Company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone

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Company formation in Dubai Airport Free Zone

Business setup in DAFZA has become the emerging trend for attracting foreign investment. Established in the year 1996, the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) has been administering trade licenses and visas to those who deal with import and export trades and services within the Freezone. And by far, it has accommodated over 1800 companies and over 15,000 professionals in its jurisdiction.

Companies in DAFZA usually deal in activities related to information technology, medicines, foodstuff, aviation, cosmetics, logistics, etc. Due, to the strategic location of the Free Zone, these entities get the advantage of direct access to Dubai International Airport and Port Rashid, which makes it easier to trade by air and sea.

Let’s look further into the details of the business setup in DAFZA.

Reasons to choose DAFZA for company formation

Businesses looking to expand their operations to the Middle East and the MENA region can set up their company in DAFZA. Besides, there are several other reasons why DAFZA is an ideal location for business formation.

  • Business support – There are various business support services available in DAFZA for the smooth functioning of the companies. For example, legal services, banking services, administrative services, etc.
  • Simplified setup process – Business Setup in Dubai Airport Free Zone is relatively quick and straightforward. The procedures are streamlined and there are also options for online registrations.
  • Access to markets – DAFZA companies can take advantage of Dubai’s strategic location as it provides direct access to markets in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
  • Tax-free regime – DAFZA entities are 100% exempted from personal income tax as well as customs duties.
  • Top-notch infrastructure – The state-of-the-art facilities, advanced infrastructure and telecommunications, and transportation networks are a plus for businesses in Dubai Airport Free Zone.
  • Pro-business policies – The business-friendly policies in DAFZA make it easier for companies to operate and grow efficiently.
  • Foreign ownership – Foreign investors in DAFZA do not require to hire local sponsors for their company establishment. They can enjoy 100% proprietorship of their business.
  • Customized business solutions – Companies can avail customized business facilities like flexible office spaces, warehouses, and land plots in DAFZA according to their specific needs.
  • Networking opportunities – DAFZA sets up start-ups and SMEs with opportunities to connect and collaborate with other corporations and industry experts through various networking events, seminars, and exhibitions.
  • Tech-driven atmosphere – DAFZA offers advanced technology infrastructure and services such as high-speed internet, cloud computing, data centers, etc. in order to drive digital transformation of businesses.

Process of Business Setup in DAFZA

Business formation in DAFZA is a straightforward process. However, one needs to do careful planning and adhere to the rules and regulations of the free zone. Therefore, it is better to take the help of expert business consultants who can judiciously guide you through the process and keep you well-updated with the corporate trends.

Here’s how you can set up your business in the Dubai Airport Free Zone –

  • Business activities – Identify the nature of the business activity that you want to perform and ensure that it is approved by DAFZA.
  • Company name – Find a unique name for your company that complies with the nature of your business and the naming conventions of the UAE government.
  • License application – Submit a request for business formation and license registeration along with all the required documents.
  • Legal permits – Obtain all the necessary legal permits and approvals from the relevant authorities.
  • Lease agreement – Sign a lease agreement with the authorities for the office or warehouse space you choose for your business operations.
  • Business registration – Get your business registered with DAFZA and obtain your business license.
  • Bank account – Set up a business account to facilitate your company transactions.

Required documents/details for DAFZA Business Setup

For individual shareholders:-

  • Application Form
  • At least three proposed company names
  • Brief of business activities
  • Passport copies of all the Shareholders
  • Personal bank statement of each shareholder for the last six months
  • CV (highlighting the work experiences) of the shareholders/authorized manager

For non-individual shareholders:-

  • Application Form
  • Passport copies of shareholders, manager, directors, and secretary
  • Company profile/brochure
  • Audited Financial Report
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • MOA & AOA
  • Shareholders’ Resolution claiming for the establishment of the company in DAFZA

Types of licenses offered in Dubai Airport Free Zone

  • Commercial license – For companies looking to deal in imports, exports, distribution, and storage of goods.
  • Industrial license – For entities engaged in light manufacturing activities including packaging and assembling.
  • Service license – For companies who want to provide specialized services to customers.
  • E-commerce license – For businesses that are engaged in online trading activities.
  • General trading license – For entities involved in trading multiple goods from various sectors.
  • Freelance permit – For individuals who want to work independently as freelancers in DAFZA.

Legal structures for company formation in DAFZA

Free Zone Limited Liability Company

An FZ-LLC is a legal entity that can be formed by single or multiple shareholders. This structure is suitable for those entrepreneurs who want to establish an independent company.


A branch is part of a local or foreign parent company. Businesses that want to establish their presence in the Dubai Airport Free Zone without forming a separate company can opt for a branch establishment. This way they can expand their operations to other parts of the UAE.

Activities permitted by DAFZA in the Freezone

  • Education
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Credit and Investment
  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Railway
  • Aviation and Spacecraft
  • Petrol, Crude Oil and Natural Gas
  • Electronics
  • Legal Services
  • Business and Management Consultancy
  • Architectural and engineering activities and consultancy
  • Transport, Shipping, and Storage
  • Travel Agency
  • Motor Vehicles & Auto Spare Parts
  • Representative Office
  • Food and Beverages
  • Textiles
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Advertising
  • Stationery products
  • Household & Furniture Trading
  • Sports Equipment
  • Perfumery
  • Medicines
  • Beauty products
  • Metals & Metal Ores
  • Construction Materials
  • Agricultural goods, Flowers & Plants
  • Chemical
  • Waste Trading
  • Packaging Material & Paper Trading
  • Equipment & Machines

Additionally, certain activities might require NOC from external government entities. UAE Expansion consultants can help you get these approvals and assist you in all the proceedings mandatory for a successful business setup in Dubai.

Cost of business setup in DAFZA

The business setup cost in DAFZA depends on factors like the type of license, facilities required, and the nature of the business activity. Nevertheless, the basic expenses may include the following –

  • License fee
  • Rent of office or warehouse space
  • Legal administrative fee
  • Visa fee
  • License renewal fee

UAE Expansion Business Setup consultants can give you a clear understanding of the costs involved in DAFZA company formation.

DAFZA License Renewal and Business Liquidation process

The DAFZA license renewal process is quite simple and cost-effective. Moreover, you can complete this process remotely with the help of UAE Expansion agents. You need to submit an annual audit report starting from the second renewal. Further, pay the requested amount of fee and submit the signed lease agreement of your office facility.

Similarly, for the company liquidation, you can take the help of UAE Expansion agents who will fulfill the liquidation formalities on your behalf. Firstly, you need to pay a government fee as part of the liquidation process. Further, cancel your visas, terminate your lease agreement, and close your business account to complete the process. It may take up to one month to fully terminate the business.


To find more affordable options for business setup in DAFZA, contact UAE Expansion.

UAE Expansion Business Setup is one of Dubai’s best business formation service providers. Their seasoned team of professionals can help solve all your business-related queries and offer the best-customized solutions for all kinds of business concerns.

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