Registering company in Abu Dhabi

Registering your company in Abu Dhabi

Business setup in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is known as the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi free zone company formation can be done in a free zone located in Abu Dhabi. The most popular free zone there is KIZAD

If you decide to do your company formation in Abu Dhabi free zone jurisdiction as an expatriate, you will have 100% company ownership. This is the most demanded type of international business registration. 

In the Abu Dhabi Mainland business registration, the company registration is done in the Department of Economic Development (DED). The investor would require a UAE citizen to be a “local sponsor” who will have 51% of the company shares in case of trading activity or 0 shares in case you conduct professional business. 

Company registration in Abu Dhabi

There are a lot of investors that want to invest in the UAE but do not know how to start a small business in Dubai or other Emirates including Abu Dhabi. 

It is recommended to seek the assistance of company formation consultants in Abu Dhabi.These are the experts in company formation and they would give you a detailed consultation as well as guidance on the best jurisdiction to incorporate your company that will work best for your requirements.

If you choose to do your business setup companies in Abu Dhabi free zone, there is a number of options for you to select from for your business registration:

Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD)

It is located next to the Khalifa port and offers the most affordable setup packages and the best warehouses out of all the Abu Dhabi free zones. The business setup is quick and can be done in one day. If you have a license from this free zone, you can open a second license in Abu Dhabi Mainland without a local sponsor.

Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAFZ)

This free zone is situated within Abu Dhabi international airport. It offers all the benefits of a free zone company but does not have available warehousing facilities or commercial offices.
It is perfect for investors whose business activities are aviation, logistics, aerospace, oil and gas, etc.

Industrial City of Abu Dhabi

It is situated in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi but has the highest level of technological standards. It is ideal for industrial and manufacturing companies. It’s communication network means are advance and it provides convenient transportation links to the MENA region.

Abu Dhabi Ports Company Free Zone (ADPC)

This is also known as the Khalifa port in Abu Dhabi. It controls and regulates trading and master development in the Khalifa port. It is situated between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and provides access to 52 international maritime ports.

Abu Dhabi Global Markets Free Zone (ADGMFZ)

This is a highly regulated free zone and is similar to business setup in Dubai free zone called Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). It is ideal for investors whose business activities are related to wealth and asset management as well as private banking. It also has its own court that is independent from Shariah courts and has its own common law framework for commercial and civil dispute settlements.


The specialty of this free zone is media business activities. It plays a prominent role in the Arabic media content creation industry. Prominent media houses are located here, such as BBC, CNN, Financial Times, etc. It has a wide range of business activities for freelancers to select from.

Masdar City Free Zone

It is close to the Abu Dhabi airport. It is an emerging business hub for renewable energy and clean technologies. It has top-notch research facilities to assist companies developing future green technology products and energy products.

Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp)

This free zone has established six first class industrial and manufacturing zones in Abu Dhabi. It has attracted a huge number of foreign direct investment and accounts for half of the GDP of Abu Dhabi.

Benefits of an Abu Dhabi free zone company

  • You have 100% company ownership
  • There are no corporate taxes or company profit taxes
  • Low cost and fast company registration process
  • High quality warehouses and offices
  • Quick immigration process
  • You can have more than one business activity listed on your company license

Legal entities in Abu Dhabi free zone

You can register your company as an individual shareholder or as a subsidiary of a corporate entity.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  • LLC company formation in Abu Dhabi
    It can comprise of single shareholder(s), corporate shareholder(s) or a combination of the two.
  • Branch of a foreign company
    You can setup your company as a branch of an existing foreign company as long as you are going to carry out the same business activities as the parent company
  • Subsidiary of a foreign company
    Setting up your new company as a subsidiary allows you to carry out a different business activity than that of the parent company.

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