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Foundation is considered as a distinctive corporate legal personality and an autonomous body meant to govern the assets and properties of the Founder or any other person. Foundation stands as an alternative to trusts for financial planning and structuring. Foundations can be used for a variety of purposes, including wealth management and preservation, family succession planning, tax planning, asset protection, business growth, employee share schemes, corporate structuring, and public interest purposes (excluding charities).
RAK ICC Foundation main pointers
  • RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC) Foundation is a corporate body created with a legal personality separate from that of its Founder(s) registered at RAK ICC. The Foundation acts through its council to administer its assets and carry out its objects.
  • The specialty of RAK ICC Foundation is its anonymity since the RAKI ICC Registry does not maintain publicly verifiable registers or records of the Foundation. 
  • A Registered Agent is mandatory to set up RAK ICC Foundation however a Foundation can be set up with a single individual council member. 
  • Unlike other jurisdictions in the region, it is not mandatory to include a UAE asset to qualify for setting up a Foundation. 
  • No requirement of filing audited financial statements unless specifically requested by the Registrar. 
  • Registration and annual maintenance fee are comparatively less compared to the other jurisdictions in the region. 
ADGM Foundation. 
  • Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is an independent jurisdiction having its own civil and commercial laws and gained a high level of legal certainty. ADGM provides additional amendments to its regulation if required. ADGM has its independent courts to deal with any type of contingencies arising out of the affairs of Foundations. 
  • Details of Council members are kept confidential, unlike other jurisdictions. 
  • ADGM foundation doesn’t have the ongoing obligation to file audited financial statements unless otherwise specifically directed by the Registry. 
  • ADGM Foundation cannot be established exclusively for philanthropic or charitable purposes without structuring the Foundation and its By-laws & charters. 
The major difference between RAK ICC Foundation and ADGM Foundation.
  • RAK ICC foundation is user-friendly, less compliant, cost-efficient and a robust jurisdiction introduced by Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate center during the last quarter of 2019 whereas ADGM is a more matured jurisdiction having its regulatory regime with a high level of legal certainty introduced during 2015.  
  • A Registered Agent must be appointed following the regulation to set up a RAK ICC Foundation and may not have more than one registered agent at a time. Appointing a Registered Agent is at the discretion of the Founder of ADGM Foundation. 
  • RAK ICC Foundation Council shall comprise at least two (2) members. A Founder or a body corporate may be appointed as a co-council member with an individual council member whereas ADGM Foundation can be set up with one individual Council Member and the Founder can act as the council member. 
  • A RAK ICC Foundation can choose either DIFC Courts or ADGM Courts; whichever is selected in the Charter and By-laws of the Foundation. ADGM has its two-tier court system; the court of First Instance and the Court of appeal. 
  • A RAK ICC Foundation may, but need not, have a Guardian in respect of an object to provide some or all of its property to a person or class of person, whether or not immediately ascertainable; or ascertained by reference to a personal relationship. However, in an ADGM Foundation, a Guardian may be a Beneficiary and maybe a Legal Person, but may not be a Founder, Councillor, or sole Beneficiary.
All the information presented above are from RAKICC & ADGM regulations and other public sources available as of May 2021. We have made reasonable care and caution while collecting the data however any mistake, error, discrepancies or omission noted above shall be brought to our notice. We propose detailed advice to be taken before initiating any action or refraining from taking any action as a result of the information contained in this write up, as Freemont Oneworld Group (FOG), its UAE office or ancillary offices shall not be responsible for any damage or loss of action to anyone in any manner there from. We strongly recommend that the prospects must contact FOG or any of its office to obtain most recent information and professional advice related to establishing a Foundation in UAE.

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