Ras Al Khaimah: Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes
Forms of Offshore Operation
Free Zone Licensees are not permitted to display or sell their products or services themselves directly in the local market. However, the holder is permitted to operate outside the UAE. Retail trading is not allowed inside the Free Zone Parks.
A Free Zone Company (FZCO) is a limited liability company incorporated with RAK Investment Authority, by more than one shareholder with a distinct legal entity and independent financial liability. The Capital requirement for setting up FZCO with RAK Investment Authority Free Zone is Dh200,000.
A Free Zone Establishment (FZE) is 100 per cent owned by either a person or a corporate body. It enjoys the status of a separate legal entity. The minimum capital requirement for setting up a FZE with RAK Investment Authority Free Zone, formerly set at Dh 150,000, has now been abolished.
Local or UAE Branch Licences are issued to companies holding a valid licence from any UAE licencing authority except from other free zones.
Foreign Branch Licences are issued to companies outside the UAE seeking to open a branch in the RAK Investment Authority Free Zone. The ownership of the company must be 100% foreign and sales can be made through a UAE-registered agent or a distributor only. The activity may be industrial, commercial or professional/services-based.
RAK Free Zone companies must obtain one of the following types of licences:
- An Industrial Licence allows the holder to import raw materials in addition to manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging, and exporting finished products.
- A Commercial Licence allows the import, export, distribution, consolidation, storage or warehousing of items specified in the licence.
- A Consulting and Services Licence allows the holder to offer consulting services in management, finance, investment, legal issues, labour relations, economics (including feasibility studies), industrial development, marketing, and related subjects. Other services include logistical support such as: restaurants or food outlets, catering services, travel agencies, leisure and social activities, insurance, cargo and freight forwarding, accounting, and audition services.
- A Commercial – General Trading Licence can be obtained under a Commercial License, which allows for more than seven product lines.
Please see Types of Company for more details on the company forms available in Ras al-Khaimah.