In today’s free zone feature, we are going to look at Fujairah Free Zone company setup.
If you’re looking to start a business in the UAE, chances are the country’s free zones are already on your radar. In truth, they are pretty difficult to miss. Offering 0% corporate and personal tax, 100% company ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, and 100% import and export tax exemption – well, it’s little wonder they are so popular.
And that popularity stacks up to big business – in 2015, UAE free zones were valued at around USD 140bn. That’s over one third of the country’s total non-oil trade. There are over 40 in total, and while they serve up similar headline benefits, each also offers specific and unique advantages.
The Fujairah Free Zone Authority has grown rapidly in the two decades since its launch. Located, as the name suggests, in the emirate of Fujairah, it is home to businesses from all over the world – from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as well as Asia, Africa, Europe, and the US.
So, if you’re sold on the idea of setting up business in one of the UAE’s free zones but are still unsure on exactly which one, here are ten benefits to help you decide whether setting up in Fujairah Free Zone Authority is the right option for you.
1. Get multiple visas without committing to an office: Fujairah Free Zone Authority is particularly popular with solo entrepreneurs or those running small businesses. Here’s why: the FFZA flexi-desk option affords entrepreneurs (who do not require a constant physical presence within the UAE) access to business services such as desk space, conference room hire, and reception cover, all on a flexible ad-hoc basis. What’s more, entrepreneurs who choose this package are still able to apply for multiple visas without committing to permanent office space.
Fujairah Free Zone Authority is particularly popular with solo entrepreneurs or those running small businesses.
2. Affordable: With a Fujairah Free Zone license, individuals and smaller companies can get the big business advantages of a freezone on a small business budget. Flexi-desk packages start at AED 5,300 for either a Free Zone Enterprise (FZE) or Free Zone Company (FZC), followed by a one-time charge of AED 1,500 for free zone utilities and an annual fee which starts at AED 18,000 (along with costs for resident visa and refundable security deposit). Meanwhile, virtual office packages are cheaper still. Even entrepreneurs who require actual office space find Fujairah to be cost effective, with office rental starting at just AED 20,000.
3. Quick and easy to set up: Along with its affordability, the speed and ease with which entrepreneurs can set up in Fujairah Free Zone Authority adds to its appeal. Licence applications can be turned around in just one day. Entrepreneurs are only required to meet with free zone authorities once for around one hour – the rest is taken care of for you.
4. No requirement for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from local sponsor: Entrepreneurs who are residents in the UAE are not required to provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their current sponsor when completing Fujairah free zone company registration. This makes it a popular choice with new and first-time business owners, or those looking to set up side businesses within the free zone while still employed.
5. A variety of business types available: Perhaps the biggest driving factor behind Fujairah Free Zone Authority’s rapid growth is the wide range of licence types and business activities that it allows. It is home to businesses from a broad range of industries including manufacturing, distribution and logistics. The free zone itself issues general trading, service/consultancy, investment, real estate, financial services and even alcohol and tobacco licences. In order to facilitate these businesses, the free zone makes full use of its proximity to the Port of Fujairah and its vast warehouse space – a factor in many import/export companies selecting it for their business.
As well as being open to FZEs, FZCs and branch offices, the Fujairah Free Zone Authority can also assist with setting up offshore and Fujairah mainland businesses. It is even possible to lease open land to build bespoke developments.
6. Easy incorporation: Fujairah Free Zone Authority is the perfect home for entrepreneurs who come out in a cold sweat at the thought of mounting paperwork – and let’s face it, who doesn’t. In addition to not being required to put forward any share capital (except when registering an FZE or FZC), there is also no requirement for bookkeeping or an annual audit.
In addition to not being required to put forward any share capital (except when registering an FZE or FZC), there is also no requirement for bookkeeping or an annual audit.
7. Easy to set up your corporate bank account: Fujairah Free Zone Authority can also help to lower your paperwork burden by assisting with the setting up of your corporate bank account. As well as advising on the process, the Fujairah Free Zone Authority representatives are on hand to arrange meetings with respected financial institutions if required.
8. Easy to sponsor dependants: As well as being quick and easy with both business setup and visa arrangement, it’s also straightforward for entrepreneurs in Fujairah Free Zone Authority to sponsor family and employees for their own residence visas. 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 solo and small business owners who flock to Fujairah Free Zone Authority. As FFZA registration allows for up to five shareholders, businesses of all sizes call it home.
As FFZA registration allows for up to five shareholders, businesses of all sizes call it home.
10. Location, location, location: Finally, it is impossible to talk about the advantages of Fujairah Free Zone Authority without mentioning its strategic location. Situated just off the E99, the free zone is a little over 90 minutes from the Dubai business district and within easy reach of Fujairah International Airport – the only airport on the east coast. The free zone is also just minutes from the Port of Fujairah which boasts direct routes to Gulf ports, Red Sea ports, Pakistan, India, Iran, and beyond.
Fujairah Free Zone company setup
So you’re sold on the benefits of setting up your business in Fujairah Free Zone Authority – what next?
There are a number of steps that need to be taken, some complex, some less so. Usually the first thing to do is choose your business activity. From there you need to 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.
The specifics of this process will depend on the type of licence you are applying for and the kind of business you wish to run. So before embarking on any of these steps, the first stop should always be to a company setup expert who will guide you through every aspect, ultimately ensuring that the entire process requires little more than a few hours of your time.