Guide to Start an Offshore Company in the UAE

Offshore Company in the UAE

The word “Offshore” highlights the scenario where business investors prefer to invest in an offshore jurisdiction with the intent to enjoy the tax-exemption benefits. Over the years, the tax benefits have been widely preferred by business investors. 

Thus, most countries have taken the respective measures to transform themselves into popular offshore jurisdictions.

Considering the same front, the United Arab Emirates is no different, as it is one of the most sought-after places for people dealing in the offshore industry to setup business in UAE. This guide focuses on the respective points that need to be considered during company incorporation in UAE. 

The United Arab Emirates: A Popular Offshore Jurisdiction

You must have heard that business owners and entrepreneurs have been focusing on this jurisdiction for company formation in UAE. Be it food trucking or an accountancy firm, the UAE has provided a favourable ground for all. 

Now, the next question is: What is an offshore company incorporation in UAE?

The answer lies just below.

The United Arab Emirates has a long-standing reputation as a stable and tax-haven jurisdiction. Due to compliance with all international requirements on anti-money laundering, the UAE has never been black-listed as a country failing to comply with such regulations.

The country also has not signed the directive and the agreement with the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). About this fact, the offshore companies registered in the UAE today are one of the most effective protection instruments of confidentiality and investor rights. In addition to it, the Arab Emirates has a reliable and stable banking system for the business setup in UAE.

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), Ras-Al-Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK), and Ajman Free Zone have been turning out to be favourable grounds when it comes to offshore company incorporation in UAE. 

Benefits of Offshore Company Formation in UAE

Check out all of the advantages you can enjoy to register a company in UAE:

  • No taxes and customs duty
  • Full repatriation of profits
  • 100% foreign ownership is permitted
  • Only one shareholder and a director are required to register the company
  • Any currency can be used as capital for the company
  • No requirement to deposit the money in the offshore bank account
  • The shareholders are benefitted from the privacy
  • Setting up an offshore company is a cheap and easy way to open a corporate bank account

The Process to Setup a Business in UAE

Starting an offshore company in the United Arab Emirates requires a certain set of processes. The steps are as follows:

1. Select a Company Name

The name of the company must be initially verified with the Registrar. The company name must not include the following words: insurance, bank, building society, cooperative, fund, Municipal, Chamber of Commerce, trust, Royal, chartered, finance, mutual fund, and Emirates. In the end, the company name shall be Ltd. or Incorporated.

2. Fill an Application Form

After selecting the respective company name, one needs to fill up the application form by submitting a set of relevant documents for offshore company incorporation in UAE, which includes:

  • Identity proof of the shareholders and directors
  • Address proof of the shareholders and directors
  • CV of the shareholders and directors
  • Well-drafted business plan
  • Photocopies of the shareholders and directors

The document submission differs between the individuals and the corporate business entities. You can get complete details in the next section.

3. Submission of the Concerned Documents

After collecting the respective documents, they need to be submitted to the concerned authorities, who will review them and issue the relevant approvals.

4. Draft the MOA and AOA

Next, once the approval is obtained, the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and the Articles of Association (AOA) are to be drafted in the English language, which is practical for international business.

After the preparation, the documents are reviewed by the authority; upon approval, you can officially start your company.

5. Open an Offshore Bank Account

The final move is to open an offshore bank account for the offshore companies, which helps business owners carry out business transactions with ease. 

Offshore jurisdictions also help business owners open offshore companies and offshore bank accounts in different locations. The same process can be applied to open an anonymous offshore bank account.

Remember that an offshore company cannot carry out any business activities on the territory of the UAE except opening an offshore bank account and purchasing real estate.

Documents Required to Start an Offshore Company in the UAE

For individual shareholders:

  • Attested passport copy of the owner/shareholder.
  • Residential proof.
  • Original bank reference document.
  • Details of the owner/shareholder.
  • Preferred name of the company to be formed.
  • Activities of the newly formed offshore company.
  • The hierarchy of beneficiaries.

For Corporate Shareholders:

  • Board resolution.
  • Memorandum of Association.
  • Parent company certificate mentioning the name of shareholders/directors, and duly attested.
  • Hierarchy of beneficiaries

Your Service Provider| BSW

Thus, you have seen the essential steps and documentation process required for an offshore company formation in UAE. Now, proceeding ahead with the process might be a complicated process if you are not aware of legal regulations.

Most global business investors prefer to proceed with the guidance of business experts who hold certified knowledge of the company incorporation process. Moving forward with an accredited expert helps the business investors carry out the process in an error-free way.

With great experience setting up offshore companies in UAE, we at Business Setup Worldwide assist in all procedures from start to end for opening a foreign company bank account here. 

Our business advisors are well-versed in offshore incorporation proceedings and can help you deal with the process in an error-free way. Holding industry experience has given them the potential to understand the business needs and provide tailored solutions to suit them.

If you are looking forward to starting your offshore company incorporation in UAE, please contact us today- we’d be happy to help you.


Where can I establish an offshore company in the UAE?

Popular offshore jurisdictions in the UAE include Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Jebel Ali. Each jurisdiction may have its own set of regulations and advantages.

Is it necessary to have a physical office in the UAE for an offshore company?

In many offshore jurisdictions, having a physical office is not mandatory. However, a registered office address is required for official correspondence.

Who can own an offshore company in the UAE?

Typically, individuals and corporate entities, whether local or foreign, can own offshore companies. Some restrictions may apply depending on the jurisdiction.

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