Free Zones in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven emirates of the UAE. It is emerging as one of the fastest-growing free trade zones, established in 2000. This emirate is all set to take over the title of being one of the most sought-after investment destinations in the UAE. This is because of the emerging infrastructure, various business developments, and government support provided to entrepreneurs and investors from all around the world. 

What are we waiting for then? Let’s get straight into the article and understand the process, benefits, requirements, etc, for the RAK free zone company setup.

Types of Freezone Locations for RAK Free Zone Business Setup

Individuals get to establish their businesses in different locations, so understanding each of them is essential. Let’s get into it –

a) Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ):

This freezone is a centre for businesses and industries in the UAE. In recent times, the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone has grown due to the customisable solutions and business-friendly benefits it provides. 

b) RAK Maritime City Free Zone (RMCFZ):

It is a government entity that was started in 2009 to look after the development and operation of the RAK Maritime City. It is a free zone responsible for activities like transportation of goods, products, and people by sea. 

c) RAK Investment Free Zone:

The RAK Investment Authority is another government entity committed to economic growth and the creation of more industries in the United Arab Emirates. It began in 2005 with numerous investment authorities for businesses looking for a place in the market.

d) Ras Al Khaimah Media Free Zone:

The media-free zone, also known as the RAK media city, was launched in 2006. It is a business zone, and its purpose is to provide opportunities to media and entertainment companies in the Middle East. 

Types of Licenses Required for RAK Free Zone Business Setup

While setting up a business in Ras Al Khaimah, entrepreneurs need to take care of choosing the correct business structures and business activities. To facilitate any type of business activity, the authority issues appropriate licenses, signifying their approval. The licenses are as follows –

a) Industrial License:

An industrial license is issued to those individuals who are engaged in manufacturing, importing, exporting, and packaging products specified by the authorities. 

b) Commercial License: 

Commercial licenses are facilitated for businesses that are involved in trading activities in the country. Trading includes activities like buying, selling, etc.

c) General Trading License:

A general trading license caters to a wider range of industries and goods because it is a combination of industrial and trading licenses. 

d) Media License:

A media license is applied by individuals who are involved in media-related business activities in the UAE. Activities like TV/radio sales and marketing, talent management, etc. 

e) Professional License:

Individuals who offer professional services in the country are granted a professional license. 

f) Service License:

This license is issued to individuals if they are into offering services across any industry. Serving in restaurants, running clubs, etc, are certain examples.

Benefits of the RAK Free Zone Business Setup

The benefits of starting a business in the emirate are as follows –

  • No tax on personal/corporate income.
  • No foreign exchange controls, quotas or trade barriers.
  • No customs duty on import, export or services.
  • Hassle-free and business-friendly legal framework and company laws that ensure the security of investment.
  • Another benefit of the RAK Free Zone business setup is the government-sponsored incentives provided for the investors.
  • 100% Ownership.
  • 100% Tax Exemptions on commercial levies for import and export.
  • 100% return on capital and profits.
  • Business-friendly environment and easy process to set up a company.
  • Access to all large airports and seaports in the UAE.

Steps of RAK Free Zone Business Setup

By now, we are well versed with the basic requirements of RAK Free Zone company setup, but it is essential to understand the process of setting up the business, which is as follows –

Step 1 – Choose the Business Activity:

It is important to choose business activities that the entity will begin to function after incorporation. Business activities must be chosen depending on the nature and purpose of the business, adhering to legal regulations.

Step 2 – Choose the Business Structure:

In this step, the business owners need to choose the right type of business structure that compliments the business activities, objectives, etc, before incorporating the entity.

Step 3 – Initial Approval:

Now, the company needs to obtain prior approvals to continue with the further steps and license registrations for RAK Free Zone company formation.

Step 4 – Register a Business Name:

In this step, the management needs to pick a name for the company. A name gives an identity and signifies the purpose of the company. The name must be unique and adhere to the legal regulations of the Free Zone.

Step 5 – Submit Documents:

The company needs to submit certain documents and application forms to the authorities for necessary registrations and successful incorporation.

Step 6 – Apply for a Business License:

As discussed earlier, it is important to register for appropriate licenses to function in the business with respective activities without any legal issues.

Step 7 – Post-Incorporation Steps:

Once the company receives an incorporation certificate, they need to complete post-incorporation steps like renting an office space, opening a bank account, etc, to successfully start a company in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone. 

Documents Required for the RAK Free Zone Company Setup

The documents needed to submit for smooth business setup in the RAK free trade zone are as follows –

i) Documents for Individuals

Let’s begin with looking at the documents required for individuals in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone –

  • Application for Registration and Licensing.
  • Visa Copy.
  • No Objection Certificate if the members are UAE residents.
  • Business Plan.
  • Colour passport copies of the members of the company. 
  • Emirates ID copy of the members of the company.
  • UBO Declaration Form along with passport copy.

ii) Documents for Corporate Entity and Branch

There are specific documents required for both corporate entities and branches in the RAK Free Trade Zone, so let’s have a look at them –

Free Zone UAE Branch

Free Zone Foreign Branch

  • Colour passport copies of members of the company.
  • Visa Copy.
  • No Objection Certificate.
  • Documents related to board resolution and appointment letter of a general manager.
  • Business Plan.
  • Copy of valid Trade License.
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Commercial Register.
  • Emirates ID copy of the members.
  • UBO Declaration Form.
  • Colour passport copies of members of the company.
  • Visa Copy.
  • No Objection Certificate.
  • Documents related to board resolution and appointment letter of a general manager.
  • Business Plan.
  • Copy of valid Trade License.
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • Certificate of Registration.
  • Certificate of Good Standing.
  • Emirates ID copy of the members.
  • UBO Declaration Form.

Factors Affecting RAK Free Zone Business Setup Cost

When consultants say that a business in Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone requires a good amount of research and decision-making, they also mean to have a great business plan with budgeting and skills to manage the finances of the company. On that note, let’s look at the factors that affect the RAK Free Zone company setup cost –

a) Business Structure and Jurisdiction:

While setting up a business in RAK free trade zone, the costs depend on the type of company formation and business structures chosen by the management. Each of the costs of the structure varies from free zone companies to international companies, and that is why thorough research and assistance are required.

b) Business Activities:

The reason RAK Free Zone business setup is attractive is because it welcomes various business activities like trading, freelancing, etc. This also affects the costs because it is different for each activity depending on the requirements, resources, compliance, etc. 

c) Size of the Company:

The next factor that affects the costs of RAK Free Zone business setup is the size of the companies. Large companies need to spend on office space, legal requirements, licensing, visas, etc, whereas smaller companies will require fewer licensing costs, fewer resources and requirements, accordingly.

d) Visa Processing:

Businesses in the UAE need to register for visas for the members and employees of the company, so this is another factor that affects the RAK Free Zone company setup cost. The figures depend on the visa type and number of visas required. 

e) Legal and Professional Fees:

Lastly, there can be certain legal and professional fees that can affect the costs of setting up a business in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone. Accounting activities, engaging with a lawyer, banking services, etc, are a few examples.
By now, you must have understood the reasons, benefits and essentials of the RAK Free Zone business setup, and if this article has motivated you to start your dream company in the emirate, then come to Commitbiz without thinking further. We have one of the best teams of experts with more than 16 years of experience and knowledge in terms of company formation, commercial regulations, etc. Reach out to us, and we will be at your doorstep to help you at any time!