The 2 kinds of company formation licenses issued in Dubai’s Free Zones

There are very few countries in the world that can boast of the kind of large scale transformation that UAE can, and there are very few cities in the world that can offer the kind of growth opportunities that Dubai does. One of the major factors that have contributed this transformation and growth are the free zones that operate in Dubai.

Dubai’s many free zones offer a uniquely fertile environment filled with a lot of opportunities and advantages for both young and established enterprises, across industry verticals, who want to set up their business in the region. The many advantages include 100% ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, exemption from import and export taxes, and easy access to a market of more than 2 billion.

To further assist businesses, and to encourage more companies, the free zones offer an incredibly easy company formation process especially for UAE offshore company incorporation. This is true whether the company being setup is an LLC, an offshore company or a free zone enterprise. Depending on the kind of organization that you’re looking to operate, Dubai’s free zones offer two different and specific licenses:

Trade License
This kind of license is given to companies interested in the import, export and distribution of products. The goods and items being transported or distributed are defined in the license. The company must remain true to this, and the goods and items being traded in must match with what is defined in the license. The issuing of a trade license is a process that takes about a week and requires the completion of all legal and technical formalities and a certificate from the corporate bank certifying that the required capital has arrived in the company’s accounts.

Service License
A service license is obtained by enterprises that are looking to offer a specific service to their customers. This is, of course, pre-defined and clearly declared in the license documents. The documents are usually issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). While there is a whole list of services ranging from insurance to banking that come under the prerogative of a service license, the company’s operations and services offered must be in keeping with the terms and conditions met out in the specific service license it has obtained.

Obtaining a license is the final step in the company formation process. It is done after deciding on the business activity, choosing the type of business being registered (LLC, offshore, free-zone or branch), finding the location and collecting the required approvals from the corresponding government bodies. The license application should be accompanied by the passport copies of the various partners and administrators and approvals from the specific government bodies. If everything is in order, the license should be processed in about a week.

For any company in the process of setting up a business, it would be smart to seek the help of a company incorporation agency who can not only guide company through the process, but also ease it manifold. Such an agency can also assist by providing a clarified checklist to ensure that no important documents or approvals are left out during the process.

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