At AHR Corporate Services, we leverage our expertise, professional relationships, and local key-contacts to ensure that our clients can focus on their core businesses whilst having their new company’s set-up in the quickest time frame.

Over the years we have gained valuable insight on how Government Departments and Authorities operate in this region as such, are able to foresee complications that may be raised, ahead of time. This enables us to ensure that these points are addressed from the off set-in order to expedite the necessary approvals and minimise the financial burden on our clients.

We assist with the incorporation of all UAE free-zone and locally registered companies, as well as offshore companies in various jurisdictions- each offering various packages with the same predominant benefits- 100% ownership, 0% corporate & 0% personal tax with 100% capital and profits repatriation.

Our consultants will evaluate your business activities, location and staffing requirements, growth & expansion plans in order to provide you with our personal recommendation on which jurisdiction is best suited for your business. Based on an overview of your business needs combined with our years of expertise in this industry, we will ensure you are provided with the correct advice for your specific requirements.

Whether the purpose of establishing a company in the UAE is to enter the UAE market, obtain UAE residency, or perhaps protect other assets, at AHR Corporate Services we are able to guide you through this process with advice and hands-on practical assistance from our initial consultation, through to completion.


Why should you set-up a company in the uae?

100% ownership, 0% corporate & personal taxes with 100% capital and profits repatriation, in a country that offers 365-day sunshine, a luxurious lifestyle, a fast-growing economy and a safe environment to live and work.

It seems odd not to choose to set-up your business here in the UAE!

In 2022, the United Arab Emirates ranked 4th globally in the Global Entrepreneurship Index, a notable achievement reflecting the nation's efforts and recent regulatory framework that incubates and accelerates entrepreneurship.

As part of its national entrepreneurship agenda, the UAE aims to become the entrepreneurial nation of choice, home to 20 unicorn start-ups worth $1 billion each by 2031, reaffirming its commitment to further improving the start-up ecosystem and paving the way for success.

With a world-class environment to support the entrepreneurship sector, the UAE presents an integrated system of initiatives and legislation that serves as a growth engine for the country's GDP. In the last few years, the UAE revealed pioneering measures, including a change to local ownership laws now allowing 100% UAE foreign ownership (outside of a free-zone) as well as more flexible visa schemes aimed to attract further foreign investors and entrepreneurs to the region.

As the UAE continues to thrive as a global business hub, economic departments and free-zones remain crucial players in supporting the business ecosystem. The UAE continues to attract investment in the country, driving entrepreneurs and SME’s to set up locally based businesses, adding to the national economy.

What is a free-zone?

A free-zone located in the United Arab Emirates is a geographical area in which business is conducted without the taxes or restrictions normally applied to foreign businesses. It is an area where goods can be cleared, handled, manufactured, or reconfigured, and re-exported without payment of customs duties and import and export taxes.

The UAE has approximately 50 free-zones across its seven Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain)- each able to provide you with a business license and a legal address, and other benefits dependent on the jurisdiction and package you choose.

Free-zones were designed to encourage foreign investment to the UAE. To provide an easier start-up process and assistance with labour and immigration procedures but importantly, with 100% ownership for any nationality. As each free-zone has its own Authority which governs that particular zone, each comes with its own and Rules & Regulations. However, fundamentally all free-zones operate via the same core regulations and values. As a free-zone company you also have the benefit of 100% repatriation of revenue and profits back to your home country which is particularly attractive to foreign investors and business owners in the region.

For further information on free-zones and to find out which free-zone jurisdiction could be best suited to your business, please email or request a call back from one of our company incorporation specialists below.

Is there any corporate/income tax applied to free-zone companies or individuals?

Corporation tax will be introduced in the UAE in June 2023 however, corporate tax will not apply to companies operating within a free-zone, between free-zones, or with companies overseas.

Individuals operating as freelancers would be subject to corporate tax if they exceed AED 375,000 in turnover, as they will not be salaried, and their earnings would be considered as business earnings.

Salaried individuals across the UAE benefit from 0% personal income tax.

What is a Limited Liability Company?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a corporate structure with a separate and distinct legal entity. The primary advantage of an LLC structure is that the liabilities of the company, (whether arising in contract or otherwise) are the company’s liabilities and not the personal liabilities of the Shareholders. Equally, the company’s assets belong to the company and are not the personal assets of the Shareholders.

What is a Branch Company?

A branch company is an entity belonging to an existing parent company. All profits, benefits, assets and other returns of the Branch company shall be profits, benefits, assets and other returns of the parent company. Equally, all costs, expenses, debts, and other liabilities of the branch are costs, expenses, debts and other liabilities of the parent company.

