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2016.08.08 - United Arab Emirates – RAK International Corporate Centre Business Companies Regulations 2016


The United Arab Emirates are gaining still more popularity among businessmen, as during the recent years the country has developed its legislation to serve as an optimal jurisdiction for manufacturing, commercial or other businesses.

Entrepreneurs from all over the world enjoy benefits of business conditions in more than 30 free-trade zones of the UAE, and also appreciate the opportunities offered by this country for the establishment of international companies whose objective is to generate business overseas - outside the UAE.

Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah offers the optimal conditions for the establishment of international business companies.

Before 2016, in the territory of Ras Al Khaimah operated two free zones, and the law considered registration of international business companies in each to be of both:

  1. RAK International Companies (operated as a part of RAK Free Trade Zone).
  2. RAK Offshore (operated as a part of RAK International Authority - RAKIA).

In 2016, for the purpose of developing the service of registration and maintenance of international companies in line with world standards, on the basis of the Decree No. 4/2016 a new, separate zone was created - Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC), with this new zone embracing the functions of both of the aforesaid institutions.

Therefore, since 2016 the law regulating the registration of international companies in Ras Al Khaimah is RAK International Corporate Centre Business Companies Regulations 2016.

Below are some of the substantial provisions of this law.

  1. The term “company” pursuant to RAK ICC Regulations 2016 means:
    1. a new company formed under this law;
    2. a company formed pursuant to RAK FTZ or RAKIA laws, and re-registered in line with the current law;
    3. a company re-domiciled in accordance with the RAK ICC Regulations 2016 from the other jurisdiction.
  2. Equity capital of the company, pursuant to RAK ICC Regulations 2016, may be expressed in any currency, or in no par value shares.
  3. Accounting Records. Article 103 of RAK ICC Regulations 2016 obliges RAK ICC companies to keep their accounting records and financial documentation for at least 5 years.
  4. Companies formerly registered in Ras Al Khaimah in accordance with the regulatory enactments of RAK FTZ or RAKIA and not re-registered by making an individual inquiry, will be automatically re-registered in accordance with the RAK ICC Regulations 2016 on December 31, 2017.


The United Arab Emirates are a respectable jurisdiction known worldwide as a base for conducting international trading and other businesses. Therefore, being registered in this generally recognized commercial jurisdiction and at the same time operating in a fully tax exempt status, a RAK ICC Business Company may serve as a trustworthy corporate instrument to be used in international commerce or other projects.

A technical detail to consider is that the United Arab Emirates have not adopted the Hague Convention of 1961, and accordingly, do not issue (nor accept) the Apostille. Therefore, for an UAE company to be used in other countries, its foundation documents must be legalized in a consular department of the particular country, preceded by legalization in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE.

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