The cost of setting up a company in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Skyline

For many entrepreneurs, Abu Dhabi is the ideal place to launch, register and run their business. A spectacular climate, desirable lifestyle, and vibrant cultural and commercial scenes make the city a dream destination.

However, many business owners second-guess Abu Dhabi’s business bureaucracy and assume start-up costs are more expensive than they truly are. This common misconception prevents many from making the right move and making decisions that allow their business to prosper.

Fortunately, the Abu Dhabi government has made several changes to business regulations to simplify starting a company. At twofour54 – the city’s booming media Free Zone – we’re also on hand to provide you with insight, expertise and our considerable experience so you better understand the full costs of setting up a company in Abu Dhabi.

Launching a business in the twofour54 free zone

Starting a company in Abu Dhabi requires some knowledge of local licensing laws and permissible business structures. These are usually the two main factors that influence start-up cost.

  1. Business structure – In Abu Dhabi, business owners can structure their company in several different ways. However, the main distinction is between those companies that operate in one of the city’s Free Zones and those established as a Limited Liability Company.
  2. Licences – The various licences required to set up a business in Abu Dhabi depend on your chosen business structure and the type of business you operate. They consist of both one-time fees and ongoing payments. At twofour54, we assist business owners in acquiring the relevant licences and offer a dedicated start-up service that allows the first two years of fees to be waived.

Abu Dhabi free zone fees and payments

The Abu Dhabi Free Zones are designed to provide entrepreneurs with a low-cost option for starting a business. The total cost of doing so will depend on the nature of your business, the number of visas required and your office space.

In the twofour54 Free Zone, fees typically include:

  • One-time fee of AED 15,000 for a new business or company branch
  • A recurring annual fee of AED 4,500 for businesses
  • A recurring six-month fee of AED 2,225 for freelancers
  • One-time registration fee of AED 3,500 for new businesses and company branches
  • Visa costs

However, with twofour54, the first two years of fees can be waived, ensuring you benefit from a streamlined, cost-effective start-up process.

The benefits of operating in an Abu Dhabi Free Zone include:

  • You retain 100% ownership of the business
  • You enjoy various tax exemptions, including no corporate and income tax
  • No import duties on goods
  • Allows for full repatriation of capital and profits

The benefits of business with twofour54

twofour54 was launched in 2008 to help grow and develop Abu Dhabi’s burgeoning media industry. Providing the infrastructure, expertise and professional networks that small businesses need to succeed, we’re able to help you launch your Abu Dhabi business by waiving start-up fees for the first two years and offering guidance, support and resources.

Working alongside twofour54 boasts several benefits outside of those associated with the Free Zone financial structure. Designed to provide extensive support to entrepreneurs, twofour54 has developed a vibrant business ecosystem that helps you recruit, develop talent and network with like-minded organisations.

Encouraging open collaboration and creative problem solving, we’re able to offer new businesses the assistance required to deliver outstanding products and services to a growing regional market and international clients. Ideal for those business owners who want to retain 100% ownership of their Abu Dhabi operations, twofour54 is the go-to option for organisations looking to take advantage of the city’s dynamic business scene.

Click here for more information on the benefits of setting up a business with us. If you’d like to find out more about our services, you can get in touch with our professional support team or reach out via email at