What are the main benefits of setting up a Free Zone company with DMCC?
In summary, DMCC Free Zone companies enjoy 0% corporate and personal tax for 50 years, 100% foreign ownership, simple set up process, assistance with sponsorship of employees and many other UAE government related services, which incorporate a wide range of affordance property choices.
Is there any corporate/income tax applied to the companies or to the individuals?
There is no corporate/income tax on individuals or companies operating in the Free Zone. This applies for 50 years from the time of registration of the company.
Do I need a UAE Partner to form a company?
One of the many advantages of setting up a company in DMCC is that it offers 100% foreign ownership. You do not need a UAE Partner to form a company at DMCC unless your business is a pharmacy. In this instance, the Ministry of Health requires a UAE National shareholder in order to issue the required No Objection Certificate (NOC).
Do I need to visit different government departments and ministries in order to form a company?
No the DMCC Service Centre offers you a comprehensive set of solutions allowing you to license and set up your business quickly and efficiently in the DMCC Free Zone. Services ranging from registering the trade name, licensing the company, visa applications, Emirates ID typing, real estate, insurance, IT, telecom, interior and other services are all strategically located at the 1st floor of Almas tower.
What kind of corporate structures are allowed by DMCC?
Limited liability companies as well as branches and subsidiaries of local and foreign companies can be registered with DMCC.
How many shareholders are required to form a limited liability company?
DMCC requires a minimum of one shareholder.
What is the minimum number of directors?
A minimum of one director is required and there is no maximum.
Can I be a partner in more than one company?
Yes, you can be a partner/shareholder in multiple companies.
What is the minimum share capital required to form the company?
The minimum share capital for a Free Zone company is currently AED 50,000 per company.
Does the share capital have to be paid up?
Yes, the share capital needs to be deposited in the company bank account within 6 weeks from the date of the trade license being issued. It may be withdrawn immediately thereafter.
What is the minimum office requirement?
One of the advantages of setting up a company with DMCC is the access it provides to a wide range of commercial property choices within JLT, from freehold to leasehold, commercial to retail and even flexi desks.
Office requirements depend on the number of employees and type of activity conducted by the company. A company may choose from a range of options starting from a flexi-desk of 20-30sqm, a flexi office of 200-265sqm, through to multiple floors of an office tower which may be up to 2,000sqm each.
For example, a company such as a Management Consultancy with five employees may would be required to have an office space of at least 50sqm. In contrast, a retail food and beverage outlet operating multiple shifts would be subject to different requirements. The dedicated Client Relationship Executive handling your company set-up will provide full details upon application.
Can I take a license without renting any facility?
No, this is not allowed. However DMCC has a wide range of Business Center products to suit all budgets. Please contact DMCC for detailed information.
Can I rent an office in JLT with my existing license from DED or another UAE Free Zone Jurisdiction?
No, you must have a DMCC licensed company. This may include a branch of your DED/other Freezone company in DMCC.
What kinds of activities are allowed in DMCC?
DMCC licenses allow a wide range of business activities, from commodities to retail outlets, consultancies to beauty salons. DMCC is able to license most of the activities that are allowed by the Dubai Economic Department. The full list is available at http://www.dubaided.gov.ae.
The major categories include;
C.) Mining & quarrying
E.) Electricity, gas & water supply
G.) Trading and repairing
H.) Hotels and restaurants
I.) Transport, storage and communications
J.) Financial intermediation
K.) Real estate and business services
N.) Health and social work
O.) Other community, social and personal services
How many activities can I have under one license?
You can have unlimited related activities on one license type. A trading activity and a service activity can however not be given under the same license. A company involved in trading and services will require a seperate license for each which can be under the same company. All queries may be directed to one of our DMCC Member Services Executives.
If I have a Free Zone company, can I do business outside the Free Zone?
Yes, your company may conduct business outside of the UAE without restriction, provided it is legal. If you wish to trade within the UAE (known as “Onshore”) there are two main methods for doing so. The first one is to trade directly with an LLC company that has an import/export license. As part of the terms of trade they would need to clear any goods through customs. Secondly, you may enter into an agreement with a logistics company that would clear the goods and deliver them to the mainland.
