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Offshore business setup

Offshore business setup

You can set up an offshore company in Dubai. This is a company that isn’t in a freezone or the mainland. An offshore company is a legal business set up with the intent of conducting business activities outside its registered location of ownership or jurisdiction.

In most cases, an offshore company doesn't need a physical office space but cannot conduct extensive business activities in the country of origin.

At Dubai Visa and Investment Company, we can assist you in setting up an offshore company. Individuals and institutions can set up and own an offshore company, and the shares are easily transferred by written document.

Offshore company setup in Dubai is a fast-growing business in the country. It aims to eliminate or minimise taxes associated with capital gains, property sales, death duties, value-added tax (VAT) and profits on the business.

Important considerations for offshore company registration in Dubai include the ability to protect or hold property and other assets, create or maintain wealth, and provide international trading, consulting and contracting services from one location.

Our services

Our offshore company setup packages include

  • Business setup consultation
  • Incorporation certificate
  • MAA grafts
  • Filing with the ROC
  • Registered agent
  • Full documentation forms
  • License fees
  • Registration and PO box

Benefits of offshore company setup consultants in Dubai

The following are the benefits of starting your offshore business with our help.

  • Your assets remain protected.
  • The legal structures will ensure a strong layer of protection from any future liabilities.
  • Offshore companies provide tax optimisation.
  • No legal implications, making the offshore company set up and running simple
  • Low and insignificant capital requirement

Structural benefits

Unlike other jurisdictions, the UAE has a regulated banking system, high-level telecommunication networks, easy access to international markets, and sophisticated facilities and infrastructure.

An offshore company in Dubai has several benefits. These benefits include;

  • Separation and protection of assets
  • Business-friendly and stable legal system
  • Access to global funding
  • Access to international markets
  • Tax neutrality
  • Flexible regulatory regime

Establishing an offshore company is relatively quick and easy, and we can have this process completed in a few days.

An offshore company can be strategically designed to reduce overall international tax liability. There is no minimum share capital, but the government may ask that the paid-up capital be equivalent to the proposed activities.

Some property developers allow up to four individuals to purchase a property like an apartment, office or villa, but for offshore companies, the property owners can be up to 50.

Choice of jurisdiction

Choosing a jurisdiction for an offshore company depends on several factors, such as the regulations and laws of the country the business is established, the geopolitical and political climate of the region based on plans, the type of assets and the nature of the business.

The list of top offshore companies in the UAE includes

  • Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)
  • RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC)

These companies allow 100% foreign ownership and are tax-free jurisdictions that incur no corporate or income tax. The UAE negotiated Avoidance of Double Taxation Treaty Agreements (DTTAs) with over 110 countries.

These jurisdictions have specific benefits. The RAK ICC is the fastest and cheapest option to set up an offshore company in the UAE. The incorporation can take only a few days. RAK offshore is an established offshore jurisdiction in the Middle East with over 14,000 companies in 50 sectors.

RAK ICC and JAFZA offshore companies are the only offshore companies permitted to own properties in Dubai.

All UAE offshore companies can open multi-currency accounts in the country and can conduct business internationally.

Offshore company restrictions

Offshore companies have a few restrictions in Dubai.

  • Prohibited activities include banking, financial services and insurance
  • Real estate investment for offshore companies is limited to specific areas

Registration requirement

An offshore company registration has a few requirements which vary for corporate and individual applicants. However, some requirements apply to all applicants.

  • The proposed capital must be in the application.
  • The application must include the full names and addresses of the applicants.
  • The application must include the Articles and Memorandum of Association
  • The offshore company must only conduct businesses mentioned in the application
  • The offshore company must only provide facilities and services in the mentioned locations

Requirement for individual applicants

  • The applicant’s profile
  • The applicant’s passport
  • The applicant’s bank reference letter
  • The proof of residence of the applicant (documents providing evidence of address like electricity bills, water bills or other utility bills)
  • The power of attorney for the company incorporation process
  • Notarised and legalised Power of Attorney from the UAE embassy in the country of company formation
  • The director’s copy of passport (at least one director is needed, and any shareholder can be the director)

Requirement for corporate applicants

  • The certificate of good standing of the company, legalised and attested by the UAE embassy in the company’s country of origin
  • The certificate or registration of the company, legalised and attested by the UAE embassy in the company’s country of origin
  • The Articles and Memorandum of Association of the company attested and legalised by the UAE embassy in the company's country of origin.
  • A corporate bank reference letter from the applicant
  • A board of resolution from the applicant calling for the offshore company’s establishment and the appointment of directors (at least one director and a shareholder can be a director)
  • Appointment of a legal representative for the offshore company formation, attested and legalised by the UAE embassy in the company’s country of origin

Documents for offshore company setup in Dubai

RAK ICC Jebel Ali Offshore >

Certified copy of passport

Certified copy of passport

Proof of address, like a tenancy agreement or utility bill

Bank reference letter

Bank statement for the last six months

Business resume

Address proof like a tenancy agreement or utility bill

Banking for offshore companies

UAE offshore companies can open domestic bank accounts and accounts in other countries. The types of banking options include

  • Commercial banking

    Commercial banking is dedicated to SMEs and start-ups in the UAE. It offers the most flexible banking facilities to start a business. The UAE banking vision aims to support start-ups and SMEs and provide solutions to improve the country’s economy.

  • Retail banking

    This is the standard personal banking for individual customers used in branches of larger commercial banks. Over 50 retail banks are available in the UAE. The retail banking system offers a wide range of services, such as current accounts and personal savings, debit and credit cards, and personal and auto loans. Retail banking focuses on the individual customer level.

  • Investment banking

    Banks in UAE offer one of the highest ROI rates starting at 3% interest. The economic and political position also makes UAE a leading global investment centre.

  • Islamic banking

    Banks in UAE offer Islamic banking governed by Federal Law No. 6 of 1985 and Shari’a Law. H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s strategic plan includes establishing Dubai as a global Islamic banking centre.

Benefits of banking within the UAE

  • UAE banks offer quick transfers for international markets and IBANs for European markets
  • UAE banks operate with multi-currency accounts such as (AED, USD, GBP, Euro)
  • UAE banks offer the facility to get debit and credit cards
  • UAE banks have a friendly online portal system for e-banking transactions
  • UAE banks have an excellent international reputation for confidentiality and security
  • UAE banks provide chequebooks and token devices for secure transactions
  • UAE banks provide easy phone bank system and mobile applications for internet banking transactions
  • UAE banks offer support for bank guarantees, letter of credit and other commercial banking facilities

Process of bank account opening in UAE

Opening a UAE bank account is safe, easy and regulated by the Central Bank. Our experts can pre-evaluate your profile and provide a list of banks suitable for your requirements. When you select a bank, we will contact the bank and organise a meeting with them.

After the meeting, providing the necessary documents and signing the back form, the bank will process them within 15 days and open the account and send your banking details. 

Dubai Visa and Investment Centre will make your offshore account formation easy and stress-free. Contact us at office No. 4108, 41st floor, Churchill Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates or 971 544563095.

Frequently asked questions

A UAE offshore company allows you to keep a virtual office while gaining the benefits of the UAE market. It also requires low capital and tax.

You need approvals and documentation from the government, such as MoA, visa and passport, to set up an offshore company in Dubai. We can assist you with a quick and easy offshore company setup in Dubai.

Offshore companies do not pay corporate tax on profits.