International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) company setup – step by step

Man setting up business in IFZA

UAE free zones are hugely popular with entrepreneurs both at home and abroad. If you’ve looked into the possibility of setting up in one then you’ll likely already know about the headline benefits such as 0% corporate tax rates on both personal and corporate income, no currency restrictions, customs tax exemption, and the ability to repatriate 100% of your capital and profits.

What you may not know is that there are yet more advantages to be found at individual free zones – particularly those outside Dubai. Free zones in other emirates often offer the world-class infrastructure, business environment and global location of the UAE without the high prices.

Take International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) for instance. Based in the emirate of Fujairah, International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) is quickly set to become a leading investment hub, offering a highly customised approach, coupled with efficient international service standards and cost-effective solutions. And that’s not all. With the right support and guidance, International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) company setup is easy. If you’re looking to start your business in a free zone, here’s everything you need to know.

What is a free zone?

In short, free trade zones are special economic areas which allow for the storage, handling, manufacture and trade of goods and services with exemption from duty and taxes.

Free zones are often linked to or in the proximity of seaports and airports making them popular among import/export businesses and those that conduct international trade. This is not always the case, however, and the UAE has many across the length and breadth of the country.

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) company setup

Step one:

The first thing to do before applying to establish your business at International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) is to outline your business activities.

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) welcomes most activities that are permitted under the following licenses:

Consultancy license: For business professionals providing expert and professional consultancy services across all industries.

Service license: Allows service providers production, re-production, transformation and distribution of services. Service licenses include rendering services as the primary objective and utilising associated goods to provide those services.

Trading license: Authorises the import, export, distribution and storing of items specified on the license.

General trading license: This enables the licensee to trade in a wider range of activities and gives the freedom and flexibility to trade in any commodity which is permitted within the UAE.

Industrial license: This enables the licensee to import raw materials, then production, re-production, manufacture, package the specified products, and finally export.

Holding license: Allows the holding of standalone assets and/or shares in other companies. Holding companies are commonly used for controlling other companies and entities, property and real estate, stocks, assets, trademarks, and patents.

Step two

At this stage, you should also decide on a company name. It’s a good idea to do this with the help of a company formation expert as the UAE imposes a strict, yet easy to follow, set of naming conventions that will not be familiar to anyone outside of the region.  

When choosing a name for your business, you must keep in mind that it cannot include any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any references deemed offensive to some. If you wish to include your name in your company name, you must use it in full rather than just your surname or initials. Finally, you must check that your chosen name is available to be registered.

Step three

Now you can make your license application.

As part of the application process, you may be asked to provide:

  • Completed application form
  • A copy of your passport
  • A colour photograph

It pays to work with a company setup expert. We can make sure your application is complete and free from errors at the time of submission to ensure a fast and smooth process.

Benefits of setting up at International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

As well as the headline benefits of doing business in a free zone, there are plenty more great reasons to set up at International Free Zone Authority (IFZA).

The emirate of Fujairah holds a unique position in the UAE being the only emirate that lies on the eastern side of the UAE, along the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean.

The free zone itself is home to a range of modern, customisable office solutions including serviced office space, private and executive offices. You’ll also find warehouse facilities including various size options, built to the highest international logistics standards. International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) is also proud to call itself the Environmentally Friendly Free Zone Authority in the UAE. The free zone’s objective is to act in a way which minimises damage to the environment. Its Green Management initiative strives to continuously improve the foundation of environmental management, such as the development and implementation of environmental activities, environmental management systems, and environmental communication, as well as conservation of biodiversity.

How does International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) compare on price point?

If you’re looking for a competitively priced free zone in Dubai for instance, you’re unlikely to find one that can compete on price with free zones in some of the other emirates. While cost-effective free zones in Dubai do exist, the cost of doing business is likely to make International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) and Fujairah the more competitive choice.

With that being said, it’s difficult to determine the total cost of International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) company setup without knowing the full specifics of your business. The exact cost will depend on your business activities and the size of your organisation, among other factors. What can be said, however, is that setting up in a free zone, particularly outside of Dubai, is one of the most cost-effective and otherwise flexible ways to do business in the UAE. Fujairah in particular is well-known for its more affordable cost of doing business including affordable licensing and labour costs, so setting up here is an option on most budgets.

The International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) company setup experts

The process of setting up at International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) has been designed with simplicity in mind. However, it does take some in-depth knowledge of the UAE and its many customs and regulations.

That’s why it’s always advisable to acquire the services of a business setup company who can not only advise on the process but also seek out the most suitable license and setup type for your business, based on your needs and your budget.

When you use business setup services, you also gain peace of mind that your license and visa applications are free from errors and omissions – both of which can lead to delays and rejection. When you work with a company formation specialist in Dubai, all you need to provide is some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to start trading. It really is that simple.