Dubai Free Zone companies are becoming more popular given the increase and attractiveness of the UAE as a financial, tax, and migration hub as most of Dubai residents are foreign nationals (expats).
Offshore Affairs provides Offshore Company Formation and Residency Visas in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. We are IFZA Authorized Partners / Agent, and our services include:
Dubai Offshore Company Formation
IFZA Free Zone Company
Offshore Bank Accounts for Freezone Companies
Dubai Residency Visa
Stripe Account for Dubai Company
Onshore Bank Accounts in Dubai
Why form an Offshore Company in Dubai?
Dubai is a City and Emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dubai does not have Personal Income Tax, hence, no tax registry number exist for individuals.
Companies formed in Free Zones are tax exempt on its foreign or offshore income.
Well known for its prosperous economy.
Open to foreigners: Between 80%-90% of the population in Dubai are foreigners/expatries
What are Free Zones in Dubai?
Free Zones or Free-trade Zones in Dubai (UAE) are special economic areas, or financial centres, where different laws and regulations apply than those in "mainland Dubai". "Offshore Companies" in Dubai are formed in these free zones.
Dubai has a Mixed Legal System comprised of Civil and Sharia Law, and in some cases Common Law is practiced, which is the case for DIFC Courts.
What is IFZA?
The International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) is a Free Zone in Dubai, located in the Dubai Sillicon Oasis. Companies formed in IFZA are recognized Free Zone companies in the UAE and internationally, and can operate within the Free Zone and internationally, open bank accounts, shareholders can apply for a Dubai Residency Visa as a Investor / Founder of the company, etc.
Why form a Company in IFZA?
Tax free entity. Freezone companies (FZCO) formed in IFZA are tax exempt:
No Income or Coporte Tax
No custom duty tax.
The FZCO’s income that is not sourced from Dubai (offshore income) is 0% tax, or tax exempt.
The FZCO’s income that is sourced from other Freezones, is also 0% tax, or tax exempt.
If the FZCO has income from mainland dubai (for example, you are selling and shipping products to clients located in mainland dubai), the portion of that income will be taxed at a 9% tax rate.
No Capital Controls: total repatriation of Capital and Profits.
100% Foreign Ownership, and there is no shareholder(s) nationality restrictions: just a very few exceptions.
Corporate Shareholders are allowed.
No mandatory office space required: even though you can get and office space at IFZA, these are not mandatory and this kind of set up is cost-efficient, unlike in other free zones where an office space is required to set up the offshore company, and get the business license.
License granted: license is granted for almost any type of business activity.
Can Operate Offshore and Onshore.
No Paid-Up capital requirements.
Owning an IFZA Offshore Company allows you to apply and get a Residency Visa and relocate to Dubai, and enjoy a no personal income tax situation
IFZA FZCO Formation Requirements
Name: Must ends with suffix FZCO. Example: Offshore Affairs FZCO
Minimum Capital: AED 10,000 (about US$2,755).
Paid up capital required: no.
Documents required to open an offshore company in Dubai
To open an offshore company in Dubai for individual shareholders, we would need the following documents:
New Incorporation Form. (filled)
Passport Copy. (does not need to be certified/notarized copy)
For corporate shareholder, in addition to the requirements above, we would need the following certified / notarized documents:
Memorandum & Article of Association of the corporate shareholder, or its equivalent
Valid (current) Trade License or its equivalent.
Certificate of Incorporation or Formation.
Stripe for Dubai Offshore Company
Eligibility: UAE Free zone establishments (Free Zone Companies) are one of the supported type of businesses from the UAE.
License: a trade license issued in the UAE is required.
Bank Account: a local bank account is required.
How to Open an Offshore Bank Account in Dubai?
Opening a Bank Account in Dubai for a Free Zone company will depend on wether you are a foreign residing in Dubai, or a Non-Resident Foreigner.
IFZA FZCO with Resident Owner
Opening a Bank Account in Dubai for an Offshore Company is easy and possible if you request and have a residency visa, as banks in Dubai lean towards this option.
Is the UAE Part of the CRS? Yes, the UAE is part of the CRS.
