Setting up a new business requires a lot of skill, and it also requires a lot of money. So, the more of that money you can save in the setup stages, the more funds you can invest to ensure your business has all the resources necessary in those all-important early months.
Low-cost business setup in the UAE is relatively straightforward, and any entrepreneur starting their business in UAQ Free Trade Zone (UAQFTZ) enjoys significant advantages. This guide describes several of them in the following sections:
In UAQ Free Trade Zone, low-cost doesn’t mean no-frills or cutting corners – it simply means that UAQFTZ offers some of the most low-cost business licences in the UAE. Licences start from just AED 8000 for a no-visa package, and AED 13,500 for a two-visa package.
As soon as you’ve sorted out your specific requirements, contact UAQFTZ and we’ll give you a swift personalised quote. It’s a simple process, and your company will usually be incorporated in one or two days.
Once your licence has been issued, you can operate your business in UAQFTZ – but you are not limited to the free zone. For example, if you wish to run your business in Dubai, you are free to do so.
Low-cost isn’t just about saving money: it’s about what you can do with the money you’ve saved. When company setup costs are as inexpensive as they are in UAQFTZ, you can invest more into whatever you need to get the business up and running. Low setup costs also reduce risk and let you focus time and money on your brand and products.
You can also put funds aside to invest in a professional and regularly updated website. We all know that making your own website is easy these days, and Dubai alone has several hundred online companies vying for attention. However, we also know the difference between a DIY job and a professionally put-together website.
For many businesses, whether based in UAQFTZ, Dubai or beyond, an online presence is your window to the world and the world’s window back to you. So, it’s important to make sure the view from those
windows is fantastic – whether it’s the website itself or the various social media and marketing channels.
Saving money at the outset will also enable you to invest in hiring, and perhaps allow you to make some special offers to win potential customers’ attention. Having cash to spare at launch can make all the difference between a quiet entry and a big splash.
UAQ Free Trade Zone prides itself on making the business licence application process as straightforward as possible. There are five basic steps to take:
Step 1 : Select a company name, bearing in mind the general rules in the UAE about naming a company. Think of an alternative or two, in case your first choice has already been taken. Send the names for approval and state the business area you intend working in, along with the required licence type.
Step 2 : Submit the relevant documents to UAQ Free Trade Zone Authority, including your application form and a colour copy of your passport.
Step 3 : The original business incorporation documents should then be signed and submitted to the FTZA.
Step 4 : Send the required payment as soon as the documentation has been approved.
Step 5 : Wait for your licence to arrive – it’s usually a very swift process.
To apply for a business licence, you will need to submit the following details and documents:
Successful business is the engine that powers the world, but it is not the only goal of a meaningful life. Location is always key to a successful work-life balance, and in this respect Umm Al Quwain has much to offer in terms of natural beauty and a fascinating balance between traditional pursuits and entrepreneurial endeavour. It has the smallest population of the seven UAE emirates and could almost be labelled ‘undiscovered’ from an expat point of view. It has thriving residential areas, including a marina, but it is relatively undeveloped compared to Dubai.
This situation of balance benefits landscape and wildlife. There is a rich diversity of marine and land-based plants and wildlife, with a bird-rich lagoon, mangroves and mudflats. Many of the marine species.
of the area can be seen in the Umm Al Quwain Aquarium. The emirate also has forts, watch towers and an old harbour of historical interest. The traditional industries here are fishing and date cultivation, and the recent growth in new businesses and residential building has not yet upset the balance between the new and the old.
The cultural highlight of the emirate is Al-Dour, considered to be the largest pre-Islamic site in the entire Arabian Gulf coast region. Al-Dour was a trading port from around 200 BC to 200 AD, and survivals from those early days include a small fort and a temple.
The emirate also boasts excellent leisure facilities for those seeking the very best in beach holiday-type relaxation, including the Dreamland Aqua Park and Barracuda Beach Resort. The lagoon, a great attraction for birdwatchers, is also a popular spot for water sports. Its calm waters and gentle waves offer a backdrop which, once seen and heard, is never forgotten. Snorkelling, sailing, canoeing, water-skiing, kayaking, wind-surfing and jet-skiing are all popular sports here.
Leisure-seekers can also enjoy buggy racing, dune motoring, and horse-riding, with lessons for experienced and novice riders alike. The Al Labsah Camel Racing Track is another hugely popular spot, offering this exciting and distinctly UAE sport, while families can take advantage of Falaj Al Mualla Garden Park, with its gardens, swimming pools, barbecue areas and playground.
