The UAE is home to a wide range of free zones catering to businesses of all types and all sizes. All free zones offer a number of benefits to attract entrepreneurs and business owners from around the world.
These benefits include, but are not limited to, zero currency restrictions, total customs tax exemption and the freedom to repatriate 100% of capital and profits. This is, of course, on top of the UAE’s famous 0% tax rate on both personal and corporate income.
Then there are the benefits offered by each individual free zone which can include links to transport hubs, ports and airports, along with business support services.
The free zone that we are going to focus on today, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), boasts these advantages and more. Situated in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, RAKEZ welcomes freelancers, startups, SMEs, and large multinationals from over 50 industries.
On top of its strategic location and world-class infrastructure, RAKEZ also offers a fast and straightforward company incorporation process which makes it one of the most popular free zones in the region.
If you’re looking to start a business in the UAE, here’s why you should consider RAKEZ.
Why do business in Ras Al Khaimah?
Ras Al Khaimah is an incredibly well-connected emirate, home to some of the region’s busiest seaports and an international airport that offers direct links to Europe, India, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Within the emirate there is an extensive highway network connecting it to Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah.
The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is also home to a strong and diverse economy and a welcoming business environment.
Then there is the free zone which offers a long list of benefits to the businesses within it, from co-working spaces to full-scale industrial facilities. The free zone is home to co-working spaces, executive offices, shell and core units, warehouses and land for development. RAKEZ even offers on-site labour accommodation, allowing staff to live and work in the same place.
RAKEZ company formation: step-by-step
Before embarking on the steps below, your first action should be to seek out a company setup expert to guide you through the process. With the help of an expert, the RAKEZ company setup process consists of just four simple steps.
Choose your activities
The first step in the RAKEZ company setup process is to define your business activities.
RAKEZ is open to a range of activities including those in the education, service, commercial, media, and industrial sectors.
A full list of permitted activities can be found on the RAKEZ website. The free zone accepts applications from those in the following sectors.
Commercial: Trading in services and goods
Educational: Education-related institution or consultancy
E-commerce: Trading in goods and services via electronic means
General trading: Trading in multiple goods
Industrial: Manufacturing, importing, packaging and exporting products
Media: Operating media-related business activities
Professional: For professional services providers
Service: Conducting services or consultancies across any industry
Freelancers: In the fields of media and education
Choose your company name
The next step is to decide on a company name.
When choosing a name for your business, you must keep in mind that it cannot include any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any religious references. If you wish to include your name in your company name, you must use it in full rather than just your surname or initials. Finally, you must check that your chosen name is available to be registered.
Apply for your license
With this initial admin out of the way you can now make your license application.
As part of the application process, you may be asked to provide:
- Completed application form
- A copy of your passport
- A colour photograph
- A business plan
You can make your application directly to the RAKEZ managing authority if you wish but it pays to work with a company setup expert when doing so. We can make sure your application is complete and free from errors at the time of submission to ensure a fast and smooth process.
Apply for your visas
You’ll also need to apply for your visas. Once again, this is best undertaken with the help of a company formation expert. The RAKEZ visa process is as follows:
- Apply for Establishment card.
- Upon receiving Establishment card, apply for eChannel.
- Following eChannel, apply for entry permit.
- On issuance of entry permit, conclude medical test and Emirates identity application.
- Stamping of residency permit in passport.
RAKEZ license cost
There is more to the RAKEZ company setup cost that just the license. There are many factors to consider. If you require premises or employees, for example, then you can expect your costs to rise.
So, while a RAKEZ license may cost in the region of AED 15,000 to AED 22,000, there are other costs to consider on top of this.
To get a specific idea of the total costs involved in starting a business at RAKEZ, you should contact a company formation expert for a detailed quote.
Trade License Zone – the company setup experts
The RAKEZ company setup process has been designed with simplicity in mind. That said, it does take some in-depth knowledge of the UAE and its many customs and regulations.
That’s why it’s always advisable to acquire the services of a business setup company who can not only advise on the process but also seek out the most suitable license and setup type for your business, based on your needs and your budget.
When you use business setup services, you also gain peace of mind that your license and visa applications are free from errors and omissions – both of which can lead to delays and rejection.
When you work with a company formation specialist, all you need to provide is some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to start trading. It really is that simple.