Setting up a company in Ajman Free Zone

May 17, 2017

Any entrepreneur looking to set up a business in the UAE needs to equip themselves with a good working knowledge of the nation’s free zones. It’s true that they’re a pretty easy sell – zero corporation and personal tax, 100% company ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, and 100% import and export tax exemption. But there’s more.

Because while all free zones may offer these benefits, that’s not to say all are the same.

Each UAE free zone offers its own distinct advantages to the entrepreneurs and business owners who set up there. The emirate of Ajman is one such example.

Currently undergoing major redevelopment, Ajman’s state-of-the-art international airport is nearing completion; it boasts a newly-finished USD 25m marina project, as well as several park developments. All of which underline Ajman’s commitment to becoming a major player in the Middle East and wider region for both trade and tourism.

And there are many more advantages linked directly to the free zone as well. So let’s take a look at the details, to help you decide whether setting up in Ajman freezone is right for you.

1. Multiple visa options: One of the key selling points of Ajman Free Zone – particularly for entrepreneurs setting up in the UAE for the first time – is their varied packages that offer different quantities of visas. The Smart Office package allows up to three visas and the Executive Office allows up to five visas. Business owners that do not need physical office space can benefit from the flexi-desk package – this gives entrepreneurs the use of office space, equipment and other services such as meeting room hire, without the need to rent a permanent desk

2. Affordable and cost effective: Ajman Free Zone welcomes businesses of all sizes, but of course cost is always a factor, no matter how big or small your enterprise. However, as one of the UAE’s most cost-effective free trade zones (FTZs), Ajman freezone is particularly popular with small and medium-sized companies looking to get big business advantages on a smaller budget. Licence packages start at AED 11,000 without visa allocation, going up to AED 32,000 with five visas.

3. Quick and easy registration: Ajman Free Zone registration is hassle-free. Entrepreneurs are only required to visit the free zone once to sign company documents in front of authorities – the rest of the process can be managed remotely.

All you have to do is submit the required application and company documents – along with your business plan – and you can usually have your Ajman freezone company set up in as little as two days. 

4. NOC from the local sponsor is not required: Ajman Free Zone does not require entrepreneurs to provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from a current employer. This is yet another reason why it is particularly popular with new and first-time entrepreneurs – as it makes it possible to set up side businesses within the free zone while still employed. 

5. Open to a wide variety of business types: Many entrepreneurs flock to get their trading licence in Ajman. Why? Because Ajman Free Zone is open to almost all trading activities, including general trading. The free zone also issues professional and industrial licences, among others. Ajman Free Zone even has the option of applying for a separate e-commerce licence – something that many of the UAE’s free zones do not offer.

The broad mix of industries and businesses make Ajman freezone the ideal place for collaboration and networking – where entrepreneurs can share their knowledge and skills with one another. 

The broad mix of industries and businesses make Ajman freezone the ideal place for collaboration and networking – where entrepreneurs can share their knowledge and skills with one another. 

6. Low barriers to entry: Ajman Free Zone is the ideal home for entrepreneurs who want to set up quickly and easily, and do business with minimal fuss. Not only is there no requirement to provide paid up share capital to get your Ajman freezone company set up, but there’s also no ongoing auditing or book keeping requirements. 

7. Easy to open your corporate bank account: Ajman Free Zone representatives are on hand to assist with applying for and opening corporate bank accounts – yet another reason why it appeals to the busy entrepreneur. As well as advising on the mechanics of the application process, Ajman Free Zone staff can help you choose the bank that’s right for you and book meetings with any relevant institutions.

8. Easy to sponsor dependants: Ajman Free Zone’s visa process is quick and easy, and as well as obtaining your own visa, you can sponsor family and employees as well. Men who meet the salary requirements can sponsor visa applications for dependants, providing they are renting enough space to accommodate them. The process is relatively easy: entry permit, status adjustment, medical fitness test, then Emirates ID registration and visa stamping. But it’s a good idea to get advice from an expert in setting up UAE free zone businesses. They will help you make sure that before you start an application, both you (and those you’re hoping to sponsor) meet the entry criteria.

9. Multiple shareholders: It is not only small and medium-sized business owners who see the appeal of Ajman. As Ajman Free Zone company setup allows for multiple shareholders, businesses of all sizes call it home. New free zone companies – which are essentially limited liability partnerships within the free zone – are allowed up to five shareholders.

10. Great location, global reach: Another major pull for Ajman Free Zone is its highly strategic location. Ajman is ideally placed to conduct business with both east and west. The free zone is within easy reach of two international airports and four major seaports – making it particularly appealing to those in the import/export trade. The free zone also boasts great road links. Its proximity to the E11 affords easy access to the neighbouring emirates of Sharjah and Um Al Quwain – while Dubai is a little over half an hour away.

The free zone is within easy reach of two international airports and four major seaports – making it particularly appealing to those in the import/export trade.

Finally, Ajman Free Zone also has several offices spread throughout the world – in Dubai, Russia, Pakistan, India and the UK – making this a truly international free zone.

Setting up in Ajman Free Zone

So you’re sold on the benefits of setting up your business in Ajman Free Zone – what next? There are a number of steps that need to be undertaken, some complex, some less so. Usually the first thing to do is choose your business activity. From here you can decide on your company name, complete and file your registration paperwork with the relevant authorities, open a bank account, and apply for any visas that may be required.

However, the specifics of this process will depend largely on the type of licence you are applying for and the kind of business you wish to run. That’s why before starting any of these steps, the first port of call should always be to a company setup expert who will guide you through every part of the application, ultimately ensuring the entire process requires little more than a few hours of your time.

About the author: Olga Melnik, Senior Formation Advisor at VirtuELITE (division of Virtuzone)
About the author: Olga Melnik, Senior Formation Advisor at VirtuELITE (division of Virtuzone)

Having spent the past seven years working in the field of legal company incorporation, Olga now works closely with entrepreneurs both locally and internationally in assisting them with their UAE company setup requirements. This includes both free zone and onshore in Dubai and other emirates across the UAE. Olga always advises each of her clients on the best legal setup for their particular needs, and in so doing she supports across the entire range of company setup, from legal translation to document certification to management of the entire communication and legalities with the local UAE company setup authorities. Olga was born and raised in the Ukraine and has a degree in Business Administration and International Law.