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Offshore banking is a term coined to define banking activities that are carried out from remote locations. Offshore banks usually operate in the same way as conventional banks but with more flexibility; Funds can be moved quickly around different banks and in any desired currency. Firms with outside investors tend to prefer offshore banking because they allow management both online and by phone.
For anyone looking to travel outside the UAE, the one thing to be sure of is that the bank you are applying for offers 24-hour banking services, internationally recognized debit cards, and the ability to accept checks in your preferred currency.
Offshore banking services in Dubai
Business has evolved over time and offshore banking has also gained great interest as it enables flexible transactions and financial management across the globe. Dubai has been at the forefront of innovation, and Dubai came up with a scheme with the creation of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), which allows free trade in Dubai.
However, there are some important things to consider if you want to apply for an offshore company bank account in Dubai. One of the basic requirements for offshore banking is that you must hold a valid residence visa. Offshore banking services will enable you to freely import and export money. Dubai has seen very lucrative cash flows lately.
Dubai has a long list of major bank investors which has strengthened the city’s reputation worldwide. Some examples of major banks operating in the UAE include HSBC Offshore, Abbey National Offshore, ABN Amro, Dresdner, and Barclays; All these banks have their headquarters in the emirate. With the introduction of the DIFC, Dubai is expected to open the way for more overseas branches to some of the world’s leading banks.
The current state of offshore banking services in the United Arab Emirates
As it is, all banking activities of the emirate fall under the umbrella of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, which also comes with a lot of restrictions. However, no restrictions were imposed on depositing and sending various currencies to and from the emirate. You are allowed to send and receive money in any currency denomination you desire from anywhere in the world.
In order to open an offshore bank account, a minimum balance of $ 10,000 must be maintained. It is important for you to understand that opening an account will also have tax implications in your home country as well, which may require you to seek financial assistance from a professional. The account opening procedure also requires the production of certain reports and documents from your country.
Why does one choose offshore banking? Well, one of the main reasons why former sponsors set up an offshore account is to avoid closing their assets in UAE banks.
An offshore bank account in Dubai
Since Dubai has established itself as a global business center, many foreign companies are ready to open an offshore bank account in Dubai. The UAE banking sector has many attractive corporate offerings that include fixed rates for local currencies against the US dollar, online and mobile banking services, and no restrictions on repatriation of money.
As mentioned earlier, if you do not own a business in the UAE, it is not recommended to open an offshore bank account as it increases checks and balances along with additional restrictions.
To list some of the reasons, here’s why you should not recommend applying for an offshore bank account for your overseas business:
- UAE banks classify international bank accounts as a high risk category, which leads to banks conducting excessive checks and balances for your company. This process can also lead to undisclosed traffic that could be considered a waste of time if the account is not approved.
- The disclosure and legalization of all merged documents is a prerequisite which is not only an expensive process but also something that many private companies do not prefer.
- Banks tend to not risk opening a bank account for a foreign company, which makes the task of doing so extremely difficult.
How to open an offshore bank account in Dubai
As mentioned earlier, the best way to accomplish the mission is to set up your own business in the United Arab Emirates. Not only will the bank account opening procedure be simple in this case, but it will also be cheaper and faster as well.
To register an offshore company in the emirate, you will need to contact the registration agent. You can choose an authorized agent from the website for the overseas jurisdiction. The offshore company registration process is fairly simple and takes 2 to 4 business days and will take about $ 1,500 to $ 3,000 depending on the application process.
If you choose an offshore company in Ras Al Khaimah, the following is the list of local banks that you should consider:
The options increase dramatically if you choose to set up your business in a free zone. Here is a list of banks you should consider:
- Emirates NBD Bank
- First Abu Dhabi Bank
- Mashreq Bank
- Bank racks
- Noor Bank
- Emirates Islamic Bank
- Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Finally, a mainland company will allow you to open an account as soon as possible. However, it will be more expensive when it comes to annual maintenance. According to bank officials, “It would require a local citizen as a sponsor with 51% of the shares or a service agent with 0% of the shares.”
To open the account, you will need to pass a KYC, which requires three clues:
- Identity proof
- Proof of residence
- Proof of wealth
Once the KYC process is complete, you will need to make an initial deposit, which can range from $ 350 to $ 2,000.
Required documents for an external bank account
Although the list of documents required to open a bank account is extensive, there is a compilation of them all. Since the process is tedious, you have to apply for at least 3-4 banks which increases the chances of approval.
- Extracted from the bank account of the parent company and / or the personal account of the founder for the last six months
- Accounts to be used as evidence for some transactions in the statement (3-5 accounts are sufficient)
- Recommendation letter from the founder’s country bank
- Personal CV with relevant experience
- Documentary evidence of running a similar business (not abroad) for at least 3 years in the UAE or another country with audited financial statements
- The company’s future business plan with projections for turnover, suppliers and customers
- Legal documents of a company in the UAE and the identity cards of their owners
- UAE entry stamp in the passport
For corporate accounts, the following documents must be submitted:
- Memorandum and its articles of association
- Occupation certificate
- Attested certificate of good conduct
- The customer’s personal page
- Company brochure and description
- Bank documents for the last 6-12 months
- Document certificate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Features of an offshore bank account
An offshore bank account not only benefits individual account holders, but it is also a powerful means of protection and convenience for offshore companies. Here are some important features:
- Availability 24/7
- Tax benefits
- Asset protection
- Privacy and security
- Higher interest rates
- Currency diversification
- Investment opportunities
Financial services provided by an external bank
There are a variety of financial services provided by an offshore bank, but the following are the most important:
- saving account.
- Companies Management.
- Take deposits.
- Money management.
- Guardian services.
- Loans – commercial and personal.
- Global debit and debit cards.
- Trade finance.
- Letters of credit and commercial financing
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