Ras al Khaimah is a promising place to start a business. It is located in the north of the UAE, and although it offers many benefits, not many investors know how to incorporate a company easily.
This emirate shares the border with Oman, so it is a great place to carry out commercial activities and enter international markets. Also known as RAK, it is one of the Emirates with an astonishing infrastructure, excellent connectivity, and all kinds of amenities available for foreign and national investors.
Thus, you have everything you need to carry out the business setup in Ras al Khaimah and ensure the growth of your company. One of the advantages of RAK is that it is a great alternative since if you want to enter a local market but you already have a presence in Dubai, or you are not interested in this place, you can choose RAK to take advantage of its growth potential.
Here in Connect Middle East, we want to offer our services of company formation in Ras al Khaimah. You can contact us to learn more about our wide range of packages available so you can start expanding your corporation to one of the most thriving markets in the Middle East.
Whether you are a UAE resident or a foreign investor, you can shift your attention to RAK and set up your business with our assistance.
Mainland company formation in Ras al Khaimah
To carry out the business setup in Ras al Khaimah, you can opt for a Mainland Company. With this type of legal entity, you can enjoy many benefits. One of them is that you can trade within the entire UAE territory.
When it comes to the types of legal structures that your Mainland Company can have in RAK you can choose from an LLC, Public Shareholding Company, Professional Firm, Representative Office, or a Branch of Foreign Company.
Foreign investors tend to prefer this jurisdiction because RAK is one of the most developed emirates and there is no limit on the number of business activities.
Nevertheless, one of the drawbacks of the Mainland Company in Rak is that you must have a local sponsor. For some, this may be an inconvenience, while for others it may not seem like a disadvantage.
If you are interested in learning more about our services, you can learn more about Connect Middle East to decide partnering with us.
Business setup in Ras al Khaimah Free Zones
The business setup in Ras al Khaimah involves selecting the proper jurisdiction for your company. Many businesspersons and investors see the RAK Free Zones as the perfect place to incorporate their companies because of the great advantages they offer.
When it comes to the Free Zones in RAK, they are highly demanded due to the benefits and amenities they have available for businesses. Among their benefits, we find the customer-friendly environment, the cost-effective incorporation process, and the trouble-free business world.
The RAK Free Zones are the following:
The RAK Maritime City Free Zone was established in 2001 and it is known for its secure atmosphere for investors. Its harbor infrastructure within the established port is its greatest feature.
One of the greatest advantages of RAKMC is that provides access to the best international ports. Together with its modern infrastructure, you can find in this Free Zone a place to expand your operations.
Some of the most popular business activities in RAKMC are the following:
- General cargo handling
- Tank storage
- Industrial production
Moreover, in RAKMC you can have access to two types of plots, one with exclusive access to a linear quay length and others located away from the harbor area. These plots sizes start from 25,000 sq. m. and leasing agreements start from 25 years.
The Ras al Khaimah Economic Zone is also very popular among investors since it is the home for businesses from across several industries. It is perfect for companies that are looking to diversify their operations.
RAKEZ is located at the heart of the Ras al Khaimah Emirate. This means that provides an excellent connection to international marketplaces in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Moreover, it offers cost-effective rates for incorporating a company.
If you are looking for a Free Zone with a strong reputation, RAKEZ is the perfect one for you. The best part is that SMEs, freelancers, and large corporations can find many advantages in this location. You can reach your full business potential in RAKEZ.
In case you need help with the documentation for the business setup in Ras al Khaimah or assistance with any other legal formality, here at Connect Middle East we offer the best PRO Services.
The Ras al Khaimah Media Free Zone was established in 2006 and it is the perfect alternative to the Dubai Media City Free zone. It is a low-cost option for businesses in the media industry, and it offers world-class facilities and licenses to companies that carry out media-related activities.
This Free Zone welcomes companies that want to work in the following types of business:
- Animation studies
- Computer graphic houses
- Media establishments
- Television channels
- Audio-visual production studios
Nevertheless, this does not mean that if you operate in another sector you are not welcomed in RMFZ. On the contrary, this Free Zone also needs businesses to carry out other types of activities such as logistics, consultancy, and more.
