RAK Offshore Company Formation Made Easy
Register your RAK offshore company in 3 easy steps and set up a bank account.
- 100% confidentiality.
- Set-up your company in the shortest time.
- Have your dedicated account manager.
AED 11,999AED 4,999includes govt fee – See Pricing DetailsRegister My Company Now
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3 Simple Steps
Register your RAK Offshore Company in UAE in 3 Simple Steps
Select your package and place the order
We register your offshore company
We deliver corporate documents to you
We work closely with the following banks for opening bank accounts for our clients.
The below promotional packages for RAK offshore company formation are offered for a limited time.
- Government fee covered
- Certificate of incorporation
- Memorandum and Articles of Associations
- Premium address in Dubai, Business Bay
- Resolution to appoint director(s)
- Dedicated agent for 1 year
*Yearly Fee from second year: AED 5,249 (govt. fee included)
Gold includes everything in Silver, plus:
- Assistance with bank account opening
- Share certificate(s) issued in the name of each of the share holders of the company
- Dedicated company secretarial services
*Yearly Fee from second year: AED 5,249 (govt. fee included)
Platinum includes everything in Gold, plus:
- Company stamp
- Company letterhead
- Assigned premier service agent throughout the year who will respond to you with priority
*Yearly Fee from second year: AED 5,249 (govt. fee included)
We accept credit and debit card payments
*Offer is valid until 31 October 2020
The bank account will be opened based on the personal profile of the client and the company. There may be circumstances out of our control and the decision for bank account opening rests solely with the banks.
Here is the process for RAK Offshore company formation and bank account opening.
Step 1 – We prepare your company documents
We will reserve your RAK Offshore company name and prepare the following company formation documents as your RAK ICC registered agents:
- Memorandum of association.
- Articles of association.
- Letter of appointment of director(s) and secretary.
- Letter of appointment of registered agent.
Step 2 – You sign company documents
For UAE residents: You will need to visit our offices in Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to sign your company documents.
For non-UAE residents: We will prepare a specimen signature form which you will need to sign before a notary public in the country of your residence and return in original to us. All other company documents will need to be printed and signed by you at your office/home and returned to us in originals.
Step 3 – We register your RAK Offshore company
Regular requests: We will submit your company documents to RAK ICC for the formation of your new company. The prescribed timeframe for the registration of RAK Offshore company is approximately three (3) working days.
Urgent requests: If you require urgent service, your company can be formed in one (1) working day with an additional fee of AED 1,700.
Your RAK Offshore Company Bank Account
Once your company has been registered, you can open a bank account with any bank offering bank account opening services to offshore companies in the UAE and around the world. We work closely with major banks in the UAE and worldwide. We will provide all coordination and facilitation required for the bank account opening, if you have opted for this service. The process of bank account opening may take between 5-15 working days or more depending on a case by case basis.
About RAKICC and RAK Offshore
What is RAKICC & its role in an RAK offshore company formation?
RAK International Corporate Centre (also known as ‘RAKICC’ or ‘RAK ICC’) is a Government corporate registry in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. RAKICC carries out the registration and formation of international business companies/offshore companies and provides a full range of registration services in connection with the international business/offshore company activity.
RAKICC was created through Decree No. 12 of 2015 (amended by Decree No. 4 of 2016) which consolidated two (2) company registries known as RAK International Companies (previously part of RAK Free Trade Zone) and RAK Offshore (previously part of RAK Investment Authority).
RAKICC is known as a modern, world class offshore company registration office and complies with international best practices. RAKICC has developed a strong reputation and is considered to be one of the most respected brands for setting up offshore companies in the United Arab Emirates.
What is RAK offshore or RAK IBC?
The offshore companies set up with RAKICC enjoy the following benefits:
- You can open a bank account in the name of the RAK offshore company.
- You can own real properties in Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai through a RAK offshore company.
- RAK offshore company allows 100% foreign ownership.
