F amily businesses in the GCC pay some of the lowest tax rates in the world. According to the World Bank's 2012 Doing Business report, the six GCC countries are among the world's 11 lowest tax jurisdictions. GCC businesses, therefore, tend to have more cash in the coffers than some of their western counterparts. Regulation also helps family-owned firms. Most of the GCC countries have laws saying that an international company wanting to operate in a GCC country has to work with a local partner. This means paying a sponsorship fee to a local firm and giving it the majority stake in the business, while the foreign firm takes charge of the day-to-day management of the company. The main aim is to develop the local economy by creating economic opportunities and jobs for local nationals, but the system also encourages transfer of knowledge from foreign companies to local firms. GCC countries have created a number of free zones, such as the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai. As well as allowing foreigners to maintain full ownership of their companies, these free zones make it easier for locals to do business by cutting red tape (for example, it's easier to process a work permit application).