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JAFZA – Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority

JAFZA or Jebel Ali Free Zone is the world’s largest free zone. JAFZAstarted its operations in the year 1985 and is home to more than 100 of the Fortune Global 500 companies today. JAFZA accounts for 24% of FDI flowing into Dubai, United Arab Emirates and contributes a sizeable number to the GDP of Dubai.

More than 7,500 companies are located inside JAFZA with an estimated employment of close to 144,000 people. JAFZA shares an important place in the business environment of UAE as it provides end to end solutions and growth opportunities to businesses that operate locally and globally.

Jabel Ali Free Zone houses companies ranging from manufacturing, import and export facilities, warehousing, wholesale trading etc.

Salient features of JAFZA:

  1. 0% personal income tax
  2. No currency restrictions
  3. 0% import or re-export duties
  4. 100% foreign ownership
  5. 0% corporate tax for 50 years, renewable concession
  6. No restriction on capital repatriation
  7. No restriction on foreign talent or employees
  8. On site customs
  9. Ability to mortgage your premises

The biggest advantage of JAFZA is the facility to export, no import duties, 100% ownership with 100% repatriation of capital and profits. Customs fees is applicable only when goods are exported to Dubai mainland or to any other Emirates.

How to start a company in JAFZA?

Jafza offers several formation types that enable customers to establish their company to suit individual requirements.

In order to form a company within the Jebel Ali Free Zone the investor(s) must choose one of the following formation types:

  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – Single shareholder(s), individual or company, is an LLC
  • Free Zone Company (FZCo) – Multiple shareholder(s), individual or company, is an LLC
  • Public Listed Company (PLC) – LLC with two or more shareholders, listed in exchange
  • Branch of a Company – 100% Legal entity of a parent company

Licenses types:

The type of licence you require to operate in Jafza will depend upon the activity your business intends to engage in. There are three main categories of activity and licence; Trading, Service and Industrial.

  1. Trading Licence: Allows the holder to import, export and distribute items specified on the licence.
  2. General Trading Licence: Allows the holder access to a wider range of activities and a broader range of items on the licence.
  3. Service Licence: Allows the holder to carry out the services specified on the licence.
  4. Industrial Licence: Allows the holder to import raw materials, carry out the manufacture of specified products and export the finished product to other countries.
  5. National Industrial Licence: Issued for manufacturing companies with at least 51% GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) ownership.
  6. Logistics Licence: Allows specified logistics services (e.g. storage, transportation, distribution, sorting, forwarding and clearing activities, order management, inventory management etc.)
  7. E-Commerce Licence: To carry out buying and selling of goods and services over electronic networks via any electronic means.

Types of Activity:

The type of activity your business participates in will dictate the types of licences along with the most appropriate facility you will require in Jafza. There are three main categories of activity: Trading, Service and Industrial.

Range of Products to choose from JAFZA:

Jafza offers a range of products specifically designed to meet a variety of business needs. Simply select the type that suits your business best.

  • Plots of land
  • Warehouses
  • Showrooms
  • Customised development solutions
  • Offices
  • Business Park
  • Retail outlets
  • On-site residence

Steps for Registration:

There are three simple steps to register your company in Jafza:

  1. Application submission
  2. Selection of Product(s), Registration of Company and Payment
  3. Receive Licence and Product


There’s simple documentation process involved for establishing a company with a small variation for Free Zone Company (FZCo), Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Branch of a company. Below are the basic documents required:

  1. Jafza application form
  2. Environment Health and Safety (EHS) application form
  3. Passport/Emirates ID copy of manager, directors and secretary (FZE/ FZCo – manager plus shareholder(s) included)
  4. Project summary
  5. No Objection Certificate from local sponsor, applicable to UAE resident only

Registration and License fees:

A one-time registration of AED 5,000 is applicable for all types of companies with license fees varying from AED 5,000 to AED 15,000 depending on the type of license one chooses.

How to close or liquidate a company in JAFZA?

In JAFZA, you must notify the authorities three months prior for the office and warehouse facility and 6 months prior for plot facility.

Below are some of the major documents/procedures required for liquidation in JAFZA

  • De-registration resolution with details
  • Certificate in original
  • Share Certificate(s)
  • Resolution regarding the appointment of Liquidator
  • Liquidation Report
  • Handing over keys and Lease Termination form
  • Clearance letterfrom Jafza Finance Department on all outstanding dues
  • Clearance letter from Jafza Roads and Transport Authority
  • Clearance of all Visas fromJafza Admin Department
  • Clearance receiptbills from Jafza
  • Customs Clearance from the Customs Department
  • ETISALAT Clearance
  • Late fees of AED 1,000 for every 30 days delay

Audit of JAFZA Companies:

Generally all the companies in JAFZA are supposed to get their books of accounts audited at the time of renewal of the license annually. Otherwise also it is a good practice to maintain proper books of accounts of all the transactions of the company and get those books of accounts audited each year to provide better understanding of the business and that helps you in taking decisions at the right time to conduct the business in an appropriate way. Spectrum Auditing is an eligible auditing firm to conduct audit of all the JAFZA based companies and the audit report issued by Spectrum Auditing is accepted by JAFZA authorities.

Spectrum Auditing is an expert in the Company Formation and Company Liquidation process. Reach us to have a frills free life in your journey in Dubai, UAE. We at Spectrum will assist you in taking care of all the legal procedures involved in the registration and de-registration of your company in Jebel Ali Free Zone. Reach us today for any kind of assistance, call us at +971 4 2699329 or +971 50 9866466 or email us at [email protected] to get all your queries addressed. Spectrum, your partner in your success.

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Balaram Vuchidi

Managing Director
+971 50 9866 466
[email protected]
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