- RAK offshore company can own shares in a mainland company or a free zone company in the United Arab Emirates.
- RAK offshore company offers Zero taxes.
- You can establish subsidiary with RAK Economic Zone.
- RAKICC offers state of the art legislation which is a cornerstone for any reliable offshore company set up jurisdiction.
- RAKICC has robust compliance procedures.
What are the benefits of an RAK offshore company?
RAK offshore or RAK IBC is usually used as synonym for an offshore company registered with RAKICC in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Before the consolidation of the corporate registry in 2016, RAK offshore existed as an independent as part of RAK Investment Authority.
What is the legislative framework for RAKICC?
The legislative framework for RAKICC includes (i) the RAKICC Business Companies Regulations 2016; and (ii) RAKICC Registered Agent Regulations 2016.
Benefits of UAE Economic Substance Regulations for RAK Offshore Companies
The UAE is one of the few offshore jurisdictions that have implemented the Economic Substance requirements of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation. The introduction of the Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) in the UAE means that the country is now fully compliant with the international tax commitments on tax cooperation. The result of this compliance is that the UAE is now one of the very few offshore jurisdictions named on the ‘whitelist’ of the European Union.
According to the UAE Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 31 that implemented the ESR, all business established in the UAE (including the offshore companies) that conduct any Relevant Activities (listed below) will fall within the scope of the ESR. This means that these businesses will be required to maintain a certain economic presence in the UAE in connection with the activities undertaken by them.
What are Relevant Activities under ESR?
The Relevant Activities that fall within the scope of the ESR are:
- Banking Business
- Insurance Business
- Investment Fund management Business
- Lease – Finance Business
- Headquarters Business
- Shipping Business
- Holding Company Business
- Intellectual property Business (“IP”)
- Distribution and Service Centre Business
No impact on businesses ‘not’ carrying out Relevant Activities
Any businesses that do not carry out any of the Relevant Activities are not required to maintain any economic substance in the UAE. These businesses are outside the scope of the ESR. They can carry on their operations without the requirement to file any economic substance returns to the RAK ICC.
RAK offshore companies gaining more popularity
As a result of the implementation of the ESR in the UAE, RAK ICC has emerged as one of the most sought-after offshore jurisdictions in the world for the formation of offshore companies.
RAK ICC is well positioned to provide all necessary support and infrastructure to the offshore companies registered with it to enable them to meet the economic substance requirements. These mechanisms include setting up subsidiaries through RAKEZ free zone (through premium product of the RAK ICC), opening branch offices and using outsourcing solutions.
The developments on ESR have also resulted in a number of companies registered in other offshore jurisdictions migrating to RAK ICC. Everchanging shareholder priorities have ensured a strong shift from other offshore centres to RAK ICC. As part of this redomiciliation, companies maintain their existing legal status along with their operational and banking history. This is also seen as one of the best means to meet their ESR requirements.
The introduction of ESR provides a strong platform to RAK ICC to attract more shareholders from other jurisdictions in a country that has substance and is cost-effective.
Which jurisdictions are on EU blacklist?
According to the revision released on 27 February 2020, the following jurisdictions are on the blacklist of the EU as being non-cooperative jurisdictions:
- American Samoa
- Cayman Islands
- S. Virgin Islands
Accordingly, RAK ICC has a significant competitive advantage as an offshore corporate registry due to its compliance with international standards and being located in the UAE which is fully compliant with the economic substance requirements of the EU and OECD.
How we can help you?
We assist our clients in:
- Determining whether the company in question is in scope of the ESR
- Identifying risks of non-compliance
- Filing the ESR notifications
- Meeting the economic substance test
- Filing ESR returns
COVID-19 Update: Order and Register RAK Offshore Company from Home
Given the Covid-19 situation, RAK ICC has changed its procedures to allow the registration of the RAK offshore companies without having the original signed company documents to be submitted.
