Guide to Start an Offshore Company in UAE

Guide to Start an Offshore Company in UAE

What are Offshore companies?

Offshore company formation has numerous benefits. Offshore companies are legal entities that can conduct activities outside the jurisdiction in which they are incorporated. Due to open trade, tax-free zone and favourable policies, the UAE is an ideal place for offshore company set up. Offshore companies are a great option for investors looking to conduct business through the UAE or create holding companies. Offshore companies are also great for international trading, shipping, international consulting services and protecting your assets. Within the UAE such companies also enjoy the benefits of complete confidentiality and a high level of protection. Unfortunately, offshore companies cannot trade within the UAE unless under special circumstances.  

Offshore company locations in the UAE

The UAE has numerous locations where offshore companies can be set up such as Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Fujairah. Jebel Ali Free Zone is an ideal location to set up an offshore company. JAFZA is the largest man-made port in the middle east and provides excellent logistical, connectivity, and infrastructural facilities to companies. Ras Al Khaimah in UAE is also a good location for offshore company formation. RAKICC is the official corporate registry responsible for offshore company registration. Ras Al Khaimah has numerous benefits such as state of the art infrastructure and liberal economic policies. Fujairah is located in the east of UAE. Fujairah Freezone is next to the port of Fujairah and provides investors looking to conduct international trade with great opportunities. Lastly, Ajman is a budding location for offshore company formation. It has the economic and social benefits of the larger emirates but without the high cost. Ajman free zone has convenient accessibility to land, sea and air routes making it a great place for offshore company formation

Advantages  of opening an offshore company in the UAE 

  • 100% ownership – Offshore companies can be completely owned by foreign investors. They do not need a local sponsor or service agent to be incorporated. These companies also enjoy 100 %  reparation of profits
  • No taxes – By setting up offshore company investors can benefit from UAE zero-tax policy. The country does not have any corporate or income tax. 
  • Confidentiality – The UAE law encourages complete confidentiality and a high level of protection
  • No visa needed for owners or employees 
  • Open bank account  – Owning an offshore company also allows investors to open a multi-currency bank account in the UAE
  • Property – Offshore company set up also provides the option of purchasing a property in certain areas within the UAE 
  • Offshore companies can conduct global consulting and management activities. 

Steps to set up an offshore company

Offshore companies follow a quick and easy setup process. In the UAE offshore companies can only be incorporated through a registered agent who sets up the company according to the rules and regulations of the respective offshore jurisdiction. At LegalWorks we provide offshore company set up services.

Choose a trading name for your company 

The first step is to reserve a tradename for your company. This is important and must be done with great care as the UAE government imposes certain rules and restrictions on a company’s name. For example, the name must be culturally and religiously sensitive, it should not have references to government authorities or religious figures and symbols, it must contain the legal entity of the company and only full person names can be included in the company tradename. 

Submit the application 

After the tradename and relevant business, activity has been determined the next step is to submit the offshore company application along with the relevant documents. Each offshore jurisdiction requires certain documents such as the shareholder, director, and secretary information. The share capital must also be determined. Although UAE does not have a requirement for minimum share capital it should be sufficient for the business activity that the company has chosen. 

Payment of application fees

Once the required documents have been submitted, the relevant fee for the offshore company incorporation must be paid. The amount varies with the jurisdiction in which the company is being incorporated. 

Open a bank account 

After the incorporation process is complete you can open a bank account for your offshore company and can begin conducting your business activities. 

At Legalworks, we provide start to end assistance in offshore company formation. Our offshore company formation services include choosing the ideal jurisdiction for your company type and activity. Our team can provide assistance in every step, including the perpetration of all documents to be submitted, the application form and payment processes.  We at LegalWorks can make the offshore company formation process easy and straightforward, allowing you to run your international business successfully.