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SFM provides offshore company formation services in UAE, giving you the opportunity to globalize your corporate structure and take advantage of local and international laws for the growth of your business.

Offshore or non-resident companies are described as companies that are not permitted to conduct any business within their jurisdiction of incorporation.

More specifically in the UAE; an offshore company (IBC) has three characteristics:

  • They should be registered as an entity within the jurisdiction of incorporation.
  • The "incorporators" can be domiciled outside or inside of the jurisdiction of incorporation.
  • The company should transact exclusively outside of the jurisdiction of incorporation.

Here are the most popular offshore jurisdictions in the UAE :



Experts in company formation

Registering Your Company

Full Administrative Management of Your Company

SFM offers a full A-Z of services, not just company registration. Our Account Managers specialise in company law and are at your disposal throughout the year:

  • To answer all your general questions
  • To add or remove a company shareholder or director
  • To sign contracts on behalf of the company
  • To change your company’s name
  • To open bank accounts on behalf of the company
  • To produce additional company documentation (Certificate of Incumbency, Certificate of Good Standing, etc.)
  • To dissolve a company
  • To increase or decrease your company share capital
  • To transfer the company from another agent

Company Activity

Offshore companies can operate in various industries and activities outside the UAE. Within the UAE, offshore companies are restricted to the following activities:

JEBEL ALI OFFSHORE (Dubai) can act as holding company and mostly used to hold a property in Dubai or outside the UAE

RAK INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE CENTRE (RAKICC) can act as a holding company but cannot hold a property within the UAE

Holding activity
Trading activity
Consultancy activity
Real estate
Information Technology activity
Professional Training activity

Here are the activities that are restricted to be conducted by an offshore company :

  • Financial activity
  • Forex activity
  • Insurance activity
  • Medical practice activity
  • Educational activity

Corporate Banking for Offshore Companies in the UAE

UAE Offshore companies can open bank account domestically or in any other country. The section below covers the domestic banking aspect.

UAE is one of the region’s leading business centers which makes a safe, secure, advanced banking system vital.

The UAE has a stable and strong banking sector regulated by the Central Bank. Established in 1980, The Central Bank supervises monetary, credit and banking policies and its implementation in accordance with UAE rules and regulations. It reinforces the national economy and boost the reliability and stability of the local currency. It also maintains the UAE government’s reserves of precious metals and foreign currencies and regulates banks operating inside the UAE

Type of Banking in UAE:

  • Commercial banking: This leading banking service is dedicated to start-ups and SMEs in the UAE, offering the best and most flexible banking facilities to start a business. UAE’s banking vision is to support these two important sectors and provide them with all necessary solutions to improve the national economy.
  • Retail Banking: it is a standard personal banking in which individual customers use the branches of larger commercial banks. There are over 50 retail banks in the UAE. This banking system provides wide range of services such as : personal savings and current accounts, auto and personal loans, debit and/or credit cards. The focus of retail banking is on the individual consumer level more than on a corporate level.
  • Investment banking: UAE banks offer one of the highest ROI (Return of Investment) rates starting at 3% interest., With its political and economic position, UAE is a leading global investment center
  • Islamic banking: UAE banks offer Islamic banking governed by Shari'a Law and Federal Law No. 6 of 1985. The strategic plan of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum includes the establishment of Dubai as a global center of Islamic banking

Benefits of Banking Within UAE

  • UAE banks provide swift transfer for international markets and IBAN numbers for the European markets.
  • UAE banks deal with multi-currency accounts such as (AED, USD, Euro, GBP …etc)
  • UAE banks provide a friendly online portal system for e-banking transactions
  • UAE banks provide the facility to obtain credit and debit cards
  • UAE banks provide cheque books as well as a token device to secure your transactions
  • UAE banks provide support for letter of credit, bank guarantee, and other commercial banking facilities
  • UAE banks provide a easy phone banking system and mobile applications for internet banking transactions
  • UAE banks have an excellent international reputation of security and confidentiality

Process of Opening a Bank Account in the UAE

Opening a bank account in the UAE is easy, safe and regulated by the Central Bank. SFM’s expert team will make a pre-evaluation of your profile and provide a list of potential banks suitable for your requirements. Once the bank is selected, SFM will contact the chosen bank and organize a meeting in Dubai which you are required to attend personally.

After meeting the bank, providing the documents required and signing all the bank forms, the bank will need around 15 days to process the account opening. Finally, once the account is opened, the bank will provide your banking details and access for you to fund your account and start your business activity.


Documents required for UAE Offshore Company Formation


  • A certified copy of your passport
  • A proof of address such as utility bill or tenancy agreement showing address of current residence or bank statement dated within last 3 month.

Required documents for JEBEL ALI OFFSHORE (Dubai):

  • A certified copy of your passport
  • A utility Bill as a proof of address
  • A Bank reference letter
  • A Curriculum Vitae
  • Last 6 months bank statement
Experts in company formation

Director and shareholder services

Nominee Director

The Nominee Director Service is for when a client doesn’t wish to be personally appointed as a director, or there are specific local requirements for it. The name of the director will appear in the corporate documents, in any business contract, and sometimes in the jurisdiction's business register.

Upon appointment of a Nominee Director, the client and the nominee are required to sign a Nominee Service Agreement. It guarantees to the client that the nominee can only act or sign documents upon the client's request and with the client's prior approval.

Professional directors introduced by SFM work with the highest level of integrity and confidentiality.

Nominee Shareholder

A Nominee Shareholder is appointed to hold shares on behalf of the owner of the company. The name of the shareholder will appear in the corporate documents and sometimes in the jurisdiction's business register.

Upon appointment of a Nominee Shareholder, the nominee and the client will be required to sign a Nominee Service Agreement (Declaration of Trust).

Nominee shareholders introduced by SFM work with the highest level of integrity and confidentiality.

Experts in company formation

Telephone Answering and Mail Management

Why Use a Virtual Office?

This service provides a mail address and telephone number for onshore locations, thereby enhancing the reputation and credibility of your company.

Our Virtual Office Service is comprehensive and includes all administrative and secretarial assistance you require. We will assign you with a telephone number. A secretary will answer calls to this number promptly. We understand that a missed call can mean lost business. SFM has set up a high-quality structure for a fully effective virtual office.

The Main Advantages of the Virtual Office:

  • Reception and forwarding of your mail from one of our offices in RAK, Geneva, Hong Kong or the United Kingdom.
  • Phone calls are answered promptly, and dealt with according to your wishes (forwarded to another phone number or a message taken).
  • We act as your secretary. This adds substance and creates confidence in your company.
  • Your phone calls are answered from 08:30 to 19:00. Outside these hours our answering machine will take your messages.
  • You will be informed immediately of any new messages for your attention.
  • Reception of your faxes 24/7 and forwarding of the faxes to your email by scanned pdf.
Experts in company formation

Accounting and Auditing Services

In some jurisdictions such as Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Hong Kong, and in most of the UAE free zone jurisdictions, maintaining company accounts is mandatory. SFM can assist clients with completing their accounts.

Our services include:

  • Accounting
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Auditing
  • Completing tax returns
  • Acting as the link between the tax authorities and the client

As each jurisdiction has its own rules on accounting and the timeframe for submitting tax returns, SFM will contact you at the right time to ask you to provide us with the necessary documents to draw up the accounts.


These will generally include:

  • Company bank statements
  • Contracts
  • Lease contract
  • Purchase receipts/sales invoices
  • Loan documents