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UAE Offshore

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers several options for offshore business setup. Offshore companies in the UAE are commonly established in free zones, which are designated areas with special regulations and incentives to promote business activities. The most popular offshore jurisdictions in the UAE are Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) International Corporate Centre.

Benefits UAE Offshore Business Setup

Setting up an offshore business in the UAE can offer several benefits. Here are some key advantages:

Requirements For UAE Offshore Company Formation

It’s important to note that offshore companies in the UAE are primarily designed for international business operations and may have limitations on conducting business within the UAE mainland. Consulting with a registered agent or business setup consultancy is highly recommended to navigate the specific requirements and regulations associated with offshore business setup in the UAE.

Choose the offshore jurisdiction

Decide on the free zone where you want to establish your offshore company. JAFZA and RAK International Corporate Centre are the main options, but there are other free zones available as well.

Select a business activity

Determine the type of business activity you intend to conduct. Different free zones may have specific regulations or limitations on certain activities, so ensure your chosen free zone allows your desired business activity.

Name your company

Choose a unique name for your offshore company. The name should comply with the naming guidelines of the chosen free zone.

Engage with a registered agent

In the UAE, offshore companies require a registered agent to facilitate the setup process. Consult with a registered agent who will guide you through the entire process and assist with the necessary documentation.

Provide required documentation

Prepare the necessary documents, which typically include:

Submit the application

Complete the application form provided by the registered agent and submit it along with the required documentation. The registered agent will assist you with this process.

Obtain the offshore license

Once the application is approved, you will receive the offshore license, which allows you to conduct business activities in the chosen free zone.

Open a bank account

After obtaining the offshore license, you can proceed to open a corporate bank account for your offshore company. You will need to fulfill the bank's requirements and provide the necessary documentation.

Fulfill ongoing compliance requirements

Ensure that you comply with the ongoing requirements of the free zone, such as annual license renewals, filing of financial statements, and maintaining a registered office address.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an offshore business setup in the UAE?
  • An offshore business setup in the UAE refers to the establishment of a company in a designated offshore jurisdiction within the United Arab Emirates. These jurisdictions, such as Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), offer various advantages like tax benefits, asset protection, and privacy for international businesses.
What are the key benefits of setting up an offshore company in the UAE?

Setting up an offshore company in the UAE offers several benefits, including:

  • Tax advantage
  • Asset protection
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Ease of company formation
Who can benefit from an offshore business setup in the UAE?

An offshore business setup in the UAE is advantageous for various individuals and entities, such as:

  • International entrepreneurs and investors seeking tax optimization and asset protection.
  • Professionals in consultancy, advisory, or other service-based industries looking to expand their business internationally.
  • Individuals who wish to hold and manage their assets, including real estate, intellectual property, or investments, through a secure offshore structure.


Can an offshore company in the UAE conduct business within the UAE?
  • No, an offshore company in the UAE is prohibited from conducting business activities within the UAE. It cannot have a physical presence, employ staff, or engage in commercial operations within the mainland or free zones of the UAE. However, it can hold shares in other UAE companies, own real estate properties, or maintain bank accounts in the UAE.

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