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United Arab Emirates (Ajman)

United Arab Emirates (Ajman)

Company incorporation United Arab Emirates, Ajman

The United Arab Emirates (Ajman) stands as a testament to modern commerce, offering vast business opportunities for the astute entrepreneur.

Located within the vast expanse of the United Arab Emirates, Ajman is an epitome of economic dynamism, marrying tradition with progressive business ideologies. The Emirate, blessed with a strategic location, serves as a nexus for East-West trade, encouraging investors globally to capitalize on its thriving business ecosystem. The advanced infrastructure, investor-friendly policies, and a vibrant commercial scene make Ajman a prime destination for business magnates and startups alike.

Country United Arab Emirates (Ajman)
Language Arabic (Official) (90%)
English (Widely spoken especially in business) (80%)
Hindi/Urdu (5%)
Farsi (2%)
Other languages (3%)
Time in United Arab Emirates (Ajman) GMT+4
Population 411,000 (United Nations or World Bank websites).
Currency United Arab Emirates Dirham (د.إ, AED)
Religion Islam
Tax regime Zero percent for personal and corporate income tax with exceptions for foreign banks and oil companies.
VAT 5%
Overage salary 233,900 AED
Annual 233,900 AED (UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation).
Types of incorporations Sole Proprietorship (SP)
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Free Zone Company (FZC)
Joint Venture (JV)
Public Shareholding Company (PSC)
Private Shareholding Company (PrSC)
Partnership Company (PC)
Branch of a Foreign Company (BFC)

Why opening a company in United Arab Emirates (Ajman)?

Ajman’s proactive business environment, buoyed by its advantageous tax system and strategic location, is ideal for both emerging and established entrepreneurs. Especially for those keen on benefiting from tax incentives, Ajman’s fiscal policies are an undeniable boon.


Ajman Free Zone, with international port links, development and passion was established in 1988 leading to massive industrial development in the UAE which attracted a large number of companies. It is one of the most reliable and favorable platforms for commercial investors offering many advantages:

Setting up a business in Ajman comes with an array of advantages that cater to a wide range of industries.

Strategic Location Ajman, being a part of the UAE, is strategically positioned between Asia, Europe, and Africa, making it a gateway to global business. This allows for easy access to both Eastern and Western markets.
100% Foreign Ownership in Free Zones The Ajman Free Zone allows foreign entrepreneurs to retain 100% ownership of their company, without the need for a local partner.
No Taxes The UAE, including Ajman, has no corporate taxes, no personal income taxes, and no VAT for businesses within the Free Zones. This can result in significant savings and increased profit margins.
Advanced Infrastructure Ajman has been consistently upgrading its infrastructure. This includes state-of-the-art facilities, roads, ports, and telecommunications, making business operations seamless.
Ease of Business Setup The business registration process in Ajman is straightforward, with minimal paperwork and quick approval times. The free zones also offer a one-stop solution for all administrative services.
Access to Skilled Workforce With the diverse expatriate community in the UAE, businesses have access to a skilled and multi-lingual workforce.
Full Repatriation of Profits and Capital There are no restrictions on capital repatriation. This means businesses can transfer their profits and capital back to their home countries without any limitations.


While Ajman offers numerous benefits, there are certain aspects that investors must consider.

Need for a Local Partner in Mainland Companies For businesses not set up in a Free Zone, a local Emirati partner is required, who will hold a majority of the business shares (usually 51%). This might deter foreign investors seeking full control of their business.
Cultural and Legal Differences The UAE’s legal system and business etiquette are rooted in its culture and Islamic traditions. This can pose a learning curve for Western entrepreneurs unfamiliar with the local customs and regulations.
Limited Duration of Free Zone Licenses Licenses issued in the Free Zones are typically valid for a limited period, often one year, after which they need to be renewed. While the renewal process is straightforward, it’s an additional recurring task for businesses to manage.
Economic Fluctuations Like any other economy, the UAE’s economy also faces fluctuations. Overreliance on the oil sector and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East can influence business operations and opportunities.