Earlier, shareholders and directors residing outside the UAE were required to send us originals of the following documents by courier:
- Memorandum and articles of association.
- Director consent letter.
- Agent appointment letter.
- Duly notarised specimen signatures of shareholders and directors.
The entire set of the above documents can now be sent to us by email instead of courier. The requirement of having the notarised specimen signatures has also been waived. The specimen signature forms can now be signed by the shareholders and directors at home.
The entire process of the company formation can thus be completed in the comfort of your home.
The above process is now applicable to all shareholders and directors regardless of their residence (i.e. inside or outside the UAE).
RAK ICC has ensured to maintain high standards of service during the current situation. The overall process for the completion of company formation should require less time as we would not require the original company documents to be couriered to us by you.
We are offering a minimum discount of AED 7,000 on our company formation packages during this time.
Ownership of Real Estate in Dubai with an RAK Offshore Company
RAK International Corporate Centre (also known as RAKICC) and the Dubai Land Department have signed an MOU in July 2019 to permit those who own an offshore company in RAK (also known as RAK IBC companies) to directly own real estate in the Emirate of Dubai. This was not previously possible and anyone intending to own real estate in Dubai had to set-up a Jebel Ali offshore company as the only available option.
This arrangement has been welcomed as a landmark development since the vast majority of people looking to set-up offshore companies with the intention to hold real estate can now benefit from far less costly incorporation of RAK offshore companies in the UAE. The cost difference in setting up Jebel Ali offshore and RAK offshore companies is almost AED 9,000 – in favour of RAK offshore. This is a significant difference when compared in the context of the costs that are typically applicable to the incorporation of offshore companies around the world.
The Emirate of Dubai offers more than 23 freehold areas where any foreign national, RAK offshore or Jebel Ali offshore companies can own real estate properties. The most well-known freehold areas in Dubai include Business Bay, Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Emirates Hills, Springs, Meadows, Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah Village Circle.
RAK ICC issues no-objection certificates for companies that wish to own real estate in Dubai. The no-objection certificate is required to be presented to Dubai Land Department in order to transfer the property to the company. Our clients are now taking advantage of this opportunity with the world-class company formation services offered by InZone.
Here are some of the key features of RAK offshore companies
|RAK ICC||RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC or RAKICC) is a Corporate Registry established in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.|
|Type of Company||International business company that can carry out business internationally or act as a holding company.|
|Information publishing and confidentiality||RAK ICC does not keep any public register relating to company shareholders or officers. This information is kept confidential in accordance with the applicable laws.|
|Requirements for accounting||There are no accounting or reporting requirements for RAK offshore companies.|
|Taxes||RAK offshore companies are exempt from all taxation in the United Arab Emirates.|
|Laws||RAK ICC provides a modern offshore legislative framework. Basis of legislation is the UAE law.|
|100% Ownership||100% foreign ownership is permitted and there are no requirements for having UAE national as partner.|
|Time zone||Convenient world time zone: GMT+4|
|Paid up capital requirement||No paid up capital requirement.|
|Minimum directors/shareholders||RAK offshore company requires a minimum of 1 director and 1 shareholder.|
|Bearer shares||Not permitted.|
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to some of the most common questions related to RAK offshore companies.
- Company Limited by Shares – most commonly used.
- Company Limited by Guarantee
- Restricted Purposes Company
- Segregated Portfolio Company
- Unlimited Company
- the amount that he/she has agreed to liable to contribute in memorandum and articles of association
- any other liability expressly provided for in memorandum or articles of association
Why is RAK ICC the Best Offshore Jurisdiction in the World?
There are several offshore jurisdictions around the world offering offshore and international business company formations. These jurisdictions range from full offshore to mid-shore jurisdictions.
Investors are increasingly concerned about the risks associated with the choice of jurisdiction for their offshore company formation. They are usually looking for the most effective structures for carrying out international business transactions and for holding their assets keeping in view the ease of doing business, jurisdiction stability, tax optimization and bank account opening.