While Umm al Quwain is a great location for businesses and offers all the leisure opportunities mentioned above, the fact remains that Dubai is the UAE’s busiest business hub. What many people don’t realise, however, is that you don’t necessarily need to apply for your licence directly from Dubai if you intend to establish your company there.
A business license from UAQFTZ allows you to operate your business in Dubai, with no further red tape involved. You do not need to relocate your family, and you can benefit from the low overheads and company license costs offered by UAQFTZ’s low-cost business setup packages.
This is why low-cost business setup in Dubai can actually begin with a licence issued in UAQFTZ.
There are 45 free zones in Dubai, each with its own character and specialisms. All the UAE’s free zones have certain things in common, though – they are distinct business areas, often near a port or business hub. The legislation of each free trade zone is separate from the rules and regulations governing mainland UAE companies.
Together, Dubai’s free zones account for around one-third of its GDP. Along with the UAE’s other emirates, Dubai has diversified beyond reliance on the oil and hydrocarbon sectors, and the free trade zones have played a leading role in this successful transition. From 2000 to 2019, Dubai’s non-oil external trade grew from 143 billion to 1.271 trillion Dirhams, an astonishing rise by any standards. Recent figures and the success of Dubai’s World Expo 2020 (which concluded in March 2022) suggest that the emirate has been more than able to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is no secret that the UAE’s rapid development has been based on riches derived from the discovery of oil here 40 years ago. The region’s wealth has acted as a magnet for businesses ever since, and the UAE has consistently been listed by the World Bank as the strongest economic performer in the MENA region.
The UAE is now a premier global investment and tourism hub, and its low-tax environment, investor-friendly policies and geographic position – the GMT+4 time zone playing a crucial role here – make it the ideal choice for entrepreneurs and global trade.
While the tax regime is always the region’s headline draw, the UAE has many other financial benefits. The relatively small cost-of-living and business expenses extend to licensing, customs duty, electricity, telecoms and labour. The emirates also follow liberal real estate investment policies and a generally pro-business environment, making the region attractive to investors. There are many international commercial treaties in place, and the UAE has implemented strict exporting rules and laws, all but wiping out the illegal movement of goods.
Since its oil-fuelled economic boom, the UAE has actively wooed foreign investment. The market here is divided into three distinct business jurisdictions: mainland, offshore and free zones. In the latter category, there are more than 40 multidisciplinary free trade zones in the UAE, where expatriates and foreign investors enjoy full ownership of their businesses. The free zones include UAQFTZ and several in Dubai.
Free trade zones are one of the keys to the UAE’s economic success, creating thousands of jobs and drawing cutting-edge technology into the country. The ease of doing business is always central to the success of any business region, and the lack of red tape in establishing a company in the UAE goes a long way toward explaining the success of the many free zones. Setting up a free zone company remains easier and quicker than launching one on the mainland or offshore.
Umm al Quwain FTZ is a free zone located in the UAE, and many companies have found its simple, fast-track licensing system the ideal way to launch a free zone business. The same applies if you are looking for low-cost business setup in Dubai – a UAQFTZ licence allows you to operate there, too.
You can opt for whichever licensing fast-track suits your business, and licences begin at just AED 8000. Options include a Free Zone Establishment licence if you’re setting up alone, a Free Zone Company licence for up to 50 individuals and shareholders, or a licence to establish a branch of an existing company. Low-cost business setup in UAE is easy, and in UAQFTZ it’s the simplest of all. When we say ‘simple’, we’re talking about cutting out the red tape. For example, there is no requirement for capital proof, bank letters or audit reports. You and your shareholders will not have to be physically present during the application and setup process, and the Establishment Card is free of charge.
As the company owner, you can use your existing visa, and as a visa holder you can sponsor your family. What’s more, no NOC is required to set up a company with UAQFTZ, no matter what your business is.
The process of establishing your new business in UAQFTZ can be conducted remotely, and you will benefit from the region’s astonishingly low-cost approach to business. Zero taxes is just the beginning of the story, with low-cost living and fantastic facilities and infrastructure adding to the countless benefits. And did you know Umm Al Quwain has its own seaport and is within easy reach of two international airports?
Many entrepreneurs seeking low cost business setup in Dubai have also found UAQFTZ the ideal launchpad for their businesses. After all, licences start at just AED 8000.
So, when searching for low cost business setup in the UAE, your first move should be to contact UAQFTZ for a personalised quote. The launch of your new business is just around the corner.