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Establishing a business in the Ajman FEZ in the UAE presents substantial opportunities for business expansion, positioning the region as a pivotal commercial centre for enterprises worldwide. This zone serves as a strategic gateway for accessing markets across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and South Asia, owing to its advantageous geographical location and robust logistical infrastructure.

The allure of registering a company in the Ajman FZ in the UAE stems from its high degree of economic liberty. Foreign investors enjoy complete ownership of their enterprises, while the absence of corporate and personal taxes, coupled with the freedom to repatriate capital and profits, fosters an optimal economic milieu for global business expansion.

The Ajman places particular emphasis on innovation and supports a diverse range of business sectors. Various licence categories, encompassing commercial, industrial, services, and e-commerce, afford businesses favourable conditions for their operations. Furthermore, the zone offers abundant office and warehouse space options, facilitating conducive conditions for enterprise functionality.

Efficient international trade and import-export operations are further facilitated by the well-developed port infrastructure and logistical capabilities of the Ajman FEZ. This enables companies to adeptly manage supply chains and extend their operations beyond the UAE, availing convenient access to sea, air, and land transport networks.

Tax system in AFZ

A pivotal consideration for prospective entrepreneurs in the AFZ pertains to its tax regime, characterized by the absence of corporate tax and import/export duties. This feature substantially diminishes the overall cost of conducting business and augments returns on investment, subject to certain eligibility criteria.

To qualify as an entity benefiting from the zero corporate tax rate in the AFZ, a company must satisfy specific criteria:

  • Demonstrate a requisite level of business activity within the jurisdiction.
  • Attain income thresholds established by governmental decree.

Qualifying income encompasses:

  • Revenue from transactions with entities within the free zone, excluding activities falling under exceptions.
  • Income derived from dealings with non-free zone entities, provided such income pertains to non-excluded activities.
  • Profits accrued from the ownership or operation of intellectual property.
  • Any other income, contingent upon the entity meeting basic qualifying criteria.

Excluded activities, ineligible for the 0% CIT rate, include:

  • Financial services regulated by banking legislation.
  • Insurance and reinsurance operations.
  • Real estate activities outside the free zone.
  • Specified trade activities, including transactions involving prohibited or restricted goods.

Entities registered with the AFZ are obligated to adhere to prescribed transfer pricing regulations when transacting with affiliates.

Ensuring that non-qualified income remains below stipulated thresholds, such as 5% of total income or AED 5 million, whichever is lesser, is imperative to ensure compliance with financial constraints. This necessitates the preparation of audited financial statements in accordance with legal requisites, affirming the stability of the company's financial position and adherence to established standards, thereby maintaining financial transparency.

Furthermore, compliance with additional criteria as determined by the Department is mandated, which may entail conformity with specialized requirements applicable to specific activities or additional regulatory obligations aimed at bolstering oversight.

Income derived from the operations of qualified entities registered in the AFZ is taxed at 0%, while income failing to meet the qualifying criteria, including that arising from ineligible activities and surpassing established thresholds, is subject to tax at 9%. This divergence in taxation underscores the significance of fulfilling the requisite criteria to mitigate financial liabilities.

In the event a company accrues income not meeting the qualifying criteria or exceeding minimum thresholds, it forfeits its status as a qualified entity for five tax periods, inclusive of the year of violation, and becomes subject to taxation at the standard rate, akin to other taxpayers.

The absence of corporate tax endows companies registered in the AFZ with exemption from corporate income taxation, furnishing substantial incentives for foreign enterprises seeking to leverage the zone for expanding international trade. This fosters opportunities for investment in innovation, research, development, and market expansion.

Registering a business in the AFZ confers additional advantages, including full repatriation of invested capital and profits, affording investors unrestricted freedom to transfer capital across borders. Such conditions cultivate an optimal business climate, bolstering developmental endeavours and attracting investment in the automotive industry and related sectors.

