Offshore Company in Dubai(JAFZA)

Dubai is one of the growing business grounds that has continuously been grabbing the attention of foreigners. Be it an entrepreneur or an established business professional, Dubai has been the apple of the eye when it comes to company incorporation. The blend of favourable business climate with tax exemptions has made the location the top choice of business investors.

The location holds a vast network that has a positive move in enhancing the Foreign trade segment. Today, business setup in Dubai has turned out to be an easy process as the government has eased the company setup process to a great extent.

The business ground provides a wide range of opportunities to investors who want to incorporate a business in the Dubai Mainland. Simultaneously, there has been a continuous rise in offshore company formation in popular offshore jurisdictions. Thus, it has been targeting investors who want to invest in the offshore segment.

JAFZA Offshore Company Setup

The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) is an emerging ground established in the year 1985 that allowed the business investors to incorporate free zone companies at ease. In 2003, the setting up of offshore companies in the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai was introduced under the Jebel Ali Free Zone Offshore Companies regulations. Recently, the Jebel Ali Free Zone Offshore Companies Regulations 2018 replaces the old regulations. These rules were made by the Chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zones Corporation by the authority given by Dubai Laws No. 1 and 4 of 2001.

The offshore companies in the UAE should not be confused with the Free Zone Companies. An offshore business unit allows the business owners to carry out the business activities outside the registered jurisdiction where the business owner resides. Starting an offshore business in JAFZA becomes easier if carried out under the guidance of business experts.

Characteristics of Jebel Ali Free Zone Offshore Company

The offshore company incorporated in JAFZA holds the following characteristics essential for any business to know before starting a business in JAFZA.

Company type

Offshore Company

Suffix to the name


Governing corporate legislation

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority



Capital structure

Decided by the shareholders

Accounting requirement





Jebel Ali Free Zone Offshore Companies Regulations 2018

Standard currency

UAE Dirhams

Local sponsor requirement


Foreign ownership


Minimum no. of directors required


Minimum no. of shareholder required


Allowance of bearer shares


  • The corporate shareholders must present the attested company formation documents
  • The offshore companies must maintain proper ten years of business records since inception

Permitted Activities for a JAFZA Offshore Company

A JAFZA incorporated offshore company is permitted to carry out the following activities:

  • Professional contact with legal consultants, accountants and auditors
  • To hold the lease of property
  • To hold an offshore bank account
  • To hold the respective business license

Business License for a JAFZA Offshore Company

An offshore business in JAFZA can hold the following licenses:

  • General trading license: to import, store and distribute the items as per JAFZA regulations
  • Trading license: to export, import, store and distribute the items stated in the license
  • Industrial license: import raw materials and manufacture specific products
  • Service license: to carry out specific services permitted by the Economic Department or by the municipality
  • National industrial license: dedicated to manufacturing firms that should have a GCC national as an owner of majority shares

Advantages of Dubai (JAFZA) Offshore Company Formation

A Dubai (JAFZA) offshore company is a convenient way of setting up an offshore company. The tax-haven jurisdiction comes with the following benefits:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • No restriction on the repatriation of capitals and profits
  • No corporate or personal tax
  • No prerequisite of a minimum share capital
  • Most properties in Dubai, with the approval of the Free Zone and the developer, can be owned by a Dubai (JAFZA) offshore company
  • Provision to hold a multi-currency offshore bank account in the UAE for international transactions
  • No obligation of sharing the names of directors and shareholders on a public register.

How to Start a Dubai (JAFZA) Offshore Company?

To start an offshore Dubai (JAFZA) company, one has to go through the following steps:

1.Seek expert’s advice

The first and foremost task is to seek an expert’s advice while proceeding with the incorporation task. This is important because foreign business owners will not be able to carry out the legal proceedings at ease.

2.Select a business/trade name

Selecting a business trade is a crucial task that is required to be done carefully. While choosing a business name, one has to be careful that it should not match the name of the competitors available in the existing market. Additionally, the name chosen for the business should not sound offensive.

3.Determine the nature of the business activity

While proceeding with the offshore company, it is essential to determine the initial stage's business activity. The business investor must be clear whether the business activities are related to trading, consulting or setting up a holding company.

4.Submit the business documents

Opening an offshore company in Dubai requires the submission of the following documents:

  • A duly filled application form
  • Identity proof of the shareholders and directors
  • Address proof of the shareholders and directors
  • Passport-size photo of the company shareholders and directors
  • Well-drafted business plan
  • Memorandum of association
  • Articles of association

5. Open an offshore bank account

The last move is to open an offshore bank account to carry out the business transactions at ease, and also helps you to carry out the international transactions.

To know more about the benefits that you can derive, have a look at the Advantages of offshore banking.

Transformation of an Offshore Company to an Onshore Company

An offshore company incorporated in JAFZA holds the flexibility to convert itself into an onshore business unit. This can be done by submitting a resolution to the Registrar to change the corporate form.

Getting an offshore company registered in JAFZA is one of the tedious tasks if one is not aware of the legal proceedings.

One of the best moves is to proceed ahead with business experts who are certified professionals.

Business Setup Worldwide is one of the best business consultants in Dubai who has helped business owners take a step to incorporate their business dreams.

Our business advisors are well-experienced business experts who can help investors by providing tailored solutions.

Contact us today-we’d be glad to assist!