If you’re looking to start a business in the UAE, one of the first things to consider is whether it would be more beneficial to set up in one of the country’s free zones. Spread right throughout the country, the UAE’s free zones offer entrepreneurs a number of exclusive benefits.
The key benefits, alongside 0% personal and corporate income tax and 100% exemption from customs tax, include the freedom to repatriate all invested capital and profits, along with the absence of foreign exchange controls or currency restrictions.
These are the advantages that can be found in any of the UAE’s 40-plus free zones. When you look into each free zone individually, however, there are many more benefits to be had. Establishing your business in RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC), for example, brings with it a number of advantages that cannot be found elsewhere.
Situated in the emirate of Ras al Khaimah, RAK ICC is a modern, world-class Company Registry operating in full compliance with international standards and best practices in the international Business Company formation industry. Companies setting up here benefit not just from an excellent location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and five-star facilities, but also from a thriving business environment, home to prestigious companies both large and small.
RAK ICC license categories
There are three principal RAK ICC company types: Company Limited by Share (CLS), Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG), and Unlimited Company (UC).
In short, a CLS can have unlimited capacity and segregated portfolios in which assets are insulated from liability. This setup is favoured by holding companies and joint ventures. Meanwhile, a CLG can have unlimited capacity and issue shares, making it a suitable setup for tenant associations, real estate development companies and the like.
Finally, a UC can have unlimited capacity, restricted purpose, and unlimited or limited duration. This type of company setup is often used as a liability pass-through company in a corporate group or an international tax planning vehicle.
The beauty of forming a company in this particular free zone is that almost all business activities are allowed in RAK ICC – excluding banking and insurance. Permitted activities include most trading, consulting, construction, marketing, manufacturing activities, and more.
There are, however, some restrictions to establishing your business here. As RAK ICC only supports international businesses, companies registered here are restricted from trading directly with the UAE market. The free zone is also unable to issue UAE residency visas.
The exact type of setup that is right for your business will depend on the nature of your activities, and while the process of applying for your RAK ICC startup license may appear simple, it is vital that your application is both accurate and complete.
Any errors or omissions may lead to delays or even the rejection of your application altogether. That’s why it often pays to work with a company formation expert who can manage every step of your application, liaising with RAK ICC and all other relevant authorities on your behalf.
RAK ICC offshore company formation
As well as the business types listed above, the free zone also allows for RAK ICC offshore company formation via its Premium Product service. Premium Product is a collaboration between RAK ICC and Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) that allows offshore companies registered with RAK ICC to carry out their activities onshore by establishing a subsidiary at RAKEZ.
There are several key advantages to registering an offshore company in this way. For example, all companies are treated as a business enterprise of substance, investors can open bank accounts locally and internationally, and you even have the option to lease a physical facility from RAKEZ.
What’s more, establishing an offshore company through RAK ICC’s Premium Product is very straightforward. Simply register a RAK ICC company, establish a subsidiary, and then establish your RAKEZ company.
As with any type of business license application, this is a precise process. That’s why it’s best to work with a company formation expert who can manage your entire application for you.
Why choose Ras al Khaimah?
Ras al Khaimah comprises the northernmost part of the UAE and is fast becoming one of the leading destinations for company formation in the region.
The emirate has a proven record of safety and stability as backed by renowned credit rating agencies such as Fitch Ratings and S&P. It is also home to several major logistics hubs including seaports, an international airport, and several multi-lane superhighways, offering companies easy access to the all-important trade flows between the east and the west.
The emirate is not all business, however. Ras al Khaimah has plenty to offer in terms of quality living too. Those setting up here are sure to experience rich local culture, scenic views of majestic mountains, and year-round sunny weather at a cost that’s way below many other of the world’s famous industry hubs.
Finally, Ras Al Khaimah’s public transport system is excellent, and there are constant improvements being made to the road system in order to cater for increasing amounts of traffic and to keep the roads free from congestion for a smoother flow of traffic around the emirate. Finally, the postal system is quick and efficient, so waiting for important documents and parcels is rarely a hassle – a factor that cannot be overlooked in international business.
RAK ICC company formation made easy
The exact steps required to start your company in RAK International Corporate Centre will depend largely on the nature of your business and your chosen form of company setup. In most cases, however, you’ll also be required to provide:
- Completed application form
- Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
- Two coloured passport size photos
- Proof of share capital, as required
In the majority of cases, the RAK ICC company formation process is not particularly lengthy – providing your application is complete and correct. As previously mentioned, it is vitally important that you keep in mind that errors in your application can lead to delays or even rejection.
That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as CREATIVE ZONE when forming a new business anywhere in the UAE. Our team of company registration professionals is passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
Our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – making UAE company formation easy.