BUSINESS SETUP IN UAE FREE ZONES

Ajman Free Zone

Overview of Ajman Free Zone Authority

Ajman Free Zone is one of the oldest and best-known free zones within the UAE. It’s situated in the Emirate of Ajman about 40 minutes drive from Dubai.

This zone is located adjacent to a sea port and welcomes any businesses: starting from freelancers, ending with light manufacturing and trading companies.

As opposed to business setup in Dubai, Ajman Free Zone company setup is attractive to those who start a new business from scratch due to its competitive fees for young entrepreneurs and multiple installment payment plans.

Offices and warehouses in the free zone

Ajman Free Zone Authority always has the following facilities on the list:

  • Flexi–desks – available without monthly time limits
  • Offices
  • Warehouses

Flexi-desks and offices can be either located within the free zone headquarters or in a separate tower nearby.

The warehouses complex has significantly grown and covers all the area around Ajman Sea Port.

Customs and Immigration office are just across the road from Ajman Free Zone.

Activities

Activities for Ajman Free Zone company formation are divided into traditional 3 groups:

  • Trading
  • Service
  • Industrial

On top of that, in 2019 AFZA introduced a category of Freelance permit, which allows having a license and a 3 year visa for the most reasonable costs.

AFZA allows having either 1 service activity or 3 trading activities in the licence. Increase is not possible even for an extra payment. 

Business setup cost in Ajman 

Business setup in Ajman starts from as low as 5,000 AED per license. This package is designed for young businessmen from 20 to 30 years old. It is a great opportunity to have a low cost license and explore the UAE market. 

Other packages’ fees depend on visa allocations and business activities. The lowest cost is 13,535 AED for the license from trading category eligible for 1 visa.

Lowest business setup cost in Ajman, per license (AED):

Type of licenceCost, AED
Pioneer package (20-30 years old owners)5,000
Freelance package6,000
Trading package eligible for 1 visa13,535
Service package eligible for 1 visa16,135

If you are planning to open resident visas under the company, extra fees for immigration will apply:

  • E-channel deposit 5,000 AED
  • E-channel registration fee 2,100 AED
  • Visa, Medical checkup and Emirates ID 2,800 AED

Multiple payments plan

AFZA is the only free zone in the UAE which officially offers multiple installments payment option. You can pay for the company by 2, 3 or 6 installments.

There are certain conditions set by Ajman free zone authority to be met. Most important one – the payment should be provided by post-dated checks from a UAE bank. So if you go for 3 installments for Ajman free zone license, you can pay the initial one by cash and provide the remaining payments by 2 checks on the day of application for the company.

If you come from abroad, of course you won’t have any checks from a UAE bank. In this case you can use the checks of a friend or a relative, for example. But AFZA will ask him to sign a no objection letter to use his checkbook. Apart from that, you need to provide past 3 months bank statement as proof of funds.

Ajman Free Zone comapny setup

Ajman company formation can be done within 1 working day.

The following documents and information will be required:

  • Passport copy
  • Passport size photo
  • Residential address, phone number and email
  • Company name
  • Business activity

You can hire business setup consultants in Dubai for your Ajman free zone company registration. It can be done without your visit to the free zone.

After the company is registered you will receive your set of corporate documents:

  • License
  • Chamber of commerce registration certificate
  • Lease agreement
  • Memorandum (for companies with multiple partners)

These documents will enable you to apply for corporate bank account in Dubai. 

UAE residency visas

The procedure of getting a resident visa under your own free zone company is almost the same in all the free zones:

  1. Business registration 1 day
  2. Establishment card (immigration card) 10 days
  3. Entry visa 5 days
  4. Medical check-up, Emirates ID and visa stamping 5 days
  5. Emirates ID - 7 days from the date of visa stamping

If you processed your resident visa while being in the UAE as a tourist, you will need to change your status from tourist to resident after the entry visa is issued.

Ajman visa costs 2,800 AED including Medical checkup and Emirates ID. They need to be done only in the Emirate of Ajman. 

Renewal

Company renewal cost will be exactly the same as registration fees.

