RAK Free Zones

What is a Free Zone

A free trade zone is one or more special areas of a country where normal trade barriers such as taxes, tariffs and quotas are eliminated and bureaucratic requirements are lowered to attract new business and foreign investments.

Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), approximately 100 kilometers northeast of Dubai. A strong economy, together with a stable political environment, makes the UAE a very attractive and safe place for investments of all kinds.

The cost of living and doing business in RAK is markedly lower than in other emirates, allowing for greater profit margins for investors.

Two free trade zones are operating in Ras Al Khaimah as follows:

  • RAK Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ)
  • RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA)

Advantages of Setting Up a RAK Free Zone Company

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Simple and fast registration procedures
  • State-of-the-art communication facilities
  • Freedom to choose the investment field
  • 100% income and corporate tax exemption
  • A single person can act as a director, secretary and shareholder
  • Transparent laws and regulations
  • Furnished offices and ready warehouses available
  • Excellent sea port and international airport facilities
  • 100% capital and profit repatriation
  • Easy and efficient services
  • Land for lease for industrial projects

Free Zone Company Options

Setting up a RAK Free Zone company (RAK FTZ or RAKIA) involves selecting a combination of business license, legal entity and facilities.

The following options are offered for company formation:

Business Licenses

  • Commercial License
  • General Trading License
  • Consultancy / Services License
  • Industrial License

Legal Entities

  • Free Zone Establishment
  • Free Zone Company
  • Local Branch
  • Foreign Branch

Facilities

  • Flexi Desk
  • Standard Office
  • Executive Office
  • Shell and Core Office
  • Warehouse
  • Land (industrial use)
  • Owners, shareholders or partners in a RAK Free Zone Company are entitled to employment visas.

Types of Business Licenses

PrimePlus provides consulting on RAK Freezone License requirements for those looking to set up their business in the free zone.

Types of licenses available are:

Commercial
Import, export, distribution or warehousing of goods

General Trading
Import, export, distribution or warehousing of goods

Consultancy/Services
Any type of management, marketing, academic, real estate, logistics or industrial consulting

Industrial
Import of raw materials, manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging and export of finished goods

Important Information
Applicants should be aware of the following points when applying for a business license:

  • Every company operating within RAK FTZ is required to obtain a business license. A business license is a time limited permit granted to a company to undertake commercial, consulting or industrial activities within RAK FTZ.
  • Companies licensed by RAK FTZ are not authorised to do business in the UAE market. A local agent or distributor has to be specially appointed to conduct business activities in the UAE market.
  • A RAK Freezone license is valid for a year starting from the date of issue, and must be renewed annually. Submission of audit reports is a mandatory requirement for business license renewal.
  • All rates are subject to periodic revisions, and the licensed companies will be informed of such revisions at the time of free zone business license renewal.
  • Applicants seeking a Consultancy license need to submit proof of academic qualifications and professional experience related to the intended field of activity.
  • Licenses can be amended by request, with necessary approvals and payment of the relevant fees.
  • RAK FTZ carries out inspections of facilities allotted to companies on a regular basis, to assess their activity levels.
  • Visa approvals and business license renewals are subject to a company’s level of activity and scale of operation.

Types of Legal Entities

There are several options of legal entities as regards to RAK company formation. A company or individual wishing to set up a business in RAK FTZ can register it as one of the following four legal entities:

RAK Free Zone Establishment
A new business entity with a sole business owner

RAK Free Zone Company
A new business entity owned by 2 to 5 partners

Foreign Branch
A branch of a foreign form residing outside the United Arab Emirates. The parent company should have existed for more than a year (also applicable to a subsidiary company).

Local Branch
A branch of a domestic firm residing in the United Arab Emirates. The parent company should have existed for more than a year (also applicable to a subsidiary company)

Facilities

When it comes to facilities, the RAK Free Zones’ Business Centers offer various options:

Flexi Desk

Shared and networked workstations (Flexi Desks) or offices (Flexi Offices), with services provided by our first-class business centers.

Main Benefits:

  • Minimised business overheads
  • Advanced IT / Telecommunications infrastructure
  • Low risk – an ideal way to test the market
  • Option to upgrade to a Standard or Executive office

Standard Office

Furnished offices, with an average size of 10m2, available for lease. A cost-effective option for taking your business to the UAE.

Main Benefits:

  • Furnished office space available at competitive rates
  • Office space and equipment adjusted to match business needs
  • Advanced IT / Telecommunications infrastructure
  • Access to modern corporate business centre services (mail, courier service, port office, etc)
  • Full accessibility 24 hours, 7 days a week

Requirements

The detailed requirements in terms of documents for business set up in RAK freezone are as follows:

Required Documents

  • Application Form
  • Brief Project description
  • List of Trade Names form
  • Declaration Form
  • Proof of academic qualifications and professional experience related to the intended field of activity (only for applicants seeking a consultancy license)
  • Passport copies for partners / shareholders and directors
  • Bank reference letter for partners / shareholders and directors

Initial Capital Requirements

  • Bank Statements for Commercial or Consultancy / Services applicants should show a balance of at least AED 100,000 (USD 27.400) for each partner / shareholder
  • Bank Statements for General Trading applicants should show a balance of at least AED 150,000 (USD 41,000) for each partner / shareholder
  • Bank Statements for Industrial applicants should show a balance equal to the project’s capital.

PRICING

At PrimePlus we can assist you with the entire process from start to finish, ensuring you select the most appropriate and cost effective option for your business requirements.

The cost of establishing a Free Trade Zone company will be about €10,000 to €12,000 depending on the type of license, legal entity and office facilities required.

The annual maintenance fees of a Free Trade Zone company will be about €5,000 to €6,000 depending on the type of license and the type of office facilities provided.