International Company (Company limited by shares)
A RAK IC is the most popular offshore company in UAE.
Previously, there were two offshore registrars available in Ras al Khaimah, RAKFTZ and RAKIA, which offered two different offshore structures, RAK IBC, and RAK Offshore. In 2016 the two registrars were merged into RAKICC (Ras al Khaimah International Corporate Center).
International companies are entitled to do business internationally and may not carry out trade or business within the UAE, or any free zone.
This includes rent offices or facilities within the territory. Although they are allowed to have relationships with residents providing certain professional services such as legal or consulting, and they have access to the banking system and can open corporate bank accounts in the UAE.
The banking sector in UAE is considered solid and capitalized, being the main financial hub of the region, the Dubai International Financial Center, and another sizeable and expanding financial center, the Abu Dhabi Global Market.
International companies are generally allowed to carry out activities such as international trade, overseas consulting and advisement, international professional services, holding company, hold intangible assets, investment, and joint investment company, intermediary brokers, overseas property owning, shipping and ship management.
Any activity related to banking, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, collective investment schemes, trust management or trusteeship, is strictly prohibited.
RAK ICs are fully exempt from all taxes and only subject to a license fee, which must be renewed annually.
As they are considered non-residents for tax purposes, they cannot benefit from UAE tax treaties. However, they are usually authorized to own shares of FZ or local companies, or even establish a branch onshore.
One of the strengths of incorporating an offshore company in UAE is that, despite being a tax-free jurisdiction, it has prestigious internationally and good press, especially Dubai.
So, if the incorporation is not merely for holding purposes and you have public exposure, you may benefit from a high reputation jurisdiction. Where your company will not be susceptible to being considered obscure or set for illegitimate purposes while enjoying all the economic and legal advantages of an offshore entity.
UAE has signed up the OECD's Automatic Exchange of Information for tax purposes (AEoI) and is undertaking exchanges of information through Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
An international company in the UAE is a powerful instrument for international trade, asset protection and wealth management.
Country code – AE
Legal Basis – Although the legal code in UAE is based on Sharia and Civil Law, the Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre is based on common law principles.
Legal framework – Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre Business Companies Regulations 2016
Company form – International Company (Company limited by shares) (LTD)
Liability - The liability of a shareholder to the company is limited to any amount unpaid on a share held by the shareholder.
Business restrictions – International companies may not carry on business with persons in the Free Zone, carry on any other business which may, by regulations made by the Authority, be prohibited by the Authority, carry on banking business in the UAE or the Zone; or carry on business as an insurance or reinsurance company, insurance agent or insurance broker in the UAE or the Free Zone.
International companies may make or maintain professional contact with legal consultants, accountants, management companies or other similar persons carrying on business within the Free Trade Zone; maintain books and records within the Free Trade Zone, hold within the UAE Free Trade Zone meetings of its directors or members; hold a bank account in the RAK Free Trade Zone for the purpose of conducting its routine operational transactions; or hold assets in areas of the Free Zone designated by the Authority.
Share capital – There is no minimum share capital requirement. The memorandum of a Company Limited by Shares shall state the maximum number of shares that the company is authorized to issue or an unlimited number of shares; classes of shares that the company is authorized to issue and, if the company is authorized to issue two or more classes of shares, the rights, privileges, restrictions and conditions attaching to each class of shares.
A company may issue shares with and without par values. A share with par value may be issued in any currency. Issuance of fractional shares is also permitted. The company may issue bonus shares, partly paid shares or nil paid shares. Bearer shares are not permitted.
Shareholders – The company may be formed by a minimum of 1 shareholder, who can be an individual or a corporation, and may be non-resident. Details of the shareholders are not disclosed on a public file.
Directors – At least one director is required, who may be a natural person or a legal entity, and may be non-resident. Details of the directors are not disclosed on a public file.
Secretary – The appointment of a secretary is required, who can be either a legal or natural person and may be non-resident.
Registered Address – International companies shall at all times have a registered agent, who has been granted a license to provide registered agent services by RAK ICC. A company must have a registered office in the UAE, provided that if the company’s registered agent has an office in the UAE, the company’s registered office shall be the office of its registered agent; or outside the UAE only with the approval of the Registrar.
General Meeting – Annual general meetings are not mandatory, and can be held anywhere. Meetings can be held by telephone or other electronic means; alternatively, directors as well as shareholders may vote by proxy.
Electronic Signature – Permitted.
Re-domiciliation – A foreign entity can continue as a RAK ICC, and vice versa.
Compliance – International companies must prepare annual accounts, but there is no requirement to file them, nor annual return, nor taxa return, to any authority. Audits are not required except for liquidation.
International companies are subject to an annual government fee.
- Shareholders not disclosed
- Directors not disclosed
- Corporate shareholders permitted
- Corporate directors permitted
- Local director required
- Secretary required
- Local secretary required
- Annual general meetings required
- Redomiciliation permitted
- Electronic signature
- Annual return
- Audited accounts
- Audited accounts exemption
- Exchange controls
- Common law for corporate matters Legal basis
- 1 Minimum shareholders
- 1 Minimum directors
- USD 1 Minimum issued capital
- - Minimum paid up capital
- USDAny Capital currency
- Anywhere Location of annual general meeting
- 2018 AEOI
Corporate income tax – Companies incorporated in Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre under the International Corporate Centre Business Companies Regulations 2016 are exempt from all forms of taxation. All trading income, investment income, capital gains, compensations, rents, and royalties derived from outside of U.A.E. are free from taxes.
Other taxes – In U.A.E. there is no personal income tax, capital gains tax, real property tax, inheritance tax or estate duty, capital transfer tax, gifts tax or wealth tax.
