The UAE is renowned as a great place to set up a business, with its low tax rates, young and multicultural workforce and fantastic support services.
One of the more popular places in the UAE to set up a business is RAKEZ, which has been designed to appeal to a multitude of entrepreneurs.
Business setup specialists such as Worldwide Formations can help with the setup process. Contact them for a personalised quote:
This article covers all you need to know about business setup in RAKEZ, including:
- What is RAKEZ?
- Benefits of setting up your company in RAKEZ
- Types of company setup options at RAKEZ
- Steps of setting up your company in RAKEZ
- Cost of setting up your company in RAKEZ
- Activities allowed with a RAKEZ license
- How Worldwide Formations can help
What is RAKEZ?
RAKEZ – which stands for the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone – is in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE and was custom-made as a place for businesses to establish themselves, offering a range of customisable solutions for free zone and non-free zone businesses alike.
RAKEZ, founded by Ras Al Khaimah’s government, provides all the support entrepreneurs and start-up businesses need to get their venture off the ground, offering an array of licences, flexible facilities and business services.
RAKEZ aims to make setting up and running a business as straightforward as possible while complying with all the regulations relevant to UAE-based companies.
RAKEZ has been immensely successful, and it is currently home to more than 14,000 businesses in over 50 sectors, set up by people from across the world.
Benefits of setting up your company in RAKEZ
There are many benefits of establishing a business in RAKEZ. For instance, licences are available for more than 4,000 business activities, and they can be established in free zone and non-free zone areas. One business can carry out several activities on multiple licences – something not always available elsewhere in the UAE.
In addition, RAKEZ has dedicated zones for businesses in the industrial, academic and business sectors, and special licences are available to freelancers. There are also packages for female entrepreneurs.
As mentioned, RAKEZ focuses on making business setup as easy as possible, and the paperwork is minimal during the company formation process. This means it can take as little as a week for the incorporation process to be completed.
Overseas entrepreneurs are also able to repatriate all the profits and capital of the business, and there are no personal or corporate taxes.
Types of company setup options at RAKEZ
There are various options for setting up a business in RAKEZ, depending on whether the business is in a free or non-free zone area. One of the primary differences between the two is that free zone businesses can be 100% owned by overseas nationals, whereas a company in the non-free zone must be set up with a UAE resident partner and is subject to UAE labour laws.
In the free zone, entrepreneurs can set up a free zone limited liability company, which can have up to 50 shareholders. In addition to zero taxes, the advantages of this setup include zero customs duty and re-exported tax, freedom to source labour, and access to the local Ras Al Khaimah market.
Meanwhile, in the non-free zone, there are three main types of company setup: individual establishment (which has one shareholder), limited liability company (which can have between two and 50 shareholders) and branches of existing businesses, whether incorporated in the UAE or overseas. Another advantage of setting up in the non-free zone is that you can sell directly to the local market, and the company pays no custom duty on sales in the UAE and Gulf Co-operation Countries.
Steps of setting up your company in RAKEZ
There are several steps involved in setting up a company in RAKEZ. After naming your company, you need to choose which licence to apply for. There are 10 options open to any business: commercial, educational, ecommerce, freelance, general trading, individual, industrial, media, professional, and service.
The commercial, industrial and professional licences allow a company to run in the free and non-free zone areas – although the latter depends on the particular activity the business is performing.
For the company formation process itself, the application doesn’t have to be filed in Ras Al Khaimah – RAKEZ has offices in Dubai, Germany, India and Turkey. Certain documents are required as part of the process, including a copy of a passport/Emirates ID if the applicant is a UAE resident, and a visa copy and entry stamp if the person is in the UAE.
A business plan is also required, as you would expect.
For corporate shareholders, other documents are required, including a shareholders resolution for the establishment of the business, memorandum and articles of association and certificates of good standing.
Another consideration is premises. It is compulsory to have an office space for a business in RAKEZ, and plenty of fixed and flexible options are available. Part of this consideration should be that fixed visa numbers are tied to certain offices. In addition, the type of office space you can move into depends on the licence you have obtained, as not every office option is open to all licences.
Cost of setting up your company in RAKEZ
Efforts have been made to keep setup costs to a minimum in RAKEZ. Licences start from about AED 8,000, but it depends on the business activities your business will be undertaking. RAKEZ also often runs special promotions and discounts on licence costs, which can bring the total cost down.
Additional fees will have to be paid, including AED 375 for an Emirates ID, while an investor visa, which runs for three years, costs AED 3,950 and an employee visa, also lasting three years, costs AED 3,600. A medical check-up costs AED 320.
You also must factor in other costs, depending on the type of business you are setting up, such as office space, furnishings, stock and equipment.
Whatever your needs, contact Worldwide Formations for a personalised quote.
Activities allowed with a RAKEZ licence
RAKEZ has one of the most extensive lists of permissible business activities in the UAE, divided into broad categories as listed earlier in this article.
Some activities stipulate that the manager has a relevant degree in the relevant business field – usually professional services, such as accounting, architecture and engineering.
There are also substance requirements, which cover many activities, and those that are covered must be registered under special conditions, which include submitting a business plan or employing a company manager on a resident visa.
How Worldwide Formations can help
There are many benefits to setting up a business in RAKEZ. Worldwide Formations can help you navigate the process smoothly and quickly to enable you to focus on running the business.
Worldwide Formations is vastly experienced in business setup in the UAE. With their local knowledge, our consultants can help entrepreneurs incorporate their business swiftly and with minimal stress.
To find out more about how Worldwide Formations can help and to obtain a personalised quote, please contact us today.