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Home / Business Setup / Business License

We offer licenses that support your business in Dubai

LICENSE TYPES AT JAFZA

Jafza offers business licenses that start at AED 5,000

As a business owner in Dubai, you must be ready to go through the different stages of the setup process. The first thing entrepreneurs should do is figure out the type of license they need to set up their business. Make a list of the activities that pertain to your business to find out the right type of license.

Jafza offers five different license types and a clear legal formation setup process for you to get started with.

 

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Choose the right business license

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Trading

Service

Industrial

Logistics

E-Commerce

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A trading license allows a business to trade in physical goods and provide services

The trading license is the most common license type at Jafza. It covers all the aspects of buying and selling products in a business. The trading license offers multiple benefits over other types of licenses, which may not be suitable in some situations or may not be accepted at all in other licensing authorities or economic zones. It offers the highest degree of flexibility and freedom to operate a business.

At Jafza, a trading license cost is determined based on the number of business activities added to the license.

  • Type 1: a maximum of seven activities per group
  • Type 2: a maximum of twelve activities starting from two groups
  • Type 3: an unlimited number of activities starting from three or more groups, which is also classified as a general trading license
What you need to know
Apply for a trading license

Jafza's company formation and licensing process is 100% digital and you can set up your business using our digital channels online.

You may alternatively also download our application form and visit us at our sales centre in Dubai, UAE to start the process of setting up your company.

When the primary activity of a business is to only provide a service and not hold inventory of any physical products

An appropriate license is vital for starting a business in Dubai. The Jafza service licence can be useful when the primary activity of your company revolves around providing services, consulting models, or knowledge transfer based on intellectual talent, which decides the majority of what you offer to customers

The important distinguishing feature of a service license is the fact that the business does not trade in or hold stock of physical products.

At Jafza, a service license cost is determined based on the number of business activities added to the license.

  • Type 1: a maximum of seven activities per group
  • Type 2: a maximum of twelve activities starting from two groups
What you need to know
Apply for a service license

Jafza's company formation and licensing process is 100% digital and you can set up your business using our digital channels online.

You may alternatively also download our application form and visit us at our sales centre in Dubai, UAE to start the process of setting up your company.

An industrial license is suitable for those who manufacture or produce goods within the UAE

The superior and widespread logistics infrastructure of Jebel Ali Free Zone facilitates industrial growth. Manufacturing is the production of goods through a series of processes that can range from assembling components to chemical or biological processing.

At Jafza, an industrial license is for businesses that intend to set up a manufacturing process. This may involve the purchase of raw materials, importing goods used for manufacturing, or the assembly of the product, production of the final product, and services for sales and support. The activities under the industrial license in Dubai essentially include production, segregation, collection, packaging, etc. Production can be termed as the transformation of raw materials or natural resources from the crude state to the final or refined state.

A core requirement of the industrial license is to have the production facility and warehouse within the free zone. It is also important to note that companies with an industrial license are audited by the HSE authority regularly.

What you need to know
Apply for an industrial license

Jafza's company formation and licensing process is 100% digital and you can set up your business using our digital channels online.

You may alternatively also download our application form and visit us at our sales centre in Dubai, UAE to start the process of setting up your company.

Specifically designed for companies providing services in logistics and supply chain

With more than 430 companies from 31 countries playing a vital role in Jafza’s logistics sector, the free zone is ideally located as a hub catering to the world.

Logistics is a thriving industry within Jebel Ali Free Zone and this particular sector has a number of activities that have given rise to a new type of license that is available within Jafza.

The logistics license allows a number of specific logistic services (e.g. storage, transportation, distribution, sorting, forwarding and clearing activities, order management, inventory management, etc.) to be executed by companies. With its proximity to the port of Jebel Ali, this license type is a popular choice for companies who would choose to conduct business specifically related to clearing and forwarding activities.

What you need to know
Apply for a logistics license

Jafza's company formation and licensing process is 100% digital and you can set up your business using our digital channels online.