For services companies wishing to provide services to a company outside the free zone, the general rule is that the services must be provided within the Free zone. There are certain exceptions, such as recruitment services where stricter rules apply.
Which activities are not allowed in DMCC?
There are very few restricted activities as DMCC can license almost every activity, provided the licensed company has complied with all regulations associated with the chosen activity. In some cases certain activities require additional approval from federal and local authorities (agencies, councils, courts and banks).
Can we reserve the name of the company?
Yes, you will be asked to provide one preferred and three alternate company names. DMCC will always aim to reserve your first choice and will ensure that there are no other companies of the same name or a name similar enough to be indistinguishable.You may wish to check the Dubai Economic Department website to see if your preferred name is
available within Dubai. In most cases DMCC will then be able to reserve the name for you.
Please be aware there are certain words that may not be used and these are clearly mentioned on the application. The name of all new companies will end in DMCC. Some existing companies end in JLT, however JLT licenses are no longer offered since February 2014.
Please note that branch companies always adopt the name of the parent followed by the suffix DMCC Branch.
How many days will it take to set up a company?
As soon as the necessary documents have been submitted your company can be set up very quickly, usually between 7-14 days. In the interest of maintaining DMCC Free Zone’s reputation as place for good business, DMCC conducts due diligence reviews as part of all company set-up procedures. In a limited number of cases, DMCC reserves the right to refuse to set up a company, and the applicant will be informed.
I currently have a company in another UAE Free Zone, can I transfer that to DMCC?
No you cannot transfer a company or license from any Free Zone to another; you will need to set up as a new company; however, we can aim to give you the same company name and activity. Please contact our Member Services Team to discuss further.
I have decided to form a company in DMCC. Whom should I contact next?
Congratulations on your decision. You are among a large and growing group of entrepreneurs and business people who have chosen DMCC as their preferred place to do business.
To continue the process please:
1.) Complete complete the online form. OR
2.) Call the DMCC Call Centre: 800 3622 or +971(0)4 4249600, OR
3.) Visit the New Client Service Centre at Level 1, Almas Tower, Jumeirah Lake Towers
What rules and regulations apply to a company licensed by DMCC?
DMCC companies must comply with the following: 1.) DMCC Company Regulations (1/03), 2003 and its amendments DMCC Free Zone Rules and Regulations, 3rd edition, 2012 and its amendments; 2.) Any UAE Federal Law (to the extent that they apply to the Free Zone) Any applicable Dubai laws to the extent they apply to the Free Zone and insofar as these do not interfere with the overriding principles contained within the FZ Regulations, and 3.) Any mandatory industry codes and/or professional memberships that are a requirement to hold a particular license category. DMCC company regulations and Free Zone rules and regulations are available on the website.
Why does DMCC request notarised or notarised and attested documents?
International Law mandates the legalisation to authenticate or certify a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as valid and with full legal effect.
What is notarisation of a document?
Notarisation of a copy certificate is a legal method of confirming that a reproduction of an original document is true, exact and complete.
What is legalisation?
Legalisation is the process of authenticating or certifying a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as valid and with full legal effect. It is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine. Having a document legalised does not mean that its contents are accurate, and it does not carry any sort of official approval by the office that performs the legalisation.
Who performs the legalisation?
Legalisation is usually performed by the national department responsible for foreign affairs of the country from which the document was issued.
How are documents legalised?
The office performing the legalisation will firstly check the signature, seal or stamp on the document against their database. Then they attach an apostille (the legal term for the legalisation certificate) to confirm that
the document is genuine.
Why do documents need to be legalised?
If you are going to use certain documents overseas, for business or personal reasons, you may be required to have those documents legalised before they can be accepted. The stamp of authenticity gives the authority you are dealing with confidence that it is a genuine document.
What is attestation?