Most popular sectors to set up a company in Emirati Arabi Uniti (Ajman)

Ajman’s diverse economy allows multiple sectors to thrive. Notably, tourism, real estate, manufacturing, and logistics are the leading industries. The government’s supportive policies further boost these sectors, making them lucrative for investments.

Fiscal system in United Arab Emirates (Ajman)

Ajman’s fiscal system is characterized by its business-friendly tax regime. With minimal tax impositions, it offers a conducive environment for businesses to prosper.


The tax framework in Ajman, and the UAE at large, is one of the most attractive in the world. There is no personal income tax, and corporate tax is limited to certain sectors. The lack of a capital gains tax and withholding tax further incentivizes business investments. These policies not only reduce the financial burden on companies but also simplify their operations by eliminating complex tax compliance procedures. However, it’s essential to be aware of the specific taxes applicable to foreign banks and oil companies, which are exceptions in this largely tax-free environment.

VAT in United Arab Emirates (Ajman)

Introduced in 2018, the Value Added Tax (VAT) in the UAE is set at a standard rate of 5%. While this impacts the end consumer, businesses can reclaim VAT on eligible purchases, effectively making the system neutral for them.

CFC Rules

As of my last update in 2021, the UAE does not have Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rules in place.


Local director

While Free Zones in the UAE often require a local director, mainland companies usually do not have this mandate. However, it’s always advisable to confirm with local authorities during the incorporation process.

Local secretary

There isn’t a compulsory requirement to appoint a local secretary for companies in Ajman, but practices might vary across Free Zones.

Annual return

Companies in Ajman are usually required to file an annual return, detailing their financial activities for the year. This practice ensures transparency and is standard across the UAE.

Audited accounts

Most companies, especially those in Free Zones, are mandated to submit audited financial statements annually. This requirement ensures that businesses operate transparently and adhere to the UAE’s stringent financial regulations.

Company types in United Arab Emirates (Ajman)

Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Free Zone Establishment FZE
FZE Ltd.
USD 50,000 No Corporate Tax

The Free Zone Establishment, commonly known as FZE, carries particular interest for entrepreneurs and business entities aiming to establish a robust presence within the Ajman Free Zone with a single shareholder. This type of company formation showcases a plethora of benefits, making it a preferred choice for investors and startups alike.

Several merits are notably underscored in the FZE formation, one of which is the flexibility in ownership. The singular ownership allows an individual or a corporation to wholly control the business, reaping entire profits, and steering the business with unbridled discretion. Furthermore, FZEs enjoy a shield from corporate tax, offering a lucrative fiscal environment to nourish and amplify the growth of businesses.

Moreover, with a minimum share capital of USD 50,000, the Free Zone Establishment provides an accessible gateway for businesses to launch and operate in an economically vibrant zone. The entrepreneurs targeting the Ajman market frequently lean towards FZE owing to its uncomplicated setup process, cost-effective operation, and a conduit to access the broader UAE and Middle Eastern market.

Free Zone Company (FZC)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Free Zone Company FZC
USD 50,000 No Corporate Tax

In the luminous business scape of Ajman, the Free Zone Company (FZC) emerges as an enticing incorporation type for a consortium of investors. Catering to businesses with two to five shareholders, an FZC enables entities to forge a potent corporate presence within the Ajman Free Zone while luxuriating in the myriad fiscal and operational advantages this form of incorporation bestows.

Strategic amalgamations and partnerships are a linchpin in global commerce, and the FZC construct facilitates precisely this, offering a framework that amalgamates varied interests and expertise under a single business entity. The requirement of having a minimum share capital of USD 50,000 serves as an entry point that ensures financial stability while not being prohibitively high for small to medium-sized enterprises.

The tax-free environment further amplifies its allure, providing a canvas for businesses to sculpt their financial strategies without the constraint of corporate tax. This, amalgamated with Ajman’s strategic geographical locale and a business-friendly regulatory milieu, etches FZC as a judicious choice for businesses aiming to navigate through the multifaceted markets of the UAE and beyond.

