ras al khaimah Business setup

Business setup in ras al khaimah

Company Formation in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is strategically positioned in the northern region of the UAE, bordered by the Sultanate of Oman’s mountains and flanked by the Arabian Gulf and Hajjar Mountains. With its close proximity to Dubai and excellent connectivity to various countries, RAK presents a plethora of opportunities across different sectors, making it an attractive choice for establishing businesses.

Entrepreneurs are drawn to this emirate due to its advantageous strategic location near far eastern nations and its efficient logistical links to the RAK Free Trade Zone and Port Saqr. In this discussion, we will delve into the necessary requirements, different types, and step-by-step legal procedures, for setting up a business in Ras Al Khaimah

What makes RAK an Ideal Place for Business Setup?

Ras Al Khaimah’s thriving economy, business-friendly environment, and government support have made it a top choice for foreign investors to establish their companies. Its advanced infrastructure and positive international relations make RAK an ideal place for entrepreneurs and investors.

Ras Al Khaimah provides various facilities and incentives to encourage business formation, making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs. These incentives, offered by the authorities, solidify RAK’s reputation as a prime location for starting a company.

Different Types of Business setups in RAK

RAK offers various business setup options for entrepreneurs to consider based on their specific needs. It is important to carefully evaluate the advantages and legal regulations of each jurisdiction before making a decision.

For expatriates looking to establish a business in RAK, there are three main options available:

Free Trade Zones,

Economic Department, and

 Local Chambers of Commerce.

Each option caters to different types of businesses, so it is essential to choose the most suitable one based on the nature of the business. PRO24 Services can assist with registering new companies in the Free Trade Zones, Economic Department, or Local Chambers of Commerce, depending on the requirements. Ultimately, entrepreneurs must assess their business requirements and select the jurisdiction that best aligns with their goals. Must assess their business requirements and select the jurisdiction that best aligns with their goals.


A RAK Mainland Company refers to an onshore entity that is registered under the government body of the relevant emirate. The Department of Economic Development is responsible for issuing trade licenses and permitting commercial activities within this zone.

In Ras Al Khaimah, mainland companies must have a local sponsor who will hold the majority of shares in the company.

There are several advantages to establishing a mainland company in Ras Al Khaimah, including:

  1. No currency restrictions.
  2. No requirement for annual auditing.
  3. Availability of office spaces for rent.
  4. Ability to conduct business with the local market.
  5. No limit on the number of business activities, and more.

RAK Free Zone Companies:

 It is a specific type of business structure that operates within special jurisdictions under the respective emirates. It is regulated by the Free Zone Authority, which oversees its operations and activities.

Moreover, RAK Free Zone offers various advantages to businesses, such as reduced packages for establishing a company in Ras Al Khaimah, lower tax rates, and a customer-friendly environment. There are several notable business setups within Ras Al Khaimah, including

RAK Maritime City Free Zone,

 RAK Media Free Zone (RMFZ),

RAK Economic Zone (RAKEZ), and

 Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority Free Zone (RAKIA).

c) RAK Offshore:

Offshore pertains to any business operation conducted outside of an organization’s domestic headquarters. These entities are established to meet the substantial demand in offshore markets. By doing so, these offshore companies foster economic growth and cultivate a business-friendly atmosphere for entrepreneurs and investors.

There are numerous advantages to establishing a business in Ras Al Khaimah Offshore, including:

  1. Enhanced privacy measures.
  2. Cost-effective packages.
  3. Exemptions from import duties.
  4. Ensuring the security of business information.
  5. Facilitating 100% repatriation of capital and profits, among others.

Different Business Entities in RAK:

 When entrepreneurs desire to establish a company in Ras Al Khaimah, they must also choose the type of business entity. Here is an overview of the various corporate entity structures available in the region:

a) Sole Establishment:

A sole establishment in Ras Al Khaimah is a business owned and managed by a single individual. It is the most straightforward form of business structure due to minimal legal requirements, sole ownership of profits, and the lack of legal separation between the business and its owner.

 b) Limited Liability Company (LLC):

An LLC in Ras Al Khaimah is a commercial entity that can have between two and fifty shareholders. One of the key advantages of an LLC is that it limits the personal liability of the owners/partners, offers flexibility, and enjoys lower tax rates.

 c) Joint Venture Company:

For those considering a business setup in RAK, joint venture companies are an option. These entities involve a contractual agreement between foreign and local parties authorized to manage the business operations free zone entities.

 d) Public Shareholding Company:

A public shareholding company in Ras Al Khaimah must have a minimum of ten members. Shareholder liability is limited to the number of shares held in the company, as the capital is divided into equal shares.

 e) Private Shareholding Company:

A private shareholding company in RAK must have at least three members and cannot offer shares to the public. Shareholders are required to subscribe to the full capital, which must be at least AED 2,000,000.