Renewal can be done without the personal visit of the owner. Upon renewal you will receive:

  • New license
  • Renewed lease agreement
  • Renewed Chamber of commerce certificate

Audit report is not required. 

Amendments

Amendments usually need to be done personally by company owners, but there is an option to authorise their representative too. 

AFZA has very reasonable fees for any amendments, ranging around 500 AED to 2000 AED.

Company liquidation in Ajman free zone

Company closure in AFZA is also rather low cost and easy to perform. You will need to get a few clearances first:

  • From the bank that the account is closed
  • From Ajman maintenance department of you rented a facility

You also have to close all resident visas in the company prior to its cancellation.

Liquidation can be done by the owner or his representative holding a Power of Attorney. All original company documents need to be given back to Ajman free zone. If you lose them, you need to go to Police and get a report about that.

Liquidation takes about 1 month, after which you receive official deregistration letter.

If any deposits were made under the company, you will get a refund after the liquidation is finished.

Our opinion

Ajman Free Zone is suitable to any business indeed and there is no reason not to recommend it.

It’s a great hub for small start-ups due to the lowest incorporation costs for them.

Larger businesses will enjoy the facilities and close distance to Dubai.

If you are checking any alternative solutions, have a look at Sharjah Airport Free Zone or Khalifa industrial zone in Abu Dhabi.

BENEFITS OF AJMAN FREE ZONE COMPANY

  • Fast registration – License in one day
  • Chamber of commerce membership upon company setup
  • Multiple installments plan: pay for AFZA license in 2, 3 or 6 installments
  • Sea port and warehouses within Ajman free trade zone
  • Unlimited usage of flexi desk
  • General trading activity with non-visa package – the cheapest in the UAE

START YOUR BUSINESS IN AFZA TODAY

FREELANCE LICENSE COSTS IN AJMAN FREE ZONE

FREELANCE LICENCE

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Freelance package no visa AED 9,950 $2,750 download breakdown
Freelance package 1 visa AED 15,753 $4,350 download breakdown

PIONEER LICENSE COSTS IN AJMAN FREE ZONE

For young entrepreneurs of the age 20-30

UP TO 1 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Pioneer package no visa AED 9,060 $2,500 download breakdown
Pioneer package 1 visa AED 14,863 $4,100 download breakdown

TRADING LICENSE COSTS IN AJMAN FREE ZONE

UP TO 2 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Trading license + Flexi Desk no visa AED 18,310 $5,050 download breakdown
Trading license + Flexi Desk 1 visa AED 24,113 $6,650 download breakdown
Trading license + Flexi Desk 2 visas AED 37,900 $10,400 download breakdown

SERVICE LICENSE COSTS IN AJMAN FREE ZONE

UP TO 2 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Service license + Flexi desk no visa AED 20,910 $5,750 download breakdown
Service license + Flexi desk 1 visa AED 26,713 $7,350 download breakdown
Service license + Flexi desk 2 visas AED 40,500 $11,100 download breakdown

GENERAL TRADING LICENSE COSTS IN AJMAN FREE ZONE

UP TO 2 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
General Trading + Flexi Desk no visa AED 23,510 $6,450 download breakdown
General Trading + Flexi Desk 1 visa AED 29,313 $8,050 download breakdown
General Trading + Flexi Desk 2 visas AED 43,100 $11,850 download breakdown

DOCUMENTS FOR AJMAN FREE ZONE COMPANY SETUP

DOCUMENTS

PROCEDURE

INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDER

  • - Passport
  • - Passport size photo
  • - NOC from sponsor for UAE visa holders
  • - Description of business
  • 1 day- Visit AFZA for company formation
  • 1-3 weeks- Establishment card
  • 1 week- Entry permit
  • 1 day- Medical Check-Up and Emirates ID
  • 4 days- Visa stamping

Top 10 questions about Ajman Free Zone company

  • Should I pay any tax if I carry out the business in Ajman free zone?

    Ajman free zone just like the rest of the UAE is exempted from any income or corporate tax. The only taxes which may occur are: 

    1. Import tax 5% of you import any goods from abroad and take them to the mainland from the free zone
    2. VAT in case your company falls under it

    There are no other taxes, which may apply to your Ajman free zone company. 

