Your Latest Guide to Dubai South Free Zone Business Formation

Looking for an ideal free zone in Dubai for your company setup? There are many, one better than the next. But if you want “more for less” from your company location, then the Dubai South free zone is the place you should look to! Consultancy, Logistics, Marketing, Events, IT, Arts, Design, Fashion, Beauty, you name it, the free zone has room for every type of business, no matter the sector. The all-inclusive business community literally stops market players from all walks of life, just enamoured by its healthy, larger-than-life pitch decked up with everything stylish and meaningful to their business. SO much personality!

Dubai South Free Zone

Dubai’s immensely large single urban master development, Dubai South is a truly impressive space to live, work and invest, featuring an aviation and logistics ecosystem that is home to the world’s largest airport when fully operational, rounded out by a multi-modal transport infrastructure linking air, land and sea. That’s where Dubai South Free Zone (former name: DWC Free Zone) bustles with a one-of-a-kind setup for businesses of all kinds, in harmony with the other 7 vibrant districts of Dubai South – Aviation, Logistics, Residential, Commercial, Humanitarian, Exhibition, and Golf. Incepted in 2006 right next to the Jebel Ali Seaport, the versatile free zone is the largest and leading hub of global trade, business, and aviation spanning about 140 square kilometres. And the bad boys of the city – Al Maktoum International Airport (aka Dubai World Central), Logistics District, Business Park, Aviation District, Commercial District, Residential District, Golf District, Exhibition District, and Humanitarian District within spitting distance of its HQ make the logistics and shipment around the GCC, Middle East, and the whole world an easy breeze. What’s more, the commercial and retail infrastructure of Dubai South Free Zone offers purpose-built leased office spaces and a business centre with smart desks at highly competitive rates to lure a diverse client base from different sectors. These sectors include Aviation, Retail, Hospitality, Food & Beverage, Information Technology, Education, Insurance and Online Gaming. Overall, the entrepreneurs and investors in Dubai South are granted an enabling environment in which their businesses can blossom. If you are looking to set up an ancillary service business or a company in logistics, aviation and light industry, Dubai South Free Zone checks all the boxes.

Prohibited Activities in Dubai South Free Zone

  • Banking
  • Any financial/ investment activities on behalf of third parties

Advantages of Dubai South Free Zone Business Setup

The contemporary free zone stands out in the crowd of the most preferred free zones in the UAE. Thanks to the cartload of benefits that the region offers to promote businesses in the UAE. Registering your company under the jurisdiction of Dubai South Free Zone means you will be flooded with a smorgasbord of perks and incentives such as:

  • The easy, quick and cost-effective business formation process
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 100% exemption from import and export tax
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits is allowed
  • A visa security deposit is not required
  • Nil corporate and personal income tax
  • On-site licensing & visa authority
  • Tons of parking spaces
  • Neighbouring Residential District and staff accommodation
  • District 2020, Jebel Ali Seaport and Al Maktoum International airport in the vicinity
  • The free zone permits a wide range of business activities
  • Outstanding infrastructure complemented by state-of-the-art amenities suitable for businesses
  • Effortless connectivity to Abu Dhabi & Dubai accessibility by all modes of transport – Land, Sea & Air
  • On-site Nursery, Banking Services, F&B, etc.
  • Strategic location on Sheikh Zayed Road with Dubai Logistics Corridor nearby
  • Access to RTA public transport links
  • Dubai South is positioned to become the future centre of Dubai
  • Protected, controlled environment, licensing a full range of business activities
  • Tip-top freehold, commercial and residential property available for sale or lease at reasonable prices within the Free Zone with flexible leasing terms
  • A variety of office solutions including Smart Desk, Ready-To-Move-in offices in addition to quality warehouse facilities
  • You get to operate from a strategic platform in the UAE, which simply means the chances of gaining widespread success across the UAE and the globe
  • Access to best-in-class customer support as well as streamlined business setups and processes to operate under one umbrella in free-spirited, free-zone surroundings
  • A spectrum of business solutions customised to suffice the requirements of potential customers at your disposal
  • The free-zone management presents a full array of administrative and virtual services to individuals, business owners and investors to facilitate day-to-day business operations. These services include Free Zone, staff and family sponsorship visas, permits, NOC letters, access cards, etc.
  • The free zone is one of the rapidly growing free zones in the UAE and delivers a diversified market to the world

Types of Trade Licences Issued by Dubai South Free Zone

To be able to legally operate the desired business activity from Dubai South Free Zone Business, you need a relevant trade licence issued by the free zone authority. Below are the types of business licences you may acquire, depending on the choice of business type and sector:

  • Logistics Licence: For specified logistics services
  • Service Licence: For professional services covered by the licence
  • Industrial Licence: For specified light manufacturing activities
  • Education Licence: For educational and social services, training services, and educational consultancy services
  • General Trading Licence: For importing, exporting and storing goods and then selling them in the UAE market through a local distributor
  • Commercial Licence: For defined commercial activities inside of the UAE through the local distributor and outside of the country

Dubai Sout

h Free Zone Business Setup Process

The process of company registration in Dubai South Free Zone is pretty simple and straightforward. Just a few steps and there you go:

Step1: Choose the office type you want for your business and get the lease papers done from the Free Zone management.