You may alternatively also download our application form and visit us at our sales centre in Dubai, UAE to start the process of setting up your company.

The digital economy demands the use of smart solutions and supporting licensing

Over 1,180 companies from 95 countries play a pivotal role in Jafza’s Retail & General Trading sector, with the ability to trade using digital channels. The rise of e-commerce as a platform to conduct business and trade has been the catalyst for the creation of the E-commerce license from Jafza.

The E-commerce license allows a business to register a business under the selected formation type with the primary method of conducting business using digital channels only. This license will allow the business to trade in products when the channel of sale will be non-physical. This means that trading or sale of products using a physical storefront is not permitted.

Issuing this license type requires approval from the Telecommunications & Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) of the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE’s Retail community can count on Jafza to support their end-to-end logistics needs through its digital innovations. Bringing together components needed to create a truly multimodal logistics connectivity underscores Dubai’s long-term commitment to facilitating the growth and development of regional and global commerce.

What you need to know
Apply for an e-commerce license

Jafza's company formation and licensing process is 100% digital and you can set up your business using our digital channels online.

You may alternatively also download our application form and visit us at our sales centre in Dubai, UAE to start the process of setting up your company.

It's easy to get started

Formation & License

Based on how you want to operate your business, select your formation type and business license to establish a company.

Documents & payment

Submit the required documents and make payments towards the company set up process.

Lease agreement

Sign the lease agreement based on the selected solutions and move in to your premises.

Need help? Not sure what’s right for your business?

Let’s have a chat about your business formation needs and let us guide and advice you on the best approach. Our sales and business development team can advice you on the right approach.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the difference between formation and business license?

    Company Formation Type is the legal structure of a business. This governs the structure and defines the number of shareholders of a company.

    A Business License governs the activities and operations of a business. A license first and foremost defines if the company is legally allowed to manufacture, trade in goods or provide a service only. Each specific license type has a set of activities that must be selected by the company that further determines what specific business activity the company may conduct.

  • What is the difference between an FZCO and a FZE company within the free zone?

    An FZE (Free Zone Enterprise) is essentially a single shareholder or a sole proprietorship company. In this type of company formation, the shareholder can be an individual (a person) or a non-individual (a company). Read about setting up an FZE company in our guide

    An FZCO (Free Zone Company) is essentially a multiple shareholder or a partnership firm where there is more than one shareholder in the company. In this type of company formation, the shareholders can be individuals (a person) or non-individuals (a company). Read about setting up a FZCO company in our guide

    Both company formation types allow for all licence types and can be used to execute business within the freezone.

  • How can I setup a business in Jebel Ali Freezone?

    The first step is to decide on the formation type. This is the legal structure of your company. Along with the decision of the formation type, you must also decide on the type of license. The license type provides you with the set of activities that govern your business.

    The quick and easy steps are:
    1. Select a formation type and business license. Submit all required documents based on the formation type and business license.
    2. Select of or more solutions that Jafza offers on a lease. Have a lease contract in place.
    3. Make payments towards the company setup based on choices you have made.
    4. Receive the keys to your premises and start conducting your business.

  • Can a company become the shareholder of another company within Jebel Ali Freezone?

    Yes, a non-individual (a company) can be considered as a shareholder in an FZE, FZCO & PLC formation type. In the case of an FZCO or PLC formation type, there has to be more than 1 shareholder. Hence these formation types may have a combination of individuals and non-individuals as shareholders too.

  • Can I own multiple businesses within Jebel Ali Free Zone?

    Yes, an entity may apply for multiple business formation within the free zone. Each formation would be treated as a separate company name, however, the shareholders may be the same person or company. There is no limit on the number of businesses that can be incorporated within Jafza with similar shareholders.

  • Can I transfer my license from the mainland to Jebel Ali Free zone?

    Jafza does not have an option to transfer a business from the mainland of Dubai to a free zone. You may, however, opt to dissolve the mainland company and apply for a new company formation and license at Jafza. After this step, you may continue to issue the necessary visa for shareholders, directors and employees.