  • If l register a company in Ajman free zone, can l live and have a bank account in Dubai?

    Yes, you can have a company registered outside Dubai, but reside in Dubai or any other Emirate. You do not have to live in the same Emirate where your visa belongs to. You can also have a bank account in a Dubai branch of any UAE bank of your choice.

  • How to buy a company in Ajman free zone?

    If you found a company which you want to buy, first of all you need to agree about terms and conditions of the sale-purchase deal with the current shareholder(s). 

    After that both of you need to come to AFZA with the original documents of the company and apply for the procedure "Shares transfer". It usually takes about 3 weeks. Upon completion, you will get amended company documents with new shareholding details. You will also need to change the Establishment card of the company after the shares transfer if the company is eligible for resident visas.

  • Is AFZA a designated free zone and what does it mean?

    Yes, Ajman free zone is a designated one from the point of view of VAT. It means that if a company registered in such a free zone sells the goods to a company in another designated free zone, such transaction is going to be free of VAT.

  • How long may I stay out of UAE in order to keep my resident visa valid?

    If your visa status is Investor, you are allowed to stay out of UAE 12 months and enter UAE every 365 days in order to maintain your visa. 

    If your visa status is other than Investor, you have to enter UAE every 6 months to keep the visa valid.

    In case you fail to come or overstay abroad, your visa will be cancelled automatically and you will need to apply for a new one.

  • How difficult is to close an Ajman free zone company?

    Ajman free zone company liquidation can be done only after a personal application of a shareholder or a person having power of attorney from company owners.
    The process takes about 3 weeks. It consists of these major steps:

    Visa cancellation  (7-10 working days) - if there was a visa in the company.

    Establishment card cancellation (7-10 working days) - if it was a visa eligible company

    License cancellation

    The original documents of the company need to be returned to AFZA when you apply for company liquidation. They include:

    • License
    • Chamber of Commerce certificate
    • Lease Agreement
    • Articles of Association
    • Establishment card

    If you had a corporate bank account, it should be closed before applying for company liquidation. You should obtain a letter proof from the bank confirming that. 

    After the company is dissolved, you will get an official deregistration letter from the free zone as a formal confirmation of the liquidation.

  • Can Ajman free zone company hold its offices outside the free zone?

    The official office of the free zone company must be located within the premises of AFZA. You will not be able to rent a Dubai office under the license issued in Ajman.

    If you need to have a workspace or a meeting facility in Dubai, the best way would be to use a business center. You will be able to have flexible options starting from meeting room usage ending with executive serviced office of any required size. 

  • How shall I renew my AFZA license?

    The company in Ajman needs to be renewed annually. The cost of the renewal is exactly the same as the cost of license registration. 

    If your company is eligible for visas, you will also need to renew E-channel.

    Renewal can be done without the presence of the shareholder,  but you have to authorize someone to come to the free zone on your behalf to make the application. Original trade license will be required.  

    Time-frame of the renewal is 1-2 days.

  • What is the procedure for an Ajman Free Zone visa renewal?

    Visa renewal is similar to the new visa process, but costs cheaper and processing is slightly easier. In order to renew the visa you need to do new Medical check and re-apply for new Emirates ID. It should be done with your original passport and copy of the old visa, which should still be valid. Once the medical report is issued, just apply for new visa to the free zone counter and pay the fees for visa stamping only. 

    It’s recommended to start visa renewal about 2 weeks before the old visa expires.

  • How can I check my Ajman free zone residence visa validity?

    The visa validity is written on the visa itself. If you are a company owner, your visa would be valid for 3 years. If you are an employee, the validity is 2 years.

  • Can I get a license in Ajman free zone without flexi-desk if I don't need it?

    Flexi-desk always comes as a part of company setup package even if you are not planning to use it. It is mandatory that any company has at least a small physical space from where it can conduct the activities. The free zone is obliged to provide such a space regardless of your intentions of using it or not. 

  • How to check Ajman free zone visa status?

    If you are processing your resident visa and want to check the status, you may either call AFZA customer care line or check the updates on the free zone portal.

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