The UAE is becoming a very popular place for offshore incorporation having completely recovered from the global financial crisis and with places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi making a name for themselves in the modern financial world.  The UAE prides itself on its prestigious offshore financial reputation.

Compared with some other offshore financial centres however it can seem a bit confusing at first due to the various different options available.

There are typically three types of companies available;

– UAE Offshore Companies.  These are used for international trading and holding, but do offer access to local bank accounts and real estate.
– UAE Local Free Zone Limited Liability Companies.  These are used for local trading in Free Zone Areas only in the UAE and also can be used internationally as well as in local real estate.
– UAE Limited Liability Companies.  These are used for anywhere in the UAE as well as international market access.

UAE Offshore Companies do hold the advantage when it comes to costs being the cheaper UAE alternative, but can be constrictive only allowing activities outside of the UAE.  They are also non-tax resident.

UAE Local Free Zone Limited Liability Companies.  These have all the benefits and functions of offshore entities.  You do however require a license to which your activities will be restricted to and a fixed place of business which we are more than happy to assist you with.  They do however allow for three year visas for investors including spouses and dependants and as they are onshore tax resident allow access to all tax treaties.  They can also trade within the Freezones of the UAE as well as internationally.

UAE Limited Liability Companies need to be used where access to all the local UAE market is required.  Drawbacks are that a local needs to own 51% of the shares and it will need approval from The Department of Economic Development before you can proceed.

In addition to the various types of companies you also have your choice of Free Zones in which to incorporate the company;
– Jebel Ali Free Zone
– Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
– Dubai Airport Free Zone
– Dubai Media City
– Dubai Internet City
– RAK Free Trade Zone

By far the two most popular Free Zones for incorporation are the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the RAK Free Trade Zone.

Although confusing on the surface due to the various options available UAE companies can prove to be a very powerful business tool when structured correctly.

If you require more information on establishing an offshore company in the UAE or on any of the Free Zones listed above please do not hesitate to follow the link below or call us on our offices Telephone Number: 44 20 7097 1385 or Contact Us