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The UAE has a number of free zones for investors interested in opening a company here. Free zones offer 100 percent ownership and zero taxation.
Each free zone in the country is designated for a particular type of business and has its own set of laws. Generally, most free zones issue the following licences:
• Trade licence – Issued to import and export companies legitimately consolidated outside the UAE.
• Industrial licence – This is for companies that are legally included in industrial production outside the UAE, but comes within the free trade zone.
• Service licence – Issued to companies engaged in banking or contracting services. They should obtain a valid licence from the respective government authority; however, they should abide by all the rules and regulations of the governing body.
• National industrial licence – Issued to companies involved in industrial manufacturing. These companies have the same status as that of a local or GCC company in the UAE.
In Dubai, free zone companies with a trade or industrial licence are not allowed to carry out business outside the free zone unless they have a branch office licenced by the Department of Economic Development (DED.) Those without branch offices are required to appoint a DED-licenced local service agent (either a UAE national or a local company).
• Free zone licences vary depending on business type
• Free zones offer 100% ownership and zero taxes
• Each UAE zone is designated for specific business
Source: Asha Das, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer