In the UAE and, in particular, in Dubai, the most comfortable conditions have been created for doing business of various directions, in particular, free economic zones with a special legal status in relation to another part of the state. One of them is Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai, which is located in close proximity to one of the largest seaports with well–established logistics.
About Jebel Ali Free Zone
JAFZA is essentially a certain territory in a city that has geographical boundaries. Almost 7000 international and local organizations are registered here. The geographical location makes Jebel Ali the most profitable and convenient frizone for doing business. The port serves more than 150 shipping lines, which can handle more than 19 million containers per year.
Also not far from JAFZA is Dubai International Airport (one of the largest cargo airports) and Al Maktoum. There is a customs corridor connecting both airports to ensure uninterrupted cargo transportation, reduce costs and time for cargo clearance.
A fully equipped trunk canal with land transport allows you to quickly and safely transport goods between the emirates. A railway is being built that will connect this free economic zone with the Arabian Peninsula.
What are the features of doing business
Various types of premises for doing business of any level and scale are located in the Jebel Ali FEZ. You can rent a plot of land, there is a possibility of renting warehouses, offices, shops, exhibition halls, housing for employees.
Unlike the conditions for opening and doing business in other parts of the UAE outside the FEZ, Jebel Ali does not need to attract local partners, that is, sponsors from the UAE. Foreign entrepreneurs, shareholders and investors can themselves own 100% of the firm in the Jebel Ali frison.
There are many conditions for the convenience of doing business at any level:
- Banking organizations of international importance, consulting, logistics and insurance companies, and so on, which are located directly in the FEZ.
- Rental of the objects required for work is possible for 10 years for commercial enterprises and up to 15 for manufacturers.
- The ability to conduct any type of activity – trade, processing, assembly, storage, provision of services.
- No income and corporate tax on the export/import of goods.
- Stable legislative framework and economic situation.
- There are no requirements for the authorized capital for branches, its size is determined by the founders.
Owners can pledge objects belonging to them, with the exception of rental territories. Both individuals and legal entities can act as shareholders and investors.
Where companies are located in JAFZA One
JAFZA has a modern high-class infrastructure and a full range of services that are needed for effective business activities. All this guarantees long-term relationships with entrepreneurs of different levels and attracts large investors. Therefore, the placement of companies in JAFZA One is the best solution for everyone who wants to run a working business at a modern level, enjoy all the privileges of the FEZ. The infrastructure includes:
- Premises with a total area of over 100 thousand m2.
- Offices from 38 m2 to 200 m2 with a diverse layout.
- Exhibition and banquet halls, conference rooms, including luxury level, auditoriums.
- A 4* hotel with a gym equipped with everything you need.
Companies can be located in JAFZA One offices, they are suitable for both small beginners and large organizations.
There are about 7 thousand companies in the FEZ Jebel Ali, among which 12 are considered the largest in the world. Logistics, transport and trade enterprises are often located here, which is explained by the geographical location of this zone, the proximity of the largest port and cargo airport.
Types of activities in the JAFZA FEZ
Jebel Ali Free Zone is suitable for those who are going to study:
- international trade;
- logistics and distribution;
Frizone Jebel Ali provides an opportunity to conduct different types of activities:
- provision of services.
Services can be storage, processing, transportation of goods and so on. The type of activity determines the license category.
Varieties of companies in Jebel Ali FEZ
Several types of onshore companies can be registered in JEBEL ALI in Dubai:
- With a single owner (FZE).
- With several founders (from 2 to 5, FZCO).
- Representative office or branches – Branch.
Jebel Ali is an economic zone where the opening of offshore companies is allowed.
License types in Jebel Ali FEZ
The type of license is determined by the type of activity that the organization conducts, it can be:
- trade (7-12 products) and general trade;
- industrial (for 7-12 products);
- for services (service).
If a company provides services, including logistics, it is registered only as a branch that exists on the mainland of the UAE.
Trading allows you to import /export, store and sell the goods that are specified in it. The general trade license allows you to conduct more types of business with a wide variety of products.
The service makes it possible to provide the services specified in the permit document. It can be accounting, banking, consulting, logistics services.
Industrial allows you to import raw materials, produce products specified in the license, export it.
The license is issued for:
- Trade in flowers, chemicals, building materials, equipment and accessories, electronics, fuel and petroleum products. Sale of jewelry, metals and products made from it, perfumes, medicines, clothing, stationery, water and aircraft, transport and other products.
- Services – storage, delivery and transportation, advertising, maintenance and repair of vehicles and equipment, banking, financial and credit activities, education, financial advice, engineering consulting and so on.
- Industry – manufacture of tobacco products, clothing and textiles, food, equipment, medical products, footwear and leather goods, rolled pipes, electrical appliances, petroleum products and chemicals, tableware and more.
An additional type of activity can be added to any type of license for an additional fee of 500 AED.
How to register
The registration procedure takes an average of 3-5 weeks from the moment of filing the application to obtaining a license. You can start the registration process without being on the territory of the FEZ. But you need to visit it after all the required documents are collected. To open and register a company or enterprise, you must:
- Choose the type of license that meets its activities and requirements.
