Offshore Company Formation in UAE

As of today the most cost effective solution with respect to offshore companies in the UAE is a RAK offshore company formation. It is important to note that despite the fact that RAK offshore company is registered by a free zone authority in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, the international bank account can be opened in a Dubai branch of a local bank. Registration of an offshore company is being carried out by RAKIA Free Zone with the help of an offshore agent. Offshore agent is a company registered with RAKIA which holds a permit/license to register offshore companies.Despite the variety of offshore jurisdictions, the UAE is famous for its remarkable reputation. While an offshore company can benefit from tax exemption and absence of audit requirement, a very well-developed UAE infrastructure adds prestige to international companies registered in the UAE. Information about shareholders and directors of international companies registered in the UAE remains confidential.

Register Offshore


What are the requirements in relation to the name of an offshore company?

The name of a company should end with words “Limited” or “Ltd.”, which means “with limited liability”.

How many shareholders are required for an offshore company registration?

An offshore company can be owned by one (1) to fifteen (15) shareholders. Their responsibility is limited by the number of the shares they hold. 100%-foreign ownership is allowed. Shareholders do not need to fly to the UAE to sign documents to register an offshore.

What is the minimum share capital requirement for an offshore company?

Share capital of an offshore company in RAKICC shall be AED 10,000 or its equivalent in USD or Euro. However, this amount does not require depositing into bank account, rather it shall be included in the MOA of the company.

The concept of bearer shares is not applicable.

How many directors are allowed in an offshore company?

When registering an offshore company minimum one (1) director and one (1) secretary, both of which can be legal entities, are required. The director can be a secretary at the same time.

What will be the address of the registered offshore company?

Address of the company will be the same as the address of the agent company.

What is important to know about taxation?

An offshore company (RAK Offshore) does not have to pay income taxes, capital gain taxes, VAT, non-resident income tax.

What is important to mention about confidentiality?

All information is strictly confidential and there is no general access to it.

Is an offshore company required to submit annual audit reports?

Audit is not required. Auditing can be done internally, but submission of audit reports to RAKIA is not required.

What is the timeframe for RAKIA offshore company registration?

It is a common practice that registration takes one day only. However, as the process of registration approval is out of our company’s control, we give a time frame of 3 to 5 days.

Who might be interested in opening of an offshore company in RAKICC?

Companies that want to be registered in the UAE, but do not plan to conduct business in the UAE. Offshore is suitable for the companies that need to minimize their tax liabilities or protect their assets, as well as to open a bank account in a local bank.

What documents are required to register an offshore company?

Passport copy, bank reference letter, proof of residence (e.g. utilities bill) for an individual. In case the owner of the future company will be a legal entity, fully legalized corporate documents will be required. The rest will be taken care of by us.

What legal document regulates offshore companies activities (RAK Offshore)?

It is RAK Offshore Regulations 2006.

What countries does the UAE have double taxation treaties with?

The current list can be found on the UAE Ministry of International Affairs website.

Does RAKIA keep a list of ready-to-purchase offshore companies?

No, it doesn’t.

Are bearer share allowed in RAKIA offshore?

No, not allowed.

What is allowed and what is not allowed to RAK Offshore?

Allowed: to own properties (in projects approved by RAKIA); to have bank accounts and deposits in the UAE and outside of the country; to be a shareholder of a different company (either in the UAE or outside).

Not allowed: to have an office in the UAE; to conduct commercial activities on the territory of the UAE; to have UAE residence visas issued by RAKIA offshore company; to conduct bank or insurance activity.

What are major types of UAE offshore companies activities?

Assets ownership, bank accounts ownerships, real estate ownership in RAKIA approved projects.

What are the major types of offshore companies activities outside UAE?

Trading, consulting, holding, real estate ownership, professional services, maritime and sea navigation.

Does an offshore company need a stamp?


As stated above, to register a local company in most of cases partnership with UAE national is required.

New Local company requires a Local partner who is often referred to as a local sponsor. Local partner owns 51% of the company by law. There is a general practice to execute side agreements and opt for “silent partner option”, where a Local partner is paid an annual fee in return for giving up management control of the company to foreign investor. However, in case of any dispute between shareholders in the future, all side agreements are deemed null and void as in conflict with governing UAE laws.

Shall a new Local company be required, we suggest to our clients a proper structuring scheme and trusted Local partners.

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