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Ras Al Khaimah company formation

Ras Al Khaimah, commonly known as RAK, is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In recent years, RAK has emerged as a popular destination for business owners looking to establish their companies in the region. Ras Al Khaimah Company Formation in UAE offers a range of benefits for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish a presence in the region.

From easy company registration procedures to a range of business license options, setting up a company in RAK is a straightforward process. Additionally, companies registered in RAK enjoy 100% foreign ownership, no currency restrictions, and access to a skilled workforce.

The importance of company formation in RAK cannot be overstated. Therefore, we are here to explain everything you need to know about company formation in RAK, its benefits, the license required and the cost of setting up a business in RAK.

Ras Al Khaimah Overview

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is both the largest city and capital of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, situated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It holds the distinction of being the sixth-largest city in the country. The emirate boasts a coastline of 40 miles along the Arabian Gulf and an area of roughly 960 square miles.

The emirate’s economy is transitioning from its historical dependence on pearl diving and fishing towards a more diversified base. RAK is now focusing on tourism, manufacturing, and free trade zones to drive growth. Its proximity to Dubai and well-developed infrastructure position it for further development.

Types of Ras Al Khaimah Company Formation in UAE

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) offers two main options for company formation, each with its own set of advantages and regulations:

1. Mainland Companies

Mainland companies operate within the legal framework of the UAE and the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. They can conduct business activities throughout the UAE, but face some limitations regarding foreign ownership.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most popular option for mainland companies. It offers limited liability protection to shareholders, meaning their personal assets are shielded from business debts beyond their investment. Requires a minimum of one shareholder and one manager who can be the same person. 

Other options include joint venture companies and public/private shareholding companies (for larger businesses).


  • Access to the entire UAE market.
  • Greater flexibility in choosing business activities (compared to Free Zones).
  • Potential for government contracts and subsidies (depending on the activity).

In some cases, mainland companies may require a local sponsor, a UAE national who acts as a liaison with the government. 

2. Free Zone Companies

Free Zone companies operate within designated free zones which have their own independent business and legal frameworks. They benefit from significant tax exemptions and streamlined regulations. However, their ability to conduct business within the UAE mainland may be restricted.

The type of company formation available may vary depending on the free zone but commonly includes Free Zone Establishments (FZEs) and Free Zone Companies (FZCs).

Several Free Zones exist in Ras Al Khaimah, each catering to specific industries. Some popular ones include:

  • RAK Economic Zone (RAKEZ): Offers various licenses for general trading, light manufacturing, and services.
  • RAK Media Free Zone (RMFZ): Ideal for businesses in media, communication, and entertainment.
  • RAK Maritime City Free Zone: Focuses on maritime, logistics, and offshore companies.


  • Typically, 100% foreign ownership is allowed.
  • Tax exemptions (often for an extended period).
  • Simplified company formation process with minimal government intervention.
  • Excellent infrastructure and business support services within the free zone.

The best option for your company formation depends on your specific business goals:

  • For unrestricted access to the UAE market and a focus on domestic operations, a mainland company might be ideal.
  • For lower costs, tax benefits, and a focus on international trade, a free zone company could be a better fit.

It’s wise to consult with a business setup specialist in UAE to determine the most suitable structure for your company’s needs. We at Shuraa Business Setup can help you find the right type of company formation for your business needs.

How to Set up a Business in Ras Al Khaimah?

Setting up a business in Ras Al Khaimah involves several steps, whether you’re establishing a mainland company or a free zone company. Here’s a step-by-step process for Ras Al Khaimah Company Formation in UAE:

1. Define Your Business Activity

Clearly identify the specific activities your company will undertake. This is crucial for determining the appropriate business license you’ll need.

2. Choose Your Company Structure

Decide on the legal structure that best suits your business goals. Common options include Limited Liability Company (LLC) for mainland companies and Free Zone Establishments (FZEs) or Free Zone Companies (FZCs) for free zone companies.

3. Choose a Company Name

Choose a unique and available trade name for your company and register it with the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Ras Al Khaimah.

