The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven emirates, each with different characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. In the same way, in these emirates, there are generally specific zones for each economic sector, be it media, education, technology, etc. These zones are known as Free Zones and bring multiple benefits for entrepreneurs, such as low tax policies, and easy company formation, among others. Today, we will focus on one of them: the IFZA Free Zone.
In this article, you will find information about the International Free Zone Authority, the process for starting a company there, the type of licenses they offer, and how we can help you get established in this zone.
- What is IFZA?
- How to start a company in the IFZA Free Zone?
- What type of licenses does this zone offer?
- How much does a license cost in the IFZA Free Zone?
- The process of getting a residence visa through an IFZA company
- Why should you choose the IFZA Free Zone?
- How can we help you start a company in one of the UAE’s Free Trade Zones?
1. What is IFZA?
The International Free Zone Authority was created by Dubai Silicon Oasis in August 2018 in Fujairah. However, in the year 2020, it moved to Dubai, which significantly increased its popularity among the free zones authorities. This area offers different opportunities for company formation in Dubai with various lucrative packages. This is a great incentive for foreign investors and is one of the main reasons why IFZA is one of the most recommended free zones.
Forming a company in a free zone in Dubai is in itself a good decision. However, IFZA provides certain benefits that make this area even more attractive to investors. Although it is one of the youngest free zones, entrepreneurs still choose to form their companies there. Some of their most popular packages offer three-year and five-year licenses.
1.1 Why IFZA is a leading choice for entrepreneurs?
The International Free Zone Authority offers a global quality business hub for all kinds of companies. Also, it offers several types of licenses to effectively cover all the needs and activities that your company can carry out. Our business setup consultants are the best professionals to support you through a cost-effective setup process and are trained to deal with any obstacle or issue that may arise.
This zone has earned a reputation as one of the cheapest free zones for company formation. It offers modern and high-tech corporate offices and storage places for renting, huge conference rooms, digital equipment, high discounts on business licenses, and also good connectivity.
2. How to start a company in the IFZA Free Zone?
Today, many of the administrative and legal processes in the UAE can be done online, so the IFZA free zone company registration is only a few clicks away. All you need to do is visit the official website and choose a package that suits the requirements of your business. To make it even easier for you, we have made a list of steps to follow for the formation of companies in IFZA.
The steps are the following:
- Visit Connect Zone
- Choose a package
- Submit the scanned passports of all the shareholders involved along with a passport-size photo
- Submit the visit visa of each shareholder
- Lastly, after performing all the above-mentioned tasks, the IFZA Dubai License will be delivered to you within ten working days.
3. What type of licenses does this zone offer?
The International Free Zone Authority offers the following types of licenses:
3.1 Commercial license
Basically, a commercial license is a document endorsed by the Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai that allows entrepreneurs to trade almost any product imaginable. From food and electronics to jewelry, toys, and packaging. Also, you can trade services like real estate and brokerage. The products you trade under this license may be imported and sold in the country, exported for sale outside the UAE, or traded solely within the United Arab Emirates.
Acquiring this license means being able to work in different economic sectors. For example:
- General warehousing
- Rental services
- Self-storage services
- Restaurant management
- Plumbing and sanitary contracting
- Shoe trading
These are some of the activities you can do when you acquire this license. However, you can see the full list of permitted activities at the Department of Economic Development. Or on the other hand, you can check with a business setup consultant, such as Connect Zone.
3.2 Industrial license
The industrial license is an official document addressed to those companies whose main activity is based on the country’s manufacturing sector. The activities you can do with this license are the following:
- Processing raw material
- Importing raw materials
- Packaging the final product
- Selling the final product
- Exporting the final product
Before starting the application process for an industrial license, there are certain conditions that you must meet. These are the following:
- Local sponsor: To legally operate in the territory of the UAE, your business must have the presence of a local sponsor that handles 51% of the stock. While the investors keep the remaining 49%.
- Office space: If your plans include acquiring this license, then you must have a physical office and a warehouse in Dubai. Please note that you cannot have virtual offices.
- Capital: To acquire an industrial license, the minimum capital of your company must be AED 250,000
- Local license: To work in a specific region of the UAE, you will need a local industrial license in the area where you will be doing business.
3.3 Professional license
The professional license is an official document issued by the Department of Economic Development. It was created for those entrepreneurs who wish to offer a professional service based on experience or some physical or mental ability that allows them to generate profits.
Some of the sectors in which you can work with this license are the following:
- Crafting and designing of products
- Engineering consultancy
- Business setup consultancy services
- Medical and educational services
If you work in the research, designing, tourism guidance, or any other sector based on your talent, experience, or ability, you can acquire this license. And consequently, you are legally allowed to offer your services to anyone in the UAE. Also, you have the power to undertake the activities depending on your area of expertise or your qualifications.
