While Dubai has found its place on the world map as a center for businesses in the region, other emirates such as Ras Al Khaimah are increasingly becoming a favored choice for entrepreneurs looking to enter the booming markets in the MENA region. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven UAE emirates that is situated just 45 minutes from Dubai city with close proximity to Oman. Its location and administration efforts to market the region as the perfect commercial setup location have positioned it as the go-to investment region for overseas investors. The region hosts a wide choice of global companies that increase its economic development, making it ideal for investors from all around the world seeking to tap into international markets.
Business setup in Ras al Khaimah (RAK) is a cost-effective gateway that offers numerous advantages, including the ability to reach markets across the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa, and Europe. RAK’s strategic geographic location helps companies take full advantage of trade flows.
There are many advantages of RAK business setup which include but are not limited to the following:
- Mainland company enjoys 100% corporate tax exemption
- You can operate your company from any part of UAE
- No capital required for a local mainland license
- Able to carry out business in all emirate’s mainland
- No currency restrictions
- Easy processing of employment visas
- Mainland company registration will provide 100% repatriation of capital and profits
- Hassle-free legal procedures to get the license and registration
- Simple incorporation process
- No audit requirement
RAK Mainland Company Set Up Requirements
RAK mainland company formation is regulated by the UAE government policies and legal structure. They fall under the Emirates government jurisdictions. Investors can choose among the below mentioned options when forming companies in RAK:
- Limited Liability Companies (LLC),
- Public Shareholding Companies,
- Professional Firms,
- Branch of Foreign Companies,
- Representative Offices.
RAK business setup process is easy, but investors must adhere to documentation formalities and legal procedures that include;
- Having a local sponsor,
- Specifying the economic type and legal business formation,
- Applying for company registration,
- Registering company name with the economic development department (DED),
- Filing the relevant documentation with the chamber of commerce and the DED,
- Notarizing company MoA,
- Obtaining the required government approvals.
Foreign company owners have to appoint local sponsors. These local sponsors hold 51% shares of the company. Remaining 49% of shares will be owned by company owners. In case of a professional license, foreigners hold 100% shares of their business. But they will appoint a local service agent for their assistance. Approval from DED (Department of Economic Development), (Municipality), MoL (Ministry of Labor), MoI (Ministry of Interior), and other related authorities are mandatory for mainland company formation. Special approval from concerned authorities may be required for certain business activities.
Setting Up a Company in RAK Mainland
With expert support, setting up in Ras Al Khaimah is both quick and easy. However, before completing your license application, there are a few things that need to be taken care of.
-> The first step is that you need to clearly outline your intended business activities. There are several activities to choose from; from commercial and industrial to educational, e-commerce, and trading. Once you have decided on the activities that best suit your business you should list these clearly on your license application to avoid any complications further down the line.
-> The next step is deciding on the company name. Make sure that it fits with the UAE’s naming conventions, most of which are common sense – no blasphemy or offensive words etc. You’ll need to choose your name upfront as you will need to check that it is available to be registered before filing your license application. With these key decisions made, it’s time to apply for your license.
-> When setting up a company in the Ras Al Khaimah mainland, the application is submitted to the RAK Department of Economic Development (DED). In many cases, the initial application can be completed online. As well as your completed application form, you will usually also be required to provide:
- Colour passport copies for all shareholders, directors, and managers
- Copies of visas/entry stamps for all shareholders, directors, and managers
- A No Objection Certificate (NOC)
- A business plan
-> Once your trade license application is submitted and taken care of, there are two more important steps in the process. The first one is to apply for your visa and those of your employees. The visa applications must be submitted as soon as you receive your trade license. The UAE visa process involves an application, followed by a medical test and biometric capturing. As this is such an important step in the process, it is a good idea to work with an expert to ensure your application is successful and not unnecessarily delayed.
-> Lastly, you should now apply for a corporate bank account. Getting access to banking services in the UAE may seem challenging as each bank has its own eligibility and account opening criteria. At this stage, you should seek out the services of an expert in helping overseas investors open bank accounts in the UAE to ensure a smooth account opening process.
Business Setup Solutions
Riz and Mona Consultancy offers a variety of business set up solutions to investors and entrepreneurs. Our consultants will guide you throughout the registration process of your business, take care of all the paperwork necessary for registration and incorporation, and submit required legal documents to proper authorities. We will also ensure that you focus on important matters such as running your company by taking the burden of trade license application off your shoulders.