Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC) is a corporate registry that enables offshore company formation in the UAE. Located in Ras Al Khaimah, RAK ICC has acquired the status of being one of the fastest-growing International corporate registries mainly due to its global reputation, compliance with local & International regulations and excellent professional services. RAK offshore company formation comes with a lot of benefits such as 100% ownership, zero corporate taxes and adequate resources to meet the Economic Substance Regulations (ESR) Test.
Foreign investors increasingly prefer RAK ICC for offshore company formation in the UAE due to the efficiency of services provided by the Authority. The Authority works in tandem with the registered agents in the UAE, which enables quick company registration for foreign investors. Moreover, the cost of RAK offshore company formation is affordable for investors, increasing the Authority’s popularity among the investors. Read ahead to know the features and process of offshore company formation in RAK.
Legislation Governing RAK Offshore Company Formation
The RAK ICC corporate registry was created as per the Decree No.12 of 2015 and later amended by Decree No.4 of 2016. The new registry was formed by merging two registries, namely the RAK International Companies (formerly a part of RAK Free Trade Zone) and RAK Offshore (formerly a part of RAK Investment Authority). The formation of RAK offshore companies are governed by RAK ICC Business Companies Regulations 2018 for the investors and RAK ICC Registered Agent Regulations 2018 for registered agents in the UAE.
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Key Benefits of RAK Offshore Company Formation
An offshore company incorporated with RAKICC enjoy the following benefits:
- RAK offshore companies can open a bank account in the UAE
- RAK offshore companies can be used to own real properties in Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai
- 100% foreign ownership is allowed
- Companies incorporated with RAK ICC are allowed to own shares in mainland or free zones companies in the UAE
- RAK offshore companies are free from corporate taxes
- A RAK Offshore company can form a subsidiary with RAK Economic Zone (RAKEZ)
- RAK ICC offers state of the art legislation, which is a critical benchmark for any reputed offshore company set up jurisdiction.
- RAK ICC has laid out robust compliance procedures
Essential Features of RAK Offshore Companies
A RAK offshore company requires at least one shareholder to be granted a certificate of incorporation. The Authority also permits corporate shareholders. The shareholders determine the capital structure of the company. However, the RAK ICC Authority doesn’t permit bearer shares.
It is mandatory to have at least one director to incorporate a company with RAK ICC, and corporate directors are permitted. However, details of directors are not available for public inspection.
Every offshore company established with RAK ICC must have a secretary.
Annual Accounts & Audit
Every company must keep accounting records, which must be kept for seven years from the date on which they were prepared. Directors must approve the accounting records, and one of them should sign them. It is not mandatory to submit the accounts to the RAK ICC Authority.
Registration of the company in the Free Zone will take three working days.
Restrictions on Name & Activity
The name of a RAK offshore company must end with the suffix ‘Limited’ or ‘Incorporated’. However, certain words and their associated activities should be avoided while selecting a name for the RAK offshore company. The prohibited words are Assurance, Bank, Building Society, Chamber of Commerce, Chartered, Co-operative, Fund, Imperial, Insurance, Municipal, Mutual Fund, Royal and Trust.
Pursuant to the local company law, a RAK offshore company must maintain a registered office address and appoint a registered agent. The office of the registered agent in the UAE or within the free zone can be used as the registered office of the company.
Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) Declaration
Companies incorporated under RAK ICC fall within the scope of Cabinet Decision No. (58) of 2020 regarding the beneficial owner procedures. In line with the law, RAK offshore companies must disclose information about Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBO) to the RAK ICC Authority. In layman’s terms, a UBO is any individual that ultimately benefits from a company and has ultimate control over the entity.
As per the Cabinet Decision No. (58) of 2020, a UBO is one who owns or controls directly or indirectly 25% of the capital or has voting rights for at least 25% of the shares or the one who ultimately controls the legal person. To comply with the UBO Law, RAK offshore companies must maintain the Real beneficiary Register (RBR) and Partners of Shareholders Registers (PSR) and make them available to the public. Not only the operating companies but the companies that are undergoing liquidation should also disclose the UBO information apart from handing over the two registers to the RAK ICC Authority.
Economic Substance Regulation for RAK Offshore Companies
Companies incorporated under the RAK ICC Authority must assess whether they are required to meet the Economic Substance Regulation (ESR) obligations. Companies that conduct any of the nine Relevant Activities fall under the ambit of ESR in the UAE. The nine ESR Relevant Activities are Banking Business, Insurance Business, Investment Fund management Business, Lease – Finance Business, Headquarters Business, Shipping Business, Holding Company Business, Intellectual property Business and Distribution & Service Centre Business. If eligible, such companies should meet the ESR obligations such as ESR Notification filing, ESR Report submission, and meet ESR test. Companies that undertook liquidation processes are also required to make ESR self-assessment.
Hire the Best Registered Agents in the United Arab Emirates
RAK ICC is one of the top corporate registries in the UAE that receive steady demand for offshore company formation. Foreign investors are advised to undertake RAK offshore company formation as the RAK ICC Authority has progressive regulations in addition to adequate resources for meeting ESR obligations. Foreign investors seeking to incorporate an offshore company must appoint registered agents in the UAE, such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC).
JBC has been providing quality registered agent services in the UAE for years, and hundreds of companies have benefited from the firm’s services. JBC has incorporated offshore companies in RAK ICC, Ajman Offshore and JAFZA in a smooth and easy manner. As premium registered agents in the UAE, JBC’s services are seamless, robust and affordable for all kinds of investors.