For both FZEs and FZCs, Ajman’s environment is not merely a free zone but a nexus where global businesses converge, bridging ideas, cultures, and opportunities. Nurturing businesses with its supportive policies, the zone continues to beckon investors from across the globe to plant their corporate seeds in its fertile economic grounds.

Branch of a Local Company

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Branch of a Local Company LC Branch N/A Subject to parent company

The decision to establish a Branch of a Local Company in Ajman offers distinctive advantages and opportunities, particularly for entrepreneurs and investors who wish to extend their operational capacity without delving into complex structural rearrangements. This model largely appeals to existing companies within the UAE, eager to explore the vibrant and rapidly expanding markets within Ajman.

This form of incorporation requires no minimum share capital, as it operates under the financial auspices of the parent company. Thus, it provides a cost-effective and efficient method for businesses to expand their footprint within the UAE without substantial financial strain. Further, the streamlined administrative process offers a simplified pathway to commence operations within Ajman, facilitating a quicker entry into the market.

Notably, the tax implications for a Branch of a Local Company are generally subject to the parent company’s existing structure and jurisdiction. It allows firms to navigate through the fiscal landscape with relative ease and predictability, without engaging in the complex and often cumbersome processes of establishing a new, separate entity.

Branch of a Foreign Company (BFC)

Type Designations Minimum Share Capital Taxes
Branch of a Foreign Company BFC As per parent company regulations Subject to double taxation agreements

A Branch of a Foreign Company (BFC) in Ajman fosters a powerful nexus for international entities desiring to permeate the Emirati market while maintaining their original structural integrity. Ajman, being a locale of burgeoning economic activity and trade, offers a fertile ground for foreign enterprises to sow the seeds of their operations, and a BFC can be a prudent choice in this context.

The minimum share capital for a BFC is generally dictated by the parent company’s country of origin and its governing regulations. This alleviates the financial pressure on entities, permitting them to allocate resources more strategically towards establishing and amplifying their presence within Ajman and the larger UAE market. However, prospective BFCs must navigate through the regulatory and compliance frameworks with diligence, ensuring adherence to both local and international statutes.

The tax landscape for a BFC in Ajman is typically influenced by any prevailing double taxation agreements between the UAE and the country of the parent company. These agreements serve to prevent businesses from being taxed in both jurisdictions, providing a measure of fiscal relief and predictability, and thus facilitating smoother operational workflows and strategic planning within the foreign market.

The in-depth analysis of both incorporation types, “Branch of a Local Company” and “Branch of a Foreign Company,” illustrates the pragmatic options for companies eyeing Ajman as their new operational horizon, each offering unique advantages and considerations to ponder upon, tailoring to varied strategic and financial needs.

Common questions

What are the key benefits of setting up a company in Ajman compared to other emirates in the UAE?

Ajman offers several advantages for investors looking to set up their business in the UAE. Firstly, it’s more cost-effective in terms of registration and renewal fees compared to the more popular emirates like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Secondly, Ajman Free Zone’s strategic location provides easy access to the eastern and western markets. Also, the simplified and fast-tracked business setup process in Ajman is a significant pull for investors. Furthermore, the emirate offers competitive lease prices and diverse licensing options.

Is it mandatory to have a physical office in Ajman to register a company?

For mainland companies, having a physical office is mandatory. However, in the Ajman Free Zone, you can start with a flexi-desk option, which is a more affordable solution. This gives businesses access to shared office facilities without the need for leasing a dedicated space. As the business grows, they can upgrade to dedicated offices or warehouses.

What are the primary sectors that thrive in Ajman?

Ajman has a diversified economy, with strong sectors including manufacturing, real estate, wholesale and retail trade, and construction. The emirate also focuses on tourism, with various developments aimed at boosting its position as a key tourist destination in the UAE. The Ajman Free Zone has also been attracting businesses from IT, media, and consumer goods industries.

How does Ajman fare in terms of infrastructure and connectivity?

