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Offshore Business Setup in Dubai


Over the years, more and more companies, including large conglomerates and individual entrepreneurs have chosen to set up their businesses in Dubai owing to its transparent tax policies, privacy benefits, and ease of setting up a business.
There are several ways to set up your operations in Dubai, you can go with a Freezone company, an offshore company, or a mainland company, depending on your particular requirements.

What is an offshore company in Dubai, UAE?

A business that is registered in the UAE only for tax purposes while carrying on its business activities outside the country is called an offshore company. Offshore companies in Dubai do not need to pay any corporate tax in the UAE on profits generated elsewhere, and being limited liability companies, their finances are well protected.

One of the main things to keep in mind while setting up a business base in Dubai is that offshore companies in Dubai are not allowed to carry on any part of their business in Dubai including trading goods and services or hiring people residing in Dubai.

Certain Businesses like aviation, media, or insurance, can set up an offshore company in Dubai. All businesses planning to set up an offshore company in Dubai are required to go through a stringent KYC procedure to ensure the legality of their operations.

Many international businesses choose to set up their base in Dubai to avoid unnecessary and often complex paperwork and tax filings in the different countries in which they operate. Setting up an offshore company in Dubai allows them to operate internationally without any tax liability in Dubai.

However, tax benefits are not the only reason that drives people to Dubai. Political volatility in their home country, geographical proximity to business partners, and ease of conducting an offshore business in Dubai are some of the other reasons why SMEs, entrepreneurs, and large enterprises choose to set up an offshore business in Dubai.

Types of businesses that start offshore companies in Dubai include:

• Property holding firms;
• IP (intellectual property) holding companies;
• Shipping firms
• General trading companies
• Online advertising companies
• Distribution and logistics firms
• General (international) trading companies
• Professional services and consulting
• Various types of brokers

Advantages of setting up an offshore company in Dubai, UAE

  • Complete Ownership: Offshore company in Dubai have full ownership for foreign expatriates with 100% repatriation of profits. 
  • Low Tax Liability: Offshore companies in Dubai pay no tax on their profits. This includes corporate tax, income tax, sales tax, inheritance tax, property tax, and personal tax. Tax savings translate into more investments in your business.
  • Bank account: Setting up an offshore business in Dubai make you eligible for a UAE bank account which allows you to hold different currencies to facilitate international transactions and money security.
  • Stable base: Political, social, and economic stability is another major draw for businesses setting up their offshore operations in Dubai.
  • Privacy: The shareholders and directors of an offshore company are not required to register their names or details on public records. In addition, an offshore company is exempt from annual audits.
  • Access to funding: Dubai with its strong tradition of promoting businesses attracts investments from all across the globe.

Steps to start an offshore company in Dubai, UAE

The process of setting up an offshore company in Dubai is quite straightforward.

There are 3 Offshore Authorities to select from:

Jafza- Dubai
Ajman Offshore- Ajman
Rak Offshore- Rak

Select a company name

The first step is to select a name for your company while adhering to the guideline laid down by the UAE government in this regard.

Submit an application for business setup

Applicants must complete an application form and submit it with supporting documents including identity proof, proof of residence, a well-drafted business plan, copies of passports, and professional resumes. 

Open a Bank Account

Once the application is approved the applicant can start their operations and open a corporate bank account to facilitate international transactions.

Documents Required to Incorporate an Offshore Company in Dubai

An offshore company can be formed by an individual or an existing overseas corporate entity. 

1. For Individuals:

  1. Application form 
  2. Personal details of the applicant along with professional background
  3. Certified Passport copy with UAE entry page stamped
  4. Certified reference letter from the applicant’s bank
  5. Proof of residence like utility bills and/or bank statements no older than 3 months
  6. Three or Four options of trade names
  7. Details of Directors/Shareholders and percentages held by each shareholder

2. For Overseas branch or Subsidiary:

  1. Business Plan
  2. Application form 
  3. Certified reference letter from the company’s bank
  4. Copy of Certificate of Incorporation of the parent company, notarized and attested by the UAE Embassy in the country of origin
  5. Copy of Memorandum & Article of Association of the parent company, notarized and attested by the UAE Embassy in the country of origin
  6. Power of Attorney in favour of the Manager, notarized and attested by the UAE Embassy in the country of origin
  7. Board resolution to form a subsidiary in Dubai, notarized & attested by UAE Embassy in the country of origin
  8. Certificate of good standing of the company, notarized & attested by UAE Embassy in the country of origin
  9. Passport copies, original bank reference letters, proof of residence, and details of shareholders/directors of the parent company
  10. Bank reference letter of the authorized representative of the parent company
  11. Proof of residence of the authorized representative of the parent company no older than 3 months

Why Choose Bisdesk?

Bisdesk is a registered agent with all the offshore authorities in the UAE and your one-stop shop for opening offshore companies in the UAE and assisting you in the bank account opening process. Bisdesk has been helping clients with offshore company formation in UAE for the past several years.  With their years of experience working with individuals and companies of all sizes, our team of experts will assist you.
Contact Bisdesk today for setting up an offshore business in Dubai, UAE!