If you’ve looked into starting a business in the UAE, you’ll most likely have researched the many benefits of Dubai, or perhaps Abu Dhabi.
Forming part of the UAE, both emirates offer the UAE’s famed tax rate of 0% on both personal and corporate income and also benefit from a perfect location where East meets West – ideal for both international travel and trade.
Keep in mind, however, that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are just two of the seven emirates that offer these business advantages. Another, Ras Al Khaimah, offers world-class infrastructure and low cost of doing business, along with the 0% personal and corporate income taxation, support and location advantages of anywhere else in the UAE.
And just like every emirate, company formation in Ras Al Khaimah is straightforward and affordable.
Why do business in Ras Al Khaimah?
Ras Al Khaimah is home to some of the region’s busiest seaports and an international airport that offers direct links to India, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, as well as to several European destinations.
The emirate is also home to a modern and extensive highway network, putting Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah all within just an hour by road.
Finally, Ras Al Khaimah provides businesses with access to a strong and diverse economy. It’s also incredibly welcoming to businesses from a wide range of industries, thanks to its minimal bureaucracy and straightforward licensing process.
Company formation in Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah company formation doesn’t have to be complex. With the right guidance, starting your business here can be complete in just six steps:
1. The first step is to outline your business activities. The RAK Department of Economic Development offers thousands of activities that you can choose from, spanning a wide range of industries from e-commerce to industrial.
Your chosen activities will dictate the type of licence you can apply for, that’s why it’s best to get this decision out of the way upfront.
2. Next you should choose your company name. As well as assisting with outlining your business activities, a company formation expert can help you with this step too. It’s important that you choose a name that fits with the UAE’s naming conventions, most of which are common sense – no blasphemy etc.
Again, you should choose your name upfront as you will need to check that it is available to be registered before making your licence application.
3. Step three – choose between a UAE mainland setup or a free zone.
Free zones, such as Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), are often the most cost-effective approach as they offer affordable packages that include visa eligibility or the use of co-working facilities.
Some packages also include shared workstations, offices, warehousing or land on which to develop your own premises.
4. With these key decisions taken care of, the next step is to apply for your trade licence.
You can make this application to the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development, if you’re setting up in the mainland. Alternatively, you should apply to the free zone you have chosen to set up in.
In both cases, as well as your completed application form, you will usually 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 (if required)
- A business plan
5. Another prerequisite to doing business in the UAE is a visa.
If you are setting up in a free zone, the visa application process is usually taken care of at the same time as your licence application. If, however, you are setting up in the mainland, you should make this application separately.
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 best to work with an expert to ensure your application is successful and not unnecessarily delayed.
6. Finally, before you can trade, you will need 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. Thus, a company formation expert with a knowledge of helping overseas investors to open bank accounts in the UAE can help at this stage.
Company formation in Dubai
If you’re wondering – How can I register a company in Dubai or in the UAE? – you’ll be pleased to know that Dubai company formation follows the same process as in Ras al Khaimah, unless you are setting up in the mainland.
In this case you would make your application for Dubai company formation directly to Dubai’s Department of Economic Development.
The cost of company formation in the UAE
As with any business setup, UAE company formation cost is dependent on a number of factors. The emirate you choose to set up in, whether you opt for free zone or mainland, how many employees you have, and if you occupy physical premises, will all impact the total price you pay.
The best way to get an idea of total cost before starting your application is to approach a free zone to discuss business packages.
Once you outline your exact requirements, you will receive a quote for the total cost of setup. While it is not easy to estimate startup costs without knowing specific requirements, you can be sure that there is a package available for all budgets.
Ready to form a Ras Al Khaimah business?
Need help getting to grips with UAE company formation? Get in touch with RAKEZ.
We always place our clients at the heart of everything that we do, providing them with cost-effective setup packages, modern facilities and first-class services to help them reach their full potential. Blessed with a strategic location, we connect investors to growing markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe as well as South and Central Asia.
When you work with us, you simply outline your requirements and we’ll do the rest – taking care of the entire application process on your behalf.