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How to Set Up a UAE Offshore Company


Offshore companies in UAE are companies that are registered, operated, and managed in jurisdictions where they receive certain legal, tax, and financial benefits. Offshore companies are essential tools for majority of multi-national companies, plus they serve as key elements to a whole corporate structure. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why you should consider offshore business setup as well as how to setup an offshore company in UAE.

Read more: Setting Up an Offshore Company In UAE

Offshore business setup in UAE

While offshore jurisdictions in UAE no longer suffer with the stigma, it’s still important to select the jurisdiction you want to set up in, while minding the cost (including the annual maintenance expenses) and the reputation of the jurisdiction.

Why you should consider offshore business setup in UAE

Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider setting up an offshore company in UAE

  • You are or you expect to be undergoing expansion for your business and new shareholders will be coming in. Institutional investors and many other investors prefer investing with a business that’s registered in an offshore jurisdiction.
  • Your business is an investment holding entity and it holds stocks, real estate, and/or bonds. An offshore company in UAE can offer relief from capital gains taxation and stamp duty.
  • You want to implement estate planning.
  • You’re in need of enhanced privacy with regards to your business’ administration and operations.
  • You intend to put out higher returns for your investments.
  • You wish to implement tax planning.
  • You are developing a substantial intellectual property, plus you intend to utilize the IP in a variety of jurisdictions in UAE and abroad.

Take note that in certain UAE offshore jurisdictions, especially ones that have worldwide taxation, arrangements may not be able to provide you with the tax planning advantage that you are aiming for. This is one of the main reasons why it is a good idea to consult with experts in business setup in UAE and legal advisors in UAE in order for you to fully understand your specific situation.

Typically, offshore companies in UAE are best utilized for businesses in specific sectors, such as the following:

  • Asset holding
  • Trading
  • Consultancy or professional services
  • Investment holding
  • Yacht owning and ship management
  • Intellectual property holding

Offshore business setup in UAE may be done even when you don’t visit the actual jurisdiction. With the help of a team of experts for business setup in UAE, you get assistance in establishing the best corporate structure for your offshore company while keeping in mind various aspects that are relevant to you.

How to set up a UAE offshore company

Offshore company formation is a straightforward process. It’s possible to complete the process in just a matter of days or weeks. Here are the steps that are involved with UAE offshore company formation:

  • Selecting a company name – the company’s name has to be verified initially by authorities. The name of the offshore company to be established must NOT include certain words such as Chamber of Commerce, chartered, Royal, trust, mutual fund, Emirates, Emirate, finance, municipal, fund, cooperative, building society, bank, and insurance. A company name’s end shall have either Incorporated or Ltd.
  • Filing an application for offshore company formation – in order to do this, you will need to furnish the requirements. The requirements include attested passport copies of individual shareholders, preferred company name, proof of residency of individual shareholders, as well as details of the activities of the offshore company that is to be formed.
  • Submission of requirements – the completed form for offshore company formation application is to be submitted to authorities concerned for review and approval.
  • MOA submission – as soon as the application form has been approved by authorities, a (MOA) Memorandum of Association is to be provided and it should be in English.
  • Creation of bank account – once the documents are all approved by the authorities, the company should start with the opening of an offshore account from a banking facility.

Remember that offshore companies in UAE are not to carry out business activities that are within the UAE’s territory expect opening offshore bank accounts and purchase property or real estate. Offshore companies, unlike free zone companies in UAE, don’t have the right in receiving residency visas for investors and company shareholders.

Also read: 10 Unbelievable Reasons Why You Should Think About Forming An Offshore Company in UAE

Requirements in Starting a UAE Offshore Company

For an individual shareholder:

  • Owner’s copy of passport (has to be attested);
  • Original bank reference;
  • Residential proof;
  • Details of the shareholder or owner;
  • Company’s preferred name on which it will operate under;
  • Hierarchy of the beneficiaries;
  • Activities of the offshore company that’s newly formed

For corporate shareholders:

  • Memorandum of Association;
  • Board resolution;
  • Hierarchy of beneficiaries;
  • Parent company certificate with mention of directors and shareholders (has to be attested)

We know you have questions regarding UAE offshore companies. Talk to the business setup experts of FAR Consulting Middle East today!