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Abu Dhabi Free Zone Company Set Up Process

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven member emirates of the UAE. Abu Dhabi’s prime location between the prominent continents of Europe, Asia and Africa makes it an attractive company set-up free zone. It is also known as the Federal Capital of UAE as it houses the federal government offices.

With rapid growth and development in the recent times, Abu Dhabi has established as one of the most distinctive cities of the Middle East. The oil reserves within the city have contributed to its transformation into a city of global importance. The skyline of Abu Dhabi is marked by architectural brilliance, well-maintained parks and gardens, and luxurious hotels and shopping malls. For the above mentioned reasons, Abu Dhabi is looked upon as a prospective business set-up location by many companies across the world.

Setting up business in one of the Free Zones in Abu Dhabi sounds an attractive option as the city boasts of a healthy trade and commerce atmosphere for the investors looking to tap into the huge business potential that the city presents.

Why choose AL ALKEEM GROUP as your business partner?

Setting up your business in Abu Dhabi Free Zones requires expert research and planning.


To ensure that your setup process is hassle-free and quick, AL ALKEEM GROUP is there to help you. Being a leader in offering company formation services in Abu Dhabi, we at AL ALKEEM GROUP understand your business’ specific needs and offer custom-made plans as per your business model. We assist you throughout the process and also afterwards in the growth and maintenance of your business.

Our team of skilled consultants provides the best solutions for setting up a legal entity in Abu Dhabi while upholding proper rules and regulations. We possess years of experience in offering company setup services across a number of free zones across UAE, ensuring complete transparency and confidentiality at every level.

Abu Dhabi Free Zones

Free zones in Abu Dhabi allow 100% foreign ownership and exemption from taxes. Each free zone has specific requirements related to infrastructure and permitted activities.

Abu Dhabi has the following free zones:

  1. Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone (ADAF)

  2. Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

  3. Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (HCSEZ)


  4. Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD 1 and 2)

  5. Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD)

  6. Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ)

  7. Twofour54

Benefits of setting up your company in Abu Dhabi Free Zones

Free zones attract foreign investors, thus contributing to the economy. Free zones also have a lot to offer to the foreign investors planning to set-up their entity.

Benefits for operating in the free zone include:

  • 100% foreign ownership is permitted

  • 100% import and export tax exemptions

  • 100% repatriation of profits and capital are permitted

  • Exemption from personal, income and corporate taxes

  • No custom duty for goods and services

  • Unique purpose built infrastructure

  • Cordial business environment

  • Simplified documentation and incorporation process

  • Simplified company laws and legal framework

  • One-stop–shop that provides a plethora of government services, including permits, license, visa, traffic and postal services

Company formation in Abu Dhabi Free Zone

Starting a business in Abu Dhabi involves the following steps:

Step 1: Determine the business activity type

The first and most important step is to determine the activity of business you intend to do.

Every free zone caters to a specific business activity therefore you need to be well-informed whether or not your intended business activity is permitted in that particular free zone. Before initiating the procedures for issuing the business license, it is necessary to determine the intended business activity as the legal requirements and fees are specific to every activity.

Step 2: Determine the legal form of business

When you consider starting a business, you must decide on its legal structure first. The legal procedures vary according to the legal form of business you intend to set up. The different legal forms of a business establishment can include an establishment, or a company form like Limited Liability Company and Partnership Company among others. It is best to gather information about each legal ownership type before you decide which one is the best for business setup.

Step 3: Registration of the Trade Name

Once you are done with finalizing your business activity and legal form of the business, you need to find a trade name for your business. It should be unique enough to distinguish your business from others and should also correspond to your business activity and your legal business type.

Step 4: The initial approval process

When you have the trade name certificate with you, you can start the initial approval process. The initial approval certificate allows an investor to start with the formalities required for issuing the final license, the business license. You can approach the authorities for getting the requisite approvals for starting up your intended business activity. For foreign investors, it is mandatory to obtain the approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

When you are done with the initial approval process, you can visit the Commercial Protection Division at DED and other requisite authorities to verify whether the proposed business site meets the previously mentioned specifications and whether or not it is suitable for performing the intended business activity. At this time, if you wish you can also rent the business site.

Step 5: Obtain the requisite approvals from the relevant authorities

Once you get the initial approval certificate from the relevant authority, you can then approach the different relevant authorities in order to complete the remaining approval process and to fulfill other legal formalities. There is a relevant approving authority for every business activity, and according to the type of your intended business activity you can approach the respective authority for obtaining the required approvals.

Step 6: Receiving the Business License

After you obtain the approval of the relevant authorities, the only process left is to visit the Department of Economic Development (DED) to complete the final process of obtaining the Business License. Here you will need to complete all the legal procedures and pay fees for getting the Business License issued.

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