Guide to Start an Offshore Company in the UAE 2021

The word “Offshore” highlights the scenario where business investors prefer to invest in an offshore jurisdiction with an 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 to start an offshore business for people dealing in the offshore industry. This guide focuses on the respective points that need to be considered while starting an offshore company in the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates: A Popular Offshore Jurisdiction

Till now, you must have been hearing that business owners and entrepreneurs have been focusing on the UAE to start their business. 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 in the UAE?

The answer lies just below.

The United Arab Emirates has a long-standing reputation as a stable and tax-haven jurisdiction. Due to the 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 OCED (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 investors right. In addition to it, the Arab Emirates has a reliable and stable banking system for the business of offshore company UAE.

The Emirates Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), Ras-Al-Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK), and Ajman Free Zone have been turning out be favourable grounds when it comes to an offshore jurisdiction.

Benefits of Offshore Company Formation in UAE

  • No taxes and customs duty
  • Full repatriation of profits
  • 100% foreign ownership is permitted
  • Only one shareholder and a director 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

Procedure to Start an Offshore Company in the UAE

Starting an offshore company in the United Arab Emirates needs to undergo a certain set of processes. Offshore Company formation in Dubai is an easy and straight-forward process, which can be completed in a matter of weeks. 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, Emirate, and Emirates. In the end, the company name shall have Ltd. or Incorporated.

2.Fill an Application.

After selecting the respective company name, one needs to fill up the application form by submitting a set of relevant documents, 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 detail in the next section.

3.Submission of the Concerned Documents

After collecting the respective documents, it needs to be submitted to the concerned authorities who will review the same 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, which helps the business owners to carry out the business transactions at ease. Here’s a guide on           How to Start an Offshore Bank Account, which will help you to understand the complete mechanism at ease.

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

[Read more: How to Establish 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 in Dubai and purchase of the real estate. An offshore company, in distinction to an onshore company in Free Trade Zone, does not give the right to receive a residency visa in the UAE.

Documents Required to Start an Offshore Company in the UAE

For individual shareholder:

  • 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

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

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

[Read more: The Core Reasons for Hiring an Offshore Business Consultant]

With a great experience of 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 with the 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 suiting the business needs.

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

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