Step2: Submit the requisite documents and the duly filled-in application form to attain initial approval for your Dubai South Free Zone business setup. The application must consist of:

  • At least 3 proposed names of the company (in line with the policies of the Free Zone authority)
  • Copies of passports of the shareholders and the designated manager
  • A copy of the lease agreement
  • Business plan
  • Personal information of the responsible members
  • Other documents (if applicable). Check with the licencing authority of Dubai South Free Zone or simply contact your business formation specialist in Dubai to ensure whether you need external approvals to push your licence application forward

Step3: Prepare an Article of Association (AOA) and Memorandum of Association (MOA) and have them notarised by the authorized notary. Company registration formalities have to be completed at the registrar’s office. The registrar will grant a Certificate of Incorporation after perusal of the application and receipt of the specified fee.

Step4: Present this Certificate of Incorporation to the bank to open a corporate account in Dubai. Be informed the minimum share capital set by the authorities for company setup is AED 300,000 and depositing the amount into your bank account is not mandatory.

Step6: Duly collect the business licence after making the payments pending

The Shortcut to Establish a Dubai South Free Zone Company

Take this route for a hassle-free and speedy business setup in Dubai South Free Zone:

  • Drop by Adam Global Dubai office
  • Share your business requirements & budget
  • Choose the desired business setup package offered by our business setup consultants specialised in Dubai South Free Zone
  • We will collect all the required approvals and perform all the other formalities on your behalf toward Dubai South Free Zone business setup
  • You will be informed once your company is registered with Dubai South Free Zone. Usually, it takes 15 – 20 days.

Whether a new company, branch, or subsidiary, with our expert business setup professionals working with you, your Dubai South Free Zone company formation will be cost-effective also as we offer tailor-made business formation packages that squarely fit your requirements without you breaking the bank.

Dubai South Free Zone Business Setup Cost

Understanding the initial costs involved in forming a Dubai South Free Zone company is important so that you feel confident while approaching professional help for the same. The general break-up of primary costs for incorporating a company in Dubai South Free Zone is rounded up below in tabular forms:

Dubai South Free Zone Licence Fee.

Licence TypeLicence Fee Excluding 5% VAT (Year 1)Licence Fee Excluding 5% VAT (Year 2)
General Trading licenceAED 20,000AED 20,000
Consultancy / Service licenceAED 10,000AED 10,000
Trading / Commercial licenceAED 10,000AED 10,000

Business Center Office Rates in Dubai South Free Zone

Flexible lease options and smart office solutions are one of the main highlights of the free zone. The business park offers beautifully fitted-out, ready-to-move-in offices that are all wool and a yard wide in addition to smart desks and open-plan office space of different sizes at affordable prices. While Consultancy/Service and Trading/Commercial Licencees can avail of any facility offered by Dubai South, General Trading Licence holders require an office in the Business Park where 8 sq mt office space equals 1 visa eligibility. Now let’s crunch some numbers.

Office TypeOffice UseVisa EligibilityAnnual Rent
Smart DeskHours/Week2AED 16,900
Smart OfficeHours/Week3AED 26,900
Permanent DeskExclusive2AED 36,900
Permanent OfficeExclusive3AED 44,900
Permanent Exclusive OfficeExclusive4AED 112,000
Office Type with SpaceAnnual Rent (per sq mt)Security DepositService Charge (per sq mt)
Fitted-out Offices (40 sq mt – 100 sq mt)AED 1,40010% of the RentAED 300
Fitted-out Offices (above 120 sq mt)AED 1,10010% of the RentAED 175
Shell & Core Offices (above 120 sq mt)AED 6005% of the RentAED 175
* 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable to fees.

Other Elements that Contribute to the Overall Cost of Business Setup in Dubai South Free Zone

Establishment CardAED 2,060
Power of AttorneyAED 1,500
Employment Visa (Outside the UAE)AED 2,600
Employment Visa (Inside the UAE w/o Status Change)AED 3,400
Employment Visa (Inside the UAE with Status Change)AED 4,250
Health Insurance (Basic Plan)AED 1,000
Medical Test, Emirates ID & PhotoAED 1,250
Warehouse Price + Security deposit (5%)650 AED/sq mt
AED 156,000/annum + AED 7,800
P.O. Box Loyalty & Registration FeesAED 250

Take the prices and fees with a pinch of salt. Get in touch with our Dubai South Free Zone business setup experts at Adam Global to know the latest prices and offers.

Meet Your Dubai South Free Zone Business Formation Consultants

When the road to your dream company setup passes through a reputed business setup company, the journey becomes fast and comfortable. Especially when the business consultancy on your way is Adam Global Dubai. Our dedicated team of business setup consultants in Dubai is all smiles when helping you in setting up your business in Dubai South Free Zone. With us working with you, you can sit back and relax. We support and guide you every step of the way, from inception all the way to the expansion phase. If that’s not enough, then allow us to let you know that we are a one-stop solution to all your business needs, from choosing everything right for your business to obtaining the appropriate licences and approvals from authorities to keeping you from any sort of non-compliance with the UAE regulatory requirements to assisting you in the day-to-day business operations. Feel free to book a free consultancy with any of our business setup advisors to know how can we be one of your best decisions.

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