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How to set up a company in Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

How to set up a company in Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

The freezone is open to a range of activities including those in the education, service, commercial, media, and industrial sectors

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) is home to over 14,000 companies, spanning 100 countries and 50 industries. It is largely responsible for Ras Al Khaimah’s reputation as a major hub for international trade.

A well-connected emirate, RAK is home to some of the region’s busiest seaports and an international airport that offers direct links to Europe, India, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

The RAKEZ freezone offers co-working spaces, executive offices, shell and core units, warehouses and land for development. It also provides for 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, you should ideally 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 four steps.

1. 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.

Activities

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

2. 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.

3. Apply for your licence

With this initial admin out of the way, you can now make your licence application.

As part of the application process, you will 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, but it pays to work with a company setup expert when doing so. They can make sure your application is complete and free from errors at the time of submission to ensure a fast and smooth process.

4. 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:

1. Apply for establishment card
2. Upon receiving establishment card, apply for eChannel
3. Following eChannel, apply for entry permit
4. On issuance of entry permit, conclude medical test and Emirates Identity application
5. Stamping of residency permit in passport

RAKEZ licence cost

There is more to the RAKEZ company setup cost that just the licence. 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 licence may cost in the region of Dhs15,000 to Dhs22,000, 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.

Karl Hougaard is the managing director of company setup firm Trade License Zone, which offers services for those looking to start operations in RAKEZ

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