Assisting With Company Transitions from Mainland to Freezone in the UAE


Changes in the United Arab Emirates’ regulatory landscape, especially concerning new Corporate Taxation rules, prompted several House of Shipping (HOS) customers to seek assistance. They needed support in legal planning and operational transitions from Mainland to Freezone locations. Each had unique requirements, from initial approvals and licensing to restructuring, contracts, business plans, and visa processes.


Choosing the Optimal Location

As a first step, HOS had to define the medium and long-term activities for each of the customers’ businesses as company formations are subject to different rules. HOS had to study the customers’ requirements and recommend an appropriate location (Freezone) for them to run their business activities In aligning with the customers’ needs, HOS delved into numerous vital aspects, including, but not limited to:

  • Application for work permits
  • Residence visas
  • Handing of administrative matters
  • Port authority permit approvals
  • Shareholding structures
  • Ensuring that company licenses are secured, with strategic considerations of being near vital customers, the ease of importing and exporting goods, and aligning with desired business activities

Document Compilation and Verification

HOS rigorously reviewed and verified each company’s documents for obtaining approvals, including licenses. This diligence ensured that everything was in order, eliminating any potential time delays during the establishment process. It was vital for HOS to stick to the specific formal requirements when handling key formation documents, such as:

  • Extraction of commercial register
  • Memorandum and articles of association of the legal entity
  • All documents had to be notarised and legalised in the country where the legal entity conducts its business.
  • For subsequent steps like opening bank accounts or securing work permits and residence visas, it was essential to utilize accredited translation offices.

Bank Account Establishment

Many companies often overlook the challenges of opening a company bank account during the formation process. With ever-evolving global regulations tightening banking transactions, this step can be daunting. Fortunately, HOS was able to leverage its close ties with key banks in Dubai to guide customers through both the account opening and closure processes.


House of Shipping collaborated closely with its customers to navigate the transition from Mainland to Freezone. In this process, they diligently ensured that all companies complied with the stringent legal and regulatory frameworks of the Freezone. Additionally, HOS provided comprehensive support to streamline the documentation and setup, facilitating a smooth and efficient transition for each customer. 

Company Transitions to Freezone UAE


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