What is the world’s best offshore jurisdiction?

31 January 2019

In the last 10 years, the world’s offshore industry has gone through major change. New offshore centers have emerged, while others have drastically reduced in size.
But first, let us explain what makes a jurisdiction Offshore
There are five things that usually determine offshore status

  • The business of the company exclusively takes place outside of the jurisdiction of incorporation
  • There is an above average degree of confidentiality
  • Financial reporting obligations are either minimal or not required
  • There is either low or no Taxation
  • Regulation of corporate activities are lighter than with onshore jurisdiction, typically allowing multiple activities under the same company

Some jurisdictions are categorized as Mid-Shore, which comprise a mix of off-shore and on-shore criteria.
For the sake of this report, we have taken into consideration both offshore and mid-shore popular jurisdictions.
So let’s go back to our offshore industry evolution.

What has created so many changes?

The exponential globalisation the world has experienced since World War II has resulted in a need for rapid, cost and tax efficient structures to be able to hold assets, to conduct business and trade.
The corporate service industry has therefore been vital in underpinning globalisation. Certain jurisdictions have emerged on each of the world’s continents:
In the Caribbean: The British Virgin Islands, Cayman and Bahamas have rapidly grown to become major players.
In Europe: Cyprus, Gibraltar, Malta and the UK have attracted a lot of offshore business.
In Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore have always been on the forefront of global off-shore jurisdictions.
In Central America, jurisdictions include Panama, Belize and Costa Rica
And of course, the USA has not been left behind, with Florida, Delaware, Wyoming and New York having some key benefits for setting up non-resident companies
From the 2000s, new offshore centers emerged in Africa and the Middle East. Seychelles, Mauritius and Ras Al Khaimah have seen a rapid growth since then.

Which one wins our survey ?

Our winner is Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

How did we select this jurisdiction as our winner?

We looked at many factors:
  • Ease of doing business
  • Jurisdiction Stability
  • Double tax treaties
  • Banking facilities available
  • Registrar efficiency
  • And Global reputation

How did Ras Al Khaimah win?

Well first, UAE’s credit rating is double A for S&P and Double A2 for Moody’s - only HONG KONG has the same rating within our jurisdictions.
Secondly the United Arab Emirates ranks #11 IN THE WORLD BANK’S ANNUAL EASE OF DOING BUSINESS RANKIING. A top ranking for an offshore jurisdiction.
Thirdly, the UAE ranks # 27 AMONGST 140 COUNTRIES IN THE GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS RANKING, again, higher than most other offshore jurisdictions.
Fourthly the country has a MATURE BANKING SYSTEM : over 50 national and international banks are present in the country.
Ras Al Khaimah offers Access to a broad range of UAE Double Tax Treaty network with over 115 countries.
Ras Al Khaimah’s registry is extremely efficient : incorporations can be processed within 24hours. Same applies to re-domiciliations.
Finally, Investment protection is offered through numerous bilateral investment treaties (BITS), which is another added value the country offers.
In summary, RAK has a solid infrastructure, a mature banking network, very good stability, tax advantages and a very efficient registrar. This is why the jurisdiction won our Best Offshore Jurisdiction award for this year.
SFM is an official registered agent in Ras Al Khaimah, please the button below to register your company.
Order your Company in Ras Al Khaimah
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