Fujairah is known as the Jewel of the Middle East; it is the perfect hub for business travellers and tourists alike. It is an ideal place to do business across the Middle East and North Africa region. UAE attracts millions of investors every year to set up businesses worldwide due to its business-friendly and favourable business environment. Like other UAE emirates, Fujairah’s emirate has its free zone, namely, the Creative City Free Zone. The Creative City was established in 2007 following the Emiri Decree Number 4 of 2007 of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi, Ruler of the Emirate of Fujairah. The Creative City provides a professional and appealing environment to the individuals and entrepreneurs in a broad spectrum in the business fields, including Consulting, Education, IT, HR, Music, Communication, Media, Design, Entertainment, to name a few. It is facilitating creativity in all fields registered and operating in the free zone. Creative City Fujairah does not have any trading business activities.

The company formation process in the Fujairah creative city free zone is much easier than in other free zones. Company registration can be applied through an agent or directly apply to the Creative City zone.

To initiate the license registration in the Creative City Free Zone, the investors need to finalize a license package. Once it is decided which license package registration is suitable, the investors need to file the following documents to the office of the Creative City Free Zone Authority;

  • Duly filled license application form;
  • Passport copy in colour, of the owner(s) & person-in-charge (first page, residence page, or any UAE entry stamp in UAE);
  • Brief business activity / Business Activity; and
  • Other relevant documents as requested.

Once the assessment of the documents is completed and the company name is approved, the authority will send the initial approval via email, along with the invoice for payment of charges. Some nationalities need to apply for a license pre‐approval before setting up a company in the Creative City free zone. After the license fee is paid, it takes 2 to 3 working days to issue the license. When all the initial formalities of licensing are completed, the Creative City Authority will issue the following documents to the client (investor), and he is required to sign all sets of MOA in the presence of a representative.

Following documents shall be issued to the company owner, and he can collect the documents from the Creative City Free Zone office:

  • Company Trade License;
  • Certificate of Incorporation;
  • Shares Certificate;
  • Articles of Incorporation / MOA; and
  • Office Lease Agreement (as actual or Flexi‐desk, as chosen by the business owner).

Along with all this company incorporation process, the company bank account can also be opened in the free zone to run company financial matters.

When the pre-approval is granted and can apply for the company immigration card. If the license package applied for is with a visa, then an establishment card will be issued from Fujairah Immigration. The process takes from 7 to 10 business days to complete. Once it is completed, the authority issues a copy of the card for reference and keeps its original. After receiving the card, the business owner can apply for visas under the company sponsorship. The cost of a visa will depend on the type and number of visas.

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Three types of business set-up options in the Fujairah Creative City Free Zone.

  1. New Entity:
    • Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – It is a new business entity; only one shareholder is required to set up FZE.
    • Free Zone Company (FZ LLC) – A new business entity requires two or more shareholders.
  2. Branch:
    • Local Branch – Business owners can set up a branch of an already existing firm in the UAE in the Creative Zone.
    • Foreign Branch – Can set up a branch of an existing firm outside of the UAE.
    • A branch office can only carry out the activities that are carried out by its parent company already.
  3. Subsidiary:
    • It is a kind of company; another local or foreign company wholly owns that, but that has different activities than its parent company.

Benefits of setting up a company in Fujairah Creative City Free Zone:

The first and foremost benefit of forming a company in the Creative Zone is the 100% exemption of corporate and personal tax. The VAT is imposed the same as the mainland at a 5% rate only on products and services. The company’s ownership is 100% no need of any local agent or shareholder to set up a company. Tax on import and export is exempted in the free zone. There is a variety of trade and investment options available.

The business owners in the free zone can apply for several visas without leasing a physical office space. Under the free zone’s Genius Package, business owners can sign up for the Flexi-Desk facility (online support, internet access, signboard, PO box, conference room) and is eligible for fifteen visas. The business owner can easily sponsor his family and employees for their residential visas. The visa process comprises four stages, i.e. entry permit, status adjustment, medical fitness test, Emirates ID registration, and visa stamping. It provides safe and secure investment means, and it is cost-effective and efficient than other free zones in the UAE.

The incorporation procedure is quick and easy, and the investors do not require to put forward any share capital or provide details of shareholder and owner experience or attestation; there is also no requirement for an annual audit, bookkeeping, or formal business plan to show. There is no requirement of NOC from any local sponsor to start a business. The e-commerce license packages of the  Fujairah Creative City are too cost-effective for entrepreneurs. Opening a bank account is one of the burdens at the time of too much paperwork for company formation. However, in the Creative City, a corporate bank account is accessible and, the business owners get assistance in setting up an account. It does not require any share capital or providing details of shareholders, and there is also no requirement for an annual audit, bookkeeping, or formal business plan.

Fujairah Creative City also provides a virtual office service, including prestigious addresses, excellent facilities, and professional assistance. It is ideal for setting up a business because it is easy to access neighbouring and global markets by sea, air, and land. To set up a Fujairah Creative City Free Zone company, one should seek bespoke legal assistance from an expert in the company formation procedures.