• A guide for entrepreneurs: how to protect your assets in the UAE

    06 Jul 2022

    Every individual has different assets – money, investments or properties – and it is important to protect these legally. If you own a business or are starting one, asset protection will greatly reduce your risk of loss, should any financial threats or liabilities arise in the future, giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on growing your business.

    Protecting your assets in the UAE

    As your business grows, you need to make sure you have a solid strategy in place to protect your assets. The best way to protect your assets in the UAE, while ensuring you can manage them optimally in the future, is to seek the advice of a business expert. Depending on your individual needs and circumstances, your assets can be protected in a way that specifically suits your interests and goals.

    There are several ways to protect your assets, with solutions ranging from creating wills and trusts, to establishing an offshore company to hold your assets. 

    One of the simplest and most effective forms of asset protection is offshore company formation. The different structures of offshore companies include International Business Companies, private foundations, trusts and other corporate vehicles. 

    Establishing an offshore company also offers a great opportunity to separate your personal and business assets, which allows you to safeguard your personal assets from possible risks associated with your business. 

    Offshore company formation for asset protection

    If you are an investor looking for international investment opportunities, a startup aiming to maximise profits while optimising tax duties, or an entrepreneur looking to protect your assets, you can do so by forming an offshore entity in countries with attractive tax incentives, such as the UAE. 

    An offshore company is essentially a legal entity based in a location outside the jurisdiction of the owner’s country of residence, but set up with the intention of engaging in different business activities whose outcomes are managed by the controlling company.

    Setting up an offshore company involves incorporating your own company outside of the country, while following the legislations of the jurisdiction wherein the offshore entity is incorporated, along with the regulations of your country of residence.

    Several jurisdictions have devised beneficial policies for companies operating offshore. As self-governed locations, they own a set of corporate laws and implement an independent tax system. 

    These jurisdictions can typically choose their own tax regulations, including determining the corporate tax rates. They can also permit foreign nationals to freely incorporate, operate and own a business. 

    The key factor here is to choose the most suitable offshore jurisdiction based on your business operations, banking needs, ease of accessibility of offshore activities, and the market where the offshore company will be based. 

    The UAE is one of the leading offshore jurisdictions in the world, as it offers business owners a number of benefits, including 0% corporate and income tax, no share capital requirement and 100% ownership of shares by a non-UAE resident.

    What are the key benefits of offshore company formation?

    1. Optimise your taxes - Setting up an offshore company allows businesses to achieve higher tax efficiency in their activities. Also, some offshore jurisdictions either have significantly lower income tax rates, or do not require annual accounting and tax returns for overseas operations.
    2. Protect your assets - Forming your own offshore company can help you to increase your profits and safeguard your assets. You can also diversify your assets through multiple holding companies and offshore bank accounts.
    3. Confidentiality - Offshore companies offer a high degree of confidentiality. Stringent privacy policies are put in place to protect your personal information, account details and financial data.
    4. Consolidate assets – Combine the assets and other financial resources of two or more companies (for instance, LLCs) into one holding company to improve operational efficiency.
    5. Stability – Locating your assets in a jurisdiction that has a stable currency, a sound economic foundation and strong fiscal policies keeps your offshore business secure.