If you also need Banking Services with your company formation in Ras al Khaimah, here at Connect Middle East we put our experts at your disposal.
Offshore company formation in Ras al Khaimah
Another option for carrying the business setup in Ras al Khaimah is opting for incorporating an Offshore Company in RAK.
Companies that want to operate in real estate and property investment may find RAK Offshore the perfect place to conduct their operations. There is an estimated 1900 International Business Companies registered in RAK Offshore, so as you can see it is a very popular place to establish your business.
Among the advantages of incorporating a company in this jurisdiction is that you can enjoy complete privacy and keep all the information about shareholders safe. Moreover, the cost for setting up a RAK Offshore is quite rational, considering that it is an idyllic location. Additionally, businesses get exemption from import duties and total profit and capital repatriation.
Another advantage of this type of company is that it enjoys complete privacy and confidentiality. This means that the information of the shareholders and directors will not be disclosed.
It is worth noting that offshore companies cannot get the benefits offered by the double tax treaties. Moreover, an Offshore Company cannot trade within the UAE. Thus, the company is not allowed to operate “onshore” or in the local market.
Benefits of setting up your business in Ras al Khaimah
Ras al Khaimah is becoming increasingly popular among foreign investors and entrepreneurs that want to incorporate a company in this perfect commercial location. Small and large corporations see this region as the go-to investment place to boost their operations.
In fact, RAK hosts many companies from across a wide range of industries, which makes it enjoy great economic development. Therefore, investors from around the world want to start their businesses here.
Carrying out the business setup in Ras al Khaimah can offer you several advantages. Here we have the many benefits you can get:
- It is close to Dubai (45 minutes) and the Sultanate of Oman
- It has a cost-effective business setup process
- Companies established on the Mainland are entitled to a 100% exemption of corporate tax
- You do not need to have a capital for obtaining a mainland license
- It has a strategic location for conducting logistics and warehousing activities
- It offers access to local and international markets with an estimate of 1.2 billion consumers
- There are no currency restrictions
- Legal procedures and incorporation process are investor-friendly and hassle-free
- Free Zone Companies can enjoy 100% ownership
- It is close to eastern nations such as India, China, Pakistan, and Iran
- Imports, exports, and services can enjoy 0% customs duty
- Full repatriation of capital and profits
Types of business entities in Ras al Khaimah
Starting a business in RAK means that you have to select a legal structure for your company. There are several types of business entities available in RAK from which you can choose. Keep in mind that each one has its own requirements and one type may be more suitable for your corporation depending on your budget and the nature of your business.
The types of legal structures available in RAK are the following:
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): to establish an LLC in RAK it must have two partners at minimum and 50 at maximum. To establish it in the Mainland you must have a local sponsor since foreigners cannot have 100% ownership of the shares.
- Joint Venture Company: you can reach an agreement with a local party (as a foreigner) and incorporate a Joint Venture Company in RAK.
- Public Shareholding Company: You must have 10 shareholders as a minimum and get a license from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce to start a Public Shareholding Company. Shareholders must subscribe to a minimum of 20% of the capital and 45% as a maximum.
- Private Shareholding Company: to start this type of company there must be three shareholders as a minimum and subscribe to a full capital of AED 2,000,000 as a minimum. Shares cannot be put up for a public subscription.
- Sole Establishment: this type of corporation has a single individual.
- Free Zone Company: a Free Zone Company, also known as FZCO is an LLC established in one of the Free Zones in RAK. It can be registered with two or more shareholders. The required capital is AED 250,000
- Free Zone Establishment: An FZE is a Free Zone Establishment, and it can be incorporated with a single shareholder. This can be a natural person or a corporation. The minimum capital required is AED 150,000.
- International Business Company: this type of company can be incorporated in RAKIA, and it does not have limitations regarding the number of shareholders.
Process to start your company in Ras al Khaimah
To carry out the business setup in Ras al Khaimah you must be aware of the necessary steps you have to go through to obtain your license and register your company.