- Determine the legal structure (number of founders and shareholders, partners).
- Check the availability of premises necessary for doing business (offices, production or retail space).
- Provide the necessary documents to the administration of the FEZ Jebel Ali.
- Open a bank account and deposit the authorized capital (1 million AED).
- Get additional permissions if necessary.
After passing all the stages, a license is issued. All companies located in the FEZ, even offshore ones, are required to conduct annual audits.
Documents required to register a company in Jebel Ali
To register, you will need:
Passports of everyone who is part of the structure of the registered company.
Types of activities and variants of company names.
A short business plan, just a page.
The administration of Jebel Ali may request additional documents depending on the type of activity that the organization will conduct. For example, if you plan to engage in education, you will need permission from the Ministry of Education.
The cost of registration consists not only of the price of the procedure itself, but also of the costs of the premises, authorized capital, additional documentation, fees, and so on. The following are the main costs of registering a company in AED dirhams.
Each organization is required to obtain the appropriate license:
- Commercial and industrial for 7 items – 5,500 AED, for 12 – 9,000 AED.
- The total trade costs 30 000 AED.
- For the service it is required to pay 8 000 AED, for the logistics – 30 000 AED.
You must pay a fee, the amount of which differs depending on the structure of the organization:
- Representative office – 5,000 AED.
- Firm with one founder (FZE) – 10,000 AED.
- With two or more (FZCO) – 15,000 AED.
Fees are charged upon certification of shareholders’ signatures (50 dirhams per each).
Any organization registered in the Jebel Ali FEZ must have an office for rent there. The number of resident visas that can be obtained is determined by the rented area. 1 resident visa is required for every 10 m2. The cost of renting 1 m2 – from 1800 dirhams.
What documents will be needed as additional
It is necessary to obtain an immigration card of the company – this is another 480 dirhams.
The cost is determined by the type of visa, as well as by where the recipient is at the time of obtaining the permit:
- Visa application from a recipient located outside the UAE – 2 900 AED.
- On the territory of the state – 3,470 AED, the application with amendments to the application – 3,630 AED.
- Passing a medical examination and obtaining an identification card – 1 120 AED.
You also need to make a security deposit, its amount is equal to the cost of the return ticket and the amount of salary for the month multiplied by 1.5.
UAE Resident Visa to Jebel Ali
Setting up a business in Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai entitles you to obtain resident visas. They are issued at the rate of 1 visa per 10 m2 of rented office space. The cost for the business owner and employees is 2,923 (medical examination 690 and ID card 370).
The validity period is 3 years. A prerequisite is the availability of medical insurance, its minimum cost is 600-800 AED. It is renewed annually.
The cost of license renewal is equal to the price of business registration in JAFZA. Payment will be required:
- license fees;
- fees for office facilities;
- fees for the company card.
To extend, you do not need to fly to the UAE and Jebel Ali, it can be done remotely.
A prerequisite is the provision of an audit report on the activities of a previously registered enterprise or firm conducted by a licensed and accredited organization in the UAE.
Companies that have land plots or sublease facilities have the right to renew the license for 3 years.
Some changes can be made without the personal presence of the founders in JAFZA, for example, if it is decided:
- change the type of activity;
- change the name;
- replace the director, manager and other personnel.
But if it is required to transfer shares to another person, it is necessary to be personally present in the FEZ or entrust it to a representative with a notarized power of attorney.
Unlike making corporate changes, most of which do not require the personal presence of a shareholder or founder, revocation of a license requires the presence of the owner. An official representative with a notarized license does not have the right to cancel the organization.
To cancel the license, you must:
- pay the fee for the liquidation of the company;
- return the original documentation;
- pay 2000 AED.
It usually takes a month to close an enterprise or firm, after which a certificate of liquidation is issued.
Ready-made companies in Jebel Ali FEZ
According to the requirements of local legislation, you can only buy a business that is already operating. But companies that were previously registered for further sale are prohibited from offering for purchase.
Offshore companies in JAFZA
This is one of the few free economic territories in which offshore companies are legally allowed to open and operate. They can be used for subsequent investments in local businesses, as real estate holdings, and so on. Offshore organizations do not have the right to conduct business with residents of the UAE, conduct banking and insurance business (as an insurance agent). And they cannot benefit from real estate, except for renting their own facilities (approved by the authorities). It is also not entitled to issue bearer shares, such a requirement was introduced to curb terrorist and illegal activities. At the same time, sufficient anonymity of shareholders is maintained.
Offshore companies in Jebel Ali (JAOC) are legal entities that take a minimum of time to create. Their structure is based on the regulatory rules of the Jebel Ali Free Zone for offshore organizations. To create and operate them, you do not need an office and employees, a registered agent is enough, and a director is also required. They can regulate the company’s activities remotely.
