RAK ICC lead
Flexibility, convenience, legal certainty and low cost are some of the key advantages of setting up an international business company at RAK ICC Image Credit: Supplied

Dr Sameer Al Ansari, CEO, RAK ICC, on the wide-ranging benefits offered by the corporate registry to international businesses.

How does RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC) position itself as a premium international jurisdiction?

RAK ICC has taken steps to develop its products and services that compete favourably with other jurisdictions. This provides shareholders with the flexible options to establish their companies in a way that best suits their needs.

Our regulations are drafted in accordance with international best practices and our shareholders have the option to use the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) or Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) common law courts or the RAK courts. Companies at RAK ICC are established through our network of UAE registered agents, with many of them boasting international networks. This provides us with a global reach.

Tell us about the measures RAK ICC has taken to be compliant with the international standards.

We follow developments both locally and internationally to ensure that the policies and procedures we follow enhance the reputation of both RAK ICC as well as the UAE. Recent initiatives include updating our anti-money laundering and countering financial terrorism policies. We have also introduced a register of beneficial ownership and are working in compliance with the recently introduced economic substance requirements.

What are the key advantages of setting up an international business company at RAK ICC?

Flexibility, convenience, legal certainty and low cost are just some of the key advantages. Through the professional services of our registered agents and team members, shareholders can be assured that their requirements will be met in a manner that best suits their needs. Needless to say, an international business, setting up in the UAE, can also take advantage of the favourable tax environment and our network of double taxation treaties and bilateral agreements.

Is migration to RAK ICC possible? What are the advantages of redomiciliations?

Yes, we have seen a recent increase in the number of companies migrating to RAK ICC from other jurisdictions. Evolving client priorities are driving a shift from traditional offshore centres to high quality well-regulated mid-shore and on-shore jurisdictions and RAK ICC is benefitting from this. Through this redomiciliation process companies are able to maintain their existing legal status and preserve their operational and banking history. They may also find it is the best way to meet their economic substance requirements (ESR), given the depth and breadth of resources available in the UAE. It is clear that some traditional jurisdictions will not be able to meet ESR.

How does an International Business Company (IBC) differ from a Free Zone Company (FZCO)?

The main difference between an IBC and a FZCO is that the activity of an IBC takes place outside of the jurisdiction that the company is incorporated in, whereas the activity of a FZCO would take place in the zone. This provides opportunities for smooth international trade through the IBC, while at the same time ensuring that the international compliance requirements are being met. We have seen demand for our premium product which combines an IBC with a FZCO subsidiary allowing shareholders to benefit from all that the UAE has to offer.

Please brief us on RAK ICC, highlighting how you could help a company set up an international business presence in the emirate?

As a Ras Al Khaimah-government owned entity, RAK ICC is keen to attract and facilitate international trade, which will provide economic benefit both to the client and also the emirate.

With this in mind, we have established a wide network of registered agents, all with complimentary skills, which will ensure that the shareholders can find partners that will meet their needs and help them achieve the objectives of their companies.

With shareholders from over 160 countries, RAK ICC has demonstrated its effectiveness and attractiveness in developing markets.

- Dr Sameer Al Ansari, CEO, RAK ICC

The process is very straightforward, the client contacts their preferred registered agent who discusses with them their requirements, collects the appropriate documents and submits the application through an online portal. This means that the company can be set up very quickly and efficiently. Also through our sister company RAKEZ, we can help the client obtain a free zone licence, find offices and set up a business in Ras Al Khaimah.

How many companies are currently registered with RAK ICC?

With over 30,000 companies covering a wide range of activities having registered with RAK ICC, the register has for many years demonstrated a broad appeal to corporates and individuals from every corner of the globe. This makes us the largest offshore registry in the UAE and the region.

Finally, how do you plan to attract more investments to Ras Al Khaimah in the future?

With shareholders from over 160 countries, RAK ICC has demonstrated its effectiveness and attractiveness in developing markets.

RAK ICC is continually evolving to meet the needs of the ever changing marketplace and will attract more investments into Ras Al Khaimah through additional products and services, extending its network of high-quality registered agents and business partners, and focusing on developing existing markets and entering new ones.