Offshore Company Formation in UAE | Offshore Company Setup in Dubai

September 6, 2021by Mohammed Rahali

Offshore Company Formation in UAE – Offshore Company Setup in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers several Offshore Company Formation vehicles, used for a variety of business endeavors. Firstly, an offshore company should not be confused with a Free Zone Company. An offshore company is a company incorporated or registered away from the country of its investors and the region of its main operation and offices. Usually, it operates outside the country where it is formed. The UAE has a fast and efficient registration for offshore companies, with company incorporation usually processed within 1-4 weeks. UAE Offshore Companies are permitted to open multi-currency accounts in the UAE and carry out business internationally. They may not, however, carry on business with persons resident in the UAE or have physical premises within the UAE

The UAE has attracted more than 20,000 offshore entities in the last year and the credibility of the UAE for offshore investments has been solidified by adherence to the new international requirements (Economic Substance Regulations –ESR) involving combating money laundering. This has facilitated the UAE to enjoy a reputation as a trustworthy, well-regulated jurisdiction with guaranteed confidentiality.

Wincore Advisory Group offers you the opportunity to structure your international business, your shareholdings and your real estate in the most effective way locally or worldwide through a UAE Offshore Company Setup or an Offshore Company Setup in Dubai.

The jurisdictions proposing Offshore Companies in the UAE are Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Ajman Free Zone, and the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA).

RAK Offshore Company Formation

Ras al Khaimah, is about 74 miles from the commercial centre of the UAE. The city of Dubai rubs off on Rad Al Khaimah and it is now is one of the fastest-growing of the seven Emirates in the UAE. There are many advantages to registering as an offshore company in RAK. The physical presence of the owner is not needed for company registration instead a registered agent should be appointed for RAK offshore company setup. The cost and ease of doing business in RAK is much lower than the UAE average, allowing companies to maximise their return on investment

JAFZA Offshore Company Formation

Jebel Ali Free Zone is an industrial area surrounding the Jebel Ali Port, one of the world’s biggest shipping ports, which allows the international companies based there to enjoy the special privileges of the free zone. The JAFZA Offshore Company is utilised as an Offshore Company Setup vehicle in Dubai, through which local Dubai Real Estate can be held.

AJMAN Offshore Company Formation

The Ajman Free Zone Authority, AFZA, is the governing authority responsible for regulating and licensing companies registered in the Ajman Freezone.  Incorporating an Ajman Offshore Company offers one of the highest levels of anonymity and confidentiality available today. The time to registering an AFZA Offshore company takes the least amount of time out of all 3 jurisdictions and the cost to set up is the lowest.

Benefits of a UAE Offshore Company Formation

  • Segregate and secure assets, (e.g. Intellectual Property Trade Name), from operating entities.
  • Offshore Companies are allowed to open bank accounts in the UAE and abroad and operate internationally (but not with persons resident in the UAE). Wincore Advisory Group has many international banking relationships worldwide and can provide the necessary introductions for Bank Account Opening.
  • Expand international market share.
  • Cost-effective offshore company setup.
  • Business-oriented legal system.
  • The most flexible and robust regulatory regimes.
  • Best access to international funding.
  • Ease of establishing underlying subsidiary(ies) within onshore.
  • RAK ICC and JAFZA offshore companies can own real estate situated in Dubai.
  • No maintenance of books and records. (Except for some local offshore companies). Audited accounts are only required for JAFZA Offshore Company. A RAK Offshore Company requires accounting books to be kept for 7 years and 10 years for Jafza Offshore Company.
  • Impacted by anti-avoidance tax rules in countries where the offshore intends to operate.
  • Tax neutral on international (subject to jurisdictions) personal or company income, capital gains and inheritance taxes.
  • No need to apply for residency for its shareholders.
  • No need to have employees.
  • No need to have a physical office, however, a registered agent must be appointed alongside a registered office address.
  • Offshore Companies can hold shares in Free Zone and Onshore LLC Companies.
  • Directors and shareholders are not disclosed on the public register.

Wincore Advisory Group also offers you the opportunity to establish offshore companies outside the UAE (Nevis, BVI, Hong Kong, Singapore …) to conduct international transactions or trading and diversify the localisation of your holding with the possibility of having Corporate Directors and Nominee Shareholders acting on your behalf to safeguard your privacy.

What Are The Required Documents required For Setting Up A UAE Offshore Company?

  • Passport Data Page Copies (from all shareholders and directors)
  • Proof of Address from all shareholders and directors (utility bill, bank statement…)
  • Bank Reference Letter (from all shareholders and directors)
  • Curriculum Vitae (from all shareholders and directors)

How Can We Help in Setting Up an Offshore Company in UAE?

It is important for investors interested in setting up an Offshore Company in the UAE to choose the appropriate licensing jurisdiction and comply with the relevant regulatory requirements, and this is often challenging and confusing to navigate. Choosing our advisory services ensures that there is a smooth setup from start to finish. If you wish to discuss how we can assist you in setting up a RAK Offshore Company or a JAFZA Offshore Company, or any other legal entity, feel free to contact us.

For Support and assistance on this matter Get in touch with our Corporate Team Today. 

Wincore specializes in TaxEstateCorporate and Fiduciary matters. We provide pragmatic, flexible, and efficient solutions to individual entrepreneurs, startup businesses, foreign and local SMEs, multinationals, wealthy international families, HNWIs, and UHNWIs.


Mohammed Rahali

Managing Partner

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