It is the act of witnessing a signature for the purpose of declaring that a document was properly signed and declared by the signer to be his or her signature.
Example: Attesting UK Documents for use in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates require documents that have been issued in the UK to be attested before they can be legally used in the UAE. This is a two-step process which requires the addition of an Apostle Stamp by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and then subsequent consular attestation by the UAE Embassy in London. For the avoidance of doubt, attestation is sometimes referred to as legalisation
Is there a requirement to appoint auditors and to submit annual accounts of the company?
Yes, an annual financial audit must be conducted and submitted to DMCC. While the standard reporting period is one calendar year, a company may nominate a different reporting period. The first reporting period will
commence from the date of incorporation and must not be less than six months and not more than eighteen months.
Does the audit have to be done by a local auditor?
The auditor needs to be licensed by the UAE Ministry of Economy. Before engaging an audit firm, DMCC advises all companies to ensure their auditor holds the necessary licenses.
How many visas can I obtain when forming my company?
The number of visas that your company is eligible for depends on the size of the office. Approximately one visa per 10 square metres is available, but this is assessed on a case by case basis by DMCC, and will depend on the
business activities being carried out.
Can I get an investors visa from a DMCC company?
Although you may not obtain an investor visa, you may obtain a Director’s visa (applies to senior designations).
How can we apply for the visas?
Visa applications are processed through DMCC's online portal. Upon receiving the company license, DMCC will provide your company with a login and password. DMCC provides portal training to member companies on a regular basis (appointments are made through DMCC reception).
How long it will take for the visa to be issued?
The length of time before a visa is issued is normally 3-5 working days. However, this is subject to approvals by the Immigration department.
At which stage in my new visa application, do I apply for an Emirates ID?
Emirates ID registration is a mandatory requirement to obtain the
Employment residence visa in the UAE. DMCC is not authorised to provide the Emirates ID application form as Emirates ID is a separate governing body and has its own administrative offices located throughout the UAE.
There are many typing centres in the UAE which provide the service of Emirates ID application at a nominal fee, including Fixit Express Business Administration Services located within DMCC service centre on Level 1, Almas Tower, Jumeriah Lakes Towers. Please visit Emirates ID website: http://www.emiratesid.gov.ae for more information
What is the minimum salary requirement for employees looking to sponsor family members?
AED 5,000 per month and evidence of suitable accommodation. In the case of female employees sponsoring family, the Immigration Department will usually require additional supporting documents such as higher education certificates.
How do I bring my business visitors to Dubai?
For your business visitors that hold passports for countries that are eligible for visas on-arrival, there is no need to complete an application. Please contact DMCC to check before making plans as the list of eligible countries
may change on occasion.
For business visitors from countries ineligible for visas on arrival, DMCC permits you to apply for up to three short-term visit visas on its online
member portal. Members of the Dubai Diamond Exchange are eligible for 14 day transit visas and access to DMCC’s flagship tower, Almas Tower.
How can I obtain a Company Establishment Card?
In accordance with the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD), all companies registered in the Free Zone are required to apply for an Establishment card. The card is aimed at enhancing security and ensuring added convenience and efficiency for the holders when availing of government services. The card is mandatory and shows the name of the company and the Free Zone in which the company is based. The same details will also be included on the employees sponsored visas. To obtain a new establishment card please apply online at http://www.dubaitrade.ae. Please note the trade license must be valid for at least 3 months. You can renew the establishment card by visiting the Client Service Centre at Level 1 Almas Tower, together with the original establishment card.
Our Insurance policies does not cover 3 years validity. Will this be accepted for 3 year license renewal?
Yes, but along with a clear undertaking stating that, ‘company shall renew its Insurance on yearly basis by or before expiry & submit a copy to DMCC’.
What should be the validity of the tenancy contract submitted for license renewal?
Tenancy should be valid till the next expiry date of the license. However, if the lease was issued for more than 12 months (a year or more) and is still not covering the next license validity period (valid for less than 03 months & above. e.g. License new expiry date is Aug 2014 & issued lease is having its validity ill Nov 2013); an undertaking ‘to renew the lease by or before its expiry & submit to DMCC’ can be accepted. If not submitted on time, a sanction will be imposed on company’s account, which will block all services.