Here we have the steps for company formation in Ras al Khaimah:
Select your business activity
First, you have to determine the type of economic activity you are going to perform with your company. This refers to the nature of your business, so it is very important to understand which one suits it best.
In this regard, you have to decide if it is going to be a commercial, professional or industrial activity. For example, if you are going to start a trading business, you have to select the commercial activity.
On the other hand, if you want to offer personal or professional services, like accounting or consulting, your business will have a professional activity.
Choose a jurisdiction
One of the most crucial steps of incorporating a company in RAK is choosing the best jurisdiction. This is the zone where you are going to establish your business. You can choose between Mainland, Offshore, and Free Zones. Each one offers its own advantages as we have mentioned before.
Decide the legal structure of your company
Once you have clear what your business activity is and the chosen jurisdiction, the next step is to choose among the legal structures available. This is the type of entity you are going to incorporate in Ras al Khaimah.
It is important to understand which legal structure can be best for your business. You can choose among the ones available but keep in mind that it must be per the jurisdiction you have chosen.
Register the trade name
Your trade name is the identification of your business. Thus, you must choose one that suits your business activity. But keep in mind that the UAE has guidelines that you must follow regarding the trade name.
It should be a unique and appropriate trade name, so as you can see it is a very important matter. Once you have at least 3 potential names for your business, you have to submit them to the Department of Economic Development to obtain the approval.
Get the initial approval
The initial approval is what ensures that you can continue with the business setup in Ras al Khaimah. Once you receive the approval it means that your business activity has been approved and you can continue with requesting the license and finding an office.
You can receive the initial approval if you have not received the trade name certificate.
Submit the application
Once you have your initial approval and your trade name certificate, you can fill out the application and submit it to the respective entity. Make sure you comply with the legal conditions.
You have to submit some documents along with your application, so you have to collect them all and notarize them. If there is any document written in another language, you have to request an official translator to translate it to Arabic.
Get the business license
After you get the consent from the Authority to start your business, you can submit your application to obtain the business license. Make sure to understand which type of license is best for your business.
Rent an office
Finally, the last step in the company formation in Ras al Khaimah is leasing an office space. The best news is that there are many options available, from Business Centers up to Smart Offices.
Although business setup in Ras al Khaimah is a straightforward process you can always receive assistance from our Best Business Consultancy experts, so you can get help from start to end.
Required documents for company formation in Ras al Khaimah
The process for business setup in Ras al Khaimah is pretty simple. One of the most important aspects you have to be aware of is that you need to submit the necessary documentation to obtain approval.
Therefore, you have to be careful to collect everything you need so you avoid having to face rejection because you are missing a paper or something else.
The documents you need to incorporate your corporation in RAK are the following:
- Copy of the tenancy contract (certified)
- Passport and visa copies for each shareholder
- NOC and UAE residency copies (UAE residents)
- License application form
- Initial approval
- External approvals (if necessary)
- Copies of Emirates ID and family book (UAE residents)
- Trade name certificate
If you need help with the incorporation of your company, here in Connect Middle East we can offer you our Corporate Sponsorship Service.
Types of business licenses available for business setup in Ras al Khaimah
Businesses that want to operate in RAK must go through the legal formalities to obtain all the paperwork that allows them to carry out their activities in compliance with the UAE rules.
Here are the types of licenses available for business setup in Ras al Khaimah:
The Trading License is aimed at companies that want to engage in commercial activities like export, import, storage, shops, distribution, trading, and others.
General Trading License
The General Trading License covers a wider range of products in relation to commercial activities. Thus, this type of license is for companies that want to trade you need trade license dubai for more products than the ones allowed by the Trading License.
A business that wants to carry out activities such as manufacturing, assembling, processing, packaging, importing raw materials to manufacture products, and exporting finished products should opt for an Industrial License.
With the Service/Consulting License, the business is allowed to engage in activities such as consulting, management, investment, real estate consulting, professional services, and much more. This should be in accordance with the specifications of the license issued.
Businesses such as restaurants, catering services, travel agencies, and others can also operate under this type of license.
Companies that opt for a Media License can carry out all kinds of media-related activities and offer communication services in Ras al Khaimah.