A branch company is not issued with a Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association and Shares Certificate here in the UAE, but an operating license to be legally able to operate and is simply classed as an extension of its parent.

As a branch of a foreign entity, you will be required to submit a valid Certificate of Good Standing of the parent company to establish the Branch, as well as on an annual basis in order to renew the operating license. This original certificate will require attestation from the UAE Embassy in the Country of origin as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE.

What is a Holding Company?

A holding company allows an entity to hold standalone assets and/or stakes in other companies. A holding company could be established for the purpose of controlling another company or property such as real estate, patents, trademarks, stocks, and other assets.

We are registered agents and are able to establish holding companies and other similar vehicles such as SPV’s and foundations. Please send an email to for further information on setting-up a holding company.

How do I obtain a UAE PO BOX Number?

A PO BOX number can be issued in whichever Emirate your company is registered in. There will be a one-time registration fee alongside an annual fee based on the package you choose. The most cost-effective option involves physical pick-up being required from the designated post-office (the most common package used in the UAE), however there are also packages available which include a weekly delivery service to a location of your choice.

At AHR Corporate Services we provide a PO Box and mail-management service for our clients- please reach out to a member of our team for a quote or email for further information.

How do I apply for a UAE Tax Residency Certificate?

We can apply for both individual and corporate certificates upon receipt of all required documentation.

Company applications will only be considered once the company has been established in the UAE for at least one year. To apply as a corporate entity, the requirements are as follows (as scanned, coloured copies):

Company License

  • Passport, UAE Visa and Emirates ID copies of the company Manager/Director
  • 6 Months Com¬pany Bank Statements & latest certified audited financial statement

To apply as an individual, the requirements are as follows (as scanned, coloured copies):

  • Passport, UAE Visa & Emirates ID
  • Residential UAE Tenancy Contract/ EJARI- valid for the required tax period
  • 6 Months Personal Bank Statements
  • Salary Certificate or Wage Slips

Individual applicants need to have spent at least 180 days in the UAE within the year, or, evidence of “strong ties” with the jurisdiction.

The Ministry of Finance will not issue Tax Residency Certificates to Offshore Companies and Branches of Foreign Companies.

For further information on tax residence certificates, please reach out to a member of our team for a quote or email for further information.

Can I perform my business activities outside of my licensed free-zone?

Service and on-line based business activities can be performed “outside of free-zones”.

Trading companies registered within a free-zone are permitted to carry out trading activities with companies within that particular free-zone or overseas, outside the UAE. If a company intends to tendor or perform business with any UAE based government entities or local companies they will be required to establish a local branch office or transact through a local commercial agent, licensed by Dubai’s Economic Department.

If free-zone companies wish to trade physical products within the UAE, known as “onshore” or the “mainland” they can do so directly via a local distributor- a locally established company that has an import/export license issued by Dubai’s Economic Department who will be assigned to clear any goods through UAE customs on your behalf.

Will free-zone companies be charged customs duty?

Customs duty levied on a company will depend on the business operations. A free-zone is considered outside of the customs territory. However, although free-zone companies are still subject to the customs controls, the usual customs procedures do not apply to free-zone companies.

Goods may enter a free-zone without paying customs taxes or ‘duties’, however goods exiting the free-zone into the UAE local market shall be treated as foreign goods and shall therefore be subject to customs duty levied as follows: -

  • General Goods and Commodities: 5%
  • Alcoholic Beverages: 50%
  • Cigarettes, Tobacco & derivatives thereof 100%

Goods located in a free-zone shall not be subject to any duties for as long as they remain therein. However, when leaving a gated (or bonded) free-zone, the goods will be inspected and examined, and a customs declaration is issued. The goods can then leave the free-zone, providing that an original detailed invoice is produced. However, for non-gated (non-bonded) free-zones, this process is more difficult to follow and can end up causing complications later down the line, if not handled correctly.

How can I move my goods from free-zone to free-zone?

A customs ‘transit’ declaration will be issued and a refundable deposit of an amount equivalent to 5% of the total value of the goods is required to be paid. The deposit will then be refunded upon proving the arrival of the goods to another free-zone through submission of the relevant customs documents approved by the customs office receiving the goods.

Can I sell my goods to another company located within the same free-zone?

Yes, with no customs duty applicable. However, the arrival of the goods at the other company within the free-zone one must be proven, alongside a document proving the transfer of the goods between the two free-zone companies.

Under what basis can I use the “made in UAE tag” on my products?

To receive a ‘Made in the UAE’ tag from the UAE Ministry of Economics, the product(s) must be manufactured to at least 40% to completion within the UAE.

Request a call back to discuss your requirements in further detail

Disclaimer: The material provided on this website does not constitute financial advice and is for information purposes only, the information provided is subject to change without notice.

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