Offshore Company Formation in Dubai UAE

Offshore Company Formation in Dubai: Your Complete Guide

Table of Contents

Dubai offers a business-friendly environment for offshore entrepreneurs. This lengthy guide covers the end-to-end process in a simplified manner.

Why Dubai?

Dubai’s strategic location and policy stability make it attractive for offshore ventures. Key advantages include:

Tax benefits: As an offshore company, you won’t pay any corporate or income taxes in Dubai.

Privacy: The legal structure permits keeping owners’ identity confidential if required.

Infrastructure: World-class airports, offices, and connectivity enable smooth global operations.

Suitable Industries

Certain industries are better equipped to leverage Dubai’s offshore advantages:

Company Structures

Three common licensing options available are:

FZCO: For trading activities with limited liability. Can own subsidiaries.

FZE: A sole proprietorship more suited for small teams or new startups.

Offshore company: Incorporate via jurisdictions like Cayman Islands for maximum confidentiality.

Carefully evaluate your needs to opt for the most suitable structure.

Registration Process

The step-by-step formation usually takes 4-6 weeks:

  1. Select a free zone like DMCC or DAFZA based on sector and location preferences.
  2. Appoint a licensed service provider who will assist with all required applications and documentation.
  3. Secure trade name approval and industrial license.
  4. Open a corporate bank account for business transactions upon license receipt.
  5. Apply for necessary visas to set up local operations and hire staff.

Professional guidance ensures regulatory adherence for timely approvals.

Continued Compliance

Post-formation, maintaining the license entails:

  • Filing annual returns with external audit reports before deadline.
  • Updating shareholding details with authority if ownership changes.
  • Complying with book-keeping rules for 5+ years as required.
  • Registering for VAT if annual revenue exceeds AED 375,000 threshold.

Accounting support handles due diligence efficiently.

Cost Breakdown

Anticipated total expenses range from AED 12,000 up to AED 20,000 depending on the company type and value-added services availed:

  • Service fees: AED 8,000-12,000
  • License fees: AED 2,000-3,000
  • Miscellaneous: AED 2,000-5,000
  • Annual Fees: AED 11000 


This guide summarises the formalities involved in a simplified, step-by-step manner. Dubai offers numerous incentives making it an attractive destination for global entrepreneurs seeking new opportunities. Horizon Biz experts can assist with registration and compliance moving forward.


Why should I consider setting up an offshore company in Dubai?

Dubai offers several advantages for offshore company formation, including a business-friendly environment, tax-efficient structures, access to global markets, and a strategic location for international trade and operations.

What are the key benefits of having an offshore company in Dubai?

Some of the main benefits include tax exemptions, 100% foreign ownership, confidentiality and asset protection, access to the UAE market, and a stable economic and political environment.

What are the different types of offshore companies I can form in Dubai?

Common options include Free Zone Company (FZC), Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Offshore Company, and International Business Company (IBC). The choice depends on your specific business needs and requirements.

What is the process for setting up an offshore company in Dubai?

The typical process involves selecting the appropriate company type, reserving a company name, preparing the required documents , submitting the application, and obtaining the necessary approvals and licenses.

What are the main requirements for offshore company formation in Dubai?

Common requirements include proof of address, passport copies of shareholders/directors, a business plan, share capital deposit, and the appointment of a local service agent or registered agent.

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Pranav Modi

Mr. Pranav Modi, CA is supported by 12+ years of Consulting, Auditing and Accounting practice across diverse sectors.

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