UAE consists of seven states: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Dubai is the most important business and commercial center of UAE. Over the last couple of years United Arab Emirates has signed important tax treaties with developed countries like China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Sri Lanka , UK, Switzerland. Another important aspect is that UAE is not blacklisted by EU, UN and OECE therefore companies that are incorporated under this Jurisdiction can be extremely useful for tax planning purposes.
Some of the most popular establishments in Dubai are the ones below.
Main characteristics of LLC are the following:
Foreigns partners can hold shares up to 49% of capital, 51% of capitals must be national partners. There is no minimum share capital required to form an LLC company anymore and the shares are not open to the public. The profits of shareholding are pre divided in rations agreed by the two partners (national – foreign partners).
Unlike LLC, professional license company is 100% foreign owned but is required to appoint a local services agent. The individual that will apply for a professional license company is required to have a professional qualification for related activities of company which are ones in the service sector (consultancy, medical etc).
Similar to a professional license, branch of office is owned 100% by foreigners. They must have the same name as the parent company. A national service agent must be appointed, parent and branch company need to engage to the same activities and also branch office is not allowed of importing products of the parent company.
The representative office company Represents its parent company in the U.A.E. and
Can only promote activities of their parent company
They can carry out marketing and promotion of their sales, production of products as well as facilitate contracts in the U.A.E for the parent company. It is not
permitted to credit facilities nor put forward offers.
They are a representation of a principal for the purpose of distributing, selling, offering or providing merchandise or services within the state for commission or profit. They
can Import goods into Dubai in large volumes
Similar to LLC, they are Comprised of a national owning 51 % and the possibility of a foreigner owning the remaining 49%
There are Two forms of Commercial Agencies, Registered and Unregistered Commercial Agency. The main difference between the two is that a Registered Commercial Agent provides safeguards to protect the Principal and the Agent, opposed to the very few safeguards provided with Un- Registered ones.
UAE now supports the so called free zones and the main reason of establishing an entity in one of the free zones is that there is no UAE national shareholding requirement. Therefore a common procedure is to register a branch of an offshore company, but it is also possible to incorporate a Free Zone Establishment or a Free Zone Company. In all cases the following benefits apply:
Once a company has been accepted into a free zone it will typically operate under one or more of four different licences being commercial licence, general trading licence, industrial licence and service licence. Free zone registrations do not require a local shareholder. Companies registered in the free zones have to pay 5% duty and appoint a local service agent if they wish to sell goods or services within the Emirates. Overseas sales are free of any duty. Costs of Free Zone set up will depend on the type of entity, size of offcie required, and the number of work visas requested.
One of the latest initiatives by the Jebel Ali Free Zone has been the setting up of offshore companies which are regulated by the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) Offshore Companies Regulations 2003. This company can be used to own real estate properties on the Palm Islands, properties owned by Nakheel Company LLC and any other real estate approved by the JAFZ Authority. A JEBEL ALI OFFSHORE COMPANY requires two directors to be appointed and minimum one shareholder . Corporate shareholders are authorized but corporate directors are not permitted. One residence visa can be issued for one director provided the company maintains an office in the JAFZ, but the company will not be allowed to do business within UAE, with UAE residents or trade in JAFZ/UAE unless it has first obtained the appropriate license in the free zone.
The company can hold a bank account in the UAE for conducting routine operational transactions. The Register of Members is open for inspection by any member of the offshore company and any other person. Details of Directors are not available for public inspection. Companies must maintain a registered office within JAFZ, have a secretary and keep accounting records. Every company must appoint an approved auditor to examine and report on the accounts in accordance with the regulations. Registration of the company in free zone will take between 1 to 2 weeks.
In September 2006, Ras Al Khaimah Government launched an offshore facility, the second in the UAE, which is regulated by the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority International Companies Regulations 2006.
100% foreign ownership is allowed. The law must be cited in the Memorandum & Articles of Association. RAKFTZ have imposed very few restrictions on the activities of International Companies allowing for a wide range of business activities to be carried out.
The International Company can own any local freehold real estate property.
Despite a general prohibition on International Companies to conduct business with persons resident in UAE, the Authorities frequently allow offshore companies to hold shares in both offshore and onshore UAE companies.
The International Company can hold a bank account in the UAE for the purpose of conducting routine operational transactions and can also maintain professional relations with legal consultants, accountants and management companies or other similar persons carrying out business within UAE. Incorporation documents can be signed at our associated offices without having to visit. A shelf company list of RAK Offshore companies can also be provided upon request.