KIZAD business setup – your step-by-step guide

If you’re considering starting a business in the UAE, you’re likely already aware of the numerous advantages of doing so – 0% tax, a great trading location, world class infrastructure, to name just a few.

What you may be less versed on, however, are the differences between the emirates and the numerous free zones within them.

To help fill in those gaps, let’s focus on one of the more established free zones based in the emirate of Abu Dhabi – Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD).

Known as the integrated trade, logistics and industrial hub of Abu Dhabi, KIZAD offer numerous benefits to the companies within it. The free zone boasts exceptional connectivity with world-class infrastructure via land, air and sea, along with a wide range of support services to facilitate business growth.

Like many of the UAE’s free zones, KIZAD also prides itself on its straightforward incorporation process, along with its affordable package prices. So, if you’re looking to start your business in the UAE, here’s why you should consider KIZAD in Abu Dhabi.

Why choose KIZAD?

The list of reasons to select KIZAD as your chosen free zone is as long as it is varied. Perhaps the most compelling factor at play, however, is the free zone’s surrounding infrastructure.

KIZAD is incredibly well-connected by road, rail, air and sea.

The free zone is intrinsically linked to Khalifa Port, one of the most advanced in the world, offering direct links to 60 global destinations via 20 shipping lines. The port can accommodate ships of all sizes, allowing for easy import and export of raw materials and finished goods to almost anywhere in the world.

KIZAD, and the businesses within it, also benefit from proximity to four international airports – Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai International Airport and Al Ain International Airport – with the closest being just 30 minutes away by road.

Each airport is equipped to handle cargo and combine to offer 14m tonnes of air freight capacity.

The free zone’s road network is just as extensive. Internally, you’ll find connections between each section of the zone, along with a secondary network providing easy access to and from Khalifa Port and to the main passing highway.

In the future, KIZAD will even offer the opportunity of transporting your shipments by rail. The free zone has been designed to facilitate future rail services via Etihad Rail which will closer connect the UAE with the rest of the GCC.

Looking within the free zone, KIZAD is home to a wide range of business premises. As well as state-of-the-art, ready-to-move-in offices, the free zone also offers pre-built warehousing and land for development, and is soon to offer light industrial units for lease.

Finally, by setting up in a free zone such as KIZAD you can take advantage of a number of financial incentives. These include zero export tax and potential customs tax exemptions on:

  • Joint venture companies
  • Imported raw materials
  • Imported machinery and equipment for production processes
  • Goods manufactured in the UAE then exported to most GCC countries

KIZAD company formation explained

If you’re planning to start your business in KIZAD, the first step is to find an expert in UAE company incorporation who can guide you through the process. Providing you follow the expert advice, you can set up your UAE company at KIZAD in just three simple steps:

Step one: Choose your business activity and license type
The first key decision to make when setting up in KIZAD is to choose your business activities. This will determine the type of licence you can apply for.

There are many to choose from as detailed below. Your activity should align to your license as follows:

Industrial License: This license is applicable for businesses carrying out any industrial activities. This permits the import of raw material, manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging and export of intermediate and/or finished product.

Trading License or General Trading License: Covers all manner of trading activities including the import, export, distribution, stocking, warehousing of products and items specified on your license. A General Trading License allows you to trade in multiple, unconnected goods under a single license.

Service License: This permits service activities such as management and economic consulting services, marketing services, logistical support services such as cargo and freight forwarding, restaurants, retail food outlets, catering services, travel agencies and more.

Step two: Make your license application

As an approved Registered Agent, Worldwide Formations can apply for your license on your behalf.

Along with your completed application, you will usually be asked to submit:

  • A copy of your passport – and that of any other shareholders
  • Your business plan
  • A copy of your signature
  • A No Objection Certificate from your current employer (if applicable)

Step three: Applying for your visa

This step can take place along with your license application.

The process involves four stages including a medical fitness test and biometric capturing. In all, it usually takes less than a week.

As the holder of a UAE trade license, you can also sponsor others such as children, a spouse or domestic staff for their visas too, providing you meet the eligibility criteria.

KIZAD activity list

KIZAD welcomes a range of business activities under different license types, including:

Industrial activities

  • Food and beverage processing
  • Meat processing
  • Glass industries
  • Plastic industries
  • Printing and publishing
  • Manufacturing activities
  • Technical and professional workshops

 Trading activities

  • Advertising
  • Building materials trading
  • Chemicals trading
  • Electronics and electrical products trading
  • Jewellery trading
  • Motor vehicle and spare parts trading
  • General trading activities

 Service activities

  • Accounts
  • Advertising
  • Consulting
  • Medical clinics and hospitals
  • Rental services
  • Shipping, transport and storage
  • Sewage and cleaning services

KIZAD regulations

Businesses that wish to do business from KIZAD must adhere to the free zone’s rules and regulations regarding anti-money laundering, auditing, use of facilities, permitted activities, access to Khalifa Port, and more.

The full list of KIZAD regulations can be found on the free zone’s website.

Understanding KIZAD company setup costs

There are a number of factors to consider when calculating KIZAD company setup costs. If you wish to apply for multiple visas or take on premises, then your total costs will naturally increase.

To give an idea of the cost of setting up in KIZAD, it is possible to obtain a license, establishment card and use of a workstation for around AED 10,000-15,000. On top of this you’ll also need to account for the cost of visas, entry permit, e-channel registration, admin fees and the like which can take the cost closer to AED 30,000.

Ready to get started at KIZAD?

If you’re ready to start your business at KIZAD, get in touch with us today. With more than 15 years of experience in company incorporation, we can help you get your business up and running within a week or two.

We’ll manage your license and visa application and correspond with all relevant authorities for you. All you need to do is wait for the green light to start trading.

Worldwide Formations helps entrepreneurs in the UAE with all their company setup needs. For more information, call us now on 800 FREE ZONE (800 3733 9663). 

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