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Best Guide to Company Formation in Jebel Ali Free Zone
Jebel Ali free zone is the fastest growing free zone in the MEASA region, ensuring growth opportunities to foreign investors, provided they factor in certain aspects beforehand.
Jebel Ali free zone is home to thousands of companies from across several countries and sectors that together generate $93 billion trade and 24% of Dubai’s GDP. The free zone was established in 1985 through a ruler’s decree in the port town for Jebel Ali, about 35 KMS south of Dubai. It’s the leading international hub for trade in the MEASA region, offering excellent infrastructure, tax incentives, ease of doing business and access to a 2 billion-people-strong market. Taking your start-up to this free zone is a lucrative proposition but only if certain aspects are considered. Here’s your list of things to ponder when setting up a business here.
Identify business activities:
Company formation in Jebel Ali free zone is about the choices. To start with, choose the type of business activities your company will handle post-incorporation. An informed decision here will ensure long term profitability, while a random decision means losses. So, research the market well and base your decision accordingly. If market research and analysis is not your cup of tea, prefer hiring a business setup consultancy that will do the spadework on your part.
Decide the company structure:
The company formation process, costs, ownership and other aspects of business setup depend on the type of company structure you choose. Jebel Ali free zone allows for three company structures, including Free Zone Company (FZCO), Free Zone Establishment (FZE) and Branch Office. An FZCO formation mandates at least two shareholders and a maximum five while FZE requires only one. The minimum share capital requirement also varies – its AED 1 million for FZE and AED 500,000 for FZCO. A branch office requires registration development and license.
Opt for the right license:
Jebel Ali free zone offers a variety of license types and you need to choose the appropriate one depending on your intended business activities and objectives. Trading License authorizes you to engage in trading activities while Industrial and Service license types allow for manufacturing and service activities respectively. Go for an E-Commerce License if you plan to sell goods and services online whereas, Innovation License is a requisite for developing inventive products and services. In case you aspire starting a manufacturing company with a minimum of 51% ownership resting with a partner from a GCC country, National Industrial License is needed.
Be accurate with the documentation:
Company formation in Jebel Ali free zone is subject to a set of documents, including passport copies and CVs of shareholders, managers and others, along with a detailed business plan and board resolution. Articles of association, MOA, Registration Certificate, NOC from the local partner, and specimen signatures of shareholders and managers are also required. Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, the free zone’s governing body, also mandates an application form related to environmental health and safety. The documents should be in order, properly notarized and attested and timely submitted to the concerned authorities, failing which delays are inevitable.
If you find documentation an uphill task, outsource it to a business consultancy that will walk you through the entire process.