Types of companies and licences

Company types

Establishing a company in the Ajman affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to select from a spectrum of legal structures meticulously tailored to accommodate diverse business exigencies and prerequisites.

A FZE typically resonates with individual entrepreneurs aspiring to helm their enterprises. This legal entity proves particularly conducive for small and medium-sized businesses, necessitating only a solitary founder, thereby streamlining administrative processes and expediting decision-making.

For endeavours involving multiple stakeholders, a FZC typically emerges as the preferred choice. This format enables flexible apportionment of profits and managerial responsibilities among partners, rendering it an enticing proposition for collaborative ventures.

A branch extends an avenue for foreign enterprises to extend their operations into the UAE sans the imperative of erecting a distinct legal entity, thereby leveraging their extant brand to penetrate and seize new markets.

Hence, in the trajectory of instituting a business in the Ajman, a diverse array of legal frameworks is available, each meticulously calibrated to cater to the unique imperatives and aspirations of entrepreneurs.

Available licences

In the course of company registration in the Ajman in the UAE, an assortment of licences is proffered, each bespoke to a specific realm of activity.

  • Commercial: facilitates engagement in wholesale and retail trade, as well as the import and export of goods.
  • Industrial: geared towards production, processing, assembly, and packaging of products, mandating validation of production facilities compliance.
  • Services: encompasses an extensive gamut of services, spanning consultancy, IT services, and repairs and maintenance, catering to firms rendering professional services.
  • E-commerce: a specialized AFZ licence tailored for online business operations, encompassing the trading of goods and services over the internet, frequently favoured by startups and online retail ventures.
  • Innovators: tailored to empower the youth demographic, catering to students, postgraduates, young entrepreneurs, and fledgling companies.
  • Freelancers: extends licensure to freelancers across forty categories delineated by the SEZ.
  • Offshore: encompasses enterprises registered in jurisdictions distinct from their operational base, often in so-called tax havens. Such entities typically abstain from economic or commercial pursuits within the jurisdiction of incorporation, serving primarily as conduits for managing assets or businesses located elsewhere.

Each licence category within the Ajman Free Zone is meticulously fashioned to address specific business requisites, furnishing flexibility and support across a myriad of commercial domains.

Company registration process


To initiate company registration in the Ajman FEZ, a comprehensive set of documents is imperative to validate the legitimacy of the enterprise and its adherence to regulatory protocols and local legislation. While the specific document requisites may vary contingent upon the chosen business type, company legal structure, and the nature of licensed activities, a fundamental set is typically mandatory for most registrations.

During the initial phase of the procedure, submission of documents for enterprise registration with the AFZ is requisite, encompassing a detailed business plan delineating planned activities and organizational structure. This document elucidates the organisation's objectives and strategies for their attainment.

Verification of founder and managerial identities necessitates provision of scanned copies of their passports, affirming identity and citizenship credentials.

An indispensable document entails confirmation of the company's legal domicile within the Ajman zone, attainable through an office lease agreement or workplace lease agreement, substantiating the existence of a tangible address for operational activities.

Furthermore, foreign-owned enterprises are obligated to furnish a police clearance certificate from the applicant, serving to uphold elevated standards of integrity and reliability within the UAE business milieu.

In addition to the aforementioned, contingent upon the business domain, specific permits or licences may be mandated, particularly for entities operating within sectors such as healthcare, education, or the food industry.

The process of establishing a company in the Ajman zone necessitates meticulous preparation and submission of all requisite documents, constituting the bedrock for a successful inception and subsequent evolution of business operations within the UAE.

Phases of the registration 

Embarking on business endeavours within the Ajman in the UAE entails adherence to several pivotal stages to ensure alignment with local legislative mandates and regulatory stipulations. The duration for registration may vary contingent upon circumstances, albeit the conventional process entails the following sequential steps:

Submission of application

The preliminary phase entails submission of an application for company registration in the AFZ, inclusive of a comprehensive business plan and a delineation of future activities. Concurrently, scrutiny and validation of the uniqueness of the company name transpire.

