BUSINESS SETUP IN UAE FREE ZONES

Umm Al Quwain Free Zone

Overview of UAQ free zone authority

Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone was founded in 1987, but it became known to the public only after 2014 when it had undergone some restructuring and started marketing its services.

It is located in the smallest Emirate of the UAE but offers all the facilities that larger free zones are proposing.

There are various packages starting from zero visa companies, ending up with 1,2 or 3  visa options. Even if you start with zero visas package, it can be upgraded at any point in time. Packages can also be downgraded if you need to minimize the ongoing costs.

Facilities

All packages come with a flexi-desk facility - a desk in a shared office, which serves as a minimum office requirement in the UAE. 

Umm Al Quwain Free Zone offers offices and warehouses as well, which means it would suit any type of business.

Company activities

The business activities list is quite broad. It has the following categories:

  • Commercial
  • Consultancy
  • General Trading
  • Premium Consultancy
  • Premium Commercial
  • Freelance
  • Industrial

Every license can have up to 3 commercial activities if they are not related or 10 related ones. The consultancy segment allows 2 business activities per license.

You can have a dual Umm Al Quwain Free Zone license - it's an unbeatable offer of UAQ Free Zone. How does it work? You get a company setup with one category license and add another license from a different category for 2,500 AED only. For example, you open a trading company and add a consultancy license to it as an additional one.

UAQ freelance setup has a lot of activities for creative individuals, but it is worth to compare it with Freelance license in Dubai to make the right choice.

UAQ FTZ license costs 

UAQ FTZ offers very reasonable fees for the companies registration and renewal. Umm Al Quwain Free Zone license fees start with 13,500 AED for the most basic setup which can be eligible for 1 visa.

If you have a flexi-desk setup, you are saving a 5,000 AED deposit paid to the immigration for the E-channel system. UAQ stopped charging it for small companies.

Office rent prices start from about 35,000 AED including license fees.

Setup Umm Al Quwain free zone company

Company registration can be done without personal visit. However, the shareholders need to sign incorporation documents and ship original hard copies to UAE for the incorporation.

The owners need to provide certain personal documents for business setup, such as:

  • Passport copy
  • UAE entry stamp copy (for visa-eligible setups)
  • Passport size photo (for visa-eligible setups)
  • Recent utility bill as address proof

Once the documents reach Umm Al Quwain Free Zone authority, your company will be registered within 1-2 working days.

Resident visas

Umm Al Quwain Free Zone visa is one of the most affordable visas in the UAE. The visa is valid for 3 years.

Umm Al Quwain resident visa fees (AED):

 UAQ feeMedical checkupEmirates ID
Investor2500637370
Employee2200637270

Health insurance is not required for visa processing.

Visas for dependants can be obtained quite easily. Just remember that the main requirements for that include:

  • Apartment rent
  • Attested in the UAE Embassy birth/marriage certificates
  • Stamped resident visa of the sponsor

Resident visas can be opened remotely without your visit to UAQ. You can reside in any of the Emirates - you don't need to live in UAQ if you have a visa from there.

It may be challenging to get resident visas for citizens from so-called high risk countries, such as:

  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Sudan
  • Turkey
  • Bangladesh
  • Iraq
  • Algeria and others

However, a security approval can be done prior to payment for the company registration to check the possibility of getting the visa. Keep in mind that the high risk list is frequently changing and also differs in various Emirates, so there is always an option to accommodate a person of any nationality.

Business setup in Dubai is usually recommended for such nationalities due to less immigration restrictions in this Emirate.

Renewal

UAQ company renewal can also be done remotely just like the registration. You will need to make the payment and submit a new copy of flexi-desk lease agreement to the free zone.

Audit reports are not required.

Renewal is usually done within 2-3 days.

Upon renewal you will receive a new license and flexi-desk lease agreement.

Renewal costs are usually slightly less than the incorporation fees.

Amendments

Possible amendments of the company include change of corporate name, business activity, shares transfer, change of manager/director, etc. Most of amendments can be processed remotely.

Shares transfer procedure would require either personal presence of the shareholders or a notarized Power of Attorney to a truster person, who can come on their behalf.

Liquidation

Company liquidation also requires either a personal presence of the owner or a visit of a PoA holder. You will need to return all original documents of the company to UAQ, make the payment and wait about 1 month for the procedure to be finished.

Government fee for liquidation is 2,000 AED, which is much lower than in the majority of other free zones.

Experts Opinion

To sum it up, UAQ is likely to suit almost any business activity. We recommend this Free Zone for those who need cheap and quick UAE business setup or residency and don't care about the location.

An alternative solution for those who did not find suitable activity in Umm Al Quwain Free Zone could be Hamriyah Free Zone company registration.

