Abu Dhabi is the largest of the 7 emirates, and the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It comprises of more than 80% of the country’s total area. There are a number of free zones in Abu Dhabi, that have been a pioneer in offering favorable environment for setting up various kinds of businesses. It has opened a gateway for foreign investors to enter the U.A.E market with full potential. The free zones in Abu Dhabi are a part of the Emirate’s economic diversification initiative which aims to boost the local economy and at the same time promote foreign investment. There are many incentives and facilities that are offered to the shareholders of companies registered in Abu Dhabi free zones.
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is an independent legal entity that has an individual shareholder(s), corporate shareholder(s), or may be a combination of both. The required minimum capital is dependent of the type of business activity.
Licences under this category are issued to companies that are registered outside the U.A.E. It is mandatory for the company to have 100% foreign ownership and the sales have to be made through a registered agent or a distributor in U.A.E. The activity could involve commercial, industrial or professional services.
Licences under this category are issued to companies already holding a valid licence from any other UAE licensing authority except for the authorities associated with other Free Zones.
Freelancers are registered with a freelance permit, which identifies the individual as the sole practitioner and allows him or her to carry on a business in his or her name instead of a brand name.
The government has been promoting extensive company formation in Abu Dhabi free zones to facilitate and ease foreign investment, hence the procedure of setting businesses is simple, straightforward, quick, and free from unnecessary bureaucratic interferences.
The process of business setup in Abu Dhabi free zones is simple and includes the following steps:
- Determination of the type of Business
Since every business activity has its own requirements and corresponding rules and regulations, the applicant is required to determine the niche of the business that he intends to carry out, and then go forward with it.
- Registration of the Trade Name
This step involves registration of the trade name for the company. One may submit a list of suggested names to the Abu Dhabi Free Zone Authority, and if the name is available then, it shall be approved by the authorities and the company would be duly registered.
- Obtaining Approvals
After furnishing initial approvals for the trade name and fulfilling other requirements, an investor is required to obtain approval of the Abu Dhabi Free Zone authority for the issuance of business license.
- Issuance of License
Once the approval of the authorities has been obtained, the investor may proceed to the final stage where he or she is required to fulfil the legal requirements of the selected business license type.