Ras Al Khaimah (IBC)
Overview of a UAE Offshore International Company
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), one of seven independent federal Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), offers attractive opportunities for those seeking to establish an International Company (IC).
RAK remains a premier investment authority, giving potential investors, individuals and companies numerous benefits and arrangements in setting up an RAK offshore company. The country has never been blacklisted by the EU and has good standing with all high-tax jurisdictions such in the US and EU and maintains good banking relations with correspondent banks.
Also referred to as a Non-resident Company, International Business Company and International Business Corporation, the RAK IC remains the most popular option for non residents seeking: to establish a presence in the Middle Eastern region, asset protection, confidentiality of financial accounts and to benefit from tax free schemes.
RAK offers investors and foreign companies a political stable environment, financial solidity with minimal financial risk (Moody’s credit rating of Aa3), with next to zero crime, in a strategic region that connects itself with regional markets, while also providing a critical link between the East and the West.
All International Companies are governed by the International Companies Regulations 2006
For more information on the Advantages of UAE as an Offshore Financial Center, click here.
Advantages of a UAE - RAK Offshore International Business Company (IBC)
Some of the advantages of holding an RAK Offshore International Company (IC) in the UAE include:
- Asset protection
- Tax planning
- International visibility and exposure
- Zero exchange controls
- No double tax agreements
- No restrictions on profit transfer
- No restrictions on capital repatriation
- No signed treatise that enable a foreign exchange of information
- UAE is not on any 'blacklist' for tax havens
The UAE and RAK offshore companies offer political and economic stability of the jurisdiction through:
- Modern and flexible legislative framework
- Simple incorporation and filing requirements
- Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA)
- State of the art banking and telecommunication facilities
Recently there has been a lot of pressure put on low tax jurisdictions by both the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). However, because UAE is not a member of the EU or the OECD it is therefore is not subject to their regulations.
Top Uses of an UAE Offshore Company
There are many reasons why an individual or company would use a RAK Offshore International Company; whether it is savings on taxes, protecting ones savings, cost efficiency, simplicity or confidentiality.
Some of the other advantages include, but are not limited to:
- Reduced tax liability
- Fewer reporting requirements
- Internet Trading
- Family Wealth Protection
- Property-owning Companies
There are a number of businesses which are best suited to operate through an Offshore IC including:
- General Trading
- Consulting and Advisory Services
- Holding Company (buying/holding/selling stakes of companies)
- Investments and Joint Investments Company
- International services
- Professional Services
- Shipping Management Companies
- Commission Agents Companies
Key Corporate Features of a RAK Offshore Company
|RAK IC||Corporate Details|
|Type of Entity||Limited by Shares|
|Type of Law||Federal / Sharia|
|Governed by||International Companies Regulations 2006
Registered Agents Regulations 2006
|Registered Office in RAK||Yes|
|Shelf company availability||No|
|Our time to establish a new company||1-2 weeks|
|Minimum government fees (excluding taxation)||Dhs. 2,000|
|Access to Double Taxation Treaties||No|
|Share capital or equivalent|
|Standard currency||Dirham (pegged to the dollar at 3.67 AED for $1)|
|Minimum paid up||Dhs. 1,000|
|Bearer shares allowed||Yes|
|No par value shares allowed||No|
|Publicly accessible records||No|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere except RAK|
|Corporate directorship allowed||Yes|
|Publicly accessible records||No|
|Corporate shareholder allowed||Yes|
|Location of meetings||Anywhere except RAK|
|Local or qualified||Local (natural or corporate)|
|Requirements to prepare||Yes|
|Requirements to file accounts||No|
|Publicly accessible accounts||No|
|Recurring Government Costs|
|Minimum Annual Tax||Dhs 2,000|
|Annual Return Filing Fee||Dhs 1,500|
|Requirement to file annual return||No|
|Migration of domicile permitted||Yes|
Offshore Company Registration Includes:
- Government Registration Fee (First year)
- Registered Office Address (First year)
- Registered Agent Services (First year)
- Company Secretarial Maintenance
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Memo & Articles of Association
- Appointment of 1st Directors
- Consent Actions of the BOD
- Share Certificates
- Register of Directors
- Register of Officers
- Register of Shareholders
- FREE Phone and/or email consultations
Registration Requirements for IBC Offshore Company Incorporation
People or companies seeking an offshore company formation in the United Arab Emirates are required to satisfy the below criteria.
- The minimum capital requirement of a RAK IC is AED 1,000
- Minimum of one shareholder
- Minimum of one Director in which the powers and duties are to be specified in the memorandum
- Company name needs to be approved by the RAK Free Zone Authority
- Memorandum needs to include share capital, share value, power of Directors and object of the company notarized in a UAE Court
- Must keep financial records in office (though they remain confidential)
- It is not a requirement that shareholders or Directors need to be present when signing incorporation documents
- Select a name for the company and have it approved by the RAK Free Zone Authority
- Confirmation that the share capital has been paid
- Bank Certificate confirming of deposit of the minimum share capital
Offshore Taxation of a RAK Offshore Company (IC)
Of the many attractive advantages in setting up a RAK offshore company formation are the numerous tax benefits accrued through incorporating within the jurisdiction of the UAE.
These tax benefits include:
- Zero personal income tax
- Zero corporate tax
- No capital gains tax
- No sales tax
- No withholding tax
- No value added tax
- No import of export tax
- 100% capital and profit repatriation
- 100% ownership in Free Zones
- Sixty one double taxation agreements and thirty two bilateral investment treaties are in place
The only companies required to pay taxes are oil, gas and petrochemical companies and branch offices of foreign banks.
UAE Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA)
Double taxation avoidance agreements (DTAA) prevent individuals and corporations from having to pay tax on same item during the same time period. Agreements have been made with:
Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Rep., Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Sudan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine.
Corporate Details of a RAK IC Offshore Company
Companies Law stipulates that a RAK International Company (IC) may engage in any type of lawful activity except for industries including insurance, banking and the investment of money for others and restrictions apply to conduct local business.
An IC conducting banking or insurance operations outside the Free Zone and the UAE must ensure that it has obtained permission and has been granted appropriate licensing from authorities within the relevant jurisdiction.
The register of the UAE RAK offshore companies registered agents maintained by the Authority shall contain the following details in respect of each registered agent:
- Name and address approved registered agent
- Names of the individuals who are authorized to sign on behalf of the company
- Date of approval the given by the RAK Authority to provide registered agent services
Principal Corporate Legislation
Governing Corporate Body
RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA) is the governing body and the companies are regulated under RAK Offshore Regulations 2006.
Restrictions on Trading
An IC may only operate within the activities outlined and approved of in the official memorandum.
Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents
Shelf Companies Available
Time to Incorporate
Normally processed within 1 – 2 weeks
Names Requiring Appropriate Consent or Licensing
In certain cases consent of an appropriate Ministry or any such local authority may be required for activities, operations or businesses’ engaged in:
- Oil & Gas, Banking & Investment, Financial Services, Insurance, Media, Transport, Construction, Telecommunications, Real Estate Management, Architectural and Engineering Consulting, Tourism, Shipping, Civil Aviation, Legal Services, Medical Services, or Education.
- Any name that contains the words state, government, municipal, etc., and may wrongfully suggest a patronage of such.
A company incorporated under laws of a foreign jurisdiction can continue its existence as a company registered under that specified Act. RAK Offshore IC may also transfer their domicile to foreign territories that permit such procedures.
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