If the company does not have a copy of the Title Deed, what do they do?
Please approach your Building Management to obtain a copy of the Certificate of Ownership. Alternatively contact the Landloard to obtain a valid EJARI Certificate from The Real Estate Regulatory Authority
Original Title Deed with the bank? What do they do in this case?
DMCC does not require the original title deed. A copy of the title deed is acceptable. In such case, the bank may either give a letter confirming that the original Title Deed is with them, along with a copy of the Title Deed ‘OR’ a copy of the Title Deed can be stamped by the bank with signature from the bank person with current date.
Can the application be processed, while the Lease is under rectification?
No, the application will be kept on hold until the amended lease is submitted.
Can two companies operate from the same unit?
Sharing of office space requires management approval and the client needs to submit a justification request. The general requirements for sharing of office space include; both companies should have at least 50% common shareholders; company should have at least 500sq. ft. of office space and the signage of both companies should be visible at the main reception of the premises.
Can a company have an additional unit in different building on the same license?
No. An additional unit in different building requires an additional License.
What is Third party Liability Insurance Certificate, what should it cover and what is the minimum amount needed?
Third party Liability Insurance Certificate is to protect the right of the occupied owner/owners of the unit & should cover the physical address of the license. 1,000,000/- AED is the minimum coverage/indemnity needed.
What is Workmen's Compensation Insurance & what should it cover?
Workmen's Compensation Insurance is designed to protect the employer against their liabilities to employees in respect of injuries suffered by them in the course of their employment as per Labour Law/Workmen's Compensation Ordinance. It should cover all the employees under the DMCC visa, except the Shareholders.
Is Third party Liability Insurance Certificate required for Flexi Desk or Serviced offices?
No. This is usually covered by the service providers. However, a copy of the insurance is required from the service providers for submission of application.
Is Workmen's Compensation Insurance Certificate required for Flexi Desk or Serviced offices?
Yes it is required. Workmen's Compensation Insurance is not linked to the location. It is linked to the employees sponsored by DMCC for the company. In case, if the company has obtained visas for the employees from DMCC; the same employees need to be covered under Workmen's Compensation Insurance. (Except for the Shareholders).
Our Insurance policies does not cover 3 years validity. Will this be accepted for 3 year license renewal?
Yes, but along with a clear undertaking stating that, 'company shall renew its Insurance on yearly basis by or before expiry & submit a copy to DMCC'.
Our insurance is valid for next 3 months only. Can we still apply for license renewal?
Yes. License renewal can be applied if the insurances are still valid for next 60 day or more from the day of client visit (Not accepted if the visit is early for license renewal. e.g. license expiring in 22nd Sep 13 & client visits on 18th July 13), along with a letter of undertaking from the company confirming that the ‘Insurance will be renewed upon it expiry & a copy will be submitted to DMCC’.
What is Jewellery activity?
Jewellery activity includes all and any Precious Metals & Precious Stones.
How does a Company obtain the Police report issued from the Department of Protective System?
A police report issued from the Department of Protective System can be obtained by fitting Alarm & Monitoring system from the company who are certified from Department of Protective System of Dubai Police
Police report issued from the Department of Protective System does not cover 3 years validity. Will this be accepted for 3 years renewal?
Yes, but along with a clear undertaking stating that, a company shall renew its Police report on yearly basis by or before expiry & submit a copy to DMCC
If my company does not bring any physical jewellery in the office or I am located in a flexi desk, what do I do?
The company would still need to obtain an NOC from Department of Protective System of Dubai Police. This NOC shall confirm the license details & permission to DMCC to renew the Company license. For this NOC, the company does not need to fit Alarm & Monitoring. The company just needs to obtain an Arabic letter address to Department of Protective System of Dubai Police from DMCC. Once the Arabic letter is obtained, the company can then approach the Department of Protective System of Dubai Police for the NOC.
