Ajman is one of the most prominent Emirates of the UAE. The Emirate is located in the northern part of the UAE, touching shoulders with two other populated and renowned states; Dubai in the East and Sharjah in the South. Sharjah is home to over 400K people constituting local and foreign populations residing in the Emirate. The well-maintained highways and easily accessible air and sea routes make it geostrategic importance more crucial for the entire UAE. This is one of the primary reasons behind Sharjah’s potential to attract various industries and businesses.
The main contributing factor to Ajman’s business ecosystem is Ajman Free Zone or AFZ, Located near four major seaports and two international airports. Since its inception, AFZ is attracting a vast majority of foreign investors keen to invest in the UAE’s remarkable free trade zone. This blog post will help you guide how to set up a business in Ajman Free Zone. Let’s discuss all the prerequisites and privileges you must know to start your business in Ajman Free Zone.
What is Ajman Free Zone (AFZ)?
Developed in 1988, Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) is known for triggering a chain reaction of booming industrial and corporate activities in the UAE by attracting many foreign investors and entrepreneurs. The facilities and perks available for local and foreign investors in AFZ are the main factors behind the popularity of this free zone.
The AFZ caters to the diverse needs of multiple industries and business activities by encouraging foreign investors and ensuring a business-friendly ecosystem. The quick access to modern highways, international airports, and state-of-the-art seaports connect the Ajman Free Zone with the rest of the UAE and the world.
What are the benefits of Starting a Business in the Ajman Free Zone?
Ajman Free Zone (AFZ) has no discrimination for local vs. foreign investors. You can leverage the following perks and privileges by setting up your business in Ajman free trade zone.
- 0% personal and corporate tax
- Infrastructure dedicated to supporting 16 different industries
- 0% customs duties on import/export
- 100% business ownership for foreign investors
- Availability of furnished and non-furnished office spaces
- Well-equipped inventories
- Straightforward visa processing with the multiple visa categories
- Freedom to trade in major currencies, including USD, Euro, etc
- Quick and easy roadmap to company formation
Best Businesses to Start in Ajman Free Zone?
Businesses can choose from multiple business activities permitted to integrate under a single trade license in Ajman Free Zone. The following businesses are highly profitable in Ajman Free Trade Zone:
- Consultancy business
- General trading
- eCommerce business
- Trading of jewelry (Gold and Diamond)
- Real estate business
- Food and non-alcoholic beverages
- Cargo or Freight Services
- Healthcare facility
How to Setup Business in Ajman Free Zone?
The following steps are mandatory to set up an Ajman Free Zone. Each step must be followed in the defined hierarchy for smooth and quick company formation in AFZ.
Step 01 – Choose Your Business Activity(s)
You can integrate up to 7 business activities under the same trade license in Ajman Free Zone. The legal structure of your free zone company, trade license category, and the approvals from state and federal bodies in the upcoming stages are determined by the number, scale, and nature of your selected business activities.
Finalizing the relevant and permitted business activities to start your business in Ajman Free Zone is recommended. At this stage, get partnered with an experienced professional business formation service provider that helps you select the right activities by evaluating the nature of your business.
Step 02 – Register Your Tradename
After deciding on your business activity(s), the next stage is to reserve a tradename or business name for your company. Before applying for a tradename reservation, you need to check for the availability of your desired tradename. There are some mandatory aspects that you must consider to avoid rejection with your trade name reservation, for instance:
- The tradename you choose must not contradict the religious and moral fabric of the UAE
- It doesn’t involve any apparent or hidden linkage with religious or political entities
- It must be unique (not already reserved or used by any other business)
- It must be free from any words or phrases reserved for government departments or institutions.
It is recommended to choose 3 to 4 different tradenames in reserve to come up with the backup choice in case of rejection for the first one. The process of tradename reservation starts by creating an account on the Ajman Department of Economic Development (DED)’s e-services portal.
Step 03 – Apply For Your Free Zone Trade License
As we have discussed above, the category of your trade license is determined by the nature of the business activities you opt for for your company formation in the Ajman Free Zone. Similarly, additional documents and approvals from concerned authorities may also be required for specialized or critical business activities like healthcare and tourism.
The following trade license categories in Ajman Free Zone allow different business activities.
- Commercial License
- Industrial/Manufacture License
- Pioneers Package
- Freelancers Package
- eCommerce Licence
- Offshore License
The Ajman Free Zone Authority is the supervisory authority that regulates and recognizes the business activities in Ajman Free Zone. The license application is submitted to the Ajman Free Zone authority via its e-services portal with all the required documents and approvals. Getting on board with business formation experts that help you complete the necessary documents and take mandatory approvals for your business setup in Ajman Free Zone is recommended.
Step 04 – Open a Free Zone Company Bank Account
The next step is to open a free zone bank account for hassle-free and legal financial activities involved throughout your business cycle in Ajman Free Zone. The UAE’s banking system is globally famous for its modern infrastructure and secured banking solutions. Opening a free zone bank account in Ajman is simple and requires the applicant’s physical presence in the UAE.
We recommend reading our separate blog about how to open a free zone company bank account to understand the complete process and requirements in detail. You can also partner with business consultancy services in the UAE, which can further help you.
Step 05 – Final Approval
After getting your trade license from Ajman Free Zone Authority, you become eligible to start your business operations in Ajman Free Zone. Complete all the required documents and approvals before applying for your trade license and wait for the license issuance to start growing your business in the high-potential and business-friendly ecosystem of the UAE.
