Located north of Dubai and Sharjah, Ajman is the smallest emirate of the UAE. The principal portion, on the Arabian Gulf coast, is surrounded by the emirate of Sharjah and is the site of the city of Ajman, the capital and location of the Ajman Free Zone. Ajman Free Zone was established in 1988 to complement its deep-water port and grow the local economy.
The free zone has evolved over the years with significant investments and upgrades. The local port, located across the street from the free zone, is one of the most competitive in the GCC in terms of costs and services. AFZ has launched ‘Smart Warehouses’ so companies can lease space based on their evolving needs, thereby solidifying its reputation as a great place to conduct trade.
Ajman China Mall, also known as “Chinese Merchandise Procurement Centre”, located within the free zone, serves as a major hub for trade of merchandise from China. There are currently 1600 shops and 1100 tenants with 80 percent originating from China. Currently, the footfall is 10000 customers per day, with this increasing to 20000 on the weekend. The retail offering includes light industrial products and trading and tertiary industry, which mainly covers textiles, sanitaryware, building materials, garments, furniture, home appliances and a variety of small commodities.
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In recent years, Ajman Free Zone has developed a reputation for speed and low-cost business permits. For a few thousand dirhams, nearly anyone can start a business within 24 hours. With its streamlined bureaucracy and online portal, its often referred to as one of the most entrepreneur-friendly jurisdiction in the country.
One of the big selling points of this free zone is the lack of upfront share capital for incorporation. Unlike other free zone jurisdictions, you don’t have to wait to open a bank account to get a letter to show the deposit of the capital. With this hindrance removed, the company license is issued in 24 hours!
With a fully functioning free zone office in Dubai, you can complete your ongoing administrative and renewal functions without having to travel to Ajman. The free zone also maintains marketing offices in Russia, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan, to attract international investment from across the wider region.
Ajman Free Zone companies contribute to 32 percent of Ajman’s total exports and 60 percent of re-exports. Approximately 91 percent of all businesses renew their licences according to the latest data. This demonstrates continued confidence in the jurisdiction
A business in Ajman Free Zone can operate under these types of licenses:
You can sign all the relevant documentation and receive your licence in a matter of hours. If you work with a business consultancy, you can get your company name approved in advance, making the entire transaction even quicker. At the time of publishing, these were the required documents:
At the time of publishing, these were the required documents:
- Application form – includes a list of proposed company names;
- Passport of all shareholders;
- A passport-sized photo of each shareholder;
- Business plan;
- If a foreign shareholder has an existing UAE residence visa, a NOC from the sponsor is needed;
- If a company, instead of an individual holds the shares, they need to be notarized and attested. If a foreign company holds them, you will need to have them legally translated to Arabic and then attested by the home government, UAE Embassy and UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
You can receive your Ajman Free Zone Licence in 24 hours in most cases. For more complex licenses, it can take up to a week at the most. If you require an industrial permit, the time frame will depend on the external agency that issues the special approval.