Police NOC issued from the Department of Protective System does not cover 3 years validity. Will this be accepted for 3 years renewal?
Yes, but along with a clear undertaking stating that,a company shall renew its Police NOC on yearly basis & submit a copy to DMCC
We have obtained a Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) last year at renewal & made no changes in office setting since. Can the same OFC be accepted?
No, a new OFC from Concordia needs to be obtained annually under the company name. This is to ensure that all commercial premises meet certain minimum health, safety and signage standards.
Can Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) under the landlord name be accepted?
No, a fresh OFC from Concordia needs to be obtained under company name.
Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) does not cover 3 years validity. Will this be accepted for 3 years renewal?
Yes, but along with a clear undertaking stating that, a company shall renew its Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) yearly basis & submit a copy to DMCC
Does the Company need to bring in the original valid passports at time of providing the valid passport copies and valid visa copies (if applicable) of all Shareholders, Directors and License Manager of the company?
No, just clear copies will do.
Can a Company do the payment in instalments for license renewal?
No, the payment needs to be completed as one payment in advance.
Do DMCC have a format of Business Plan?
No, we do not require a specific format of business plan. A typical business plan would include details of the business, its operating activities and regions, SWOT and financial analysis
Do DMCC have a format of Official Request letter & who can sign on it?
No, we do not specify the format of an Official Request letter, as it is a request from the company on company letterhead for obtaining the amendment on the license, ‘from & to’. And only an authorized signatory of the company can sign on it.
How many activities can be added on the license?
Up to 5 activities can be added on the license and they all need to be related to each other or in a similar category.
Do DMCC have a list of activities that we can pick up from?
We prefer to personally meet with our clients to discuss their selection of business activities. You may refer to the list of activities for guidance.
As a Branch Company, what are the additional Activity or Additional license, can we have?
As a Branch Company, company is allowed to have only those activities that the parent company is currently performing. This can only be confirmed by providing DMCC with the License or Memorandum of Association (MOA) of the parent company.
Why does a company need an Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) at time of amendment of activity on the license?
Not all the activities need Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC). Typically, those activities that are located in Retails units or are called ‘Retail Activities’ will need the Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC). (e.g. Travel Agencies, Spa, Clinic, Training Centres, Dental, Salons & etc
Can a Company obtain an Additional License on a Flexi Desk?
No, DMCC does not permit it.
What is the minimum size required for each license?
As per DMCCA requirements, each license should a have a space of 500 Sq.ft. So, company obtaining an additional license should have minimum of 1000 Sq.ft to obtain the second license.
Can a Company obtain additional license on the existing unit which is less then DMCCA requirements.
Can a Company use the same Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) for additional license if obtained in the same location?
This will depend on the nature of the Activity. If the activity is a ‘Retail Activities’; then a fresh Operation Fitness Certificate (OFC) under the new activity is required. (e.g. Travel Agencies, Spa, Clinic, Training Centres, Dental, Salons & etc).
Can a Company Termination of license be processed without the NOC from DEWA or ETISALAT/DU & why is it needed?
No, the license cannot be processed without the NOC from DEWA or ETISALAT/DU. DMCC is obliged to ensurem to the best of our ability, that the rights of other authorities are properly upheld.
Is the Audit report required at time of License renewal?
No. Company can submit the same within three months of the close of the company’s accounting year.
Can a General Trading license be obtained on a Flexi Desk?
Can I buy an office in the DMCC Free Zone?
Yes, freehold office space is available to lease or purchase within JLT. Please contact DMCC on 800 3622 (toll free within the UAE), + 9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE) or enter your enquiry online at
Alternatively, please visit our online commercial sales and leasing website: http://property.dmcc.ae
Does DMCC offer flexi-desks/virtual office solutions?
DMCC has a wide range of Business Centre products and services available including flexi desks and serviced offices. Please contact DMCC on 800 3622 (toll free within the UAE), + 9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE) or enter your enquiry online at http://property.dmcc.ae/contact-us
Can our company have multiple offices?
