Best Freezone to set up a Consultancy Business in Dubai

What Freezone would be the best for my case in your opinion

  • DMCC

  • IFZA

  • DWTC

  • Meydan

  • DSO


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ahlat

New member
I know this question has been asked many time on this sub, however, there seems to be a lot of conflicting information that has left me confused.

I want to form a consultancy based company in one of the Freezones and would love your suggestions keeping to following in mind:

  • I will be renting a physical Office to host clients
  • I do not want any issues setting up a bank account (IK that can be an issue with freezone companies but want to minimise the risk)
  • Please don't suggest Mainland as one of the business activities I'm looking for is banned on mainland
  • I do not want any hidden charges thrown at me later on and mess with my budgeting
  • I would prefer one with no annual auditing requirement, however, it is not that much of a problem
  • I have looked into the cheaper freezones like IFZA and Meydan with initial setup cost of around AED 12K but it just looks too good to be true. Is there really a catch with these cheaper options?
  • I have been considering DMCC. The costs are high, but if I do decide to proceed with them, will it really be a better option in the grand scheme of things?

Thank you in advance for everyone participating.
 

rowena

Entrepreneur
If you're looking for the best, then it is DMCC. It is expensive and regulated more strictly. You need to audit your company yearly but I think it is not important anymore because all freezone companies will be subject to 9% CT without audit starting from 2023.

If you're looking for affordable and average, then IFZA. It is affordable but they're still developing and they don't have an online portal which is very important IMO.
 

Fred

Dubai Expat
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member
Commercial Service
Entrepreneur
@ahlat your nationality and business is missing.

@rowena gave you an overview but the personal approach you are looking for can be only given by knowing your nationality and business.

Given you have a low risk business and western passport or non-western low risk passport like Israel, Turkey or Marocco - DSO would be fine Authority.

Assuming you have a high risk nationality it all depends on the bank and which channels your agent can have access too.

Assuming you have a high risk nationality from bank point of view - the licensing Authority makes close to no difference as the banking is anyway very hard no matter what.

While you are getting rejected in every branch with CBD for a Freezone Companies we are processing applications directly on a VIP approach with the head of liabilities there.

Honestly if you setup once in a lifetime chances are super high to get burned at the banking as this one holy grale what was 5 years ago RAKBANK considering everything and anything simply no longer exist.

Does it make sense to go for this reason with an agent like us for a streamlined process? Absolutely.

Is it necessary to opt for an agent like us?
No it isn't you can figure out and pay the learning money like with everything else in life here as well but don't wonder yourself if you find yourself again throwing away the first setup and doing it once again.

When you do things on your own will you have hidden charges along the way?
Absolutely.

What an Freezone mentions you what is good and this and that is included has nothing to do with what banks wanna see in reality.

UAE Bank Compliance had it's limitations and someone need to know how to handle it - when you present the company profile in the wrong way you get rejected.

When you get yourself a good bank relationship manager he will do this for you at something like imposing his own min. Balance requirement of something between 100-500k AED and then again your setup costs are 10x higher then what assumed initial.
 

ahlat

New member
@ahlat your nationality and business is missing.

@rowena gave you an overview but the personal approach you are looking for can be only given by knowing your nationality and business.

Given you have a low risk business and western passport or non-western low risk passport like Israel, Turkey or Marocco - DSO would be fine Authority.

Assuming you have a high risk nationality it all depends on the bank and which channels your agent can have access too.

Assuming you have a high risk nationality from bank point of view - the licensing Authority makes close to no difference as the banking is anyway very hard no matter what.

While you are getting rejected in every branch with CBD for a Freezone Companies we are processing applications directly on a VIP approach with the head of liabilities there.

Honestly if you setup once in a lifetime chances are super high to get burned at the banking as this one holy grale what was 5 years ago RAKBANK considering everything and anything simply no longer exist.

Does it make sense to go for this reason with an agent like us for a streamlined process? Absolutely.

Is it necessary to opt for an agent like us?
No it isn't you can figure out and pay the learning money like with everything else in life here as well but don't wonder yourself if you find yourself again throwing away the first setup and doing it once again.

When you do things on your own will you have hidden charges along the way?
Absolutely.

What an Freezone mentions you what is good and this and that is included has nothing to do with what banks wanna see in reality.

UAE Bank Compliance had it's limitations and someone need to know how to handle it - when you present the company profile in the wrong way you get rejected.

When you get yourself a good bank relationship manager he will do this for you at something like imposing his own min. Balance requirement of something between 100-500k AED and then again your setup costs are 10x higher then what assumed initial.
The nationality is Pakistani and the business is an immigration consultancy. Mind you, I own property in Dubai and my partner has had a mainland company previously with a RAKBANK corporate Account. In addition, I have partnerships with regulated agents of the countries that I want to provide immigration services of. Both my partner and I have Dubai DL and EIDs too.

Taking all of that into consideration, do I have any better chances of getting a bank acc relatively easily?
 

Fred

Dubai Expat
Mentor Group Gold
Elite Member
Commercial Service
Entrepreneur
The nationality is Pakistani and the business is an immigration consultancy. Mind you, I own property in Dubai and my partner has had a mainland company previously with a RAKBANK corporate Account. In addition, I have partnerships with regulated agents of the countries that I want to provide immigration services of. Both my partner and I have Dubai DL and EIDs too.

Taking all of that into consideration, do I have any better chances of getting a bank acc relatively easily?
Absolutely not.

Pakistan Nationality is considered high risk as well as ImmigratIion Services - especially when they focus again on high risk nationals.

Owning property doesn't help you in terms of substance when it's rented to someone else.

So in terms of Freezone - it doesn't matter as it's a high risk case anyway.
 

Zaki

New member
You need to audit your company yearly but I think it is not important anymore because all freezone companies will be subject to 9% CT without audit starting from 2023.
I think 9% CT only if you sell to UAE Customers
 

joffreylol

Active Member
I think ESR law has changed 3-4 times. What do you guys think, does this seem likely to stay or who knows what will happen? Will the audits increase cost of owning FZCO by a lot?
 

lacomaco

Mentor Group Gold
I think ESR law has changed 3-4 times. What do you guys think, does this seem likely to stay or who knows what will happen? Will the audits increase cost of owning FZCO by a lot?
Big number of new clients chasing a finite number of auditors? Of course prices will increase
 

blockchain4ever

Active Member
I'd go for Meydan. Awesome hotel with amazing pricing compared to other five-star hotels in Dubai. The offices aren't great, but they are building a new lower floor with a view to the horse race track. No audits.

What's nice also is that if you don't have too much time on your hand, you can book a few days at the hotel and do all the paperwork close to the reception. I absolutely love the concept.
 
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