Free Zone Company - setup your UAE company

Free Trade Zone Company setup in the UAE

This website contains a 'real life' step by step account of registering a Free Zone company in the UAE in the summer of 2008.  The UAE has a lot of Free Trade Zone's each with their own specialty and setup process. It is worth the effort to visit the Free Trade Zone's and get informed on a personal level.

Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone office desk - RAK FTZ
An office desk for foreign investors in Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone  - RAK FTZ

Free Trade Zone Brochures and their websites only tell a tiny part of the real story. There are many things to know and results heavily depends on the professionalism of the people working at the Free Trade Zone. Choosing for a particular Free Trade Zone is a big decision, especially if a Free Trade Zone becomes the sponsor for UAE residency. Meaning the Free Trade Zone gets a say in most government and business related matters.

Be sure to ask around, follow-up, and dig very deep. A rule of thumb is to ask for the same information 3 times. High variance in the answers means more surprises in the setup process - explained in the Process du Jour - and more time spend on getting things done the right way.

The Free Zone Company Setup process starts here.

UAE Free Zone Company = Real-Estate contract

Most Free Trade Zone's have one thing in common :: Real-Estate (usually office space). In each Free Zone company setup, a yearly rental agreement of some sort is linked with the Free Zone Company Trade License. In some cases one has to make a deposit for the 2nd years rent also. Not continuing the trade license at a Free Trade Zone after the first year purges the 2nd years deposit.

Free Trade Zone Rental disputes

Rental agreement disputes can affect the Free Zone Company Trade License, your company's future and UAE residency. Although being well informed is a good thing, in the end there is (still) limited leverage to negotiate a yearly rise in rent to an acceptable level. The Free Trade Zone decides the yearly rise in rent - full stop - end of story (for now). Budget the new years rent with +20% increase won't be far off for 2009.

Plan your Free Zone business carefully

Most Free Trade Zones require a business plan during the Registration Process. However sometimes it's nothing more than a few pages of brief information about the company. A lush expansion forecast in personnel makes your company very *vulnerable* by being forced to move to a bigger Free Trade Zone (office) space - hence a higher yearly rent. Your business plan will be reviewed by the Free Zone from this viewpoint - be aware of the contents of your business plan.