Opening an offshore in the UAE 2022: what you need to know
The UAE is one of the most attractive jurisdictions for offshore business in the Middle East, because different types of companies can be registered here. A company can be fully owned by a foreigner, and physical presence of the owner in the country is not required. Information about the owners is not disclosed, there is no need to pay corporate income tax. To find out how to open an offshore company in the UAE 2022, read this article.
Features of UAE offshore registration
There are nine free economic zones in the UAE, but you can register offshore in only two of them - Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Jebel Ali. Here 100% foreign ownership is allowed, and you don’t have to pay corporate income tax. A company established in Jebel Ali can own real estate here.
Features of an offshore in the UAE:
- A company can only operate outside the country;
- Offshore business is exempt from accounting and tax obligations;
- There is no customs duty;
- Organization can be fully owned by a foreigner, so there is no need to look for a local partner;
- Account can be opened in any bank in the UAE;
- Ability to work with multi-currency accounts;
- The names of directors and shareholders are not on public lists, such as the Dubai Commercial Registry;
- Offshore companies can not operate in the banking, insurance, real estate sectors;
- No physical office is allowed;
- No resident visa is granted.
Requirements for offshore registration
To open an offshore company, you need at least 1 shareholder, which can be either an individual or a legal entity.
Jebel Ali must also have 2 directors (individuals), one of whom can act as secretary, whose presence is mandatory. The company must have an auditor to keep the books for 10 years. There is no minimum amount of share capital required to register an offshore business.
Ras Al Khaimah needs at least 1 director, who can be a legal entity. Accounting records must be kept for 7 years and do not have to be submitted to the state authorities.
Offshore registration by steps
The UAE offshore company registration process is simple and can be completed in a couple of weeks. It consists of these 4 steps:
- Choosing a unique name;
- Submission of the application and documents;
- Checking the papers by the relevant authority, which will consider the application;
- Opening a bank account for the new company, which will allow it to work in the international market.
Documents for the registration
Copies of documents must be translated into English, notarized, and apostilled (where required). To register you must submit the following documents:
- Proof of address;
- Reference letter from bank;
- Bank reference with bank details;
- Copies of passports of company owner, shareholders, appointed director;
- Articles of incorporation certified by notary;
- Detailed business plan;
- Summary of professional activities of the owner.