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Dubai Business Setup & RAK Offshore Company Information

COMPANY FORMATION / Dubai and RAK Offshore
Are you interested in setting up a company in Dubai or any of the Free Zones of the United Arab Emirates?

The UAE offers you limited regulations, easy access to the international labour market and a location on the major trade route between East and West. Furthermore, it has a favourable time zone and no corporate and income taxes.

Freemont Group has been assisting international entrepreneurs like yourself with setting up companies in the UAE since 2006. We are the ideal partner to jump-start your business in the UAE. Our understanding of the procedures and excellent relationship with the free zone authorities ensures that your company is set up without delay. Our banking relations make opening a corporate bank account a breeze. In addition, we provide you with one point of contact during the entire incorporation process. Setting up a company has never been this easy.

Contact us if you want to discuss your project in person with one of our incorporation specialists. 

The UAE has many different free zones. There are substantial differences in requirements, regulations and prices. This page summarizes the options Freemont Group usually recommends to its customers. And more importantly, why. You can click on one of the images below to learn more.

Please don't forget to have a look through our knowledge base at the bottom of this page. It contains a lot of quality articles that can give you a better understanding about doing business in the UAE. We know there is a lot of contradicting information out there, so make sure to check it out.

Entities in the UAE explained in summary:

RAKICC (Offshore) Companies/ RAK Offshore

The RAK/ RAKICC Offshore company is by far the most popular for international entrepreneurs looking to set up their business in the UAE. This legal entity has very interesting features from which you can highly benefit.

They are ideal for any type of business that does not require a local office, including passive investment activities.
Examples of way our existing clients use RAK Offshore companies include:

  • Holding shares in international, local or free zone companies
  • International consulting
  • Investment company
  • Trading activities outside the UAE
  • Holding intellectual property

RAK Offshore companies have the following benefits:

  • 0% Corporation tax, 0% VAT and no income tax.
  • No requirement for the owner or director to visit the UAE in person
  • 100% full foreign ownership
  • Confidentiality is preserved; there is no public record of shareholders or directors
  • No audit requirement or requirement to submit financial statements
  • Possibility to open a solid bank account in Dubai
  • A registered office in Dubai (through Freemont Group)
Just like local and free zone companies, these offshore companies can benefit from some of the tax treaties concluded by the UAE while still benefiting from the strong client confidentiality rules applicable in the UAE. Using a RAKIC/ RAK offshore as a shareholder of a free zone company can prevent otherwise significant legalization charges.

RAK IC’s cannot rent office space. Nor can they apply for staff visas. They are also not allowed to import goods into the UAE. 

RAK Offshore companies can only be incorporated through a licensed registered agent such as Freemont. However when you set up your RAKIC/ RAK offshore with Freemont you will have the registered office address of your company in the heart of Dubai.

Free Zone Entities 

If you are considering physically moving (part of) your business to the UAE, a Free Zone company is the obvious choice. Some activities are restricted outside of the Free Zone, but a free zone entity can be used to trade with the rest of the world from the UAE. There is no need to have an Emirati national as a 51% shareholder.

Effectively you will have a local presence and do business from the booming UAE. You can rent an office space and can easily obtain visas for you and your staff.

The main advantages of setting up in one of the free zones in the UAE are:

  • 100% foreign ownership is allowed
  • Renting of offices and flexi desks
  • Obtaining residence visas
  • No tax
  • Easy to hire the staff you need
  • Guarantee for 15-50 years against the future imposition of corporation tax
  • Import duty free (duty is 5% on most goods), if the goods are not supplied to the local market

Dubai Mainland and Limited liability companies

A LLC or a Dubai Mainland company can be formed with a minimum of two individuals. Their liability is limited to their shares in the company’s capital. Individuals or International companies that want to engage in trade within the UAE and the rest of the world (both domestically and globally) usually are advised to pursue this option.

It is important to note that 51% of the shareholding must be owned by an Emirati national. Dubai Mainland Companies and LLC's can engage in trade freely within the United Arab Emirates without any restrictions.
Dubai Mainland Companies and LLC's main advantages are:

  • 0% corporation tax and no VAT imposed on most products imported or exported
  • efficient government services and rule of Law
  • no restrictions on hiring expatriates 

Branch of a foreign company
Foreign companies can establish a branch office in the UAE. A branch office may not carry out any commercial activity in its own name, it may only negotiate and enter into contracts on behalf of the parent company, and if goods and services are required to fulfil that contract, they have to come directly from the parent. Support activities by the branch are allowed.

Knowledge Base - Interesting Articles
In our monthly newsletter we regularly update our many readers on different aspects of doing business in the UAE. Find here a selection of articles we wrote that contain much more in-debt knowledge about the use of the type of companies.
6 Tips for starting your business in Dubai.
Join us in a virtual meeting. We will guide you through the process of selecting a free zone in the UAE.
What will happen with your assets in Dubai when you pass away? Dubai has come up with a great solution. The Dubai Will and Probate Registry.
Can you use a RAK Offshore company to hold assets? RAK Offshore companies are ideal to use as holding companies. But there are some things you need to take into consideration. Discover more.
Want to know more about the different types of offshore companies in the UAE? See our Overview.
The term “substance” is used when real economic activity is deployed. This is needed when you want to benefit from tax treaties and tax planning activities. In this article that was written by former Chairman Adriaan Struijk and published by you can discover that you can perfectly use the UAE for substance.
Read here about the expanding UAE Tax Treaty Network and how you can highly benefit.

Interested in buying real estate in Dubai? Buy it with a company...

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Thank you for your interest in Freemont Group, the specialists in company formation, asset protection and legal and advisory . Feel free to contact us with any inquiry you might have. We will provide you with a free initial consultation, and a customized solution for your personal situation.