IFZA FZCO with Non-Resident Owner
If you just form a Free Zone company, and don't request a residency visa, opening a bank account in Dubai for this Free Zone company will be a harder process. It would be easier to open this bank account in another jurisdiction in case you don't want to apply for a residency.
Offshore Bank Account in Dubai
IFZA companies can open bank accounts in the following banks, which have Partnered with the International Free Zone Authority to provide.
As IFZA Agents / Partners, we at Offshore Affairs provide bank account opening assistance in the following banks. Hiring our bank account opening assistance is required.
Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD):
- Residency Visa Required.
- IFZA FZCO are elegible.
- Visit is a must.
- No minimum initial deposit
- Online Application.
- No visit required.
- Can be connected to Stripe
Uses of an Dubai Offshore Company
Offshore companies in Dubai can be used for several purposes, including, but not limited to:
Asset Protection Vehicle.
Online store and e-commerce in general.
Trading, business, counseling businesses.
International Tax Planning.
Obtaining a Residency Visa in Dubai
Note: Free Zone Companies are not eligible to benefit from Dubai Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (Tax Treaties) since they are already tax
How much does an offshore company in Dubai cost?
The price (License) for a Free Zone company in IFZA, Dubai, will depend on the number of visas to be issued under this FZCO and for how many years you are paying the License
1 year License Packages
License price does not include visa price.
Zero Visa License: 13,900 AED (US$3,784)
1 Visa License: 17,900 AED (US$4,874)
2 Visa License: 21,900 AED (US$5,963)
3 Visa License: 23,900 (US$6,507)
4 Visa License: 25,900 (US$7,052)
5 Visa License: 27,900 (US$6,597)
6 Visa License: 29,900 (US$8,141)
How to get a Dubai Residency Visa
After the Company in Dubai has been formed, we can apply for the Residency Visa. This whole process can take about 2 weeks. After you obtain the Residency Visa, you will be able to open bank accounts in the UAE, and to obtain services in the UAE available only to UAE or Emirati ID holders.
First, we start by filling out the Application Form. This form requires the company License and Establishment Card information, applicant personal details, visa designation, entry stamp in case of in-country applications, etc.
The employment agreement is signed. Application is submitted and e-visa is granted for the Applicant to come to Dubai and get Medical Fitness Test, biometrics (if required), get the Emirates ID Registration, and obtain Medical Insurance.
After the aforementioned procedure has been performed, Residency Visa is granted.
Notes: Visa Applications can be done from inside the UAE or outside the UAE.
Visa Status Change fee is required if the application is from inside the UAE.
If application is from outside of the UAE, Applicant should not come to Dubai after application is submitted and before the e-visa is issued, otherwise this would render the application invalid.
Contact us to get more information on all applicable fees, visa designation options and requirements, timeframes, etc.
Visa Designation is the name or title the Visa Holder will have on its visa, these include Partner, Investor, Administrative Supervisor, Company Clerk, Lawyer, Doctor, Teacher, Recepcionist, Sales Manager, Hr Director, etc.
The visa designations can be classified as Designations that do not require a Degree Certificate, like Partner, Investor, Recepcionist, Marketing Assistant, etc, other designations like Doctor, Lawyer, or Teacher a Specialized Degree Certificate, and destination like Administrative Director, Office Manager, Sales Manager, etc., require a Degree Certificate.
An Investor visa designation allows the visa holder to enter and exit the UAE and he/she wishes, having a minimum requirement to visit Dubai one day per year to maintain the visa. This designation requires payment of an extra AED1,000 fee.
To apply for an Investor visa, the FZCO must have at least AED50,000 as initial capital share.
Partner Visa: for the Partner Visa designation, a minimum of two shareholders is required.
Visa Related expenses
Establishment Card: AED 2,000
Visa Status Change fee: AED 1,600
Investor Visa designation: AED 1,000
Partner Visa designation: AED 1,000
Estimated timeline to open a FZCO and get the Residency Visa
The timeline set below are estimates, it includes the timeline to form the company and getting the Residency Visa. The timeline bewlo is for processing the forms, it excludes our timeframe for filling the forms
5 working days for opening the company and getting the license.
2 working days for the establishment card
7 working days for the E Visa
Once all the above is issued, the client has 60 days to come and stay in Dubai for a week to finish the formalities here (medical, biometrics and passport stamping).