The cost of a freezone company in Dubai: What should I be paying and why?

The cost of a freezone company in Dubai: What should I be paying and why?

When starting your business, one of the most fundamental factors is the cost. Hidden expenditure can cripple a company from the start. Here are the factors to consider when considering the cost of a freezone company in Dubai.


The cost of a business setup can be largely dictated on the jurisdiction in which you wish to setup. With many options available to you at many different costs, how do you decide which one is valid for your business?

Each area will come with a different cost. Often one jurisdiction may seem more costly than others. For instance, it is more costly to set up a business in DMCC (JLT, Dubai) than in UAQ FTZ (Umm al Quwain), but does the benefit of being around >16,000 companies and the DMCC support network outweigh the slight price difference?

It is best to think about your business and its requirements. Do you actually need to be in the jurisdiction in which you will setup? Where will your customers be? It is ideal to be where your customers are, so try to choose that factor first and then assess the options within.

Business type

The cost of the business licence is affected by the type of business you are planning to build. It is best to check with a specialist for the licence type required. A good company can even save you money by applying their business setup knowledge to your challenge and offer a solution that you were not aware of.


When you setup your company in Dubai, it is not only the cost of the licence to consider. The cost of visas can also mount up if not planned for. A typical employee visa will cost between AED 3 – 7,000 based on your freezone.

When considering the visa expense also note that some jurisdictions and business types have a limit on the number of employees that can be held under the licence. It is important to ask your formation specialist to give you these figures upfront. It would be a lot more costly to reapply for the larger licence to replace the first. Ensure you plan for the growth you expect.

Office space

Along with the cost of visa comes a direct cost for office space. Under the UAE labour law with freezone licences, you must ensure that each employee is given the adequate space. This is dictated in the policies of the freezone and this will also be checked before the setup is allowed.

One option is to look for a company setup specialist that has the ability to offer managed or shared office spaces. Often these can support your team through the first few years of growth until you are set and ready to invest in the property.

Support partners

Once your business is setup, the journey isn’t over. There are many functions that need to be carried out to run the company. A good business setup firm will have a robust network of value-added partners. These outsourced options could be a great way on saving on the above costs. Ask your consultant who and why they would recommend.

Take care when choosing your company formation specialist. Look for a personalized approach and strong business knowledge to save you from expensive bills, right from the start.

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