UAE's Free Zones are tax free zones for companies which could be 100% owned by foreigners, regardless of their nationality and residency, without any Emirati partner being required unlike the limited liability companies established outside free zones in the mainland territory with the Departments of Economic Development. In addition these companies are not required to have a service agent to act as liaison with the government authorities unlike some of the mainland companies.
UAE’s free zones are mainly industry focused for companies that fall within their type of business category. Each Free zone has its own governing authority and regulations.
The main features of these companies are:
- Depending on the free zone and the chosen activity there could be different share capital requirements
- Business licenses are issued to companies, allowing them to conduct their activities, depending on the chosen business activity which will also determine the type of legal structures to be used amongst three main classifications: Commercial, Professional and Industrial. Proper planning, Deep knowledge of local culture and legislation norms (federal and free zones ones) are essential at this main and initial stage. Preparing and implementing Business plan, Business registration, Name reservation, licensing procedure and choosing the right free zone require all a deep and sound knowledge of each free zone requirements and advantages to properly structure your plan, reach your goal and target your segment of customers.
- Companies could be granted tax exemptions, tax residency certificates to benefit of UAE Tax Conventions avoiding cross borders double taxation
- Companies could benefit of virtual offices avoiding to rent their own office unlike mainland companies
- 100% ownership by foreign investors regardless of their nationality and residency
- 100% tax exemption on personal income
- 100 % tax exemption on corporate income, for more than renewable 15 to 50 years period
- 100% free repatriation of capital and dividends
- 100% tax exemption on capital gains
- Large network of double tax conventions
- No withholding taxes
- No inheritance tax
- No exit tax
- Exemptions for export and import tax duties
- 100% transactions confidentiality
- No public register of Directors and Shareholders
- Corporate Shareholders allowed