How to Form an Offshore Company in UAE – Dubai (ZERO Tax Jurisdiction)


Are you considering setting up an offshore company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? In this blog post, we’ll discuss the steps and requirements for setting up an offshore company in Dubai, a clean zero-tax jurisdiction that’s become increasingly popular for entrepreneurs and businesses.

Three Types of Companies in UAE

  1. International Companies: These are similar to offshore companies, but they usually have limited access to banking, making them less attractive.
  2. Free Zone Companies: The majority of companies we set up fall into this category. These companies have access to local banking and residency permits.
  3. Onshore Companies: Traditionally, these companies required a large portion of local ownership, making them less popular. However, recent regulations have allowed for wholly-owned onshore companies.

Advantages of Free Zone Companies

  • Access to local banking
  • Residency permits can be easily obtained
  • Remote set up and online processes

Setting Up a Free Zone Company

Step 1: Choose the Free Zone

There are around 34 free zones in the UAE. It’s essential to select the most efficient and cost-effective one for your needs.

Step 2: Obtain a License

Licenses in the UAE are activity-based. It’s essential to choose the license that best fits your business activities and minimizes costs and substance requirements.

Step 3: Security Check

The Immigration Department will conduct a security clearance check. If you have previously visited the UAE, this process will be faster.

Step 4: Obtain a Residency Permit (Optional)

You can choose to obtain a residency permit, which can be useful for banking purposes. To do so, you’ll need to:

  • Choose the number of visas required for your business
  • Consider obtaining a longer-term business license for cost savings
  • Complete a medical examination in the UAE
  • Go through the stamping process and convert your tourist visa to a residency visa

The entire process of forming a company and obtaining a residency permit can take up to a month, with two weeks spent in the UAE.

Step 5: Open Bank Accounts

Once your company is formed and your residency permit is obtained, you can open local and international bank accounts for your business.


Setting up an offshore company in the UAE can be an efficient and cost-effective solution for many businesses. If you’re interested in exploring this option or determining whether it’s the right solution for your business, reach out to a professional who can help guide you through the process.

Thomas Raynott

Thomas Raynott

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