Free Zone companies are licensed and controlled by the Free Zone Authorities. Free Zones are ideal for startups. To start a business there, the Business setup in the UAE Free Zone is comparatively a different process than to of a Mainland. 

The controlling body of the Free zones is not the same authority as that of the UAE Mainland Business or offshore Business, as Free zones are governed by each Emirate’s free zone authority. The main benefit of setting up a business in a Free zone is that the companies enjoy 0% tax on customs duties and complete tax exemption on imports and exports, thus making Free Zone more preferred destination for investors. 

Helping entrepreneurs set up a business with the best facilities and advantages is a challenge and the UAE authorities are loaded with opportunities for people looking to invest. 

BMS Auditing is a renowned enterprise that has years of expertise in establishing companies in all UAE Free Zones. Our business setup services follow all the regulations issued by the government and comply with all the laws to provide you the premium services. 

image with texts related to business setup in UAE Free Zones with added logos of all the free zones in UAE

Starting a Business in UAE Free Zones

To start a business in a UAE Free Zone, you need to choose a Free Zone, register your entity, get a Trade license & visa, and open a business bank account. UAE Free Zones have many benefits for both residents and nonresidents such as 100% foreign ownership, no taxes, etc for those who register a business in the zone.

The UAE government has free zones in different emirates, each designed for a specific business activity. There are over 44 free zones located all across the UAE that have been attracting foreign direct investment in the form of 200,000 companies. 

These free zones differ in focus, set-up pricing, and required paperwork, however, the basic requirements are all the same. 

BMS Corporate provides business setup assistance in these Free Zone areas: 


The Free Zones in the UAE are attractive administrations for investors who are looking for 100% ownership of their businesses. The concept of a free zone is to develop and promote business in various countries. 

Free zones enable 100% ownership, zero tax, and customs rights to company owners, and these benefits make free zones the most preferred choice for business setup. 


Why set up a business in Free Zones over Mainland?

Following are the reasons why you should choose free zones for business setup:

  • Allows 100% foreign ownership irrespective of the nationality of the investor
  • Companies are exempted from UAE corporate income tax
  • The process of setting up a business is simple and quick 
  • Ideal locality for both startups and small businesses
  • Adaptable for 24/7 operations
  • 100% returns on capital and profits
  • Fully exempted from corporate, personal, and income taxes
  • Easier procedures for start-up and licensing
  • UAE residence visa for 3 years
  • Can hire expatriates without restrictions


Steps to Setup a Business Setup in a Free Zone

Company Formation in the UAE free zone is easier, as the authorities request minimum documents and lesser duration. Following are the steps involved in setting up a business in the free zone:

steps included in starting a business in UAE Free Zones

1. Decide the type of legal entity

You must assess the type of legal entity for your business. In a Free zone, you can choose either of these two types of Free Zone Entities:

  • Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC) or Free Zone Company (FZ Co.)
  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE)


Depending on the number of shareholders and whether they are natural or legal persons, you should choose your company category in the free zone. 

All free zones need not register both types of business. The business type can be confirmed with the specific free zone authorities before registering. 


2. Choose a name for the business or the entity

As you choose the type of business or entity, it is equally important to choose a suitable entity name. It is also necessary that you check with the corresponding free zone authority or with the Department of Economic Development for the approved names and whether the chosen name is already registered.


3. Apply for a Business trade license

The business license type you apply for is based on the primary activity of the business. 

Here are some business activity types you can conduct:

Types Business Activities
Major Businesses
  1. Corporate Print Material
  2. Scriptwriting
  3. Animation
  4. Music production and recording
  5. Content production
  6. Print content production (e.g. magazines, journals, periodicals, newsletters, guides, and handbooks, etc.)
  7. Digital content production (e.g. CGI, 3D, etc)
  8. Illustration
  9. Photography/Videography
  10. Advertising
  11. Radio content production
  12. Online electronic content production (e.g. websites, e-books, travel guides, etc.)
  13. TV production
  14. Software development (e.g. applications)
  15. Mobile media (e.g. content for interactive media services on mobile phones)
  16. Corporate Film production
  17. Songwriting and composing
  18. Educational content material
  19. Music videos
  20. Web design and development (e.g. portal, search engine, community site, web production, online library)
  21. Gaming development
  22. Graphic design
  23. Film production
  24. Performing arts and Theatre
Publishing and Broadcasting
  1. Broadcast a satellite/terrestrial television channel
  2. Book Publishing
  3. Magazine Publishing
  4. Newspaper Publishing
  5. broadcast a satellite/terrestrial radio channel
Other Businesses
  1. Marketing Communications
  2. Events/Festivals
  3. Public Relations
  4. Post Production (e.g. Film, TV, editing services)
  5. Information Services (e.g. media related market research)
  6. Media content management (e.g. digital archiving)
  7. Rights Management
  8. Exhibitions/Conferences
  9. Branding Agency
  10. Training (media related)
  11. Professional Association (e.g. non-profit)

4. Find an office space

You could either buy an office space or take it on lease in free zones. Office requirements completely depend on the number of employees and the type of business activity. 


