|Offshore companies (often called International Business Companies – IBC) are the long-time applied and praxis-proven option which can be effectively used for assets protection, business structuring and optimization of taxation.|
Main characteristics of offshore companies in UAE
Commonly used offshore companies are permitted to use the address in the country of its incorporation (which normally would be the address of the company’s registered agent), whereby such offshore company can do business only outside of the country of its registration (with exception of some of the cases specified below). Such limitation, in most of the cases, is not an essential obstacle for doing the international business over offshore companies as the company’s country of registration can be chosen such a way that this requirement would be fulfilled. Apart from the above, the offshore companies are not considered tax resident in the country of its registration thus cannot use the advantages of the Double Tax Treaties (DTT).
Offshore company, as according to the legal framework, must have a registered agent which provides incorporation and administration to this company in the country of its incorporation. The offshore company does not need to have a physical office space although a virtual office space is a must and the registered agent provides the IBC company with such address which helps to keep the IBC company costs at the low end.
There are three Free Trade Zones in UAE (FTZ) which provide the possibility to open offshore (IBC) companies in UAE:
- International Business Company in Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA, Dubai). Such companies are called JAFZA IBC, UAE.
- Offshore company in Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA FTZ). Such offshore companies are called RAKIA offshore companies, UAE.
- International Business Company in Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ,). Such offshore companies are called RAK IBC, UAE.
When speaking about Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) it is necessary to mention its main advantage in terms of such offshore companies in Dubai, with the possibility to acquire on the name of such offshore company in Dubai the real estate in most pre-defined areas of Dubai.
If such advantage if not of a priority one shall pay attention to the two other types of offshore companies in UAE which can be incorporated in the Free Trade Zones of Emirate – RAK and which perfectly fulfils the requirements for the IBC companies.
UAE Offshore companies have the following characteristics:
- Tax exemption.
- No requirements to pay the share capital.
- Absence of currency control.
- No requirement for the accounting and audit.
- Number of directors of the offshore company – from one to six (physical persons as well as legal entities).
- Number of shareholder of the offshore company – from one to fifty (physical persons and legal entities).
- No limitations on the citizenship and residency of company directors and shareholders.
- No limitations on the capital expatriation.
- Registered address (not an office) is in the UAE.
- Possibility to open and manage bank accounts in Dubai, UAE and abroad.
- Companies can do business outside of UAE.
- Holding activities: holding of shares of the companies in Dubai UAE and abroad is allowed.
- Limitations on the following type of company business:
- Financial activities and insurance.
- Any activity related to media.
- Any activity related to aviation.
From the legal point of view the offshore companies in UAE are the limited liability companies which limit the shareholders liability by the share capital to the extent of their shareholdings in the company.
UAE does not have the state registry of the shareholders and directors for offshore companies thus the company must provide the copy of its shareholder and directors registry to its registered agent.
Below are some of the possible types of activities of the Dubai, UAE offshore companies (outside of the country):
- International trading.
- Holding activities (with the right to purchase shares of the companies in UAE and abroad).
- Professional services.
- Holding of real estate (typically outside of UAE and in some designated areas of Dubai, UAE).
- Opening and managing bank accounts (in UAE and abroad).
Our Advisors would help you to incorporate your offshore company in Dubai and RAK in the fast and efficient manner as well as open the bank account for such company in the reliable bank in UAE.
To receive additional info and advice on the incorporation of the offshore company in Dubai, UAE please send us your request.