Free Zone Business Setup

Enabling global and homegrown companies to thrive in the UAE

Setup & License Your Company in a Free Zone

Dubai and the UAE boast a wide array of over 40 operational Free Zones, with additional zones currently being developed. Each Free Zone operates under the guidance of its respective Free Zone Authority (FZA) and is strategically designed to cater to specific commercial sectors. Consequently, only companies operating within these designated sectors are eligible to obtain licenses from the Free Zones.

The primary allure of establishing a business within a Free Zone lies in the absence of restrictions on foreign ownership. Moreover, Free Zone Companies operate under the governance of independent Free Zone Authorities, which assume responsibility for issuing operating licenses and overseeing the activities of companies within the Free Zone. Consequently, Free Zone Companies are exempt from the regulations outlined in the UAE Commercial Companies Law.

It is crucial to dispel the misconception that Free Zone Companies are synonymous with Offshore Companies. Although these entities share some similarities, they possess distinct requirements and characteristics that set them apart.

Retain Ownership

The UAE's free zones provide a significant advantage to foreign investors by allowing them to retain full ownership (100%) of their businesses without the requirement of a local partner.

Modern Infrastructure

Dubai's free zones provide access to extensive infrastructure and world-class facilities to support business growth.

Taxation Benefits

Companies operating in free zones enjoy minimized taxation, with reduced or zero corporate and income taxes.

Capital Repatriation

Registering a company in a Dubai free zone allows for the complete repatriation of capital and profits, providing businesses with unrestricted control over their financial assets.

Choosing the Right UAE Free Zone

With over 45 diverse Free Zones available in the UAE, selecting the most reputable and suitable one can be complex. That’s where we come in. At Profound, we save you time and money by guiding you towards the ideal Free Zone based on your business goals, visa and office requirements, and investment budget.

Our experts carefully assess all factors to recommend the optimal location for registering your business in the UAE, ensuring the facilitation of your business growth.


Of Fortune 500 companies registered


Free Economic Zones operating in the UAE


Companies registered in the UAE Free Zones

UAE Free Zone explained

UAE Free Zones have gained global recognition as the most sought-after free economic zones worldwide. These geographically defined areas offer a favorable business environment by reducing mainland taxes, employment restrictions, import-export limitations, and bureaucratic requirements, making them highly appealing to foreign investors.

Impressively, over 56% of Fortune 500 companies have chosen to register their businesses in the UAE’s 45+ Free Economic Zones. The cumulative number of registered companies in these zones has surpassed 200,000, demonstrating the immense popularity and success of UAE Free Zones as a preferred destination for international business ventures.


How to register
a UAE Free Zone company

Have a look at the main steps of registering a business with Profound.

Select a license type and business activity

In UAE Free Zones, it is important to choose the right license type based on your business activity. Commercial activities require a Trading/Commercial License, service-based activities need a Service License, and manufacturing or production activities require an Industrial License. Mixing commercial and service activities in one license is generally not permitted in Free Zones.

Choose a Free Zone

Selecting the right Free Zone in the UAE is crucial, as each Free Zone has its own set of permitted activities, available facilities, and visa quotas. To ensure the best fit for your business, seeking professional consultation is highly recommended at this stage. Experts can provide valuable guidance in choosing the most suitable Free Zone that aligns with your business requirements and objectives.

Choosing a Corporate Structure in a Free Zone

When establishing a business in a UAE Free Zone, you can opt for different corporate structures, including a new company with individual shareholders, a subsidiary company with corporate shareholders, a joint venture with a mix of individual and corporate shareholders, or a branch of a local or foreign company. It is important to consult with the chosen Free Zone to ensure compliance and suitability for your business activities.

Select trade name & prepare documents

To register a new company in a Free Zone, provide a list of three preferred trade names. The required documents differ depending on the Free Zone. For new company formation, standard documents include passport, visa, Emirates ID (if applicable), NOC for UAE Residents (in specific Free Zones), proof of residential address, and professional CV. Note that document requirements for branch companies may vary. Contact the chosen Free Zone for the specific list of documents needed.

Apply for initial approval

During the initial approval process, you seek approval for your company name, chosen business activity(ies), and proposed company structure. This step ensures compliance with Free Zone regulations before proceeding with company formation.

Sign legal documents for company incorporation

Once initial approval is granted in the Free Zone, a meeting (or video call) with a representative is arranged. Shareholders or UBOs verify their passports, and key documents like Articles of Association, Board Resolution, and Specimen Signature Form are signed, finalizing the company incorporation process.

Collect Business License

Upon signing registration documents, obtaining approvals, and making payments, the Free Zone will issue your business license along with other necessary corporate documents, allowing you to commence operations legally in the Free Zone.


Free Zone Company formation provides a strategic advantage for businesses looking to operate regionally or globally. It offers a business-friendly environment, ease of company setup, and access to state-of-the-art infrastructure within the free zone.

Yes, Profound offers comprehensive Free Zone Company formation services. Our expert team will guide you through the entire process, from selecting the right free zone to obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.

Free Zone Companies enjoy full foreign ownership, no currency restrictions, customs benefits, tax exemptions, and streamlined bureaucratic processes, making them an attractive option for businesses targeting international markets.

Each free zone has its own set of permitted business activities. Some free zones cater to specific industries, while others offer a broader range of activities. Our team will help you choose the most suitable free zone based on your business activities.

Yes, most free zones require businesses to lease office space within the free zone. However, the required office space varies depending on the free zone’s regulations and the type of license you need. Our team will assist you in finding suitable office options.

Yes, Free Zone Companies can have multiple shareholders, and full foreign ownership is permitted in most free zones. However, there might be restrictions on the number of shareholders depending on the chosen legal structure.

Yes, Profound provides a wide range of post-formation services for Free Zone Companies, including visa processing, accounting, bookkeeping, tax compliance, and other administrative support to ensure your business runs smoothly.

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