A Primer for Opening an Offshore Account in the UAE

Whether you’re looking to take your business offshore or merely move your assets, choosing the right financial services solution to meet your needs is critical. If opening an offshore account in the UAE interests you, check out this article that contains all the details you need to make sure you can do so seamlessly.

 

What is an offshore account?

We’ve discussed the concept of an offshore company and the business process for offshore companies, but let’s dive into offshore bank accounts. In essence, offshore accounts are accounts in offshore banks. These banks have the same types of accounts that you would find at an onshore bank; however, the difference is that the bank account is in a country that's not the account holder’s country of origin. 

Many jurisdictions with offshore accounts offer no taxes on deposits and other benefits. Account-holders also generally do not need to go to the country where the offshore account is hosted to open it in person; instead, they just have to present documents certifying both the individual's identity and their assets. 

Why should you choose an offshore account?

While the misconception around anything offshore is that it’s for those who are looking to avoid taxes and regulations in their home countries, an offshore account is beneficial for those working outside of their home country. Also, if you move around frequently, an offshore account allows you to keep the same bank account across borders instead of holding many bank accounts in different countries.

If your home country is facing political or economic instability, offshore accounts could offer you some stability; accounts in some jurisdictions can protect a certain amount of your assets against financial insolvency. Investment also benefits greatly from offshore accounts; by taking assets from your home country and bringing them offshore, you give yourself the ability to protect assets from seizure as a result of lawsuits or other legal procedures. The confidentiality that many of the offshore accounts provide is also undoubtedly advantageous, as well as the opportunities that you can receive from diversifying your assets.

 

Here’s a list of some of the best benefits from offshore accounts:

  • Tax advantages

  • 24/7 availability

  • Higher interest rates

  • Privacy, confidentiality and security

  • Investment opportunities

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What are the steps to opening an offshore bank account in the UAE?

To open an offshore account in the UAE, you have to provide the following documents: 

  • For personal accounts:

    • Passport with UAE entry stamp

    • Company business plan

    • CV with relevant experience

    • Legal company documents

    • Proof of company’s existence in other countries

    • Bank account statements

  • For corporate accounts:

    • Memorandum & Articles of Association

    • 6-12 months of bank statements

    • Documents certified by Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    • Client profile

    • Certification of good standing

    • Certificate of Incumbency  

 

What could be the potential downfalls of having an offshore account?

Regardless of the jurisdiction in which you end up opening your offshore account, you will need to present the above listed documents to prove your identity and assets. You will also need to provide proof of your physical address because this will impact your possible domestic tax burden

Recently, the UAE and other governing bodies have strengthened their fight against financial crime and terrorism financing and you may be required to provide evidence proving the documentation's authenticity.

 

Offshore business banking in the UAE

If you are looking to open an offshore account and you are a citizen of the UK or any of the other countries we serve, the steps will depend on whether the account is a corporate account or a personal account and if you are a UAE resident.

If you're not a resident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will require you to certify documents. Plus, you will have to physically sign for your bank account's verification in the presence of the Banking Officer. A lot of banks may also request to view a projection of your corporation's transactions, future profits and information clarifying your activities. 

 

offshore business bank account in dubai

Offshore accounts can range from the essentials, like your standard current account with online banking along with a savings account and currency services. 

You can also choose offshore private banking. If you opt for the offshore private banking route, you will have a full suite of investment products and wealth management services. The entities offering these types of accounts range from offshore subsidiaries of major financial institutions such as HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest; local banks in the UAE like ADCB also provide them.

 

What are the best offshore business accounts?

If you are a resident in the UAE, you have a choice of more than 300 offshore accounts. Choosing the right account has implications for your financial health. 


Our team of offshore accounts and banking experts is here to help you for both business and personal finances; we provide tailored advice to choose the right banking services for you or your firm. We'll also help you navigate the regulatory requirements in the UAE or the more than 60 jurisdictions where we operate worldwide and guide you along the process. Don't hesitate to contact us to start the process. 

 

 

Written by

Adrian Oton

CEO, Europe Emirates Group 

 

 

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