Selecting the right offshore jurisdiction has thus become a key to any of the offshore structures considered by the investors.
We have analyzed twenty-one (21) offshore jurisdictions around the world keeping in view the key parameters including ease of doing business, jurisdiction stability, taxation and corporate bank account opening to determine the best offshore jurisdiction in the world.
The twenty-one (21) offshore jurisdictions considered by us for this study can be categorized in six (6) clusters as below:
|Middle East||Caribbean||Europe||Asia||Central America||USA||Africa|
|RAK ICC||BVI||Cyprus||Hong Kong||Panama||Florida||Seychelles|
|Jebel Ali||Cayman Islands||Gibraltar||Singapore||Belize||Delaware||Mauritius|
|United Kingdom||New York|
There have been substantial changes in the reputation and the infrastructure used by the above offshore jurisdictions in the recent past. This has resulted in some of the jurisdictions gaining more popularity and the others losing track and as a result losing clients to the other offshore jurisdictions. The factors involved in these changes include globalization and the requirement of cost and tax efficient company structures in order to carry out international business transactions and to hold assets.
Based on our analysis, Ras Al Khaimah offshore has proven to the best offshore company formation jurisdiction in the world due to the following key factors working in its favour:
1. Ease of doing business
RAK ICC is a corporate registry in Ras Al Khaimah which is one of the key Emirates in the UAE. The UAE is a leading jurisdiction and ranks:
- No. 1 on ease of doing business index-Mena Region.
- No. 11 in the world bank’s annual ease of doing business ranking.
- No. 2 in the world government trust index.
- No. 27 amongst 140 countries in the global competitiveness ranking (highest in the region: higher than Malta (36), Cyprus (44), Mauritius (49), Panama (64) and Seychelles (74). Only Hong Kong has the same rating within other offshore jurisdictions.
RAK ICC offers one of the easiest company formation processes in the world. It offers simple registration process with international corporate features and availability of various company structures.
RAK ICC has a premium product with which it offers the incorporation of free zone companies in partnership with the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ). This option provides the shareholders flexibility to operate their business inside the UAE and obtain UAE residency visa. RAKEZ also offers zero corporate and individual taxes which makes the larger proposition highly attractive to anyone looking to have an offshore structure along with their ability to carry out business in the UAE.
Other common features of setting-up a company with RAK ICC include the following:
- 100% foreign ownership for any nationality.
- One day incorporation process.
- No restrictions on number of shareholders for company formation.
- Corporate directors are permitted.
- No office requirements.
- No attestation required for corporate documents.
- Cost efficient registration and renewal fees.
- No requirement to file financial accounts.
- No requirement for minimum capital.
- Constitutional documents can be issued in dual languages.
The registry offers state-of-the-art portal for the incorporation and on-going maintenance of the companies registered with it.
2. Jurisdiction Stability
RAK ICC has an outstanding reputation as a corporate registry that operates in full compliance with international standards and best practices.
The credit rating for the UAE is:
- Double A for S&P.
- Double A2 for Moody’s.
- Ranks No. 8 largest oil producer in the world.
- Has per capita USD 40,000 GDP (same as Germany).
- Ranks No. 2 in the world in terms of avoidance of double taxation agreements and No.1 among the Arab nations.
Investment protection is offered through numerous bilateral investments treaties (BITS) which is another added value the country offers.
The jurisdiction offers swifter and more efficient resolutions to court proceedings with easy processes. It offers to choose from the English law courts at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) for the resolution of any disputes.
DIFC Wills are registered and enforced for asset protection and succession planning for non-Muslim shareholders.
Other common features include the following:
- Variety of legal structures and different products available for different usages.
- No restriction on capital repatriation.
- Migration or continuance of existing corporate entities from various jurisdictions.
- Different classes of shares and the ability to register the share pledge.
- USD freely available. Local currency pegged to USD.