There is a real property tax levied on the transfer of properties, at rates that vary from 2% to 4%, depending on the Emirate where the property is located. Some municipalities, e.g. Dubai, also levy an annual property tax on the assessed rental value of the property.
There is V.A.T. at 5% on most goods and services.
- Offshore Income Tax Exemption
- Offshore capital gains tax exemption
- Offshore dividends tax exemption
- CFC Rules
- Thin Capitalisation Rules
- Patent Box
- Tax Incentives & Credits
- Property Tax
- Wealth tax
- Estate inheritance tax
- Transfer tax
- Capital duties
- 0% Offshore Income Tax Rate
- 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate
- 0% Dividends Received
- 0% Dividends Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Interests Withholding Tax Rate
- 0% Royalties Withholding Tax Rate
- 0 Losses carryback (years)
- 0 Losses carryforward (years)
- 0% Personal Income Tax Rate
- 0% VAT Rate
- 76 Tax Treaties
The United Arab Emirates is a former British protectorate and currently a federation of the Middle East, located to the east of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Oman to the southeast, with the Persian Gulf to the north and Saudi Arabia to the west and south. It is composed of a hybrid monarchy consisting of 7 emirates, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, and Umm al Qaywayn.
It has a population of 9 million. Its capital is Abu Dhabi, but the most populated and popular city is Dubai. Arabic and English are their official languages. The official currency is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), pegged to the US dollar at an exchange rate of 3.67:1.
The Supreme Council, made up of each emirate Sheikhs, is the highest political decision-making body in the country. Although each Emirate retains a considered political, economic and judicial autonomy, with different rules and regulations.
The federation is one of the richest countries in the world, supported by a liberal and open economy with the eighth highest per capita income worldwide and a considerable annual trade surplus.
Having the seventh largest oil reserve in the world, its economy is clearly dependent on this commodity fluctuations. In recent years efforts have been made to diversify the economy, be less oil-dependent and develop sectors such as retail, financial and tourism.
A clear example of this strategy is the establishment of free zones to attract foreign capital to invigorate the private business sector.
The Ras Al Khaimah’s Free Zones are some of the most attractive areas to establish a business in UAE and one of the fastest growing business hubs. The emirate of Ras al Khaimah is in the northern part of the country, well connected by express roads, an approximately 1-hour drive from Dubai. One of the biggest advantages of RAK is that business and living costs are one of the most affordable in the country.
The area is comprised of four economic clusters, the business park for offices, the industrial park for heavy industries and warehousing, the technological park for trade and light manufacturing, and the academic area for educational organizations.
Tax treaties Map
Ras Al Khaimah International Company (RAK IC) – USD 3,800.00 (All Included)
We pride ourselves in providing the best possible professional service which includes our honest hassle-free “No Hidden Fee” policy. Your incorporation package includes:
- All Applicable Registration and Government Fees
- RAK IC License fee
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Memorandum & Articles of Association
- Appointment of Company Director(s)
- Director(s) Acceptance Letter
- First Board Resolution
- Register of Members
- Register of Directors
- Share Certificate(s)
- Registered Office & Registered Agent Service including all fees for the calendar year
- Corporate Documents’ Courier Delivery
Time to form: 2 weeks.
All our incorporation services include a yearly consulting session, a dedicated account manager and access to our global network of trusted business services, including introductions to accountants, financial, tax and legal advisors at no cost.
Bank Account Opening Support Services (Optional)
Bank Account Options*:
- Dubai (UAE) Bank Account (In-person) – USD 900.00
- Offshore Bank Account** (Remotely) – USD 300.00
- Mauritius Bank Account (Remotely) – USD 600.00
- Labuan (Malaysia) Bank Account (Remotely) – USD 500.00
- Bahamas Bank Account (Remotely) – USD 500.00
- Curaçao Bank Account (Remotely) – USD 500.00
- Hong Kong Bank Account (In-person) – USD 1,200.00
- Singapore Bank Account (In-person) – USD 900.00
- Cayman Islands Bank Account (Remotely) – USD 900.00
- Cyprus Bank Account (In-person) – USD 1,200.00
- Armenia Bank Account (Remotely) – USD 1,200.00
- Cook Islands Bank Account (Remotely) – USD 600.00
For Private Wealth Structures, we have further options available in large financial centers. Please contact us for more information.
*This accounts’ schedule of fees are for trading, service and holding companies whose activities are not regulated and are considered low-risk by financial industry standards. If you conduct regulated activities such as financial services or gaming, or you operate in a high-risk industry such as cryptocurrencies, precious metals, adult, dating. Please also contact us for more information relating to these industries.
**Offshore Bank Accounts: Belize, Puerto Rico, Nevis, Antigua, Saint Lucia. Other bank account options may be available depending on business profile and turnover.
Our Bank Account Opening Support Service includes:
- Introduction to the Bank Manager
- Bank Account Opening Process Management
- Assistance and advice in filling out Business Questionnaires, KYC Forms and Bank Account Application Forms.
- Certified Copies of Constitutional Documents with Apostille
- Corporate Seal
Our banking service is not just a mere introduction to the bank. We assist you in filling out the business plan forms appropriately and help you understand and provide business details, commercial information and purpose/use of the bank account that a given bank wants to know in order to approve your account application.
Banks want certainty and clarity on how the account will be used. Everything must be watertight. We will work with you to make sure there is minimal ‘back and forth’ and a smooth account opening process
Annual fees (2nd year) – USD 2,400.00
- RAK IC License Fee
- Registered Agent Service Fee
- Registered Office Fee
Click here to incorporate your United Arab Emirates IC.