Corporate structures for overseas companies
UAE Freezone company setup is the popular option for foreign companies. To date, the Free Zones have been successful in attracting many international companies and foreign direct investment.
Each freezone in UAE has its own independent Free Zone authority, responsible for issuing free zone operating licences and assisting companies with starting their business in the Free Zone.
Foreign companies can either register a new company in the form of a Free Zone Establishment, a Free Zone company or merely establish a representative office or branch of their existing or parent company based within the UAE or abroad.
A Free Zone establishment is a limited liability company governed by the rules and regulations of the Free Zone in which it is incorporated. Under Federal Law No.15 of 1998, except for acquiring nationality in the UAE, the provisions of the CCL do not apply to Free Zone Establishments, provided that the Free Zones have special provisions regulating such companies.
A Free Zone company allows registration for multiple shareholders. There are however restrictions on doing business with other Free Zones and in areas not covered by Free Zones within the UAE (onshore).