3. Double Taxation Treaties
The UAE has signed 210 tax agreements (including 123 agreements to avoid double taxation and 87 agreements to protect and promote investment). As a result, RAK ICC has access to a large double taxation treaties (DTT) network including a wide range of bi-lateral investment treaties.
The UAE signed a three-year (2019-2021) extension of the MoU between the UAE and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in March 2019.
4. Bank Accounts and other Financing Structures
The UAE has a mature banking system with over 50 national and international banks. RAK offshore companies can open bank accounts locally and internationally with various banks.
RAK ICC also offers corporate vehicles with several attractive features including the securitization and isolation of financial and legal risks by ring-fencing assets and liabilities. Special purpose vehicles can be established as subsidiaries. Project or joint venture vehicles can be established to ensure that only assets related to a transaction are exposed to the liabilities associated with that transaction.
RAK has an overall strong infrastructure, a mature banking network, political stability, tax advantages and ranks at the top for ease of doing business compared with other offshore jurisdictions. For these reasons, RAK ICC can be argued as the best offshore jurisdiction in the world.
Read More Articles About RAK Offshore Companies
Types of RAK Offshore Companies
RAK ICC offers various types of offshore companies to suit the needs to shareholders and investors. The companies range from standard offshore/international business companies to specific purpose vehicles which are outlined below:
1. Standard Offshore Companies or IBCs
An offshore company or international business company (IBC) is the most-commonly used company form that is established with RAK ICC. It is a standard company that allows the shareholders to carry out international business transactions around the world. Typical international business activities carried out by these companies include:
- Various types of services.
- Holding of shares or listed securities.
- Holding of assets such as trademarks and other IP.
- Holding of real estate in Dubai and elsewhere.
Shareholders in these companies are typically individuals who wish to take advantage of freedom offered by these companies, associated tax benefits and bank account opening facility offered by various banks in the UAE and around the world. These companies are also used by shareholders as part of their estate planning.
2. Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs)
SPVs are corporate vehicles established for various purposes including:
- Structured finance transactions.
- Asset holding and transfers.
- Financing and raising capital.
- Ring-fencing legal and financial risks.
- Fractional ownerships.
SPVs are typically incorporated as subsidiaries, project or joint venture companies and ensure that only the transaction specific assets are exposed to liabilities related to the transaction. The key feature of an SPV is that it is a separate legal entity and any claims by the creditors cannot be extended to the assets of the shareholders or any of its sister companies of the SPV.
In a typical SPV structure, the parent company or the investor sets-up the SPV. The SPV holds the relevant security asset and enters into a loan agreement and share pledge agreement with the lender. The financing is provided to the operating company and only the assets of the SPV remain open to a claim by the lender.
3. Intellectual Property Holding Companies
The intellectual property (IP) related to a business name or a system are typically the most valuable assets of a business. Businesses that intend to have national or international identity take steps to protect the use of their name, logo or other IP including trademarks, patents and designs, franchises, know-how and copyrights.
IP holding companies are usually established to obtain the following benefits:
- Centralization of all IP assets.
- IP protection.
- Securitization of IP.
- Clear balance sheet for the group.
In a typical RAK ICC IP holding offshore company structure, a parent company establishes an IP holding company and transfers all its IP assets into the name of that company. IP holding company thus holds all the IP assets for the group. IP holding company then enters into appropriate license or franchise agreements with subsidiaries of the holding company or any other parties who may wish to use the IP rights. Ring-fencing of IP assets is also achieved through this method.
4. Private Client Solution
This type of entity is established as a family office by a wealthy family to manage its wealth. A family typically uses these entities to provide family members certain services including tax and estate planning. The family offices may also include philanthropic arms for supporting charitable, social and educational interests of the families.
Typical benefits of these types of entities include:
- Foundation can be shareholder.
- Estate planning.
- Tax benefits.
- Asset protection.
- DIFC Will – only applicable to non-Muslims.
