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A free zone is simply an area that is designated within the United Arab Emirates where different entities are incorporated and are all under specific rules.
Fujairah Free Zone’s history dates back to 28th November 1987 when the free zone was established. The main objectives behind the establishment of this free zone were so as to offer the most liberal terms, world class facilities & infrastructure and minimum regulations so that businesses can be able to operate smoothly. The main mission behind the establishment of this free zone was so as to attract global investors in fields such as trading, service provision, manufacturing processes and logistics among other fields. All these investments are achieved through the offering of liberal commercial policies that ease the establishment of businesses.
The Fujairah Free Zone is quite convenient to access as it is connected to the world through different means. These means are such as air through Fujairah International Airport, by road through highways that interconnect cities and by sea through the unique Port of Fujairah. The rapid development of Fujairah is accounted for by the fact that it is the only Emirate in UAE’s East Coast.
Trading: holders are authorized to deal in imports, exports and re-exports of specified commodities. License holders are allowed to operate in the free zone and outside the boundaries of UAE. For local distribution, the authority arranges for special licenses from the relevant government institutions for smooth operations.
Warehousing: Permits obtained for warehouses that offer leasing facilities and services. These facilities are used to ease storage and packing of goods.
Manufacturing: licenses obtained upon the approval and implementation of a project. It is important to note that for the issuance of these licenses, the project at hand needs to be insured.
Free zone establishment (FZE): Only one shareholder and a minimum capital requirement of AED 150,000.
Free Zone Company (FZCO): Has 2 to 5 shareholders and a minimum capital requirement of AED 150,000.
Local / Foreign Branch: No capital requirement for the establishment of this entity.
Incorporating a free zone company is quite beneficial in that companies in these free zones enjoy full exemption from tax. Just like in other free zones, in Fujairah free zone there is no corporate or income tax on individuals and companies respectively.
Three preferred company names need to be provided for approval purposes. Usually, the authority strives to ensure that it reserves the first choice.
At least one director / manager (individual only).
At least one shareholder and a maximum of five (individual or corporate).
A minimum share capital of AED 150,000. The share capital should be deposited in the bank account of the company before the license is issued.
It is required that the entity should rent a facility and provide proof of this rental to the authority before obtaining the license.
The license issued is only valid for duration of one year after the day it is issued. Renewal of the license should be done before the expiry of the current license or within 30 days after it expires.
Companies are required to undertake an Annual financial audit that should be submitted to the authority. The reporting period for these audits is one year but entities are free to choose their own reporting periods as long as they lie between 6 months and 18 months.
The number of visas a company is to get is mainly dependent on office size that the company takes. In most occasions, a 10 square meter office space translates to about one visa. Visa issuance processes are treated separately by the authority and is majorly dependent on the business activities of the applicants. Visas are processed within 4-7 working days but this duration may increase due to immigration department’s approvals.