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Chapter Twenty-four: What does an Offshore legal entity stand for?

An Offshore legal entity is defined as a legal business entity that operates outside its registered jurisdiction and place of ownership. Unlike a Free Zone company, which exists and operates within the borders of its jurisdiction, or mainland company which can operate within a larger geography (including the main geography and the free zones).

An offshore is a tax efficient, cost-effective means for legal entities to carry out business globally, but outside of the UAE. It does not allow for residency visas / employees visas within UAE.

There are three jurisdictions in which an offshore company can be established in the UAE: In Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Jebel Ali Free zone (JAFZA) and Ajman. Differences in activities may exist though. RAK ICC Offshore permits holding companies to own assets including Real Estate in the UAE and overseas. It is also known as one of the most cost-efficient lean process to set up a company.

All three offer 100% foreign ownership, exemption from income tax and corporate tax and no requirement for investment of share capital.

You will need to have a Registered agent to operate from an offshore jurisdiction.

RAK ICC jurisdiction has zero tax on Corporate Income, Capital Gains, Dividends, and Interest Income.

It provides access to Common Law legislation through access to the common law courts in Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) and Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC).

The registration process in RAK ICC is fast, and relatively cost-effective.

RAK ICC also allows re-domiciliation, migration & continuation from various other offshore jurisdictions.

There is no minimum capital requirement to set up in RAK ICC.

Key Benefits when establishing a UAE Offshore entity:

  • 100% foreign ownership;
  • Privacy (no public register of Director and Shareholder)
  • Swift incorporation process (7 working days)
  • There is no minimum share capital requirement for incorporation and no disbursements
  • International base to leverage international market opportunities
  • It offers an easy and cheap way to separate or protect assets


It also offers different legal forms: Company limited by shares, by Guarantee, Restricted Purposes Company, Segregated Portfolio Company, Unlimited Company.

Before considering any type of incorporation / structure, please do get in touch with us and let’s review your business plan and desired outcome together.

You can reach out to us through WhatsApp to freely discuss your needs.


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