Still unknown to most people around the world, Ras Al Khaimah has a lot to offer to both entrepreneurs and established businesses. And though it isn’t as well-known as its famous siblings, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it’s the fastest growing emirate in the UAE. Without extensive oil resources, Ras Al Khaimah leaned towards building its industrial infrastructure even before the establishment of the federation. Thanks to this, today it has one of the most fertile environments for business establishment and development in the whole country.
The jewel of the federation, RAK Free Zone has won the title of Best Emerging Free Zone three years in a row. Located just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport and home to over 7,500 companies, RAK FTZ is one of the most sought-after business locations in the UAE.
Below we explore the process of setting up a business in Ras Al Khaimah in five simple steps.
1. Decide on your type of Business Activity
The first step is to decide on the type of business that you’re planning on running and to correctly categorize it under Professional, Commercial or Industrial. Professional businesses offer personal or commercial professional services like accounting, management consulting etc. Commercial or general trading businesses and retail entities are involved in the trade and sale of goods to consumers or businesses. Industrial entities usually conduct the manufacturing, processing or packaging of goods.
2. Choose the type of business you wish to register
The next step involves choosing the legal entity of the business that you wish to establish. You can decide from any one of following four types of companies:
• LLC Company – The most common form of establishment, an LLC company has complete operating rights within the country. It requires physical offices within the country and one or more UAE residents as shareholders.
• Offshore Company – An offshore company will have a presence in the UAE with license to operate outside the country. This is the easiest type of company to set up and can be incorporated with virtual offices.
• Free Zone Company -A freezone company can be registered and established within any of the 45+ free zones in the UAE. While limited in some ways, freezone companies are allowed to have 100% foreign ownership, 100% import and export tax exemptions and 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
• Branch Office – A branch office is a recognized extension of an international company and therefore conducts business under the name and license of its parent entity.
3. Find your Location
The next step is finding a location that’s pertinent and supportive to the type of business that you want to establish. Located just 45 minutes from Dubai, RAK Free Trade Zone, offers a highly productive business-friendly environment with state-of-the-art services and an easy set-up process with minimal bureaucracy. You can choose from a range of set-ups varying from flexi-desks and core offices to multi-floor offices and industrial warehouses.
4. Collect Required Approvals
Once you’ve decided on the type of business that you want to establish, its legal entity, and where you want to establish it, the next step is to gather the required government approvals needed to establish the business. These can include legal documents, certificates of incorporation etc., and would require the company to be compliant with the various laws and regulations involved. The documents will of course vary with the kind of business being set up. For this, the business leaders might have to approach and get approvals from the ministries of industry, irrigation, environment, and health.
5. Application and Submission
The final step, of course, is to actually apply for the license by submitting the completed application form, along with passport copies of partners and administrators and approvals from the various government agencies. If everything is in order, you should be getting your license in under a week.
Even with the above step-chart at hand, if you find the process a bit taxing, you can always seek the help of a registered company formation agent to help you through these steps. An authorized and experienced formation agent can guide you through these various steps based on your unique business plan and objectives, and ensure that you don’t miss out on any approvals or documents that might delay or stall the set up process.