Please note that even if this license allows you to do a large number of activities, certain tasks will still require approval from other authorities. These authorities aim to manage industry standards, enforce rules, maintain security and also ensure that only authorized professionals offer these services, following the laws defined by the corresponding ministry.
3.4 Consultancy license
A consultancy license is a popular document among professionals in the field of marketing, business, accounting, and also any specialized service. Many companies require the support of specialized services to enhance their business growth. Companies in the UAE are constantly looking for business advisors for innovative ways to achieve more customers. A consultancy license is the right business license to establish a company and address the growing demand in this area.
There are a lot of activities you can do with a consultancy license in the UAE. For example:
- Legal consultancy
- Financial advisory
- Computer consultants
- Engineering consulting
- Tourism and recreation consultants
- Investment consulting
- Information technology consulting
- Sports research and consultancy
- Energy projects and consultancy
3.5 General trading license
The general trading license is a document that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to sell, store, distribute, import, and also export products. This license covers a wide range of business activities, ranging from the sale of clothes, accessories, electronics, furniture, etc, to any type of retail and wholesale of goods. If the company handles trading multiple goods and not a single item, then getting a general trading license is the right choice.
Getting this license offers you a lot of benefits. For example, 100% ownership, access to world-class offices, logistics and warehouse facilities, no import duty for imports to the free zone, easy visa availability, and also easy bank account opening process.
4. How much does a license cost in the IFZA Free Zone?
The cost of an IFZA free zone license includes the cost of the consultancy license and the general trading license. A more detailed explanation of all the factors contributing to this prize pool is the following:
- 1-year business license package with 1 investor visa can cost from AED 13,900 to AED 29,900.
- A 3-year IFZA license can cost from AED 41,700 to AED 65,000
- A 5-year business license can cost from AED 69,500 to AED 100,030
5. The process of getting a residence visa through an IFZA company
After receiving your license, you must begin the process to obtain a residence visa. The steps to follow to apply for this visa are the following:
- After obtaining your business license in IFZA, you must apply for the establishment card of your company within 5-7 days.
- Complete the application form and submit it to IFZA
- Make the payment of the fees corresponding to the procedure
- Once the visa is delivered, you will be allotted for your medical check-up (in under 2-3 working days)
- After taking the medical test, you can apply for your Emirates ID
- Following the approval of your medical test results, go for the emirates biometric scanning process
- Send the necessary documents to the IFZA office for further verification
- Pick up your ID and visa in about 9-10 days.
6. Why should you choose the IFZA Free Zone?
Choosing the free zone that best suits the needs of your company can be a daunting task. There are about forty-five free zones that you can choose from. Most of these zones offer similar business activities, which makes it harder for the shareholders to decide which one is best.
Some of the reasons why the International Free Zone Authority is undoubtedly the best option are the following:
6.1 Cheapest free zone in the UAE
Since its creation, IFZA characterized itself by offering the most competitive company formation packages, compared to other free zones. These packages generally have a lower price, considering the overall pricing of the licenses and the residence visa. This free zone also offers seasonal packages from time to time to attract young entrepreneurs.
6.2 Flexibility in upgrading licenses
IFZA packages generally fall into two categories ranging from zero visa allocations to six visa allocations. This offers entrepreneurs the flexibility to start with zero or one visa and increase their license later to higher visa allocations, depending on the company and the personal requirements in the future.
6.3 Easiest company formation
IFZA offers one of the most flexible company formation processes in the UAE. You can carry out the procedure remotely, without the need for the physical presence of shareholders or managers in the country. The application form and the rest of the documentation can be signed and exchanged in a scanned form. This process makes IFZA one of the best options for those entrepreneurs who for some reason cannot travel to the IFZA offices or who reside outside the United Arab Emirates.
7. How can we help you start a company in one of the UAE’s Free Trade Zones?
Now that you have more information about the IFZA Free Zone, you are ready to start the process of forming your company. Connect Zone is the ideal partner to accompany you and advise you in this process. With more than twenty years of experience and more than a thousand happy clients, our professionals have all the skills to make your business successful.
We can help you with any administrative and legal procedure you need, we will offer you a wide variety of pro services, we will help you choose a license package that suits your business and we will also assist you choosing the best economic jurisdiction for your company.
Do you want to know more about the investment opportunities you can find at IFZA Free Zone? Please reach us at +971 43 316 688 or at the following email firstname.lastname@example.org where one of our professionals will assist you.
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