4. Select Your Location

Mainland: Decide on the specific location within Ras Al Khaimah for your company’s operations.

Free Zone: Choose a free zone that caters to your industry and offers the benefits you require. Research the different free zones in Ras Al Khaimah to find the best fit.

5. Prepare Required Documents

The documents may include:

  • Completed application form
  • Trade name reservation certificate
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA) for LLCs (Mainland) or Articles of Association (AOA) for FZEs/FZCs (if applicable)
  • Passport copies of shareholders and directors
  • Lease agreement for office space (outside free zones for the mainland)

6. Apply for a Business License

Submit an application for a business license with the DED or the relevant free zone authority. This will involve providing the necessary documentation and paying the required fees.

Mainland Company: The DED will assess your application and may require additional approvals from specific departments depending on your business activity.

Free Zone Company: The free zone authority will handle your application and guide you through their specific requirements.

7. Arrange for Office Space and Facilities

Secure office space and facilities as per the requirements of your business activity and the regulations of the jurisdiction where your company is registered.

8. Open a Corporate Bank Account

Open a corporate bank account in a local bank. This step usually requires presenting the company’s legal documents, including the trade license and incorporation certificate.

9. Fulfill Visa Requirements

If you plan to hire employees or require residency visas, apply for the necessary visas and permits for yourself and your employees through the relevant immigration authorities.

Throughout the company formation process, it’s advisable to seek professional guidance from legal advisors or business consultants like Shuraa Business Setup to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and streamline the process.

What is the Cost of Company Formation in Ras Al Khaimah?

The license cost in Ras Al Khaimah can range anywhere from AED 6,000 to AED 35,000 annually. However, the cost of company formation in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Company Structure: Mainland companies generally involve higher costs compared to free zone companies.
  • Chosen Free Zone: Each free zone in Ras Al Khaimah may have its own pricing structure for company formation packages.
  • Business License Type: The specific license you require can influence the overall cost.
  • Visa Fees: If you require visas for yourself or your employees, there will be associated application and processing fees in AED.
  • Office Space: Rental costs for office space will vary depending on location, size, and amenities.

Setting up a free zone company can typically cost between AED 5,400 and AED 18,000. This usually covers the basic company formation process and license fees.

Expect annual renewal fees for your business license on top of the initial cost. 

Please note these costs are just rough estimates. Get quotes from Business Setup Consultants at Shuraa. They can offer a comprehensive breakdown of potential costs based on your specific business requirements.

Ras Al Khaimah Company Formation Benefits

RAK offers a compelling set of advantages for company formation, attracting businesses of all sizes. This includes:

1. Tax Exemptions

RAK offers significant tax exemptions, particularly for companies established in free zones. These exemptions typically cover corporate and income taxes which makes it an attractive location for businesses seeking to maximize profits.

2. Double Taxation Treaties

The UAE, and by extension Ras Al Khaimah, has double taxation treaties with many countries. This can help avoid duplicate taxation on your business income.

3. 100% Foreign Ownership

RAK allows foreign investors to own 100% of their companies in designated free zones. This eliminates the need for a local partner.

4. Full Repatriation

Businesses operating in RAK free zones generally enjoy the freedom to repatriate their profits and invested capital without restrictions.

5. Minimal Bureaucracy

Free zones in RAK are known for their efficient processes and minimal bureaucratic hurdles which makes it easier to get your business up and running quickly.

6. Lower Costs

Operational costs in RAK, including office space and labour, tend to be lower compared to some of its neighbouring emirates. This can be a significant advantage for businesses looking to control expenses.

Start Your Business in RAK – It’s Easier Than You Think!

Setting up your business in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is an exciting way to tap into the UAE’s booming economy.  It’s a fantastic place for business growth with its strategic location, friendly regulations, and loads of opportunities. And guess what? You don’t have to tackle all the setup hassles by yourself.

Consider teaming up with pros like Shuraa Business Setup. We’ll walk you through the entire process, handle all the paperwork and legal stuff, and make sure everything runs smoothly. With our expertise on your side, you’ll be on your way to business success in RAK in no time.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality in RAK!