Can you(and anyone else who opened an FZ company) run through the process for opening up your own business? How much does it cost? What is the latest info on bank deposits? Is there anyway to open up a business without a bank deposit? Can you get more than 1 visa say for a partner in the business?How long does the process take?
I looked into RAK FZ earlier this year - but since my business is homebased - I didn't want to shell out money for a virtual office I wouldn't need. Also - I got 3 different quotes from folks to set up a FZ company - and they were wildly diverging. I just let it go since didn't want to haggle on fees too - had enough of haggling at the markets.
The Free Zones in Dubai all have standard rates. The best thing is to look on their websites. I'm with Knowledge Village, as my business is education-based. What field are you in?
I don't really need an office either - I've always done the admin side from home :ranger: and then I run my classes in a hired venue, but it seems you have to have an office if you go down this route. Also, the size of your office relates to the number of employee visas you're entitled to!! :confused2: For instance, I have an open-plan office, which entitles me to 2 employee visas. If I want to employ 3 people later on, I have to graduate to an Executive Office!
Bank Account: yes, you must have one with a certain amount of fully-paid up capital, BUT it doesn't have to stay in the account once it's opened!! (ie You could borrow on a very-short term basis) I have to deposit 50,000Dhs. Then I go and pay KV the balance I owe them, which must NOT come out of the 50,000, BUT as soon as I've paid the balance, the bank release the 50,000 so you can take it out if you wish!!
My set-up costs total 45,000 Dhs, which includes the 'one-stop' visa/permit processing. Ongoing annual costs amount to about 31,350Dhs, which is annual rent and visa renewals. Basically that wipes out the 'tax-free' aspect if you're thinking of comparing it with costs at home (assuming UK) Unless of course profits are doing very nicely, in which case you do keep more than at home :clap2:
Hope that helps, but do check out the process on the websites. One word of warning... the application forms are a nightmare. basically non-sensical!! I got there though... eventually. Finally, the timeframe is theoretically about 14 working days (but it will take days to work out those forms first!!). I will let you know the reality in due course!
I did all the application online from UK, scanning and emailings things like passport and bank letters, and got the approval in principle whilst still in UK. I also got my office allocated whilst still in UK (and the corresponding rent!) because it ran over one month from when I got the approval.
Finally, another word of warning... they insist on you providing 2 alternative business names. I didn't and got it thrown back at me. They then refused my first choice!! I think it was because it had Dubai in the name, which they don't like.
Hope all that helps a bit.