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Business Setup in UAE-RAK Offshore

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RAKIA Offshore Company Formation – U.A.E

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is one of several federal Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). RAK Offshore is an independent entity established to encourage foreign businesses (offshore companies) to form local companies (aka International Companies – IC). As one of the most popular options for foreign companies to establish a Middle Eastern presence, RAK Offshore has many benefits to offer to small and medium enterprises. International companies enjoy asset protection, financial confidentiality and tax-free status. The region also has a near-zero crime rate, a stable political environment, minimal financial risk and RAK is not “blacklisted” as a “tax haven”. There is no foreign exchange of information and RAK is immune to pressure from international organizations such as OECD and the EU to modify its business regulations.

RAK Offshore Benefits

There are a number of features and regulatory benefits of forming an offshore company in RAK. Some of these many benefits are:
• Central location to global markets and proximity to the entire Gulf Region
• There are no withholding taxes
• There is no Value-added tax
• No capital gains tax
• Businesses pay no import or export fees
• In Free Zones, 100% ownership is allowed – no local sponsor is required
• Capital and profit is 100% repatriated
• Corporate tax and income tax exempt
• UAE physical address is not required
• Non-resident (UAE) individual director or shareholder is allowed
• Corporate shareholder or director allowed
• With prior authorization, may own real estate in UAE
• Bank accounts and deposits may be in the UAE or worldwide
• RAK offshore company may hold shares in UAE and worldwide companies
• Remote incorporation process – physical presence in UAE not required for business formation
• Ownership of UAE registered yachts is allowed

Permitted business activities

There is a long list of permitted activities for RAK Offshore businesses:
• General Trading
• Commission agents
• Shipping Management
• Professional services
• International services
• Investments (except as prohibited by RAK or UAE authority)
• Holding company activities
• Consulting

The list of prohibited activities includes activities expressly prohibited by the RAK authority or UAE law. Banking, insurance and re-insurance, and financial activities are not allowed unless the company obtains express agreement from RAK Investment Authority and applicable UAE authority.

Incorporation Requirements, Documentation

The list of required documents includes:
• Passport copies for Directors and shareholders or copy of passport for individual applicant
• Original Bank reference letter
• Proof of residence for individual applicant or physical address of corporate applicant
• Incorporation certificate or license issued by business authority in the corporate applicants original country – notarized by UAE Embassy
• Board of Directors or shareholders’ resolution indicating intent to establish a RAK Offshore entity
• A Memorandum of Association or Article of Association for the parent company – also notarized by the UAE Embassy in the country of origin
• A Certificate of good standing from business authority in the country of origin notarized by the UAE Embassy
• Personal Information Sheet for each shareholder and director
• For multilevel Corporate entities documents of ownership for each level of ownership leading to the ultimate beneficiary owner
• There may be additional documents required or requested by the Registrar
• If a registered local agent is providing business formation assistance a notarized power of attorney for the agent is required

The purpose and value of a Local Agent

Starting or setting up a business in RAK Offshore can seem intimidating. Local regulations will seem incomprehensible to newcomers to the region. Many prospective business owners will be tempted to go it alone – researching the regulations and trying to complete the required steps on their own. They will most likely find the path strewn with unseen obstacles, recent regulation changes and misinterpreted information. These obstacles will make the formation of a business in RAK Offshore more expensive and time consuming than it has to be. Some more aggressive potential business owners may find starting the planned business impossible.

The process does not have to be this complicated. Having a local organization working with the business owners is the best starting point in the planning. Organizations local to RAK Offshore will know about recent changes in regulations and have established relationships to smooth the path to a successful start-up. With the proper assistance, business owners will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly and trouble free the process is completed.

RAK Offshore welcomes investment in the region but wants to be sure businesses are respecting local culture and not taking advantage of local citizens.

A Registered Agent can make the formation of a business in RAK Offshore much easier and quicker. A registered agent is required for incorporation in some Free Trade Zones and strongly recommended for all offshore companies. Push Digits is fully qualified to be your Registered Local Agent. We are prepared to offer any services to make your business formation in RAK Offshore a quick and easy process. The requirements and documentation can appear very intimidating but we have the skills and experience to navigate you through the process. We know the local offices and have connections with local functionaries to get you through the process quickly. After your business is up and running, we have a range of additional services to save your time and increase your profit. We are qualified Chartered Accountants and provide accounting and bookkeeping, statutory financial audit preparation, company formation, internal audits and financial projections at our best possible prices. We look forward to helping you.

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