Ajman benefits from a robust infrastructure system, including modern roads, well-maintained ports, and efficient public services. The Ajman Port and Ajman Free Zone are strategically located, facilitating easy trade movements. The emirate’s proximity to international airports in Dubai and Sharjah ensures excellent air connectivity for businesses that have frequent travel or cargo needs.

Are there specific incentives for tech startups in Ajman?

Yes, Ajman is keen on attracting technology-driven businesses. The Ajman Free Zone, in particular, offers a range of incentives for tech startups, including discounted licensing fees, specialized training, and networking events. Additionally, the free zone has launched incubator and accelerator programs to foster innovation and help startups thrive.

How does Ajman support businesses in terms of intellectual property protection?

The UAE has a well-defined intellectual property (IP) protection framework, and Ajman adheres to these federal regulations. This includes protections around patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyrights. The country is also a signatory to various international IP conventions, ensuring that businesses in Ajman have access to global IP protection standards.

What's the process of liquidating a company in Ajman?

Company liquidation in Ajman requires several steps. These include notifying the relevant authorities, settling all liabilities and outstanding dues, obtaining necessary clearances (like from the labor department and immigration), and deregistering the company. While the process is straightforward in the Ajman Free Zone, it might be slightly more complex in the mainland, especially if there are local partners involved.

Are there specific sectors or industries where foreign ownership is restricted in Ajman?

In the Ajman Free Zone, there are no such restrictions. However, in the mainland, there are certain sectors, such as oil exploration and security services, where foreign ownership might be limited or restricted altogether.

How conducive is Ajman's environment for female entrepreneurs?

Ajman, like the broader UAE, is highly supportive of female entrepreneurs. Women have been at the forefront of various businesses and have access to all the amenities and support systems as their male counterparts. Several networking groups, events, and dedicated programs in Ajman cater specifically to female business leaders and founders.

Is there a double taxation treaty in place between Ajman and other countries?

While Ajman, as part of the UAE, doesn’t levy taxes on personal income or corporate profits for most businesses, the UAE has signed double taxation treaties with over 80 countries to prevent the same income from being taxed in two countries. This is especially beneficial for international businesses operating in Ajman, ensuring they don’t face double taxation on their income.

What's the stance on cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses in Ajman?

The UAE has shown interest in blockchain technology and has set up regulatory frameworks to attract blockchain-driven businesses. While cryptocurrency trading is monitored under specific regulations, Ajman welcomes blockchain startups and projects, provided they comply with federal guidelines and standards.

How are e-commerce businesses supported in Ajman?

Ajman recognizes the potential of e-commerce and offers specific licenses for e-commerce businesses in the Free Zone. The emirate ensures streamlined customs procedures for goods, facilitating easier shipment and delivery. Additionally, there are specialized training and events to support and nurture e-commerce businesses in the region.

What kind of banking facilities can businesses expect in Ajman?

Ajman boasts a robust banking infrastructure with both local and international banks offering a range of corporate banking solutions. From multi-currency accounts to trade finance solutions, businesses can access top-notch banking facilities. Plus, many banks in Ajman offer digital banking solutions catering to the needs of modern businesses.

Is there a minimum capital requirement for setting up a company in Ajman?

The capital requirement varies based on the type of company and its activities. For most Free Zone establishments, there is often no mandatory minimum capital requirement. However, for specific activities or for mainland LLCs, there can be stipulated minimum capital requirements.

How does the renewal process work for companies in Ajman?

Companies in Ajman typically need to renew their licenses annually. The renewal process is streamlined and can be done relatively quickly, especially in the Free Zone. Businesses need to ensure that they have fulfilled all the regulatory requirements, paid any outstanding fees, and submitted the necessary paperwork.

Can I hire foreign employees in my Ajman-based company?

Yes, businesses in Ajman can hire foreign employees. However, they need to ensure that they have the necessary work permits and visas for their foreign staff. The UAE has a clear and streamlined process for obtaining visas for employees, and companies in Ajman can benefit from this system.

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