Compilation and submission of documentation

Subsequent to the application, the collection, and submission of all requisite documents ensue, encompassing founder passport particulars, confirmation of legal domicile in Ajman, and other pertinent documents contingent upon business specifics.

Regulatory evaluation

Upon document submission, regulatory authorities within the Ajman Free Zone undertake scrutiny, potentially necessitating supplementary information or documentation.

Fee payment

Concurrently with document submission, remittance of state fees for company registration and licensing is effected, with the quantum contingent upon licence type and ancillary factors.

Licence issuance

Post-successful document validation and fee remittance, issuance of a business licence authorising operations within the chosen licence category ensues, accompanied by registration documentation affirming the company's operational prerogatives within the designated licence ambit.

Following culmination of this process, the company is poised to inaugurate a corporate bank account, commence premises leasing, and embark on employee recruitment for commercial operations.

Typically, company registration within the Ajman Free Zone spans from several days to several weeks, contingent upon the intricacy of the business model and the expeditiousness in collating and submitting requisite documentation and information by the founders. Thorough preparation and document completeness serve to expedite the registration process, forestalling potential delays.

Features of doing business in Ajman

Accounting and auditing

Within the framework of company registration in the Ajman, UAE, specific accounting and auditing requisites mandate compliance with local statutes and regulations. These prerequisites are designed to foster transparency in financial dealings and uphold a high level of confidence among businesses, regulators, and other stakeholders.

Maintenance of accounting records

Companies domiciled in the Ajman zone are obligated to uphold meticulous records of all financial transactions in consonance with recognized accounting standards. This entails the preparation and upkeep of documentation detailing income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Systematic documentation of financial transactions is imperative to furnish an accurate portrayal of the company's financial standing.

Annual accounting statements must be formulated, encapsulating the authentic financial status of the company. Reports must be compiled utilizing current data and submitted within stipulated time frames delineated by the regulatory authorities of the Ajman Free Zone.

Audit requirements

In tandem with accounting record maintenance, companies operating within the AFZ may necessitate conducting an annual audit of their financial transactions. Audits should be conducted by qualified auditors devoid of direct involvement in the business, ensuring objectivity and impartiality in assessment.

The overarching objective of an audit is to validate the reliability of the company's financial statements and ascertain adherence to pertinent laws and accounting standards. The audit report serves as a valuable resource for company management, regulators, and other stakeholders.

Post-audit completion, submission of an audit report to the Ajman zone authority is requisite, serving as substantiation of the company's financial standing and compliance with established mandates. This constitutes a pivotal element in upholding transparency and accountability in business operations.

Adherence to accounting and auditing requirements assumes paramount importance in safeguarding the reputation and trustworthiness of businesses registered within the Ajman. Furthermore, it furnishes requisite legal protection and promotes effective financial stewardship.

Regulations and restrictions for foreign investors

Prospective registrants seeking to establish a presence in the Ajman in the UAE must acquaint themselves with specific regulations and restrictions. These regulations are formulated to incentivize investment, streamline business operations, and uphold the nation's economic security standards.

Full foreign ownership:

 foreign investors enjoy the prerogative of owning 100% of a company within the AFZ, constituting a notable advantage vis-à-vis certain other UAE jurisdictions mandating local sponsorship and partnership.

Tax incentives:

companies domiciled in the AFZ stand exempt from corporate, personal, and VAT under prescribed conditions, augmenting the zone's allure for foreign investors.

Absence of foreign exchange controls:

AFZ imposes no restrictions on foreign exchange transactions, enabling companies to seamlessly transfer capital and profits abroad sans obligatory conversion into local currency.

Employment mandates:

 companies are subject to stipulated hiring requisites, encompassing visas and work permits for foreign personnel.

Government oversight:

while the AFZ extends substantial benefits, foreign investors must be prepared for regulatory scrutiny of business plans and financial performance.

