• Darwin Tax

Onshore companies in UAE

There are 2 main types of Onshore companies in UAE – one is located in a Free Zone, another one is located in a Non-Free trade zone.

Both types require a business license upon company set-up.

For the most popular and less restrictive type of business – Free Trade Zone offshore companies – business license is obtained from a respective Free Trade Zone Authorities.


The license itself can have a very general meaning, for example:

  • Commercial Trade License (for trading companies)

  • Service license (for consulting, marketing, legal and other types of services)

  • Manufacturing license (for production companies)

The process of obtaining license is straightforward, although involves documents preparation. From the client we will ask to send standard due diligence documents (passport copy, address proof, CV and recommendation letter) and detailed description of the planned business (in free format or business plan). All forms and applications are filled out and submitted by our lawyers.


Besides business license the following requirements must be met in order to register a Free Zone onshore company:


Share capital. Size of the required share capital depends on the type of license, location of Free Zone and number of shareholders. For example, general trading or consultant license starts at USD 14,000. Further after share capital deposit there are no restrictions on use of the share capital for the company needs.

Desk rent. Onshore companies require to rent office. Simple solutions like flexi desks are often chosen for one-shareholder companies.

Audit. Annual audit is required for all onshore free zone companies. The prices depend on the turnover. Although, audit in UAE is quite straightforward, auditors and accountant are very business-minded. Fee proposal can be prepared in advance if we know the planned turnover and planned number of deals.

UAE onshore companies are certainly more expensive and complex than offshore companies. Registration and one year service would normally start at USD 15,000. But the advantages of the onshore free trade zone companies are absolutely clear:

  • Tax resident company with absolutely no taxation

  • Access to over 50 Double Taxation Treaties

  • Effective and confidential banking services

  • Stable and not black listed jurisdiction

In order to receive a proposal that suites your business needs, contact our professionals.

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