In a typical family office offshore company structure, a family beneficiary sets-up a foundation with RAK ICC. The foundation then sets-up a family office SPV with RAK ICC. Family office SPV then owns various assets including real estate, shares in listed companies and other operating companies.
5. Segregated Portfolio Company (SPC)
An SPC is also sometimes referred to as a protected cell company. It segregates assets and liabilities of different classes of shares from each other as well as from the general assets of the SPC. It is a complicated structure used in sophisticated transactions. Segregated portfolio assets comprise assets representing share capital, capital reserves, retained earnings, share premiums and all other assets of the SPC.
The main benefits of SPC include:
- Separate legal personality with limited liability.
- Cover up to ten (10) segregated portfolios.
- Separation of liability between share classes and general assets of SPC.
- Sub bank accounts
6. Holding Companies
The holding company is typically incorporated to ring fence investments, public and private equity stakes and other assets.
In this structure, a parent company or investor sets-up a RAK ICC passive holding offshore company which owns the following types of assets:
- Publicly traded shares or bonds.
- Controlling or non-controlling share in UAE based companies or companies outside the UAE.
Main benefits of this type of entity include:
- Provides an effective structure for ease of ownership transfer.
- Security for finance-based valuation based on the underlying assets.
- Operating structure for bringing assets in one pool for reporting or management purposes.
InZone is a registered agent with RAK ICC and helps its clients choose the right structure for their RAK ICC company and provides end-to-end service for the incorporation and management of these entities.
Possible Structures of RAK ICC Foundation with RAK Offshore Company
RAK ICC Foundations have been launched in 2019 by the RAK ICC to offer a comprehensive framework for investors looking to protect and manage their wealth in the UAE and around the world. The legal framework for these Foundations is provided in RAK ICC Foundations Regulations 2019.
At a basic level, a Foundation is a legal entity established with the RAK ICC that provides an option to the investor to achieve various wealth distribution structures including estate planning and asset protection. The Founder establishes a Foundation to hold assets for the benefit of the qualified recipient.
A Foundation is quite similar to a Trust, a concept that is commonly used in common law jurisdictions. The fundamental difference between a Foundation and a Trust is that the Foundation is incorporated as a legal entity. Foundation thus has a distinct legal personality that separates liability while allowing full control of assets.
A Foundation also has a perpetual existence that continues to operate even after the death of the Founder. The Council of Members or the Guardian (as per their appointment) continue to operate the Foundation for the benefit of the qualified recipient. A qualified recipient in a Foundation is similar to a beneficiary appointed in a Trust.
Here are some of the possible structures of RAK ICC Foundations with RAK offshore companies:
Shares of RAK Offshore Company
A Foundation can be established by the Founder to own shares of a RAK offshore company. The offshore company can then in turn either own other assets around the world. The offshore company can undertake any business activities outside the UAE. Under this structure, any dividends of the offshore company flow back to the Foundation and are distributed to the qualified recipient.
Real Estate Assets
RAK ICC Foundations are not permitted to directly own real estate properties. However, the Founder can set up a RAK offshore company as a wholly owned company of the Foundation. The offshore company can then in turn own real estate properties either in the Emirate of Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah. The income of the real estate properties continues to flow to the qualified beneficiary through the offshore company.
Bank accounts can be set up in the name of RAK ICC Foundations where the funds can be kept by the Founder. The funds can be applied for the benefit of the qualified recipient.
RAK ICC Foundations can be used as an effective tool for estate planning by the investors. The Council of Members can control the decision making in relation to the assets owned by the Foundation. These assets may either by owned by the Foundation directly or through a RAK offshore company. The assets can also be sold or otherwise managed in the best interests of the qualified recipient.
The above structures are the most common structures used for the RAK ICC Foundations. However, Foundations can also be used in a variety of other ways to ensure that the objectives set out in the Foundation charter are met.
InZone establishes RAK ICC Foundations and provides comprehensive advice to its clients around the world on the available structures.
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