The following section will help you acknowledge all the required documents and public approvals necessary to register your business in Ajman Free Zone.
Requirements for Company Formation in Ajman Free Zone?
Company formation in Ajman Free Zone requires the following documents and approvals from concerned authorities.
- Initiate a business registration application with the Ajman Free Zone Authority
- Provide your business’s memorandum of association
- Getting Business License
- Submitting an application for an establishment card to the Ministry of Labor (issued by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The documents required with the application include the following:
- Original Emirates ID
- Passport of UAE sponsor/shareholder (in case of shared partnership in Mainland – Shared partnership is not Obligatory after 2020)
- Old Immigration card
- A valid Trade License
- Copy of Passport with valid visa page of all partners for Free Zone Company
- Your employees must be registered with the Ministry of Labor, with the documents required as under:
- UAE’s Residence Visa/Work Visa
- Copy of Passport with valid visa page
- Employment Agreement
- Labour card
- Emirates ID
Read our dedicated article to learn how to get a UAE residence visa and explore multiple visa categories you can opt for.
Business Setup Cost in Ajman Free Zone
Business setup costs in Ajman Free Zone may vary depending on the scale and industry of your business and the number of employee visas you will apply for. The cost of getting a trade license in the Ajman Free Zone is AED 5,000.
Business Activities Allowed in Ajman Free Zone
Ajman Free Zone is intended to meet various industries’ growing and evolving needs. The prime objective of AFZ is to unleash the hidden potential of the region by unlocking new opportunities and attracting global talent. To help support the UAE’s vision to make it a hub for diverse business and cultural activities, Ajman Free Zone entertains business activities belonging to the following industries and niches.
- Food & non-alcoholic beverages
- Automotive industry
- Health & Cosmetics
- AEC industry
- Paper and Packaging
- Jewelry Trading (Gold and Diamonds)
- Media Agencies
- Textile Industry
- Modern IT and digital technologies
- Chemical Manufacturing
- General Trading
Alternatives UAE Free Zone for Starting a Business in UAE
- DMCC Free Zone
- DAFZA Free Zone
- IFZA Free Zone
- JAFZA Free Zone
- RAKEZ Free Zone
- DPC Free Zone
- DSP Free Zone
- DAZ Free Zone
- DKP Free Zone
- DIC Free Zone
- DSOA Free Zone
- Masdar Free Zone
How Airzone can help you setup business in Ajman Free Zone?
Registering a company in Ajman Free Zone is straightforward but overwhelming if you lack the understanding of UAE’s corporate laws and required approvals at each stage. Without any professional guidance, the chances of mistakes and rejections are higher.
This is where Airzone can help you by providing you with a dedicated corridor to find and partner with highly professional and experienced business formation service providers. The business formation experts in our portfolio are experienced and equipped to entertain all your requirements. You can get help and professional support in various stages of company formation:
- Tradename registration
- Trade license issuance
- Free zone bank account opening process
- Emirates ID and Establishment Card issuance
- Residence or work visa issuance for your employees
Connect with Airzone now and collaborate with our experienced and budget-friendly professional services that help create a business setup in Dubai and the UAE. Our trusted business formation experts allow services to assist in Free Zone or Mainland company formation in Ajman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, etc.
FAQs About Ajman Free Zone
Do I Need to Have a Local Sponsor to Start My Business in Ajman Free Zone?
Ajman Free Zone is a trade-free zone that allows overseas investors 100 percent business ownership. You can set up a foreign business in Ajman Free Zone without local sponsors or shareholders. Even after the recent amendment in UAE’s corporate law framework, the mainland business hubs offer 100 percent foreign ownership except for some selective business activities.
How Many Days Would It Take To Get My License for My Business in Ajman Free Zone?
You can expect 15 to 20 days to get your hands on your trade license in Ajman Free Zone. After initiating your application with Ajman Free Zone authority, it will take 1 day for business registration, 10 days for the issuance of an Establishment card, and around 5 to 10 days for Emirates ID and visa issuance. Once all these steps are fulfilled, your trade license will be released in 2-3 days.
Can I Transfer My Company From Ajman Free Zone to Another in the UAE?
You are restricted from transferring your business setup from Ajman Free Zone to any other trade-free zone or mainland hub. Another alternative is opening a branch office in any Free Zone or Mainland jurisdictions to expand your market exposure. Otherwise, you need to cancel your trade license in Ajman Free Zone and begin a business registration process from scratch with the DED (for mainland) of your desired destination Emirates, or the concerned authority of the new free zone.
The UAE is the brightest star in the business world. From introducing modern digital technologies to making business-first corporate policies, the UAE is attracting foreign direct investment to scale its economy further.
The geostrategic location and business-friendly ecosystem of the UAE make it a perfect destination for businesses and individuals worldwide. Businesses of all scales, including startups, SMBs, and enterprise-grade organizations, can leverage the perks of the UAE’s booming economy and unlock promising opportunities.
Ajman Free Zone is the perfect free zone avenue in the Emirates of Ajman, contributing to the UAE’s skyrocketing economy by attracting many foreign investors around the globe. The geostrategic location of Ajman, with its neighboring two other high-potential emirates of Dubai and Sharjah, make it an integral component of UAE’s communication fabric.
Before choosing your desired free zone hub, check out the list of free zones in the UAE to compare the available alternatives and make a more informed decision to set up your business in the UAE.