Yes, multiple offices in one tower may be issued on one license. However DMCC requires separate licenses for offices that are in separate towers.
What storage facilities are available for precious stones, gold, diamonds etc?
DMCC has state-of-the-art gold and diamond vaults available to lease at Almas Tower, home to the Dubai Diamond Exchange and Dubai Gold Exchange. For vault rates, please contact DMCC on 800 3622 (toll free within the UAE), + 9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE).
Do you have warehouses available?
No, we do not offer warehouse facilities. However, clients may sublease a warehouse outside the free zone or utilize the warehousing and logistic facilities of one of our many member companies operating at the seaport or
Do you have land available for development?
While much of Jumeirah Lakes Towers is already developed making it a very attractive place for business and residents alike, there are still a limited number of land plots available for development. Please contact DMCC on
800 3622 (toll free within the UAE), + 9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE).
Do you allow factories in the DMCC area?
Light industries are allowed in the Free Zone.
What are the facilities for labour accommodation?
There is limited labour accommodation with the JLT Free Zone. Enquires may be directed to the DMCC Property team on 800 3622 (toll free within the UAE), + 9714 424 9600 (outside the UAE).
Can my staff live on my factory premises?
DMCC has developed specialised facilities for companies operating in the jewellery and gems sector, whereby staff may be accommodated near the industrial premises.
Do I need to pay Customs duty to bring the goods to DMCC?
Free Zone licensees are allowed to import goods or equipment into the Free Zone from a foreign country without payment of customs duties. While Free Zones are physically within the borders of the UAE, they are outside the customs borders. Customs duty is only paid when goods are moved out of the Free Zone; that is, imported into the UAE. Numerous warehousing facilities are available in the port for companies that wish to store and re-export their goods. A deposit is payable to the full value of the customs duty, which is refunded on re-export. DMCC recommends that its members contact Dubai Customs to ensure they are completely familiar with all requirements. It is important to ensure that customs records are kept in good order otherwise penalties may apply. Please visit www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae and go to the Free Zone section under Declaration & Clearance.
What can I import?
Generally, Free Zone companies may import goods that are consistent with their commercial license. The main exception to this is when a company wishes to import goods for their own use, say furniture and equipment for their office operations. This is allowed, however it is important for those companies to keep good records of all items that have been brought into the Free Zone, as customs will need to see that those items have not been, later, transferred to the mainland without payment of customs duties. It is important to ensure your company is fully compliant.
What import and export duty applies to goods?
The Customs duty for most items is calculated on the CIF value at the rate of 5%. Imports of liquor/alcohol are subject to a 50% customs duty on their CIF value while imports of tobacco products draw a 100% duty on their CIF value. Many essential items such as staple foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals are given duty-free status. Gold and diamond traders benefit from a special arrangement between Dubai Customs and DMCC. Diamonds may be imported at a rate of 1% service fee, and gold is imported at a rate of 0.32% service fee, both payable to Dubai Customs. Due to the changing nature of customs it is always advisable to refer to www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae, wherein the duties applicable are available according to HS codes.
What documents do customs need to see?
The documents required by customs may include goods declaration, bill of lading, certificate of origin and invoice copies. However, other documents may be required. As customs requirements may change from time to time you are advised to visit the Dubai Customs web site for the most up to date information. www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae
What are HS codes?
The Harmonized System Codes (HS Code) is a standard issued by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to unify the classification of the
goods. These are six digit codes for identifying different products across the world. For example the code for natural pearls in structured as follows:
Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal, and articles thereof; imitation jewellery; coin.
Natural or cultured pearls, precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal, and article thereof; imitation jewellery, coin.
Pearls, natural or cultured, whether or not worked or graded but not
strung, mounted or set; pearls, natural or cultured, temporarily strung for convenience of transport.
A full record of HS codes are available through Dubai Customs.
Does DMCC have a Port of its own?
No. However Jumeirah Lakes Towers is conveniently situated within 10km of the main Jebel Ali port, one of the largest ports in the world.