About IFZA Dubai Free Zone

“IFZA Dubai offers businesses more than a free zone. We are a community where entrepreneurs and businesses are enabled to become part of an ever-evolving ecosystem in one of the world’s most forward-thinking cities. We have leveraged our strategic location and combined it with the highest levels of competence, customer-oriented service and regulatory knowledge to optimize company formation in Dubai.” International Free Zone Authority
Dubai Company Formation IFZA Nomad

What makes IFZA a leading Free Zone?

Most cost-effective business set-up options in the UAE.

No personal income tax.

100% ownership of commercial enterprises.

100% repatriation of capital and profit.

100% import and export tax exemptions.

No physical presence of business owners required during incorporation process.

Residency visas are valid for 3 years.

Residency visas available to shareholders and employees.

A safe and business-friendly legal framework for Licensees.

No paid-up share capital requirement.

More than 2 000 business activities to choose from.

Professional, Commercial, and Industrial activities can be combined under one IFZA License.

Competitive General Trading License compared to other Free Zones.

Fast and efficient company incorporation processes.

What is a Free Zone?

A Free Zone is an economic area that has been given licensing rights by the Government to act as a registrar and business development hub. This has been done to develop and strengthen the economy of Dubai and to accommodate international business and trade into the region.

There are more than 30 Free Zones in Dubai region each providing its own structures, trade activities, and industry focus.

Processes & Requirements

IFZA Dubai Company Formation Process Overview

 

Forming your company and processing your Visa in Dubai has never been this easy. Here’s an overview of the process:

 

1. Consultation and Proposal

International expansion can be exciting and daunting at the same time as there are so many factors to consider. We guide you through the process ensuring that your expansion plan is economically viable as well as making sure that your tax strategy follows suit.

Your entry into Dubai is a two-fold process requiring you to first register your company and secondly deal with the related emigration process should you require a Visa.

With our guidance you will be able to obtain clarity on:

  1. The type of license you should choose
  2. Which type of business activity would be most suitable
  3. The Visa package most appropriate
  4. Whether you would require office space solutions

 


 

2. Takeoff and Supporting Documentation

Now reality hits. It is time that you get into the trenches and do the hard yards. Collate the supporting documents and complete the related business registration as well as Visa processing documents.

The documents we require as a minimum include:

  1. The license application form including the initial Ultimate Beneficial Ownership form and declaration
  2. Passport copy
  3. Digital passport photo
  4. Emirates ID and Visa Copy for UAE residents

Depending on the type of license and certain Visa requirements you may be required to provide additional documentation which may need to be attested and/or notarised.

If the shareholder of the company will be a corporate entity additional information will be required which is to be disclosed to you at a later stage.

Here is the best part. For registering your company with IFZA you do not have to visit Dubai. You can do this from your home country. All documents can be signed electronically.

 


 

3. Application and Processing

At this stage, you leave it up to us. Your Nomad consultant will take care of the rest. We will liaise with the business register at IFZA ensuring that your company registration application is processed.

Once your process has been processed you will receive 2 forms for signature. One form is to be signed by the general manager of the company and the other by the shareholders upon which the license of the company will be issued. Be 100% sure that you provide relevant and correct email information as these will be used to obtain your e-signature.

It is not time for Visa processing yet, one first has to finalise the process of setting up the company whereafter you can tend to process your Visa. It is very important to note that if you have included the requirement for Visa allocation in your application you will also have to obtain an Establishment card at an additional cost. Without an establishment card, you will not be able to process your Visa application.

 


 

4. License Approval and Issuing

You will receive a soft copy of your licensing documents which will include

  1. Your trade license
  2. Certificate of formation
  3. Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association
  4. Third-Party approval request (if required)
  5. Unit lease agreement

Should you require a copay of the original registration company registration documentation this can be collected from the IFZA head office in DSO. Be sure that you sign the 2 relevant pages and the IFZA registrar stamps below your signature with the IFZA stamp.

 


 

5. ONGOING SUPPORT SERVICES

Now that you have your company registration you can tend to other supporting services you may require. These usually include:

  1. Visa processing
  2. Office solutions
  3. License upgrades and downgrades
  4. License amendments
  5. License renewals

Nomad.cloud also provides you with additional supporting services which may include:

  • Assisting with the opening of a bank account
  • Economic Substance Regulation (ESR) filings
  • Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) filings
  • VAT registration with the FTA
  • Xero subscriptions should you require accounting software
  • Accounting and accounts processing

Free Zone Visa Process Overview

 

1. Application Submission and Payment

Once your company is formed, it’s time to process your Visa application.

You will be required to process the Visa application form which requires you to complete this with all your personal information including some religious as well as family-related information.

 

During the application process you should be aware of the following:

    1. Your passport should have a validity of at least 7 months
    2. You must have a minimum of at least 2 blank pages in your passport (1 full spread)
    3. You must use the passport most recently used to enter Dubai. If you entered Dubai with an “out of the country” e-visa be sure to get this stamped at emigration once you enter the country
    4. Your company’s trade license must have a validity period of at least 3 months
    5. If you have a current Visa in Dubai this must first be canceled before beginning this process with IFZA
    6. Should you be outside the country when applying for a visa this will refer to “out of the country”. Then you are in the country when applying for your Visa this will refer to “in-country”. Be very sure you get this exactly right as this will create delays if incorrectly applied.