Restrictions on certain activities:

certain business categories may necessitate additional permits or may be proscribed for foreign investors altogether. It is imperative to ascertain clarity on this matter from AFZ management in advance.

Renewal of licence and permits

The licence renewal process for companies registered in the Ajman constitutes a pivotal undertaking, demanding meticulous planning and timely execution for the business entity. This procedural facet ensures seamless continuity of operations in alignment with local legislative frameworks and regulations, sans any interruptions.

  • Several months preceding the expiration of the extant licence, the company should initiate preparations for the AFZ licence renewal process. This entails comprehensive review of all requisite documents and prerequisites essential for a successful renewal.
  • The company lodges an application for licence renewal with the Ajman Free Zone Authority. To effectuate this, completion of the pertinent application form and provision of requisite documents, which may encompass financial statements and audit reports, are imperative.
  • Subsequent to application submission, the company proceeds to remit the stipulated renewal licence fees. The fee quantum may hinge upon the licence type and ancillary factors delineated by AFZA.
  • Post-receipt of the application and confirmation of payment, AFZA undertakes scrutiny of the submitted documents vis-à-vis extant requirements. Where requisite, the department may solicit supplementary information or documentation.
  • Upon culmination of scrutiny and in the event of a favourable determination, AFZA issues an updated licence for a renewed term. This documentation serves as affirmation of the company's entitlement to perpetuate its operations within the Ajman Free Zone.
  • Commencement of the licence renewal process is advised 1-2 months antecedent to the expiration of the extant AFZA licence. This time allocation furnishes adequate leeway for document collation and preparation, as well as resolution of any potential issues with AFZA afore licence expiry.

The processing duration for renewal applications may fluctuate, albeit typically spanning from several days to a few weeks post-submission of all requisite documents and payment of applicable fees. Specific timelines may be contingent upon AFZA's extant workload and the particulars of the individual application.

Features of renewal of construction and operation permits

A building permit within the AFZ is issued for a specific project and holds finite validity. In instances where project completion cannot be realised within the stipulated timeframe, the company is obligated to petition for an extension.

  • The extension process commences with formal submission of an application to the Ajman Free Zone Authority, articulating the reasons necessitating extension and soliciting permission accordingly.
  • Concomitant with the application, the company furnishes an updated construction schedule reflecting the revised project culmination date.
  • Post-submission of the application and requisite documents, AFZA undertakes evaluation of the furnished information, adjudging whether the permit renewal request aligns with zone prerequisites and standards.
  • Where an extension application garners approval, the company is enjoined to remit applicable fees, the quantum of which may hinge upon the nature and scale of the construction project.


Registering a company within the Ajman zone in the UAE stands as a strategic manoeuvre for entrepreneurs and investors harbouring aspirations of international business expansion. Thanks to its propitious locale, favourable fiscal policies, and flexible regulatory framework, the Ajman Free Zone emerges as a preeminent destination for commercial pursuits within the region.

Prospective stakeholders are urged to meticulously peruse all regulatory requisites attendant to company registration and operation within the Ajman Free Zone. This encompasses accounting norms, safety protocols, and environmental regulations. Adherence to these requisites serves to ensure seamless operational conduct and precludes potential fines and sanctions.

Investors should be primed to effectuate an initial investment encompassing not only registration fees and facility rentals but also sundry operational expenses. Prudent budgetary planning, factoring in all plausible costs, facilitates circumvention of financial exigencies at the inception phase.

In essence, the establishment of a company within the Ajman Free Zone engenders myriad avenues for business expansion and development. By heeding these recommendations, prospective investors stand poised to harness the full potential of this free economic zone, thereby ensuring sustained enterprise development in the long run.

Our company's adept professionals stand poised to provide comprehensive support at every juncture of the business establishment process within the Ajman Free Zone. We pledge personalised professional assistance, encompassing preparation of requisite documentation through the acquisition of resident status.