Business Setup in Abu Dhabi Free Zones

Business setup in Abu Dhabi free zones tend to be popular among investors worldwide for many reasons. Abu Dhabi is the United Arab Emirates’ federal capital and the biggest of the seven emirates, accounting for more than 80% of the country’s total geographical area. In Abu Dhabi, various free zones provide a favorable environment for company formation in the Emirates and a doorway for international investors to use the country’s potential fully. However, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification strategy aims to enhance the local economy and attract global investment, including free zones. Media and light firms, logistics companies, and medium and heavy industries are the most common businesses found in free zones. Hence, the main driving factor for business creation in Abu Dhabi is shareholders’ many incentives and benefits of forming a company in one of the Abu Dhabi free zones.
Most UAE emirates have established free zones to strengthen the region’s economy, attract international investment, and spur growth. Likewise, in the UAE free zone, the Free Zone Authority is the government organization that registers and provides business permits to non-resident enterprises.


How to Start a Business in Abu Dhabi Free Zone

The government encourages business setup in Abu Dhabi free zones to ease and promote foreign investment. As a result, the method for establishing a firm is easy, straightforward, time-consuming, and devoid of bureaucratic impediments.

Free zones are separate jurisdictions that serve as a single-window administration, allowing an expatriate entrepreneur to own 100% of a firm without collaborating with a UAE native. They also manage non-resident company registration and assist businesses in establishing their operations. Also, the Abu Dhabi Free Zone Authority (FZA) is an autonomous government entity that distributes free zone operating permits.

The Steps to Complete Abu Dhabi Free Zone Company Registration

The procedure for business setup in Abu Dhabi free zones becomes easier with expert help. It is as below;

  1. Identifying the Business Activity Type

Because each business activity has its own set of rules and regulations, you must first decide which activity you will engage in before proceeding.

  1. Obtaining a Trade Name Registration

After completing the first step, you’ll need to register your company’s trade name. Suppose an existing company does not already use the name in the UAE. In that case, it will be accepted and legally registered by the authorities. You can submit a list of recommended titles to the Abu Dhabi Free Zone Authority.

  1. Obtaining the Free Zone Authority’s Approvals

An investor must acquire permission to issue a business license after receiving initial approval for their trade name and meeting all conditions.

  1. License Issuance

After receiving clearance from the relevant authorities, the investor may go on to the next step. Additionally, they should meet the legislative criteria for acquiring an Abu Dhabi free zone license from the free zone authority.

Documents Required for Abu Dhabi Free Zone Company Formation

  1. Application Form by the company
  2. Copies of the shareholders’ passports
  3. Passport size photographs of the concerned in white background
  4. 2-3 suggested business names for the new company
  5. Specifications of the business activity
  6. Number of visas required
  7. Two Proofs of Address (last three months)
  8. Bank or Professional Reference Letter
  9. Curriculum Vitae for freelance license

There are a few free zones where a copy of the proper business plan is also required.

Advantages of Abu Dhabi Free Zone Company Registration

Investors looking to start a business can take advantage of various options available for business setup in Abu Dhabi free zones. Anyone may create a company with flexible-facility in any free trade zone. As a result, starting a business in a free zone is always less expensive. Various free zones will have different prices. Additionally, there are several more advantages of a business set up in Abu Dhabi free zones:

  • Foreign ownership is 100 percent.
  • Exemption from personal or corporate income taxes Full repatriation of earnings and capital Exemption from import and export customs duties on products and services
  • Advanced infrastructure that has already been developed
  • Companies in comparable sectors share a work campus in a business cluster setting. It promotes cordial communication and productive teamwork.
  • With a streamlined company incorporation procedure, the climate is conducive to business.
  • Company laws and a business-friendly legal framework
  • The Abu Dhabi free zone visa obtained by company formation benefits investors and dependents.
  • Rapid access to experienced specialists and a quick immigration procedure
  • A single point of contact for various government services such as visas, traffic, residential permits, licensing, and postal services.

With the worldwide trend of trade liberalization, the Abu Dhabi Free Zone Authority is eager to capitalize on a variety of possibilities and difficulties by offering exceptional assistance to businesses operating in its free zones. Company incorporation in Abu Dhabi free zones necessitates extensive business planning and decision-making. So, it guarantees that proper infrastructure is chosen and all relevant processes are completed. 

List of Free Zones in Abu Dhabi

There are eight free zones in Abu Dhabi:

  • Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)
  • Twofour54
  • Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) Free Zone
  • Abu Dhabi Global Markets Free Zone (ADGMFZ)
  • Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
  • Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp)
  • Masdar City Free Zone
  • Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD)