Ajman Free Zone
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About Ajman Free Zone (AFZ)
Established in 1988, Ajman Free Zone is one of the longest running of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Free Zones. It is open to a wide range of industries including trading, professional, industrial, and e-commerce.
AFZ’s affordable and flexible office packages and quick and easy licensing process makes it popular with businesses of all sizes.
A major selling point of the free zone is its strategic location, within easy reach of two international airports and four major seaports.
Prices starting from AED 11,000
Average business setup time: 5-7 days
Benefits of setting up a company in: Ajman Free Zone
100% BUSINESS OWNERSHIP AND CAPITAL REPATRIATION
As an expatriate, you can own 100% of the company and remit all profits to your home country.
LOW OPERATING COSTS
Ajman Free Zone offers a highly competitive rate for facility usage, power and leasing.
FAST SETUP PROCESS
At AFZ, business licences can be issued within just 2 working days.
The Emirate of Ajman is a vital hub for international travel and trade.
OPEN TO ALL
AFZ welcomes almost all business activities from industrial to e-commerce.
AFZ offers a one-stop counter service for visa processing and many other business services.
Ajman Free Zone welcomes a range of financial and professional business activities. Here are some of the most popular options:
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Physical Presence Requirement
You do not have to be physically present to complete the setup process of your company.
Business Setup in Ajman Freezone
Are you thinking about starting a business in the Ajman Free Zone?
If so, there are some things you should know before you start the business setup process. In this blog, we’ll provide an overview of what it’s like to do business in the Ajman Free Zone, as well as some tips for new business owners and comparisons to other UAE free zones.
We’ll also introduce you to our business setup service, which can help make the process a little bit easier for you. If you’re ready to take the plunge and start your own company in Ajman Free Zone UAE, keep reading!
What Is a Free Zone?
A free zone is a designated area in which business activity is encouraged and foreign investment is welcomed.
There are different types of UAE free zones. They all offer certain benefits to businesses that set up shop within their borders. These benefits can include tax breaks, exemption from certain regulations, and more freedom in terms of how you run your business.
Free zones can be found in countries all over the world and many of them are located in Dubai. Ajman is one such free zone, just outside of Dubai. It offers numerous benefits to those who choose to do business there.
What Is Ajman Free Zone?
Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) was established in 1988, bolstering the industrial development of the UAE and attracting a myriad of companies looking to benefit from investment privileges. As an independent, dynamic ecosystem, AFZ offers businesses and investors a sustainable environment to help accelerate their growth plans.
Located just minutes away from Ajman Port, AFZ is one of the region’s leading investment destinations and plays a crucial role in contributing to the economic sector. The free zone offers premier services to more than 9,000 companies, investors, and entrepreneurs from over 160 countries.
AFZ’s strategic location at the entrance of the Arabian Gulf positions it perfectly to serve both eastern and western trade markets. Its proximity to the international airports of Dubai and Sharjah and easy accessibility to Ajman Port makes it an ideal choice for businesses seeking better connectivity to some of the world’s most popular business hubs.
Approximately 256 industrial firms have set up shop in the free zone, accounting for 20% of the UAE’s total industrial units and ranking third among all the Emirates.
Types of Companies in Ajman Free Zone
There are several types of companies that can be established in Ajman Free Zone, including
- Free Zone Establishment (FZE),
- Free Zone Company (FZC),
- Branch of a Foreign Company, and
- Branch of a Local Company.
The process of setting up a business in AFZ involves finalising and formulating business activities, registering the trade name, applying for a business licence, opening a corporate bank account, and obtaining visas for employees.
AFZ is diversifying its portfolio and welcoming businesses from various sectors such as Food and Beverages, Automotive, Health and Beauty, Construction, Education, Agriculture, Oil and Gas, Paper and Packaging, Jewellery (Gold and Diamonds), Marine, Textile, Advanced Technology, Sports, Petrochemical Industry, and Trade. This presents a wealth of opportunities for businesses across multiple industries to flourish within the free zone.
Licences Available in Ajman Free Zone
Ajman Free Zone offers a range of licences to cater to different business needs, including commercial licences, industrial licences, e-commerce licences, and trading licences. Each of these licences is tailored to specific types of businesses and activities, ensuring a seamless setup process and compliance with local regulations.
Whether you’re looking to establish a food & beverage company, automotive business, health & beauty venture, construction firm, or education and training facility, Ajman Free Zone has the necessary licences, infrastructure, and support services to help your business succeed. With so many options available, it’s easy to see why AFZ is becoming an increasingly popular choice for businesses seeking growth and expansion in the UAE.
Advantages of Company Formation in Ajman
Ajman Free Zone (AFZA) has become known as one of the most reliable and investor-friendly platforms in the UAE and the Middle East in general. It caters to a wide range of business profiles, including trading, services, and light industrial activities. Furthermore, for investors planning to conduct business only outside the UAE, AFZA issues offshore licenses.
There are five different license types available for international entrepreneurs, ranging from trading, e-commerce, professional, and industrial licenses to offshore licenses, catering to various business needs. This flexibility, combined with the quick and easy company formation process, makes Ajman Free Zone a top choice for investors.
One of the major economic advantages of company registration in Ajman Free Zone is the lower costs associated with various aspects of doing business. This includes affordable lease rents, competitively-priced land and office spaces, minimal customs duty for import/export operations, and cheap energy. Furthermore, the average profitability of industrial operations is higher in Ajman due to its cheaper rental and utility fees.
Ajman Free Zone is also strategically located, with easy access to two international airports and four ports, including the Ajman Marine Port. This port is capable of receiving over one thousand vessels per day, making it one of the most reliable and convenient transportation hubs in the region.
100% Ownership and Tax Exemptions
Expatriates are allowed 100% ownership of their companies set up in Ajman Free Zone, eliminating the need for a local partner. Additionally, they can enjoy 100% repatriation of capital and profits. There are no personal or corporate taxes applicable in Ajman Free Zone, creating a favourable environment for conducting business.
For businesses operating in Ajman free zone and Ajman Media City, there are exemptions from payment on import and export duties, making it more attractive for those involved in international trade. Furthermore, the UAE government only imposes a corporate tax on oil companies and foreign banks, giving businesses registered in Ajman Free Zone an exemption from corporate tax for a certain time period, which can be extended.
Ajman Free Zone also offers a unique multiple-instalment payment option for business setup fees, allowing investors to pay in 2, 3, or 6 instalments. This is particularly advantageous for those looking to set up a business without a massive budget and needing a more convenient payment plan.
In fact, Ajman Free Zone Authority is the only free zone that offers such a payment plan.
Lastly, investors can benefit from additional perks such as resident or employment visas for themselves and their employees, as well as support for their families. With its investor-friendly regulations, economic advantages, and options for 100% ownership and tax exemptions, Ajman Free Zone continues to be an attractive destination for companies looking to establish their presence in the UAE.
Steps to Set Up a Business in Ajman Free Zone
Finalising Business Activities
Before diving into the setup process, it is important to decide on the nature of your business upfront. Ajman Free Zone (AFZA) allows for a range of business activities, including trading, service, and industrial activities.
In 2019, AFZA introduced a Freelance permit category for businesses engaged in electronic trading activities. Be mindful of the specific activities or industries that certain free zone locations cater to, as this can impact where you can operate your business.
However, some sector-specific free zones have started welcoming general business activities, in addition to their intended focus.
Registering the Trade Name
The UAE has strict naming conventions that you should be aware of before committing to a company name. Avoid offensive language, and references to religious or political groups, and ensure that if you name your business after a person, their full name is used, with no abbreviations or initials.
Applying for a Business License
After finalizing your business activities and trade name, the next step is to apply for a business license. The types of licenses available in Ajman Free Zone include Commercial License, Industrial/Manufacture License, Services License, and E-commerce License.
Depending on your chosen setup location, most applications will require a completed application form, shareholder passport copies, and potentially a business plan. Once your application has been processed, the government will issue your company license, which enables you to start operating your business.
Opening a Corporate Bank Account
Before you can begin trading in the UAE, you’ll need to open a corporate bank account. With your company license in hand, you can approach banks to set up an account.
The UAE is home to many banks, both local and international, including Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Noor Bank, Emirates Islamic, Mashreq, RAKBANK, and Ajman Bank. You’ll also find global names such as HSBC, Citibank, and Barclays.
The process generally takes between two to four weeks to open a bank account in the UAE. During this time, the bank will want to know your primary business areas, the anticipated volume of currency, total deposits, revenue levels, and information about your main customers and suppliers.
With all these steps completed, you can start operating your business in this thriving region.
Offices and Warehouses in the Ajman Free Zone
Low-Cost Smart Offices
If you’re starting a business in Ajman Free Zone, you’ll love the low-cost smart offices available. These offices are an excellent option for startups and entrepreneurs, providing a cost-effective investment opportunity for those looking to set up their businesses.
The smart office packages offer two employment visas for a proactive business operation. Moreover, both flexi-desks and offices can be located within the free zone headquarters or in a separate tower nearby.
Executive Offices for Large Corporations
Ajman Free Zone also caters to larger corporations by offering executive offices. The executive office package includes up to five employment visas and boasts excellent facilities, easy parking, and high-security.
These offices are strategically located within the Ajman Free Zone, giving businesses an optimal location to operate from.
Warehousing facilities are a critical component of any successful business operation, and Ajman Free Zone excels in this area. The warehouses available within the Ajman Free Zone are new, modern, and come equipped with electricity and water connections. Sizes vary from 100 sq metres to 1000 sq metres, ensuring businesses operating in the Ajman Free Zone have access to warehouses suitable for their needs.
Ajman Free Zone is one of the few UAE free zones that offer industrial facilities for rent to its clients. The warehouses are conveniently located next to the Ajman port and Ajman customs office, which provides quick and easy access to Dubai.
Each warehouse comes with an in-built bathroom and office area, so businesses can move in their equipment and staff to start operations immediately. A block of staff accommodation is available nearby, offering additional convenience for businesses that require their workers to live close to the production site.
Before leasing a warehouse in Ajman Free Zone, businesses must provide a detailed business plan. This should outline the activities and procedures to be performed in the warehouse, as well as the electricity and water requirements and the number of staff who will work there. Businesses also need to submit a drawing if they plan to make any alterations inside the warehouse.
Ajman Free Zone presents numerous advantages, particularly when it comes to low-cost smart offices, executive offices, and warehousing facilities. Whether you’re a startup entrepreneur or a large corporation looking to expand, the Ajman Free Zone offers an excellent location, modern facilities, and flexible payment options, making it an ideal choice for your business operations.
Other UAE Free Zones
While AFZ is a great option for many new business owners, there are other UAE free zones that you might also want to consider.
- Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA)
- Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)
- Fujairah Free Zone Authority (FFZA)
- Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)
- Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone)
These are just a few. There are over 50 free zones in the UAE!
Differences Between Ajman Free Zone and
Other Free Zones
One key difference between Ajman Free Zone and other free zones is that there are no restrictions on the type of company that can be set up in AFZ. This means that you can start any type of business you want without having to worry about the industry.
This is different from, for example, Dubai Media City, which is designed for media companies, or Dubai Internet City, which is for technology companies.
Another difference is that there are no quotas on the number of businesses that can be established in AFZ. In other words, you can have as many companies as you want there.
The free zone in Ajman is also open to a wide range of office alternatives. You may rent a fully furnished office, use serviced offices with full IT support, or even just get some virtual office space.
The best part about this flexibility is that it makes doing business in AFZ very convenient for entrepreneurs. There’s no limit on working from home or using virtual offices. However, in some other free zones, a physical office is required.
Finally, Ajman is one of the cheapest free zones to establish a business, especially for freelancers. Their Freelancer Package is just AED 6000. If you’re aged between 20 and 30 you can get their Pioneers Package for just AED 5000.
Living in Ajman Free Zone
As one of the more traditional free zones with fewer expats and more locals living there, the Ajman Free Zone is more affordable. For example, an apartment rental in Ajman could be as little as just 25% of the cost of a similar one in Dubai.
Dining in Ajman
Restaurants in Ajman offer a wide variety of international cuisine, but it’s also possible to find some very affordable local eateries. If you’re looking for an authentic Emirati meal, you can find it here!
Nightlife in Ajman is mostly concentrated in the hotels, but some places outside of them are worth a visit. For example, the Hilton and Marriott both have popular clubs.
The Ajman Corniche is a good place to take an evening stroll and has some nice cafes with views of Dubai’s skyline.
Ajman Real Estate
The Ajman Free Zone is home to a growing number of businesses, so it’s no surprise that the real estate market here is also booming. Choosing where to live in the area can be a difficult task, as there are many good options.
If you’re looking for an affordable option, apartments near the beach cost less in Ajman than most other free zones and often have gyms and communal pools. If you’re looking for something more luxurious, there are many apartments and villas to choose from that come with all the amenities you could need.
There are several English-speaking schools in or near Ajman. Some of these include:
- Ajman Academy
- Ajman American Private School
- Crown Private School
- The Bloomington Academy
The whole family can comfortably move to Ajman. It’s close enough to Dubai to offer the delights of a cosmopolitan city but is also much more traditional and peaceful.
Leisure in Ajman
There are plenty of activities to enjoy in Ajman. The beaches are a major attraction, as is the shopping. Ajman also has a museum and cultural centre, which is a great place to learn about the Emirati culture.
There are also many mosques in Ajman, so if you’re interested in learning more about Islam, this is the place to be! It’s not as westernized as some free zones so it provides a real taste of historic Emirati culture.
Business Setup Service in Ajman Free Zone
The Ajman Free Zone has a lot to offer new businesses, so it’s no surprise that many companies are choosing this location to get their trade license. Alongside the business setup service we offer at Virtuzone there are many other services we provide.
Virtuzone can assist with:
- Visa applications
- Company formation
- Office space
- Procurement of licences and permits
- Opening a business bank account
The first step is to assess which free zone is right for you. The truth is that there are pros and cons to all of them and the right one for your business might be a different one from the one you initially wanted to use.
By speaking to the experts at Virtuzone, we can make sure you choose the best free zone to fit your company’s requirements.
Skyrocket Your Business Success in Ajman Free
In a nutshell, Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) is a one-stop shop for businesses of all sizes and industries, supplying them with a treasure trove of advantages and growth opportunities. From its strategic location and diverse range of company types to its investor-friendly regulations and cutting-edge facilities, AFZ is undoubtedly a top contender in the UAE free zone arena.
No matter if you’re a budding entrepreneur seeking a budget-friendly start or an established corporation desiring expansion, Ajman Free Zone offers a fertile ground for your business to flourish. Two attractive airports and four seaports near AFZ further amplify its appeal as a central hub for global trade and commerce.
By embarking on your business venture in Ajman Free Zone, you’re not only unlocking the gateway to business supremacy in the UAE but also positioning your company for long-term success in the ever-growing international marketplace. Join the ranks of thriving businesses that call AFZ their home, and watch your enterprise soar to new heights!
Start your business today
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