 

The following documents are required when submitting your Visa for processing:

    1. Physical passport with at least 2 blank pages (1 full spread)
    2. Results of the medical fitness test
    3. Emirates ID application form (new or renewal)
    4. Medical insurance

 

General managers and shareholders listed on the trade license can choose any designation they desire without the need for an attested degree with only general managers allowed to have this indicated on their Visa.

Employees of a company are required to provide an attested degree certificate for any managerial designations requested.

 


 

2. Employee Contracts

All directors and employees are required to sign an employment contract with the company. This contract is provided by IFZA and can be signed electronically.

Be sure to sign both the English and Arabic sections of the contract to ensure it is valid. You also need to ensure that the employment contract is on company letterhead as well as stamped with an official company stamp.

 


 

2. E-Visa and Status

Once your Visa application has been submitted and you have signed your employment contract it is time to issue you with an e-visa. The e-visa is used to enter the country allowing you to complete the process of handing in your passport and undertaking a medical test.

For “out of the country” applications you should not enter the country until you have received your e-visa and only enter the country with the said visa. Ensure you get this stamped at emigration.

For “in-country” applications be sure not to leave the country while you are in process of obtaining your visa. Only once you have received your stamped passport may you leave the country.

 


 

4. Medical Fitness Test, Emirates ID Registration and Visa Stamping

Now you are ready to go for your fitness test. This includes a scan of your lungs as well as drawing some blood. Once this process is completed you can proceed to process your ID application by way of bio-metrics scanning and facial recognition.

At this stage, you will also be required to submit proof of your medical cover along with your Emirates ID application form.

This actual application process takes no longer than a couple of hours with the passport stamping and issuing of your Emirates ID card taking approximately 5 days.

Documentary Requirements for Individual shareholders

  1. License Application Form (including Ultimate Beneficial Ownership information)
  2. Passport copy
  3. Digital passport photo
  4. Emirates ID and Visa copy for UAE residents

 


 

Documentary Requirements for Corporate shareholders

  1. Passport Copy (of every Shareholder and General Manager)
  2. Passport Photo (of every Shareholder and General Manager)
  3. Emirates ID copy for Shareholders who are UAE residents
  4. Visa Copy for Shareholders who are UAE residents. Notarised and Attested.
  5. Board Resolution. Notarised or certified copy of original
  6. Memorandum & Articles of Association of the corporate shareholder, or equivalent.
  7. Valid Trade License or equivalent.
  8. Certificate of Incorporation / Formation of the corporate shareholder, or equivalent.

Definitions:

Notarised: This is when a document has been signed by a public notary in the jurisdiction where the document was issued, to ensure that it is authentic and can be trusted.

Attested: This is when a document that has already been notarised, is stamped by the UAE embassy in the same jurisdiction (to confirm the authenticity of the notarisation). This does not apply to documents notarised in the UAE.

A Certified True Copy: This is when a copy of an original document is given a stamp or certificate from a recognised professional to state it is a true copy of the original document.

Note:

  • Documents must be submitted in English or Arabic. If the original is another language, a certified translation will be required.
  • The above requirements also apply to a share transfer. to a new corporate shareholder and to a foreign company migrating (re-domiciling) to IFZA Dubai.

 


 

Passport, Photo, and Emirates ID Requirements

 

Passport

  1. Clear colour copy
  2. All 4 corners showing
  3. No obstructions
  4. File size less than 5mb

 

Photo

  1. Directly facing the camera
  2. Colour photo with white background
  3. Head and shoulders showing
  4. Hair and headscarves must not obscure the face
  5. No jewellery, hats, or accessories
  6. No teeth showing

 

Emirates ID

  1. Clear colour copy
  2. All 4 corners showing
  3. No obstructions
  4. File size less than 5mb

Company Names Guideline

  1. IFZA company names will be followed by the suffix FZCO.
  2. The name should not have obscene or indecent words and should not be offensive to the general public. This applies, even if it is a personal name.
  3. If the company name is that of a person, that person must be a partner/owner of the license. If a client wishes to use a name other than their own in their company name it will be subject to approval. Names should be written as-is and not translated. For example: if the Arabic name is الصقر للمقاولت) ) it must be written as (al Saqer contracting).
  4. The name should not be nor indicate any global political organizations, sectarian or religious affiliation (i.e., FBI, Mafia, etc.).
  5. The name cannot include names related to the United Arab Emirates such as Dubai or Emirates nor can it be translated.
  6. The name shall not be already reserved for the same activity or any similar activity.
  7. The name shall not include any form of religious wording such as “Allah”, “Lord”, “God” or any other religious names like “Rahman”, “Rahim” etc.
  8. The name shall not be identical or similar to local or global brand, or trademark registered in the Ministry of Economy. Example: (Emaar, KFC, etc.).
  9. The name must not include the word “Limited” or “Ltd”.
  10. The name must not include the words “halal”, “palm”, “expo” or “united”.
  11. For ease of approval, no word within the company name should be less than three (3) characters (including letters, numbers, and symbols).
  12. It is important to note that all company names are ultimately subject to approval.