The Umm al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ) represents a strategic initiative focused on promoting entrepreneurial ventures and providing the necessary support for business success. UAQ FTZ is conveniently located just a 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport, making it an ideal choice for startups, SMEs, and large enterprises.
Despite being a relatively new free zone, UAQ FTZ has quickly become one of the most sought-after zones in the region. Several factors contribute to its popularity:
- Attractive tax benefits for investors
- A streamlined legal framework
- Significant value for investment, offering a cost-effective business option
- Accessible location, adding to its overall appeal
Furthermore, UAQ FTZ permits 100% company ownership, zero taxation, and imposes no currency restrictions, making it an ideal destination for freelancers, micro-businesses, and SMEs.
Benefits and Advantages of UAQ FTZ:
- No corporate or personal taxes
- Full company ownership with repatriation of capital and profits
- Exemption from import and export taxes
- No currency restrictions and no share capital requirements
- Simple registration process with transparent fees
- High-tech equipped offices with warehouse facilities
- Ideal location for SMEs and micro-businesses
- Proximity to international airports and seaports
- Wide range of permitted business activities
- No restrictions on hiring foreign employees
- Supportive legal framework for investors
- Minimal documentation requirements
License Categories in UAQ FTZ:
UAQ Free Trade Zone offers six different license categories for conducting various business activities:
- Commercial / Trading License: Issued for importing, exporting, and re-exporting goods, including garments, food, beverages, textiles, furniture, and building materials.
- General Trading License: Allows trading in most goods with certain exceptions like alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and crude oil, which require special permissions.
- Consultancy License: Designed for businesses offering consultancy services, ranging from IT, accounting, HR, to management services.
- Premium Consultancy License: Similar to the Consultancy License but for “special” consultancy services such as tourism, engineering, legal, financial, investment, and shipping services.
- Micro Business License: For startups with limited finances, requiring no physical space or residency visa.
- Freelance Permit: Reserved for freelancers providing services online, such as content writers, photographers, and event planners.
Cost of Umm Al Quwain Free Zone Licenses:
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Umm al Quwain Free Zone Company Formation
Umm al Quwain Free Trade Zone, the only free zone in the emirate, offers attractive business and investment opportunities, especially for small entrepreneurs. Its strategic location is a key advantage. The company formation process consists of five steps:
- Selecting an appropriate company name
- Paying the required fees
- Providing documents for directors, managers, secretaries, shareholders, and attorneys
- Preparing documents for company registration
- Submitting the company registration application
Documents Required for UAQ Free Zone
UAQ FTZ allows the establishment of FZC (free zone company with 2 to 50 shareholders), FZE (free zone establishment with a single shareholder), and branches of existing companies. FZC and FZE require the same types of documents, while document requirements may differ for branch establishments:
- Passport copy of the manager (required for all businesses)
- Passport copy of shareholders and directors (for FZC and FZE)
- Proof of address for shareholders (for FZC and FZE)
- Proof of address for the manager (for branch establishments)
- Certificate of incorporation (for branch establishments)
- Memorandum and Articles of Association (required for all businesses)
- Board resolution and power of attorney (for branch establishments)
Visa Application for UAQ FTZ:
In the UAE, there is no residence permit; instead, residence visas are required. To apply for and obtain a residence visa, one of the following conditions must be met:
- Investor Visa: Ownership of a UAE offshore company
- Work Visa: Employment contract with a UAE offshore company
Visa duration depends on the chosen business package during the company registration phase. Investor Visas are valid for 3 years, while Work Visas are valid for 2 years, with the option for renewal.
Once the company registration phase is complete, the following steps are involved in applying for visas:
- Opening an establishment card
- Submitting required documents
- Visiting the UAE
- Obtaining a resident ID card or ID Emirates
It’s important to note that while permanent residence in the UAE is not required after obtaining a visa, visas can be canceled if the individual stays outside the UAE for more than 6 months.
The renewal process is straightforward, similar to the initial registration. To renew, you need to make the payment and submit a new copy of the flexi-desk lease agreement to the free zone.
No, audit reports are not mandatory for the renewal process.
Since the process is simple and straightforward, it usually takes 2-3 days for your renewal application to be processed.
Yes, renewal costs are slightly less expensive than the initial registration process. After renewal, you will receive a new license and flexi-desk lease agreement.
Amendments can include changes to the corporate name, business activity, share transfers, and changes in managers or directors, among others.
No, most amendments can be made remotely, except for share transfers, which require the physical presence of shareholders.
The fundamental requirement is the physical presence of the owner or a visit from the Power of Attorney (PoA) holder.
The original company documents must be returned to UAQ FTZ.
The liquidation process can take up to 1 month, with requirements including the return of original documents and verification of payments.
Unlike other free zones, the liquidation fee in UAQ FTZ is relatively low, at around 2,000 AED