How to Open an Offshore Business in the UAE?

by Zaara 01, Apr 2020

How to Open an Offshore Business in the UAE?

The United Arab Emirates is one of the most sought-after business setup destinations in the Middle-East. International investors have the possibility of starting a company in any of the seven Emirates and their free zones. Due to this, the economy of the UAE has developed quite a lot during the last few decades.

A businessperson can set up a company in the United Arab Emirates in any of the following three ways –

  1. Mainland company
  2. Free zone company
  3. Offshore company

Today, we are going to discuss anything, and everything about an offshore company set up in the UAE.

The moment we overhear the term offshore company we think of business landscape away from home country that provides tax haven. An offshore company is pure a wholly-owned LLC which is legally tax-exempt and has no annual accounting and tax obligations.

Offshore companies are used for –

  • International trading
  • Holding company
  • Shipping company
  • Owning real estate
  • Registering patents and copyrights
  • International consulting services

Opening a UAE offshore company is an ideal, tax-efficient, and cost-effective corporate structure for entrepreneurs who wish to conduct foreign trade.

Advantages of Starting an Offshore Company in the UAE

There are several reasons why one must register a UAE offshore company. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Easy setup process as compared to other jurisdictions in the UAE
  • The directors and shareholders in an offshore company will not be required to register their names and details for public record
  • In the UAE, an offshore business is exempt from all annual accounting and tax obligations
  • Compared to other tax haven entities, registering an offshore company is a cheap and easy way to get a corporate bank account
  • No local sponsor required
  • No corporate taxes
  • The share capital can be denominated in any currency
  • No requirement to deposit the capital in the bank account
  • Full foreign ownership is permitted
  • Just one shareholder and director is required to register the business

Activities Allowed to be carried out by an Offshore Company in the UAE

The activities allowable for the owner of an offshore company in the UAE are-

  • Owning property
  • Consulting services
  • General trading services
  • Advisory services
  • Shipping and ship management
  • International and professional services

Procedure to Register an Offshore Company in the UAE

Offshore company registration in the UAE is initiated by one or more individuals who may be either natural or juristic, submitting an application form to the authorities of an offshore company, together with the relevant prescribed supporting documents.

The application form of registration must include the full details of the shareholders, the number of shares projected to be held by them and the value of the shareholding. Besides the names and addresses of the directors, the name and addresses of the representative agents and any other particulars that the registrar may need must be submitted. The application form should also be followed by the offshore company’s proposed Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Apart from this, to the application for registration of the offshore business and the proposed MOA and AOA, the following documents need to be submitted to the registrar –

  • Passport copy and ID of shareholders and directors
  • Proof of residence like utility bills, electricity bills etc.
  • Power of attorney in favour to pursue the incorporation
  • Bank reference letter

Once you gather these documents, you can register your business. The steps include –

  1. Deciding a trading name
  2. Confirming the scope of business activity
  3. Finalise the directors, shareholders, and company secretary
  4. Choose a share capital
  5. Apply with the documents

After these steps are completed, and your business is registered, you can open a corporate bank account. Following documents are required to open a bank account.

  • Bank application form
  • Passport copy
  • Original bank statement of last six months

Growing your business offshore is an excellent way of handling a business. Should you decide to start an offshore company in the UAE, then we at Commitbiz can help you with it. Our advisors are well-versed with the legal framework in the Emirates and can make the process hassle-free. Contact us today to know more.