Welcome to ILS World

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority

With traditional offshore jurisdictions coming under pressure from competitor, regulatory and reputational pressures, clients are seeking credible alternatives.
25th June, 2019

Advantages of the United Arab Emirates include:
• High standard of living and favourable geographical position
• Economic and political stability
• Mature banking and financial sectors - the UAE has more than 50 national and international banks
• Highly developed infrastructure for tourism, entertainment and business
• Infrastructure for families – nurseries, schools and international colleges
• High level of a security and personal safety
• Absence of corporate and income tax
• Comprehensive legislation and business infrastructure
• Strategically placed for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region
• Efficient and productive working day dealing with Asia in the morning, Europe and Africa during the day and the Americas in the afternoon
• World class infrastructure
• Accessibility - well served by international airlines.

The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) is located in Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and has established itself as a dynamic, international trading hub.

Created in 1985 JAFZA is spread over 100sq km and is the operational base for more than 7,100 companies - more than 50% of total exports from Dubai are from JAFZA.

It is strategically positioned next to Jebel Ali Port, the biggest and busiest port in the Middle East. Dubai city, Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport are nearby and it is surrounded by an extensive road network linking it to Abu Dhabi, the UAE's capital city.

JAFZA offshore company registration began in 2003 and is particularly popular for those looking for a vehicle to hold real estate.

Advantages of JAFZA offshore company are:
• 100% foreign ownership is allowed
• 100% repatriation of capital and profits
• Anonymity and privacy - names of shareholders and directors do not have to be disclosed on a public register
• A JAFZA offshore company is legally permitted to own property in Dubai and provides an opportunity to invest in properties worldwide
• An offshore company is exempt from corporate and income taxes
• The UAE has Double Tax Treaty agreements with more than 40 countries
• There are no foreign currency restrictions
• There is no physical office with employees and related costs
• It provides a gateway for international market expansion
• Stable and business-friendly legal system
• A JAFZA offshore company must appoint an approved registered agent.

Elements of a JAFZA offshore company:
• A JAFZA offshore company must have at least one shareholder
• Both corporate shareholders and individual shareholders are permitted
• The structure of the share capital of the offshore company will be decided by the shareholder(s)
• No minimum capital required
• No bearer shares are allowed
• Different classes of shares are not permitted and shares have to be fully funded when assigned
• The owners meeting should be conducted at least once a year
• The register of members will be open for inspection or review by any shareholder- failure to comply is an offence
• A minimum of one director must be appointed
• A corporate director nor a commercial entity can act as director
• There must be an appointed secretary.

What a JAFZA offshore company cannot do:
• A JAFZA offshore company cannot do any business in the UAE or with residents in the UAE
• A JAFZA offshore company cannot hold any real estate property located in the UAE, except freehold properties approved by the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority
• A JAFZA offshore company cannot carry on business as an insurance, insurance agent or insurance broker
• A JAFZA offshore company cannot carry out a banking business.
• A JAFZA offshore company is not eligible of any office space (only the Registered Agent address is mentioned) nor residence visas.
• A JAFZA offshore company will be issued a Certificate of Incorporation and Memorandum and Articles of Association. No license is issued.

ILS World

A JAFZA offshore company requires a registered agent. ILS World has been operating in the region since 2005 and is licensed by JAFZA authorities to offer a full range of company formation and registered agent services.

For further information please contact Nadine Daoud at nadine.daoud@ils-world.com or read more on How ILS World helps its Dubai clients.

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Please note: ILS World does not offer tax advice. If you are not professionally qualified to give tax advice we will be happy to make an appropriate introduction.

Office manager Dubai