We believe there are six main elements to making the right selection.
We leave it up to you to decide the weighting of each - because it will depend on your specific business.
- The Basics – the right foundation
- A Meeting Place – of suppliers, customers, industry groups, potential employees
- Customer First – a customer centric approach
- Delivers Value – puts extra value on the table
- Reputable – improves your company’s credit rating
- Future proof – suits your business as it grows and changes
- The Basics
- A Meeting Place
- Customer First
- DELIVERS VALUE
- Future Proof
Is the free zone physically close to my residence?
- Minimise your commute time.
- Ensure your business is centrally located within the city for potential growth.
The key point here is that you don't want to end up traveling long distances to get from home to work.
How much is it going to cost me to set up and operate?
Cost is important but value is more significant. Take a long term view and look at everything from company set up to real estate to visas.
You want to make sure the free zone is transparent about their pricing.
Does the free zone have all the infrastructure I need within easy reach?
Can I do my banking there?
Is there an immigration branch on site?
Are the roads complete?
Is construction finished?
Will I have any trouble connecting utilities?
Connections and Networks
Will the free zone help me to get connected and network with other fellow members?
This is where you need to get past the marketing spiel.
Have a look on the free zone website and you will see their list of events over the last few years.
The more events , the more people to network with and grow your business.
Does the free zone provide industry specific groups or platforms?
If it’s really important to you to be part of an industry group then it’s worth seeing what the free zone does in this regard.
How many other companies are there in your industry?
This might be one of the most important ways for you to get connected into the business relationships that matter to you.
Will I find customers and suppliers within the free zone business community?
Are there enough companies to form a potential customer base? What does the free zone do to support your business?
What is really helpful is a business directory that allows free zone members to advertise their services through web and social channels, ideally with built in maps. Also if the free zone offers to do business through its portal, business can be enforced.
Is this a free zone where my current and future employees will want to work?
Make sure you can attract strong candidates to a vibrant business district.
Good coffee shops, pleasant restaurants, accessible transportation, available green space, gyms, supermarkets, and
pharmacies - are amenities that should be highly considered.
Attracting talented employees is a lot easier if you are based in a place that people want to work.
Will I have access to a ‘state-of-the art’ online account for all my services?
Online services will save you time and effort. It is a much more efficient way of doing things. It’s the best way to get faster services. It means you can do almost everything from home, office, hotel. A good free zone website should offer simple online company set up, electronic documents issued and digital verification codes.
If you are evaluating a free zone then you should:
- Call their call centre
- Send them an email
- Visit their customer service centre (if you are in town)
- Use their Live Chat facilities
- Check out their FAQs
You be the judge of their speed, courtesy and expertise. Once you join that Free Zone, these quality of services is what you will get.
When you make a big investment in a free zone, you deserve to be treated in the best way possible.
Does the free zone regularly communicate updates to their clients?
You want to make informed decisions based on the Authority’s rules and updates.
Read through the Free Zone's past copies of newsletters and peruse if informative.
Find out if they run member update events to let the community know what improvements they are working on.
So the question is: Are you going to be kept informed, or are you going to stumble across vital information after it’s too late?
How does the free zone deliver extra value to you ?
Value Added Services
Has the free zone you're evaluating worked hard to get the best possible deals and benefits for its member companies?
Are they using the collective buyer power of their member base to strike great deals for your business?
Have a look at their website and do some benchmarking.
You will be busy growing the success of your business.
Make sure your free zone offers a range of value added services.
· Property · Admin · Insurance · Telecom
· Residence Visa · Recruitment · Financing · Mediation
Are the regulatory standards going to promote a high reputation for your company?
You might be quite taken with a free zone that doesn't ask for annual financial statements, UNTIL, you start looking for funding, or asking suppliers for credit lines.
Banks, lenders, suppliers all emphasise the reputation of a company’s place of incorporation.
Can the free zone give me a license for the business activities that I want to perform today and possibly in future?
Before you establish your company, make your future plans to be able to grow organically.
This is really important. You need to make sure that the free zone offers the business activities that you want today, and might want in future.
Otherwise, you are really stuck. You can't expand without moving. That's a lot of effort.
If my business grows, am I going to have a choice of office types to select from?
A wide selection of property solutions will give you the freedom to select the best that fits your business needs.