“Offshore” company which is incorporated for the purpose of conduction business outside its country of registration. It may be 100% owned by expatriates and often used as asset, property or holding companies for other businesses inside or outside the UAE.

A company incorporated for the purpose of operating outside the UAE.

SPMC-Dubai is an active registered agent for RAK International Corporate Centre and has been able to set up offshore companies since 2012.

Benefits and characteristics

  • An Offshore company is not allowed to do business or operate within UAE.
  • Registered agent is required.
  • Not allowed to have a physical office address in the Emirates.
  • Not entitled for visas.
  • Can maintain local and foreign bank accounts.
  • Set up cost is cheaper compared to mainland and free zone company formation.
  • Time frame is within 7-10 working days provided that all documentation is in place.
  • 100% foreign ownership is allowed
  • 100% income tax exemption
  • 100% capital and profit repatriation
  • Low start-up and renewal costs
    • No requirement for a UAE national to be a shareholder or sponsor
    • Absolute privacy and confidentiality on company information
    • Not required to provide annual audit report
    • Company may own real estate properties on approved areas by the authority
    • Hold multi-currency bank accounts
    • No foreign currency restrictions
    • Only minimum capital is required to set-up the company
    • Minimum of 1 Director, shareholder and secretary, which can be the same person.
    • It does not require the director or shareholders to be present in the UAE for incorporation
    • No restrictions on the nationality of the director/shareholder/secretary
    • Allowed to conduct multiple business activities (i.e. Management Consultancy, Trading, Holding etc.)

Possible business activities for an Offshore company

  • Consulting
  • International trading
  • Holding activities (with the right to purchase shares of the companies in UAE and abroad).
  • Professional services
  • Holding of real estate (outside of UAE and in some designated areas of Dubai, UAE).

Offshore companies are not allowed to conduct the following business activities

  • Financial activities and insurance.
  • Any activity related to media.
  • Any activity related to aviation.

4 Main steps involved in Offshore company set up

  • Identification of potential company name (three name options required).
  • Completion and submission of requirements.
  • Registration
  • Issuance of Certificate of Incorporation (COI) and Memorandum of Association(MOA).


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