The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, located at the northern end of UAE on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, is nestled between the Hajjar Mountains on the East and the Arabian Gulf on the West and shares mountainous borders with the Sultanate of Oman. The Free Zone Authorities in Ras Al Khaimah are the government bodies registering non-resident companies and issuing business licenses.
Ras Al Khaimah is an Emirate with all business facilities available at rates more than 25% lower than other Emirates of UAE. For this reason, the Emirate is chosen for setting up by businesses of all sizes small, medium and large. Ras Al Khaimah is also a wise choice of business destination for investors deciding to test the waters before making huge investments in UAE. The Free Zones in Ras Al Khaimah – RAKIA, RAKFTZ and RAK Media City - allow business registration at cost effective rates without insisting on office spaces, which gives an opportunity to investors to study the market at lower costs before expanding their business. The world-class infrastructure and logistics network in the Emirate provide all the advantages of a highly active business hub at low costs.
The Free Zones licenses are classified usually into General Trading, Trading / Commercial, Service, Industrial and other types of licenses typical to the Free Zone like Publishing License issued at Ras Al Khaimah Media City (RAK Media City). The General Trading License allows trading of all kinds of products and is comparatively costlier. The Commercial/ Trading License allows trading of specified products subject to the regulations of the license issuing authority. The Service License is issued to firms offering services like lawyers, accounting firms and business consultants. Industrial License allows the license holder to import raw materials, carry out the manufacture of specified products and export the finished product to any country.
The companies setting up in Free Zones in Ras Al Khaimah are eligible for various incentives and facilities as follows:
Free Zone Status
Setting up a business in Ras Al Khaimah Free Zones requires planning and decision making through different phases. This involves choosing a name for the company and reserving with the Free Zone, preparation of business plan, choosing suitable infrastructure, estimating required human work force etc. The business registration or licensing process can be completed only after depositing the minimum capital mandated by the chosen Free Zone, in a bank account in UAE. A company being formed may have either an individual shareholder or corporate shareholder or both. The incorporation process requires the shareholders to sign the documents in the presence of Free Zone authorities.
A business license issued by Ras Al Khaimah Free Zones permit a company to practice the business activity mentioned in its license subject to the Free Zone Regulations. The primary step in setting up a business entity in Free Zones in Ras Al Khaimah is the selection of business activities. This is so because the other phases of business setting up like determining the number of business licenses can be decided only based on the selected business activities. The reservation of name for the company is as important as choosing the business activity. The name should not resemble the names of any company registered in the Free Zones or reserved for the Government. The Free Zone has the discretionary power to accept or reject a name. In Ras Al Khaimah, the Free Zones classify business licenses mainly into General Trading, commercial, professional and industrial.
An individual or a corporate entity can set up and do business in Free Zones in Ras Al Khaimah by being registered in any of the following legal forms: