Offshore companies are not the same as Free zone companies, as the latter are considered as onshore.
An offshore company cannot conduct business activities inside the UAE.

UAE has designated below three offshore authorities that do the registration of offshore companies:

  • Jebel Ali offshore Authority (JAFZA offshore)
  • Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Center (RAK offshore)
  • Ajman Offshore Authority.

Advantages of offshore companies are below:

  • No income tax is levied on offshore companies.
  • Offshore company does not fall under the ambit of VAT.
  • Offshore companies are permitted to own real estate and other assets inside or outside of UAE.
  • Offshore companies are also permitted to own shares in other companies as a holding company. It is also allowed to own shares in mainland LLC (Limited liability Company).
  • Offshore companies can also own trademarks and intellectual properties.
  • Expatriate investors can fully own an offshore company.
  • Offshore company can be registered as a limited liability company

A registered agent is required to register an offshore company, and the address of the registered agent is considered a registered address of an offshore company.
The Residence visa of shareholders or employees of an Offshore company is not allowed.
Shareholders and director names are not available in the public domain.
All offshore companies are required to comply with ESR (Economic Substance Regulation) by the Ministry of Economy.

To register an offshore company, the following consideration has to be taken into account:

  • Minimum of one shareholder is required.
  • Foreign corporate company can be a shareholder in an offshore company subject to the provision of all attested documents.
  • It is required to appoint a director in an offshore company.
  • Some offshore authorities require a secretary to be appointed in an offshore company.

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