Here in Connect Middle East, we offer you our Business Licensing Services so you can receive this crucial document without any worries.
Cost of business setup in Ras al Khaimah
Carrying out the business setup in Ras al Khaimah involves considering all the expenses that you will have to incur from start to finish. Therefore, it is important to learn about the cost of incorporating a company in RAK so you can plan your budget and avoid having to pay fees that you were not expecting.
- Office rent: in RAK you can find many options to rent physical space for your company. From serviced offices to work stations, there are several fees depending on the type and duration. For example, for a Flexi Desk, the fee starts from AED 14,300, while for an Executive Office you can pay from AED 30,535.
- Visa fee: an investor visa can cost AED 3950. For your employees, the visa fee starts from AED 2970.
- Emirates ID: to obtain your Emirates ID you must undergo a medical examination. The fee for both is AED 1200.
If obtaining the license and visas for your employees in your new company in RAK is too overwhelming for you, here at Connect Middle East we offer you our Visa Services to relieve your burden.
Frequently asked questions about business setup in Ras al Khaimah
Learning about the basics of the business setup in Ras al Khaimah can help you decide if this Emirate is the perfect one for starting your operations.
Nevertheless, you may still have some doubts about the process or any other subject. For this reason, we have some of the most frequently asked questions about company formation in Ras al Khaimah.
Can I have a virtual office in Ras al Khaimah?
When it comes to thinking about how to operate your business in RAK, you may have considered having a virtual office. However, you cannot function from a virtual office in RAK unless you have an offshore company.
Thus, if your business is established in other jurisdictions, you have to rent a physical office to conduct your operations from there.
What are the Free Zone Parks in Ras al Khaimah?
In RAK you can find four Free Zone Parks dedicated to a particular type of industry. Thus, if you own a business in any of the following areas you can consider them as an option to continue growing your operations:
- Business Park: aimed at companies dedicated to business and corporate activities
- Industrial Park: heavy manufacturing industries can opt for this Park
- Academic Park: deemed itself as a premier education destination, here we find top educational institutions
- Technology Park: in the technology park, businesses involved in light manufacturing and trading are welcomed.
What are the Free Zones in Ras al Khaimah?
If you are considering establishing a Free Zone Company, you must know which ones are available for you. In RAK there are four Free Zones that welcome foreign and local investors looking to expand their operations. These are the following:
- RAKEZ (Ras al Khaimah Economic Zone)
- RMFZ (Ras al Khaimah Media Free Zone)
- RAKMC (Ras al Khaimah Maritime City Free Zone)
Do I need a local sponsor to start an LLC in a RAK Free Zone?
One of the incredible advantages of RAK is that you can incorporate an LLC without needing a local sponsor. So, you can do the business setup in Ras al Khaimah Free Zone, and start your LLC with 100% ownership.
Do I need to have a resident director to incorporate a company in RAK?
You do not need to appoint a local as the director of your company, nor as a shareholder.
Can I have 100% ownership of my company in Ras al Khaimah?
Business owners that are looking for having total ownership of their companies in the UAE look for the best alternatives that allows it. If you are considering incorporating a company in Ras al Khaimah, you should know that the percentage of ownership will depend on the chosen jurisdiction.
In case you incorporate a company in a Free Zone in RAK, you can have total ownership of your business. But, if you incorporate an LLC in the Mainland, you can only hold 49% percentage of the shares, while a local partner will hold the remaining 51%.
What is the difference between a RAK Free Zone Company and a RAK Offshore Company?
Oftentimes, a Free Zone Company is mistaken for an Offshore Company. The truth is that both are very different, and each one has its own benefits and drawbacks.
An offshore company is a legal entity that operates outside of the area in which was established. Thus, it cannot operate within the UAE.
Whereas with a Free Zone Company you can operate within the limits of said Free Zone and you can work with a distributor if you want to trade within the UAE.
Can I open a corporate bank account in Ras al Khaimah?
Yes, once you have completed the business setup in Ras al Khaimah you can open a corporate bank account for your business to start managing the finances.