UAE registered offshore companies are ideal for individuals who will be carrying out all business outside the UAE and do not require a local office. UAE offshore companies are incorporated in a tax free jurisdiction which minimizes any type of tax burdens and improve one’s wealth management. Free zones within the UAE currently incorporating offshore companies are namely, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Ajman Free Zone and Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre.
Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (‘RAK ICC’) offshore companies (‘International Company’) are favoured as the costs are significantly lower and the incorporation procedure is relatively easy. Michael Kyprianou (Middle East) DMCC is an approved (licensed) registered agent with RAK ICC.
RAK ICC International Company
A RAK ICC International Company is prohibited from carrying out any business within the UAE. However, there are no restrictions as to the activities conducted outside of the UAE, provided that the International Company is incorporated to conduct lawful business. Examples of permitted activities conducted outside the UAE include, namely, holding company, general trading, property owning, professional services and consulting and advisory services.
Important features of an International Company are as follows:
- Registered Agent: The International Company must at all times have a registered agent. No person can act or purport to act as a registered agent unless such person has been granted a license to provide registered agent services by RAK ICC.
- Registered Office: The International Company shall at all times have an office which is located within the UAE. The company’s registered office is normally the office of its registered agent.
- Share capital: There are no minimum share capital requirements regarding an International Company. AED, EUR and USD can be used as the denomination for the share capital.
- Shareholders: The International Company must have at least one (1) shareholder who may be an individual or a corporate entity. 100% foreign ownership of the International Company is permitted and the shareholder is not obliged to visit RAK to sign the incorporation documents. There is no public register of shareholders and directors.
- Directors & Secretary: The International Company must have at least one director and one secretary who may be individuals or corporate entities. A director may also act as secretary.
- Annual requirement to renew registration: The International Company is required to renew its registration (proceed with full settlement of the renewal of registration fee) before the expiration of its existing registration so as to remain in good standing.
Certain benefits for incorporating/registering a RAK ICC International Company are as follows:
- No withholding tax (zero tax) - 100% tax and duty exemption (including, income tax exemption, corporate tax exemption, capital and profit repatriation and capital gains tax);
- No foreign exchange controls;
- 100% foreign ownership;
- No need for physical office within in the UAE;
- Corporate director and shareholder permitted;
- Director or shareholder not required to be based within the UAE;
- No public register with regards to shareholders and directors;
- Absolute ownership, confidentiality, protection of assets/information and tax planning permitted;
- Ability to maintain corporate bank accounts in the UAE; and
- No obligation to submit the annual audit report.