Business set up in UAE free zones: Ajman Free Zone Authority

Business set up in UAE free zones has become very popular because UAE is a real economy with zero tax regime. New company incorporation can be done in free zones, mainland or offshore jurisdictions of the UAE. 

A company can be owned 100% by the shareholders in the free zone or in offshore authority. 

In the mainland, a local sponsor needs to be be appointed and he would own 51% while the investor owns 49% shares in the company in case you have a trading activity. If your activity is related to services or consulting, the local agent will own 0% of the shares and you will enjoy 100% ownership.

Some of the free zones in Dubai include: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai South (DWC), Dubai Publishing City, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC), Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA), Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Company owners in UAE always become eligible for resident visas. The Dubai residence visa cost vary, depending on the jurisdiction in which they are being applied from.

The visa costs, medicals, visa stamping in your passport and Emirates ID will be around 4,500 AED. Some free zones in Dubai require you to obtain health insurance before your visa gets stamped in your passport.

Company formation in Dubai free zones and mainland are expensive. Free zones out of Dubai are much cheaper. 

Let us give you an example of a UAE cost-efficient free zone. 

AJMAN FREE ZONE AUTHORITY

Ajman Free Zone company setup provides Investors with the most suitable business environment by offering through the following Free Zone benefits:

  • 100% ownership of establishment/company
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Easy transfer of capital and profits
  • Competitive prices for facility usage, power/electricity, and leasing
  • One-step counter service for effecting transactions (residency, licensing, etc)
  • Fast and easy procedures and in most cases, obtaining trade license within 24 hours.

Ajman Free Zone Authority was the first free zone to offer flexible payment plans, smart offices and warehouses, among other benefits. These facilities include high quality and multi-purpose Smart Warehouses of varied sizes.

For investors who are looking for a convenient and low budget start-up, Ajman Company Formation is attractive because it has a multiple installment payment plan for the company registration. This means that you can get your company registered by paying only part of the government fees for it. You can opt for 2,3 or 6 installments.

PAYMENT CONDITIONS

There are certain conditions set by Ajman Free Zone Authority on the installment payment plan, and the most important one to be met is - payment should be provided by post-dated cheques 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 cheques on the day of application for the company. 

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

TYPES OF SETUP

Ajman Free Zone Authority allows four types of business set-ups:

  • Ajman Free Zone Entity (FZE)
    The licenses under this category are issued to companies that are owned solely by one shareholder. The establishment enjoys an entirely independent corporate entity.
  • Ajman Free Zone Company (FZC)
    The licenses under this category are issued to companies with more than one owner.
  • Branch of a Foreign company
    Licenses under this category are issued to companies that are incorporated outside the UAE and are 100% foreign owned. Sales can only be made through a UAE registered distributor or agent.
  • Branch of a Local company
    Licenses under this category are issued to companies holding a valid trading license from any other UAE licensing authority. 

Ajman Free Zone Authority smart office always comes as part of the company set-up package. AFZA provides state-of-the-art facilities, amenities and other privileges such as:

  • Business Centers
  • Smart Offices
  • Executive Offices
  • Warehouses
  • Accommodation

TYPES OF BUSINESS LICENSES

There are different types of business registration licenses in AFZA: 

  • Trading License
    This license is issued to investors that wish to carry out trading activities in this free zone.
  • E-commerce License
    This is issued to those whose business activities are electronic trading or online business. It also provides technical and marketing support to investors.
  • Professional Service License
    This is issued to investors that want to carry out professional and service business activities such as Management consultancy, IT consultancy, etc.
  • Industrial License
    This includes manufacturing business activities in this Free zone. Investors here have to abide by the environmental standards and manufacturing policies in Ajman.

It provides a one-stop-shop facility- smart stores and warehouses are provided to ensure that the investors requirements are obtained in one place.

SETUP REQUIREMENTS

Company formation can be completed within 1 day. The documents required include: 

  • Valid passport copy
  • A colour passport sized photograph (For visa eligible set-ups)
  • UAE entry stamp copy (For visa eligible set-ups)
  • No Objection from sponsor (For those with a valid UAE resident visa)

RENEWAL 

The company renewal is done annually and it’s the same amount as the cost of the company incorporation. The renewals can be paid by multiple installments.

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

Renewals can be done remotely, but you have to give someone the Power of Attorney to go to the free zone on your behalf to make the application. The original trade license would be required.

LIQUIDATION

AFZA  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.

For those that have 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.

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