The agent is appointed by the firm, he can be selected from the list of officially operating agents in Dubai, then sign an agreement with him. A minimum of 1 shareholder and 2 directors are also required. There are no restrictions on the citizenship, as well as the resident status of directors and founders. It will take about a week to open an offshore company from the moment when the necessary documentation is collected and issued.
Advantages of JAOC:
- there are no minimum capital requirements;
- there is no income tax;
- the possibility of opening a corporate bank account in Dubai;
- permission to conduct international trade;
- the possibility of purchase real estate;
- simplicity, flexibility, minimum cost of registration;
- no personal presence of the founder is required;
- ease of management, the possibility of remote control.
Offshore organizations have the right to contact and consult with lawyers, law firms and lawyers. Cooperate with accountants and auditors to maintain relevant reports or consult on it. Offshore companies are opened for general trading and holding activities, real estate ownership. And also as a tool that allows you to solve inheritance issues.
Where can the JAOC offshore company work?
Offshore organizations can trade, invest, own shares of other enterprises and firms, acquire and own real estate. Such firms are not very suitable for conducting activities within the economic zone or the state itself. After all, in this case, you need to rent a real office, and not be limited to a virtual one. But then the firm will have to spend on its rental costs and other costs. That is, in fact, to fulfill the same conditions as onshore.
Offshore companies registered in the Jebel Ali Free Zone can conduct international trade and be managed remotely by a director or directors. At the same time, they perform the duties of other employees, for example, accountants, logisticians, and so on. This is a profitable way to conduct a remote business that does not require personal presence.
JAOC offshore companies are also entitled to own shares of companies that are registered outside the Arab Emirates. The planned activity of an offshore organization should be indicated in the questionnaire that is filled out during its registration, as well as in the statutory documents.
Real estate ownership
Owners of offshore companies can buy and own real estate located on Palm Island and Jumeirah Island. And also acquire and own any property that belongs to Nakheel and other developers. The right to own real estate allows foreign businessmen to become a shareholder of a legal entity that has real estate in the UAE. And in the event of the death of a shareholder, the heirs enter into inheritance rights not according to the laws of the Emirates, but according to the laws of the country of which the shareholder is a citizen. This right is enshrined in the UAE Civil Code in Article 18.
You can legally register an offshore company, but you will need to comply with certain conditions. To register, you must provide a certain set of documents, as well as comply with a number of other requirements.
The cost of opening an offshore company is much lower than the cost of registering other types of organizations. There is no need to pay for office space rent, employee salaries, and so on. The fees for a Registered Agent who is selected from the official list are significantly lower than the fees of onshore organizations. The UAE legislation does not specify a certain amount or minimum value of the standard share capital in the case of offshore companies. As a rule, 10,000 AED is enough, they are accepted by the Administration of the FEZ. At the same time, the share capital is divided into equal shares of the nominal value, set in local currency (dirhams) or dollars.
Requirements for offshore companies
To register an offshore company, it is necessary that it meets the regulatory provisions of the JAOC. The requirements apply to:
- Shareholders and their capital. Bearer shares cannot be issued, anonymous, the names of shareholders are indicated and registered. There are no clear instructions on how many shareholders there should be, all shares of an offshore company are equivalent and must be redeemed by the time of issue. A share capital of 10 thousand dirhams (1,000 shares, each worth 10 dirhams) is enough to create a company.
- Constituent documents. They should contain provisions on the regulation of the sale of shares, on shareholders’ meetings, and so on. There are no specific instructions, there are only examples of regulations that the owners of the company can change if necessary.
- The composition of the company’s participants. The JAOC regulations stipulate that two directors and one secretary are required. Employees are appointed by shareholders, while shareholders themselves can act in their role. The director is the top management, he is engaged in management.
- Registered agents of JAOC in JAFZA, they must be lawyers or accountants, have a license of FEZ Jebel Ali or in Dubai.
- Registers of companies and their names. It is necessary to keep regular registers of all those who are registered in the company, to draw up minutes of meetings held. They should be open for inspection. The name of the offshore company must meet the requirements for the names of organizations in Dubai.
- General meetings, they are held at least once a year. At the same time, the general meeting is held for the first time within one and a half years (18 months) from the moment the company was registered.
- Audit and accounting statements. The auditor is appointed by the general meeting of shareholders, he must prepare reports on the activities of the organization. The reports are checked annually. It is also necessary to maintain accounting records, thanks to which it is possible to control all operations carried out by the company. And to ensure that the audit performed complies with the requirements of the regulations of the offshore company.
In the application form for registration of an offshore company in Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai, it is necessary to describe the types of activities that it plans to engage in. They are required to comply with the tasks listed in the charter of the JAOC organization.
The Jebel Ali Free Economic Zone is a prestigious place for opening representative offices of large and small businesses, luxury headquarters of large enterprises, doing business of various directions, which has all possible amenities. This is the optimal solution for distribution companies, logistics and transport companies, manufacturers of various products, equipment and other goods. The proximity of the largest seaport and cargo airport, which can deliver cargo to all destinations anywhere in the world, makes Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai the best place to conduct high-level business.