An offshore company is an organisation that is operated outside of its country of origin. It can be owned by an individual or can have multiple business partners or shareholders. One of the main reasons for setting up an offshore company is to have reliability and confidentiality over the financial matters of the business, as well as the enjoyment of a favourable tax regime.
There are three principal jurisdictions for registering an offshore company in the UAE including: (i) Ajman Free Zone, (ii) Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAKICC) and (iii) Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA).
It is important that UAE Offshore Companies are distinguished from UAE Free Zone Companies. Free Zone Companies are in effect onshore entities permitted to carry out business within the UAE with certain restrictions. Offshore entities may conduct business internationally however they are prohibited from carrying out business with UAE residents and cannot have physical premises within the UAE.
There are many advantages to registering an Offshore Company, but the main benefits of operating as an offshore company are that this legal structure allows:
- Rapid incorporation – in as little as 24 hours;
- Incorporation fees are lower than the onshore equivalent;
- Operational costs reduced due to exemption from property leasing;
- No requirement to employ staff;
- For a 0% rate of corporate tax;
- For 100 % foreign ownership;
- For the legal vehicle to own real estate as a corporate shareholder;
- Operating under a flexible regulatory regime;
- Separating or ring fencing assets from an active operating company.
GCC can assist foreign investors by setting up an entity in their offshore jurisdiction of choice.