Dubai South Free Zone License Types for Company Formation

Customize your path with diverse company formation options.

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Dreaming of setting up your business empire in the Middle East? Look no further than Dubai South Free Zone. With its strategic location and a myriad of opportunities, understanding the “Dubai South Free Zone license types” is the golden ticket you need. Read on for a no-nonsense guide by FZBuddy that helps you navigate through the tape and into your corporate future.

The Appeal of Dubai South Free Zone 

Dubai South is not just another business park. It’s a whole new city within a city—located near one of the world’s largest airports, not to mention it’s closer to Abu Dhabi than you think. Imagine an oasis of light manufacturing activities, trading activities, and professional services—all bundled with competitive rates. Add to that a pinch of strategic location, and you’ve got the most happening business zone south of South Asia. In this thriving hub, business owners aren’t just running a company; they’re part of a revolution.

General Requirements for Licensing 

Okay, you’re sold on the Dubai South Free Zone. So, what’s next? Start with the initial approval and fill out an application form. You’ll also need valid trade license copies and a couple of other legal documents. Don’t worry; it’s not as complicated as filing your taxes. Minimum share capital and a lease agreement with the business center are also generally needed. And yes, you’ll need to be physically present in Dubai South for at least some of the company formation process. Think of it as your official welcome party.

Read more: Dubai South Free Zone Investor Benefits 2023 (Tax Advantages & Incentives)

Types of Licenses Available 

Ready to unlock the full potential of your business in Dubai South Free Zone? Let’s dive into the different license types available to find the perfect match for your company’s goals.

Commercial License

Eager to engage in trading activities or own a parent company? A commercial license is your golden key. It covers a wide range of business activities and offers the flexibility you need.

Industrial License

For all the builders and makers out there, this one’s for you. An industrial license lets you delve into light industry, manufacturing activities, and even some logistics services. You can bring in raw materials, transform them, and export the finished goods like a boss.

Service License

In the age of the internet, you might be offering services that range from IT solutions to social service programs. A service license is your perfect fit. It provides the leeway for all types of services, be it ancillary service businesses or mainstream tech solutions.

Trading License

Think buying low and selling high is your jam? The trading license covers a range of activities like import, export, and distribution. It’s not limited to just one type of business activity, but you need to specify your range of activities for an accurate fit.

Logistics License

Welcome to Dubai South’s logistics district, a paradise for supply chain mavens. With a logistics license, you can engage in a wide range of business under logistics. From storage to transport, this license has you covered.


There are other types of licenses like educational licenses and even licenses, that apply to individual shareholders. Whether you’re interested in training services, educational services, or even logistics industry services, there’s a license for that.

How to Apply for a License 

So, you’re ready to dive into the ever-vibrant Dubai South Free Zone, a gem located strategically between one of the world’s largest airports and the cosmopolitan wonder that is Abu Dhabi. Fantastic choice, but how do you jump through the hoops of officialdom?

Step 1: Application Form. Grab the darn thing online or at a physical Dubai South business center. Fill it out like you’ve never filled out a form before.

Step 2: Initial Approval. Yeah, there’s someone in an office who has to nod at your business plans before you get to roll. Pre-approval is crucial, people. It’s like asking for permission before you raid the fridge at a house party.

Step 3: Document Submission. Ah, the dreaded pile of legal documents—think valid trade license, proof of minimum share capital, and the occasional birth certificate because why not? Make sure everything’s stamped by legal translators if you’re coming in with foreign language documents.

Step 4: Lease Agreement. If you’re not keen on playing office space roulette, make sure you’ve got your lease agreement sorted with the business center. There are options from flexi desks to permanent desks and even swanky fitted-out offices if you’re feeling ritzy.

Step 5: Security Approval & Activity Approval. Expect these within 3-4 working days. It’s a breeze—like a light Gulf wind on a hot day.

Also read: How to Start a Company in Dubai South Free Zone from Home (2023 Guide)

Advantages and Limitations of Each License Type 

Alright, let’s talk pros and cons because not all licenses are created equal.

Commercial License

Advantages: Unlimited trading activities, foreign ownership is cool, and the repatriation of capital. You bet.

Limitations: Stringent annual audit reports and a higher cost of resident visas.

Industrial License

Advantages: Ideal for manufacturing activities and light industry and has cost-effective commercial lease terms.

Limitations: Minimum capital requirements and limitations on the range of activities.

Service License

Advantages: Perfect for a wide range of professional services from educational services to social services. Plus, flexible office spaces are a thing. Limitations: External approvals needed and a mandatory corporate bank account.

Logistics License

Advantages: Situated in the logistics district, this is the golden ticket for anyone in the logistics industry.

Limitations: More stringent activity approval and a need for a dedicated desk at least.


Time to wrap this up. Whether you’re looking to register a limited liability company or you’re a parent company coming from South Asia or the Middle East, the Dubai South Free Zone offers a buffet of options that are both varied and tempting. You’ll need to navigate a few initial approvals and perhaps deal with a security approval, but that’s small potatoes compared to the freedoms and benefits you’ll enjoy.

You’ve got a range of license types to match your company’s strategic location and needs. You can choose from a wide range of facilities, from a simple, smart desk to full-blown executive offices. Plus, the whole company formation process typically wraps up within 7-10 working days. It’s as straightforward as a camel walk through the desert.

So, fill out that application form, bring in those legal documents, and jump through those legal formalities. Your corporate empire in the Dubai South Freezone awaits, and it’s going to be as shiny as the city’s skyline.


FZBuddy aims to provide accurate and reliable information as you navigate the UAE Freezone space. As such, our writers refer to primary information sources in supporting each article appearing on this website. These include, but are not limited to, published news articles, government portals, research papers, and more.

  1. Dubai South is Dubai’s largest single urban master development focusing on Logistics, Commercial, Residential, and Aviation. (n.d.).
  2. Home – Executive Council. (n.d.). Executive Council.

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