RAK ICC premium product is a combination of a RAK offshore company established with RAK ICC and a free zone company established with Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ). This product has been launched as a result of an agreement between RAK ICC and RAKEZ to allow offshore companies registered with RAK ICC to carry out business activities inside the UAE.

RAK ICC premium product structuring works as follows:

  • Shareholder establishes an offshore company with RAK ICC.
  • RAK offshore company establishes a wholly owned free zone subsidiary company in RAKEZ.

RAK offshore company can either have a holding company activity or any other business activity which reflects the actual business carried out by the shareholder internationally. The free zone company acts as an operating company and can have any business activity that the shareholder wishes to carry out inside the UAE.

Here are the five (5) key benefits which may help you decide whether you should consider the RAK ICC premium product:

1. Business Activity Inside the UAE

Offshore companies in the UAE are only permitted to carry out international business activities outside the UAE and/or hold assets inside or outside the UAE. Therefore, if the shareholders wish to carry out any business activity inside the UAE, they can only do so by setting up a company inside the UAE. The entity inside the UAE can either be set-up with any free zone or in the mainland areas in any of the Emirates. However, RAKEZ free zone company established as part of the premium product provides favourable cost structure to the shareholders.

2. Corporate Bank Accounts in the UAE

In some cases, it may be challenging to open a corporate bank account for an offshore company if the profile of the shareholder or the company does not meet the compliance requirements of the banks. Having a free zone company along with the offshore company provides a substance and can substantially increase the chances of opening a bank account for the offshore company. The typical criteria of having an office space for business in the UAE is met by having a free zone company with RAKEZ. Almost all major banks in the UAE provide corporate bank account services to the RAKEZ companies.

Related: 4 Key Differences Between Offshore and Free Zone Companies in UAE

3. Lease Physical Office Space from RAKEZ

Other than the use of the registered agent address, it is not possible for an offshore company to lease any physical office space inside the UAE. These companies are thus not allowed to have any office space to work from the UAE.

RAKEZ companies are provided with either a flexi-desk or a physical office option to all its companies. This means that all free zone companies with this free zone can operate from a physical location within the UAE.

4. Eligibility for UAE Residence Visas

It is not possible to have a UAE residence visa with a RAK offshore companies as these companies are only meant to carry out business activities outside the UAE.

If the shareholders wish to have UAE residence visas for themselves or for their employees, they are required to incorporate a free zone or a mainland company in the UAE. A free zone company with RAKEZ provides a cost-effective solution for the shareholders to obtain UAE residence visas for themselves as well as their employees. The duration of free zone company visas issued through a free zone company is three (3) years compared with the duration of two (2) years visas allocated to mainland companies established in the UAE.

5. Companies are treated as Business Enterprise of Substance

The UAE Economic Substance Law requires that companies meet the economic substance requirements. The premium product provides the necessary features that will help the shareholders meet the economic substance requirements under the applicable laws.

InZone is a registered agent with RAK ICC and RAKEZ and assists clients in incorporating offshore companies and free zone companies with RAK ICC and RAKEZ respectively.