurs. Here’s a simpler look at the main advantages:

100% Foreign Ownership

In Free Zones, foreign businesses don’t need a local partner. This regulatory structure allows foreign investors to have full ownership of their company. As a result, they can fully control all aspects of their business operations.

Tax Benefits

Companies in these designated areas don’t pay corporate or personal income taxes. They also avoid import and export duties, which saves money and boosts profits.

Flexibility in Business Activities

Companies can do multiple types of business under one Free Zone license in Dubai. This allows them to expand into new markets more easily without extra paperwork.

Access to Skilled Workforce

These areas attract professionals from around the world. The simple process for employee visas helps companies hire and keep top talent.

Strategic Location

These locations are near major transportation hubs like ports and airports. This makes it easier for businesses to trade globally and access international markets.

Quick Setup and Licensing

Dubai Free Zone company setup is fast and easy. They offer services that handle everything from registration and licensing to visas, speeding up the time to start operating.

Networking and Collaboration Opportunities

Being in a Free Zone means joining a community with many networking chances. Companies can collaborate and share knowledge, which helps them innovate and grow.

Advanced Infrastructure

Businesses in Free Zones have access to modern facilities and advanced technology. This includes high-speed internet and efficient logistics systems, supporting fast-paced business needs.

Repatriation of Revenue and Profits

Businesses can send all their capital and profits back to their home country. There are no currency restrictions, making financial management easier.

Regulatory Environment

Free Zones have their own rules, which are usually less strict than mainland regulations. This makes it easier for international businesses to operate smoothly.
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How Riz & Mona Consultancy Can Help?

Riz & Mona Consultancy is renowned as one of the top business setup consultants in Dubai, with over 15 years of experience facilitating a wide range of businesses throughout the UAE. Our deep connections with government officials and key authorities, combined with our extensive expertise in consultancy, streamline the process of establishing your business in Dubai. Additionally, we offer comprehensive financial, legal, and corporate services to support our clients throughout their business endeavors.

We offer complete support for your business setup, managing everything from company formation to bank account opening. Connect with us now to start your journey with a FREE consultation!

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How do I choose the right Dubai Free Zone for my business?

Consider the following factors:

  • Business Activity: Match your business type with the free zone’s specialties.
  • Cost: Compare the costs of setup, office space, and ongoing fees.
  • Location: Proximity to suppliers, customers, and logistical hubs.
  • Facilities: Availability of necessary facilities like warehouses, office space, and business centers.
  • Regulations: Ensure the free zone’s regulations align with your business needs.

What are the different legal structures available in Dubai Free Zones?

Common legal structures include:

  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE): Single shareholder entity.
  • Free Zone Company (FZC/FZCO): Multiple shareholders, typically up to 50.
  • Branch Office: Branch of an existing foreign or UAE company.
  • Freelance Permit: For individual freelancers offering specific services.

Are there any hidden costs in setting up a business in a Dubai Free Zone?

While most costs are straightforward, some hidden costs may include additional administrative fees, annual renewal fees, and potential costs for legal consultations and document translations. It’s prudent to budget an additional 10-20% for these miscellaneous expenses.

Are there any ongoing costs after the initial setup?

Yes, there are ongoing costs such as annual license renewal fees, office rent, visa renewals, and potential miscellaneous costs for legal and accounting services​.

What are the tax implications of operating in a Dubai Free Zone?

Businesses in Dubai Free Zones benefit from:

  • 0% Corporate Tax: On qualifying business activities.
  • 0% Personal Income Tax: For employees.
  • No Import/Export Duties: For goods traded within the free zone and internationally.
  • Full Repatriation of Profits: No restrictions on capital and profit repatriation​

What is the minimum share capital requirement in Dubai Free Zones?

The minimum share capital requirement varies by free zone.

How much is the Freezone visa in Dubai?

The cost of a Freezone visa in Dubai can range from AED 3,500 to AED 8,000 per visa, depending on the free zone and the specifics of the visa application.

Relevant Resources

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