RAK ICC Offshore Companies

Incorporating your company in Ras Al Khaimah provides you with a flexible and credible option through which to run your offshore affairs. RAK offshore incorporation requires the services of a Registered Agent. Charterhouse Lombard's Dubai branch is an appointed registered agent for the Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC) in the United Arab Emirates.

If you are considering establishing an offshore company in Ras Al Khaimah and would like to learn more about this jurisdiction and the offshore company formation services we can offer, we would be delighted to hear from you.


JAFZA Offshore Companies

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) is a prominent business centre within the Middle East and is one of the largest and fastest growing free trade zones. JAFZA has experienced exponential growth since its origins in 1985; what started out as only 19 companies has now experienced phenomenal development and now has over 6000 companies. As a free trade zone, JAFZA comes with several financial incentives including 100% foreign ownership, 0% personal income tax, No currency restrictions and more.

JAFZA offshore companies are the only offshore vehicles that are permitted to own real estate in the Emirate of Dubai.

Contact a member of the Charterhouse team for more information about our company formation services in JAFZA.


What is an offshore company in UAE?

An offshore firm is a business that conducts its activities outside its country of origin. It can be owned by a single person, or by several corporate entities, and its offices must not be situated within the UAE.


What defines a UAE offshore business?

Offshore companies cannot trade in the UAE but can trade with virtually any other country in the world. You must also have a minimum of one director and one shareholder. There are a few restrictions, such as:

  • Certain types of business are prohibited from operating as an offshore enterprise. This includes those operating in the banking, insurance or finance sectors.
  • You can’t simultaneously run any commercial activities within the UAE.
  • You can’t own an interest in property that’s located in the UAE, unless it’s in one of the authority-approved areas.

However, you’ll have the freedom to:

  • Have UAE or international bank accounts or elsewhere
  • Choose whether to keep records and maintain your books
  • Incorporate the company without directors or shareholders being physically present
  • Select someone from outside the UAE as a director or shareholder, if you choose to do so
  • Conduct trade within the UAE free zones, or in other parts of the UAE (with the appropriate licence).


What sort of company?

Many different types of business can be set up as an offshore company in the UAE. These include:

  • Trading firms
  • Consultancies
  • International services
  • Professional services
  • IBs (intermediary brokers)
  • Commission agencies
  • Advisory services
  • Property ownership / property portfolio services
  • Shipping companies

This list isn’t exhaustive. To find out if you’ll be able to form an offshore business in the UAE, get in touch with our team today.


What are the benefits?

Here are some of the main advantages of forming an offshore company in UAE.

  • Easy to register

With our help, it’s incredibly easy to register your offshore company. The entire process can be completed in as little as 24 hours. It’s also cheap – incorporation fees are low compared to incorporating an onshore company.

  • Freedom to select the right name

You’ll have the option to name your company as you wish – subject to name availability at the Registry, with a few minor restrictions.

  • 100% foreign ownership

There’s no requirement for local shareholding, which means that foreign investors can own 100% of the share equity. This is the case for one individual, or for several corporate bodies.

  • No corporation / personal tax to pay

If you set up an offshore business in Dubai (or anywhere in the UAE), there’s no requirement to pay either corporation or personal tax (note, there are a few exceptions to this, such as foreign bank services).

  • Ideal for international trade

Setting up an offshore company puts you in a strong position for conducting international business.

  • Cheaper to run

Offshore companies tend to have less operational costs. This is because you’re exempt from registration requirements involving property leasing, providing guarantees, or employing staff.

  • Limited company status

As an offshore enterprise, you’re required to be a limited company (and this should be indicated at the end of your business name). Being a limited firm means reduced liability for all the shareholders, which reduces the financial risks associated with business ownership.

  • Privacy and confidentiality

The details of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner are not listed publicly – allowing for confidentiality which many HNWI’s prefer.

  • Bank accounts / virtual offices in the UAE

For extra convenience, you’re permitted to have bank accounts in the UAE. You also have the option to have a virtual office in the UAE; an arrangement that offers considerable benefits.

  • Shares are easily issued and transferred

Multiple classes of shares can be issued with ease, and it’s simple to transfer them.  There are also no limitations regarding minimum share capital.

  • You can choose your country of law

If preferred, you can select to operate under English Common Law (for example), rather than local law.


How to form an offshore company in the UAE

There are a variety of regulations and standards to meet when forming an offshore company. These cover several different aspects of the business, such as the number of directors and shareholders, and the level of share capital.

These regulations differ from location to location, which is why it’s useful to work with a professional team like Charterhouse Lombard, who have expert knowledge of the laws and requirements of each area.

The set-up process can be initiated by one person or more. In order to get the process started, you’ll need to submit an application form to the registrar, and the correct supporting documents.


The application form

This form will ask you to provide the following information:

  • Names and address of shareholder(s)
  • Number of shares held by shareholder(s)
  • Value of the shareholdings
  • Name and address of director(s)
  • Name and address of registered agents
  • Articles of association
  • Your proposed business activities


Supporting documents

You’ll also be asked to supply certain documents. If you’re an individual, this will include:

  • A copy of your passport
  • A bank reference document
  • Your personal profile
  • Proof of address


If you’re applying as multiple corporate entities, you’ll need to supply:

  • Certificates proving the good standing of the company, and the registration
  • Articles of association and memorandum
  • Bank reference document
  • Board resolution (regarding the formation of an offshore firm)


For more information about our offshore company formation and incorporation services, contact a member of our team.