Different Types of Business Licenses in RAK

In order to operate their chosen business activities, business owners in Ras Al Khaimah must obtain specific approval from the authorities in the form of a trade and business license there.

 There are several types of licenses available, each suitable for different business activities and with their own set of benefits and requirements. These licenses include:

 1) General Trading License:

The general trading license is a combination of both industrial and trading license. It allows businesses to trade a wide range of goods, catering to various industries. However, there are certain items, such as alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and weapons, that are prohibited from trading due to specific restrictions and regulations.

 2) Commercial License:

The commercial license is designed for individuals who engage in trading activities within the country. It permits the buying, selling, and trading of goods, commodities, and services.

 3) Industrial License:

The industrial license is specifically for business owners involved in manufacturing, importing, exporting, and packaging products as specified by the authorities.

 4) Service License:

Service License is issued to individuals who are providing services & Consultancies for other businesses.

 5) Professional License:

The professional license is issued to individuals who provide professional services, such as doctors, lawyers, and consultants. It serves as an official recognition for practicing their respective professions.

 These different types of business licenses cater to the diverse needs of businesses in Ras Al Khaimah, ensuring that they operate within the legal framework and regulations set by the authorities.

Business setup Steps in Ras Al Khaimah

Upon gaining knowledge about the legal jurisdictions and types of business entities, it is essential to comprehend the entire process of setting up a company in Ras Al Khaimah. The following steps outline the procedure:

 i) The initial step in establishing a business in RAK involves selecting the appropriate jurisdiction, whether it be mainland, free zone, or offshore, based on the business’s requirements.

 ii) Subsequently, business owners must choose the business model, such as sole establishment, LLC, joint venture, etc., based on the nature and scale of the business.

 iii) An important decision to be made by business owners is selecting a unique business name that complies with the legal regulations set by the RAK authorities.

 iv) Business owners are required to submit essential documents and complete application forms for verification and regulatory approvals, which are necessary for further business operations like visa processing, licenses, and bank accounts.

 v) The entrepreneur must then apply for the relevant business license for the business setup in Ras Al Khaimah, ensuring that it aligns with the chosen business type of activity and signifies government approvals to operate.

 vi) Upon completion of the above steps and verification of submitted paperwork, the officials issue a certificate of business incorporation therein, allowing owne of business centersrs to commence their respective businesses.

 vii) Finally, post-establishment steps include visa processing for employees, leasing an office space, and opening a bank account to facilitate business transactions for seamless operations.

Reasons to Invest in Ras Al Khaimah

There are numerous compelling factors to take into account when considering investment opportunities in Ras Al Khaimah. The region presents prospects in various sectors such as trade and commerce, food processing and dairy, industrial and manufacturing, tourism, real estate, construction, warehousing, cold stores, transport, distribution, mining, minerals exploration, extraction, quarrying projects, as well as international maritime-related industries and services.

 Ras Al Khaimah’s advantageous location, business-friendly environment, modern infrastructure, and favourable regulations make it an appealing destination for entrepreneurs and investors worldwide. The ease of establishing a business in Ras Al Khaimah significantly contributes to the market’s economy.

 The process of setting up a business in Ras Al Khaimah can be seamless, particularly with the assistance of consultancy firms like PRO24 Services. With their expertise and knowledge of UAE laws, these firms can efficiently help businesses establish their operations in Ras Al Khaimah by managing all necessary documentation and legal requirements. This ensures a smooth and hassle-free experience for business owners.

 If you are interested in becoming a local sponsor and part of this thriving economy, we encourage you to reach out to us for assistance with business setup in Ras Al Khaimah. We are here to guide you through the process and ensure your journey is a successful one.


Process is quite simple and easy to start your dream business in RAK

  1. Choose your business activities
  2. Decide which form of company you want to establish
  3. Apply for initial approval to the concerned mainland or free zone authority
  4. Submit all the required documents and get your company license.

There is no such requirement to have a local shareholder in RAK companies


You don’t need to have a physical office, unless you have business operations in UAE. Virtual office should be fine.


  1. Sole Establishment
  2. Limited Liability company(LLC)
  3. Joint venture Company
  4. Public Shareholding Company
  5. Private Shareholding Company