UAE Offshore Foundation in the United Arab Emirates (RAKICC Foundation)
The UAE Offshore Foundation (RAKICC Foundation) was introduced in 2019 to the suite of investment vehicles and services offered by the United Arab Emirates, and is the most modern element of international asset protection and structuring. The laws and regulations setting international standards and considers the recent, global developments of asset protection. As major point the legislation of the UAE Offshore Foundation will not acknowledge any foreign judgment against the foundation and its founders including foreign heirship rights.
Holding assets personally may leave you at a severe disadvantage. In a world filled with lawsuits, creditors, legal battles, and malpractice suits protecting your assets in a safe, tax neutral and political stable jurisdiction is more important than ever.
What is an UAE Offshore Foundation?
Offshore Foundations are structures to which legal ownership of property (money, shares, gift, land or encumbrance) is transferred. They are hybrid in nature, containing vital features of the corporation (legal personality) and the trust (created for a purpose or benefit). As such, foundations are particularly useful as asset management and tax planning tools but in fact are multi-purpose. Establishing an offshore foundation essentially means wanting to have personal or business affairs governed under the statutes of a neutral country. One of the main advantages of going offshore to set up a foundation involves the creation of a hedge which guards the foundation and its property from being voided, invalidated or made defective in any manner by reference to the law of a foreign jurisdiction.
An UAE Offshore Foundation (RAKICC Foundation) is a corporate body created with a legal personality separate from that of its founder(s). The foundation acts through its council to manage its assets and carry out its objectives. The foundation is a separate legal entity which acts like a trust and operates as a company, with no members or shareholders. The founder of such foundations can be either an individual or a corporate entity. Offshore foundations are normally used as vehicles for asset protection, estate planning and wealth management. Such foundations have many similarities, as well as advantages, with offshore trusts.
Like offshore trusts, private offshore foundations are set up in jurisdictions governed by offshore legislation, which are tax free entities benefiting from favorable, advantageous conditions and treatments.
UAE Offshore Foundations Advantages
- Privacy (founder’s wishes are not publicly registered)
- No foreign judgment against the foundation and its founders will be acknowledged
- Heirship Right conferred by Foreign Law in relation to the property of a living person shall not be recognized by UAE courts
- Perpetual concept for long-term planning
- Succession planning for personal estates, business ownership and assets
- Estate planning to avoid forced heirship
- Reducing personal net worth to minimize legal damages (compensation) risks
- Eliminating property transfer-related taxes
- Extending horizon for investment opportunities by acquiring assets through a ‘person’ other than yourself
- Accumulating portfolio income (annuities, interest, royalties, dividends, returns)
- Recognized in all common and civil law jurisdictions
- Inheritance tax planning
- Separation of voting and economic benefits
- Employee share option schemes
- Pension funds
- Wealth Protection
A foundation is the key for individuals who:
- Wish to protect their assets by segregating them from themselves
- Wish to hold companies anonymously
- Wish to transfer wealth to their heirs in a tax-free way
- Want to transfer wealth to their heirs in accordance with their wishes and not in accordance with the laws of the country where they reside
- Want to consolidate the ownership of assets owned throughout the world in one location
- Want to preserve their wealth against uncertainty; either political, economic or family related
Every foundation has a founder, who gives the initial assets to the foundation. The charter can reserve powers and rights to the founder, who can assign them to the beneficiaries. A special feature of the UAE Foundation is that the founder can name himself as beneficiary in order to benefit from the foundation’s assets without legally owning the assets. Any assignee of the powers and rights may further assign them to another beneficiary. The foundation has to have a purpose. This can include the benefit of persons (including the founders), who are beneficiaries.
A guardian, acting as trustee of the founder, protects the interests of the founder and the beneficiaries and acts on behalf of the foundation, which is governed by the charter and rules. The management of the foundation is undertaken by a council, which can appoint officers to whom it can delegate day to day administrative functions.
UAE Offshore Foundation – FAQs
UAE stands for the United Arab Emirates, an independent country in the Arabian Gulf. The UAE is an international business hub, tourist destination and tax-free state.
The UAE does not levy taxes on companies or individuals. In addition to the tax advantages, the UAE are characterized by modern corporate law, first-class infrastructure and efficient administration.
Yes, incorporating a company is easy and straightforward for foreigners – with and without residence in the UAE – and can often be completed in 24 hours.
A company is incorporated by a local, licensed agent who prepares the incorporation documents and has the company registered with the responsible authority. Incorporation is quick and unbureaucratic.
A “Free Trade Zone” or “Economic Zone” is a special administrative zone which, in addition to the complete tax exemption for foreigners, simplifies the incorporation of companies.
In order to incorporate a freezone company in one of the numerous free trade zones of the UAE, you need a local, licensed agent who will take over the entire start-up process. The incorporation is simple and unbureaucratic, and offers complete tax exemption.
An LLC is a limited liability company, the most common legal form in the UAE, but foreigners can only hold a maximum of 49% of the shares in this type of company. Foreign investors therefore often opt for a freezone company which, in addition to the tax exemption, can be wholly owned by the foreign investor.