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Offshore Company Formation in UAE | Offshore Company Setup in UAE

May 16, 2021by Chinwe Azikiwe

Offshore Company Formation in UAE

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 formation.

There are two main jurisdictions offering offshore company formations in UAE;  Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) & 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. Jebel Ali is located just outside Dubai and is about an hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital city. Through a JAFZA Offshore Company Formation vehicle, local Dubai Real Estate can be held.

Benefits of a UAE Offshore Company Formation

  • Segregate and secure assets, (e.g. Intellectual Property Trade Name), from operating entities. The jurisdictions proposing Offshore Companies in the UAE are Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Ajman Free Zone, and the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA): Offshore Companies are allowed to open bank accounts in the UAE and abroad and operate internationally but not with persons resident in the UAE.
  • 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.
  • Do not provide any residency to its shareholders, directors, employees.
  • No benefit of UAE double tax conventions network
  • A registered agent should be appointed.
  • Offshore Companies can hold shares in Free Zone and Onshore LLC Companies.
  • Directors and shareholders are not disclosed on the public register.
  • Not allowed to lease office space.
  • To expand international market share.
  • Cost-effective set up
  • Business-oriented legal system.
  • The most flexible regulatory regime.
  • Best access to international funding.
  • Rak IBC and Jafza could own real estate situated in Dubai.

Wincore Advisory Group 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.

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.


Chinwe Azikiwe

Senior Business Advisor

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