BENEFITS OF UAQ FREE ZONE COMPANY

  • Fast setup - 1 day
  • Company registration without personal presence
  • No annual audit
  • Designated Free Zone
  • Low cost of the resident visas
  • No health insurance required for resident visa
  • Unlimited upgrading or downgrading of the package any time
  • Educational degree is not required for the company owners’ visas
  • Trading and Professional Services can be combined in one company
  • Business activities without external approvals
  • No need consent from employer to open business if you are employed

START YOUR BUSINESS IN UAQ FTZ TODAY

TRADING / SERVICE / E-COMMERCE LICENSE COSTS IN UAQ FREE ZONE

UP TO 2 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Trading / Service / E-commerce license + Flexi Desk no visa AED 19,800 $5,450 download breakdown
Trading / Service / E-commerce license + Flexi Desk 1 visa AED 26,812 $7,350 download breakdown
Trading / Service / E-commerce license + Flexi Desk 2 visas AED 38,423 $10,550 download breakdown

GENERAL TRADING LICENSE COSTS IN UAQ FREE ZONE

UP TO 3 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
General trading + Flexi Desk no visa AED 33,800 $9,300 download breakdown
General trading + Flexi Desk 1 visa AED 40,812 $11,200 download breakdown
General trading + Flexi Desk 2 visas AED 45,423 $12,450 download breakdown
General trading + Flexi Desk 3 visas AED 50,035 $13,750 download breakdown

PREMIUM LICENSES COSTS IN UAQ FREE ZONE

UP TO 3 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Premium license + Flexi Desk no visa AED 38,800 $10,650 download breakdown
Premium license + Flexi Desk 1 visa AED 45,812 $12,600 download breakdown
Premium license + Flexi Desk 2 visas AED 50,423 $13,850 download breakdown
Premium license + Flexi Desk 3 visas AED 55,035 $15,100 download breakdown

FREELANCE LICENSE COSTS IN UAQ FREE ZONE

1 VISA COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Freelance license no visa AED 20,700 $5,672 download breakdown
Freelance license 1 visa AED 25,012 $6,853 download breakdown

DOCUMENTS FOR UAQ FREE ZONE SETUP

DOCUMENTS

PROCEDURE

INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDER

  • - Passport
  • - UAE entry stamp copy
  • - Passport size photo
  • - Latest utility bill as address proof
  • - Description of business
  • 1 day- Company name and activity approval
  • 1 day- Company formation
  • 1-3 weeks- Establishment card
  • 1 week- Entry permit
  • 1 day- Medical Check-Up and Emirates ID
  • 1 week- Visa stamping

Top 10 questions about Umm Al Quwain free zone company

  • If l register a company in a free zone outside of Dubai, 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.

  • Can I open a bank account remotely?

    No, you have to visit UAE personally. It is a requirement of a UAE Central bank which all local banks have to follow. Personal visit is required to make sure that the client is known by the bank.

  • Do banks give debit and credit cards or loans?

    Normally you can get a debit card for your newly opened company if there is only one shareholder. You can also have a credit card, but it will be given against a fixed deposit. As for the loan, it is possible to get it, but you need to show company operations and profits to the bank. Upon checking your company's turnovers and profits, a bank may approve a loan. We recommend applying for it at least after one year of company's operations.

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

    Officially an office of a free zone company has to be located only within the free zone where this company was registered. If you need an office in Dubai, you have an option to rent a space in a Business center and use it either a few times per month or daily, depending on the package that you choose. However, the free zone minimum required space (flexi desk) cannot be cancelled.

  • Why do I need a flexi desk or office?

    A flexi desk is an obligatory requirement for any company eligible for resident visas. UAE government obliges to have it because it's the minimum physical office space, that a company who has any individual under its visa must have. Apart from that, flexi desk is helpful for bank account opening. The compliance department of the banks needs to see that a company has some kind of office or at least a small physical seat, where it can be working from.

  • Do we have to pay VAT if our company is registered in the Free Zone?

    VAT obligations of the company depend not only on the place of its registration, but on the place where its business takes place. To start with, VAT comes into picture once your taxable turnover reaches 375 000 AED. Taxable turnover means the turnover which was done in the UAE. If your company is registered in a Free Zone, but the trading takes place abroad (for example you sell goods from India to Africa), that turnover is not considered taxable, because the transactions are taking place out of UAE. It means that you do not have to pay VAT. But if you have a free zone company and import goods to UAE, you have to add 5% VAT to your Invoices and pay VAT. If your company is registered in a designated free and sells the goods to another designated free zone or within the same zone, VAT does not appear.

  • Should I pay any other TAX?

    UAE is free from income tax and corporate tax. It has only imported tax 5% for the goods that you bring into the country and VAT 5% for the trading or service transactions that happened in UAE.

  • Why will a free zone company suit me better than an offshore or a mainland entity?

    Everything depends on your business model and requirements, but a free zone setup is the most suitable for the majority of the business needs. Free Zone company has 100% foreign ownership unlike mainland where you need a local partner or agent, it can be eligible for resident visas, allows doing business both in and out of UAE, more favorable by the banks in comparison to offshore companies, can have a flexi desk space instead of an executive office like in mainland companies. Free Zone is a good way to start a business for reasonable fees and without unwanted obligations.

  • Can you guarantee opening of a bank account?

    We do our best when we setup your company in such a way that would make account opening easier for you. Knowing your background and your business model, we can give you our estimation about the chances of successful account opening. The approval of the account fully depends on the bank. Each case goes to a few departments of the bank where it has to be approved before the account gets opened. If the bank has any questions or needs clarifications, it will contact you directly with the inquiries. The more clear picture about your business you give to the bank, the higher your chances of account opening are. Being a consultancy company, we cannot guarantee opening of a bank account, because it depends on the factors which do not depend on us. However, we do our best to prepare you and your company for smooth and fast account opening.

  • Should I renew my company? When? How much does it cost?

    Yes, the company should be renewed annually. The cost of the renewal is usually less than the setup cost. It depends on your company package. You can get the price by downloading the Estimate from this page. Renewal does not require personal presence of the owner and can be done by your agent. After company renewal, the new license has to be shown to the bank in order to extend the bank account. It is always included into our renewal service.

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