5. Obtain pre-approvals, register your business, and get the license

Businesses established in free zones are controlled by the laws of the corresponding free zone. For necessary approvals, you need to collect relevant documents. The document differs on the type of business activity, type of company, and the free zone authority requirements. 

Here is a general procedure you need to follow for approvals:

  1. Initial approval
  2. Registration
  3. Licensing and visa process


Document Required to Start a Business in Free Zone 

To set up a new company in any free zone region in the UAE, you need to produce certain documents and get approval from the GCC or the Arab embassy.

  • Form to apply for a license
  • Business card
  •  Capital for business plan
  • Memorandum of Association (MoA) 
  • Articles of Association (AoA)
  • Passport copies
  • Reference from Banks and partners’ licenses of existing business (if required)

As an investor, you should follow this procedure when starting a business in a Free Zone in the UAE. This process has been made easier by the government, and would not take more than 4 weeks to complete.


Company Formation in UAE Free Zones

BMS Auditing is a leading Business Consultancy Firm that professionally handles the procedure for company formation in the free zone in the UAE. The team has experienced consultants who assist the clients in collecting the required documents as per the request from the free zone authority and also help them get approval from the embassy. 

We offer all kinds of Business setup services in UAE, Company setup in Saudi Arabia and Middle East countries including


Looking for assistance setting up a new business in the Free Zone? Contact BMS Corporate NOW!



1. What types of business can I conduct in a free zone?

You can conduct business in finance, education, retail, hospitality, media, etc. Check with the free zone authority for businesses allowed in their regions. 


2. What process should I follow to set up a business in the free zone? 

Free Zones demand minimum paperwork and time to process the requests. These are the steps to set up a business in a free zone:

  1. Decide the type of legal entity
  2. Choose a name for the entity
  3. Apply for a trade license
  4. Find an office space
  5. Obtain pre-approvals, register the business and get the license 


3. How do I choose a trading name? Are there any rules?

You should choose a trading name when choosing the entity type for your business. You could check with the free zone authority or the Department of Economic Development (DED) if it has already been taken. 


4. What are the top 3 low-cost free zones in UAE?

  • International Freezone Authority
  • Ajman Media City Free Zone
  • Ras Al Khaimah Economic Freezone (RAKEZ)

are the top 3 low-cost free zones to start a business. 


5. Who is the Best Business Setup consultants for UAE Free Zones?

Being one of the top business consultants in UAE, BMS Auditing offers the most reliable Business setup services that help you start a business in UAE Free Zones. 


6. Does Free Zone registered companies need to submit an audit report?

Yes, Companies that are registered in the free zones and own a free zone trade license are required to submit an annual audit report for free zone trade license renewal. BMS Auditing has the approved auditors of all UAE Free Zones.


7. How much does it cost to set up a business in the UAE?

The cost of registering a company in Dubai ranges from AED 25,000 to AED 29,000 for a Civil Company, including a virtual office and trade license for one year. BMS specializes in providing affordable company setup solutions for investors in Dubai.


8. How to open a company in UAE free zone?

First, choose what you'll do and the type of license that best fits your venture. Next, find the free zone with the most relevant benefits for your business. Decide on how you'll structure your company (ownership and management). Then, pick a unique and memorable name, and gather all the necessary documents. Once everything's in order, get the free zone's initial approval. After that, it's time to make it official by signing the incorporation documents. Choose a location within the free zone to set up your shop or office. Finally, obtain your business license – this official stamp lets you operate your business legally within the free zone. Remember, this is a simplified process, and consulting a professional for specific advice is always recommended.


9. What is the minimum investment to start a business in the UAE?

The UAE's thriving economy offers exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs. Several industries, like tourism and healthcare, are experiencing significant growth.  To join the action, setting up a Free Zone company is a breeze, with a minimum investment of only AED 5,500.


10. Who is the best business setup consultant in the UAE?

BMS maintains a consistent position as one of the leading business consulting firms in the UAE, consistently earning top rankings.


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