The procedure for opening an offshore company in Dubai differs very much from the one necessary for incorporating an on-shore company. If you're not sure at this stage which one you need please consider the following:
1) a) an offshore company (RAK Offshore for instance) does not have any special requirements or limitations regarding the owners/shareholders of the company while
b) an Onshore Company does not allow full foreign ownership (the company requires a local "Sponsor". For more info on requirements please see: Incorporation of an UAE Onshore Company.
2) a) an UAE offshore company pays 0% corporate tax while
b) an Onshore Company has tax obligations and filling requirements per the legislation of the UAE.
3) a) an offshore company cannot activate within the UAE.
b) an Onshore Company is designed to do business in the Emirates.
To summarize: if you are not interested in in the Dubai market (your clients are not located within Dubai) and your solely starting your company to take advantage of the tax regime, privacy and/or offshore banking then it is advisable to start an offshore company rather than an onshore one.
Starting a business in another country requires a thorough research and most of the times appealing to the services of professionals. The company incorporation procedure in Dubai resembles the procedures in most European countries provided that the foreign investors have acquired all the information about the business activity they will undertake and know all the business licensing requirements.
In most cases, the Dubai Company Act requires a foreign investor to have a local partner who will own the majority interest. The only places investors may incorporate fully foreign owned companies are the Dubai free zones. The company registration requirements will be different from case to case because of the type of company one chooses to open in Dubai. According to the Company Law, investors may set up the following types of companies in Dubai:
For those seeking a simpler form of doing business in Dubai, the sole proprietorship could be an appropriate choice. Depending on the selected type of company and licensing requirements, the registration procedure with the Dubai Companies Registration Office will take several days.
When setting up a company in Dubai, foreign investors must take into account the following:
The Commercial Law does not require Dubai limited liability companies to deposit a minimum share capital before registration, therefore the shareholders will decide the amount they need to help them reach their goals. For joint stock companies, there are different share capital requirements depending on the business they will undertake:
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) issues the following types of business licenses:
Our company formation agents in Dubai will help foreign entrepreneurs with the business license applications.
Other requirements for establishing a company in Dubai are:
Companies are not required to register for VAT in Dubai as such tax is not imposed yet.
We invite you to watch a short video about how you can start a business in Dubai: