JAFZA Offshore Company Incorporation
Jebel Ali Offshore Company comes under Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) introduced regulations in 2003 for the establishment of Jebel Ali Free Zone Offshore Companies. The international business community can now establish offshore entities at JAFZA ( website: www.jafza.ae ) in line with other international offshore jurisdictions. Regulations were framed in a manner so as to deliver the convenience and efficiency of global offshore locations and maintain a high repute with international financial authorities. It is an industrial area surrounding the Jebel Ali Port, one of the world’s biggest shipping ports, which allows the international companies based there to enjoy the special privileges of the free zone. These include exemption from corporate tax for 15 years, no personal income tax, no import or export duties, no restriction on currency, and easy labour recruitment.
Jebel Ali is located just outside Dubai and is about an hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital city. Al Maktoum International Airport, which is planned to be the largest airport in the world in both freight and passenger volume, is constructed just outside the port area.
The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), in conjunction with the Dubai Government, introduced the Offshore Company in 2003 under the Jebel Ali Free Zone Offshore Companies Regulations 2003.
JAFZA Offshore Company Key Features:
- Shareholders – A minimum of one shareholder is required and corporate shareholders are permitted. International corporate shareholders are required to have all company documents attested;
- Directors – A minimum of two directors are required and corporate directors are not permitted. Details of directors are not available on the public register;
- Secretary – Every company must have a secretary. A company director may also act as company secretary;
- Share Capital – No minimum share capital requirements;
- Annual Reporting – Every company must keep accounting records for 10 years from the date of preparation. The company must appoint an auditor (from an approved list) to examine and report on accounts.
Benefits of an offshore company registration in JAFZA:
- 100% Foreign Ownership – The JAFZA Offshore Companies Regulations require no local shareholding;
- Local Real Estate Ownership – The JAFZA Offshore Company is the only offshore company that is permitted to directly own local Dubai real estate. Most properties in Dubai can be owned by JAFZA offshore companies but both Free Zone and developer approval are required;
- Shares in Local Companies – Despite a general prohibition on Offshore Companies conducting business with persons resident in the UAE, the authorities do allow Offshore Companies to hold the shares of both Free Zone and Onshore (LLC) Companies. Documents for use in the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar do not need to be attested;
- Local Bank Account – An Offshore Company can hold multi-currency bank accounts in the UAE to carry out routine international transactions;
- Shareholder/Director details – The names of shareholders and directors do not have to be disclosed on a public register;
- Inspection – The registrar has the power to appoint inspectors to investigate the affairs of an Offshore Company. The owner of the company may be liable for all inspection fees.