Type of licenses for Jebel Ali Free Zone

September 14, 2023

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Jebel Ali Free Zone is the world’s largest free economic zone which is located on the western side of Dubai, near Abu Dhabi. Established in 1985, jafza is home to more than 7000 companies; including approximately 100 Fortune Global 500 companies as well as providing employment to 144,000 people in United Arab Emirates. More than 32% of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is accounted by JAFZA and its contribution towards Dubai GDP is more than 21% on an yearly basis.

Jafza has been successful in being recognized as major trading and logistics hub in UAE because of its remarkable growth of Dh 24.5 billion in the year 2016. Business setup in jafza provides an opportunity to strengthen the value and capacity of trade that can be carried out in this free zone. Not only trade, Jebel Ali Free Zone thrives on its attribute as an all-purpose free zone in Dubai. JAFZA provides an easy company formation setup in its facility, an excellent state of the art features, commercial incentives such as 100% foreign ownership, zero personal and corporate tax, complete repatriation of profits as well as no foreign currency restrictions.

Business Setup in Jebel Ali Free Zone

Before your business setup, you should be aware of the companies that are allowed to form in the Free Zone. These are,

Free Zone Company (FZCO)
It can be formed with 2 to 5 shareholders with a minimum capital fee of AED 500,000. The shareholders can be individuals or company or both.

Free Zone Establishment (FZE)
It can be formed with a single managing shareholder (person or a company) with a minimum capital of AED 1 million. The liability of the company is limited to the paid up capital. FZE (single shareholder company) is treated differently than FZCO (multiple shareholders company) as it has its own legal identity.

Branch Company
An established business having valid registration development and license outside JAFZA can apply for the formation of a branch company in Jebel Ali free zone. It will be completely owned by the business itself.

Special Status Non-Resident Offshore Company

JAFZA allows the establishment of a non-resident offshore company having a corporate legal entity which can be formed by foundation, individuals or a company.

Types of Business License in JAFZA

Once you have decided your company formation type, you have to obtain business license. It depends upon your business activity that will be carried out in the Business Park or Free Zone. There are seven categories of business license in JAFZA. Their names and nature is explained under,

1. Trading license
This license grants permission to carry out trade activities. However, there are two categories in this type of license:

  • Trading license: Companies acquiring this license are allowed to import, export and store those items specified on the license.
  • General trading license: This license caters to wider range of activities and broader range of items. Companies acquiring this license can import, store or distribute all items as per jafza rules and regulations. Usually, this type of license is more expensive than a normal trading license.

Jebel Ali Free Zone has empowered its trading sector in order to boost its trade and provide numerous possibilities for an entrepreneur to go for.

2. Industrial License
Manufacturing companies are required to have industrial license. The license allows them to import raw materials, carry out the manufacturing of their product and export the finished product to any country. Jafza has listed out specific requirements for the production of goods which must be taken into account before obtaining this license.

3. Service License
Service license allows the holder to provide its services which are specified in the license within the Free Zone.

Logistics license is given to the firms who are engaged in logistics services such as cargo, warehousing, storage, parking or distribution etc. This type of license is issued only for the branch of locally established company in UAE and the type of service must conform to its parent company’s license and is issued by Economic department or Municipality of the relevant Emirate.

4. E-Commerce License
Taking into consideration the current market needs, jafza provides an e-commerce license for online business which enables them to buy and sell goods and services over electronic networks through any electronic means.

5. National industrial License
National Industrial license is given to those manufacturing companies who have ownership or shareholding of at least 51% with AGCC (Arabian Gulf Co-operation Council) nationals / citizens. The value addition in the product in the Jebel free zone must amount to a minimum of 40%. This company license grants the holder the same status as a local or AGCC inside the UAE. The license is designed in a way which aids in articulation of the range of manufacturers and local manufacturers working within UAE.

6. Innovation license
Innovation license allows the holder to carry out development of new products and services.

7. Offshore Registration
This allows the holder to establish offshore company with limited liability. It is mandatory that offshore company in Jebel Ali free zone must be established with the assistance or collaboration of an already existing limited liability company in JAFZA. Obtaining a license may not be compulsory but a certificate of incorporation must be required for offshore company formation.

If you are looking for your business setup in Jebel Ali Free Zone and need any information or assistance in this regard, our experienced and professional team at KWS will be delighted to help you in every way.

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