UAE free zones the ideal location for new business start-ups

If location is a vital element of successful international trading then the setting up or expansion of a business into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is surely the best of moves, especially if your customers and clients lie both to the east and west – think Asian and European markets, with you and your business placed smack in the middle!

It’s a glorious thought indeed. But there should be other thoughts, too, linked to free zones and factoring, import services and shipping guarantee, and, of course, international finance, driven as it has been for many years by famous banks with long trading histories and incredible business networks. Names such as HSBC, Barclays and many others come immediately to mind. One of the oldest is HSBC, a name inextricably linked with finance and trade across the world. Click here for more information on international trade services offered by this globally-famous bank.

There are many great benefits from setting up a business in one of the UAE’s free zones. However, you cannot set up a business within the local market without partnering with a UAE national. And even if you do so, i.e. in association with a UAE national, you as a foreigner will only ever be allowed to own up to 49% of the business. That’s the way UAE law operates. There’s nothing you can do about it.

Free zones are a whole different ball game, with each aimed at a particular business sector. There are dozens of them spread across the seven emirates which make up the UAE. For informational purposes, the seven UAE emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The capital of the UAE is Abu Dhabi city, which is located within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (the emirate’s official name).

Free zone benefits are eye-catching to say the least. Personal or corporate income is not subject to taxation in the UAE. However, bear in mind that Dubai, for example, charges a municipal tax on property rentals. A number of free zones are aimed at encouraging investment, with all offering complete tax free incentives of anything up to fifty years. Other free zone benefits include no foreign exchange controls and no trade barriers or quotas; competitive import duties (4% with many exemptions); competitive energy and real estate costs; and competitive financing costs and high levels of liquidity. Sounds more and more like the ideal place to do business!

And there’s more. Maybe you want to get a business up and running quickly, perhaps within days as opposed to weeks and months, but without the headache usually associated with red tape, regulation and paperwork – even when all of that bureaucracy has been cut down literally to the bare bones, as is the case within the UAE. Then leave everything in the hands of a professional company filled with experts who know the UAE business scene inside out. It’ll cost, of course, but you won’t have the headache.

UAE Free Zones is one such organisation. They’ve been going since 2004 and have helped more than 1,000 companies set up their businesses in the UAE. No question is too small for them, and no business is too large either. They’ll help with company formation and licensing, arranging visits to various free zone sites, assisting with any visa application and residence permits, and sort out all of your banking needs, too. So what are you waiting for? Click here for further information.

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