    You may also opt to create a branch of a company at Jafza thereby retaining the mainland company as the parent company.

  • How long does it take for the company registration to complete?

    The estimated time to have the company set up completed is between 3 to 14 business days from the time all required documents are submitted based on the company formation type, license and categories of business within the license.

    It is also essential to have a lease agreement in place at the time of the set up of the company.

  • Is there a regulatory authority approval required to start a business in Jebel Ali Freezone?

    The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority - Regulatory is responsible for issuing all licenses for companies set up within Jebel Ali Free Zone. According to Ministerial Decision No. 100 of 2020, all companies must submit the Economic Substance Report. Existing companies were urged to submit this report no later than 31st Dec 2020. From this date onwards, any new company set up with Jafza is requested to submit this report at the time of setting up the company.

    Apart from this, certain categories will require approvals from other regulator authorities - for example, if you need to import or export any goods that fall within the Food and Agriculture industry, you may need additional approvals and certifications from relevant authorities within UAE.

    Speak to your account manager or approach the Customer Service Desk at Jafza to learn more about which categories may require additional regulatory approvals.

  • What are the financial requirements starting a company within Jebel Ali Freezone?

    Prior to 2017, Jafza FZE companies were required to have a minimum share capital of AED 1,000,000 while an FZCO company was required to have AED 500,000 per shareholder when there were 2 shareholders of an FZCO company.

    This is no longer the requirement. Jafza does not prescribe a minimum share capital for an FZE or FZCO, but require that a company must have a share capital that is sufficient for the activities for which it is licensed. This is in line with the UAE Commercial Companies Law.

    It is always recommended to speak to our Sales team at the time of setting up your company who shall guide you on the best practices regarding financial commitments to starting your business with Jafza.

  • What is the validity of a license in Jebel Ali Free Zone?

    Every issued license at Jafza is valid for 1 year from the date of its issue. A license must be renewed each consecutive year from its issue date.

  • How can a company make amendments to their name?

    After incorporating, and setting up operations for your business, if a company would like to make any amendment to their name then they must start with creating a request through the Jafza portal and proposing the change in the name. They must also submit a new Memorandum of Association (MOA) which will be delivered to Jafza via courier. Once the fees for the change in name are paid by the company, Jafza will issue the required documents for the change.

    The company can also approach the Customer Service Desk at Jafza to know more about amendments to their company name.

  • How can I renew my trade license with Jafza?

    Renewing a trade license is a simple and easy step. The first and foremost requirement is to have an active lease contract in place. If the lease contract is active, a company simply needs to make payments towards the license renewal using the Jafza portal. On receipt of the payment, the license is renewed and the company may download the required document from the portal directly.

    In some cases, where there are a certain additional requirements - such as the need to have insurance in place based on the categories of the license or certain government certification are required, these must be submitted online prior to the payment of the license.

  • Do Jafza companies have to comply with WPS?

    The Wage Protection System (WPS) has been developed by the Central Bank of the UAE. Yes, all businesses registered with Jafza are required to comply with the WPS system of the United Arab Emirates. Jafza has implemented the need to comply with UAEWPS in 2012. Learn more about it through our guide on WPS.

  • How to calculate gratuity for employees?

    All Jafza registered businesses are required to comply with the law of the United Arab Emirates in regards to the calculation of the end of service benefits. To help customers better calculate their employees end of service or gratuity amount, Dubai trade (the service arm of Jafza) has developed an easy to use calculator.

    Learn more about how to calculate gratuity using our guide or visit the Dubai Trade portal to use the calculator.

Jafza is a one stop shop for company formation & business licensing

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Company Formation

Depending on the number of shareholders and the nature of business, Jafza offers five formation types with an extensive range of services.

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Rules & regulations

Read and download the rules and regulations of setting up your company at Jafza. We have a comprehensive guide on all rules.

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