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The new UAE Centre for International Business Companies

Monday, 19 December 2016

NEW STANDARDS

  1. RAK IBCs can be incorporated only through Registered Agents. Steps involved in the screening of a Registered Agent include –
  • Full review of Agent documentation including profiles of compliance officers,
  • AML & KYC Policies fully reviewed
  • Visit to the applicant’s office in the UAE
  • Interviews with the promoters and the compliance officers
  • Understanding of the agents business model
  1. As per the RAK International Corporate Center Regulations 2016, the "Registered Agent” is defined as a person or corporate body who is accredited by an Accreditation Body in UAE. The “Registered Agent” must be in the business of engaging in any of the following service activities:
  • Legal services;
  • Chartered accountant firms;
  • Company administration and management services; and
  • Corporate advisory services.
  1. Registry will commence Compliance audits of agents in 2017 to ensure ongoing implementation of standards in line with international best practice.

REGISTERED AGENT APPROVAL

  • Letter of application to be a Registered Agent with RAK International Corporate Center .
  • Corporate profile.
  • Company organizational chart (including where for U.A.E. operations where applicant forms part of a larger group of companies).
  • CV’s of owners, partners, senior management and Head of Compliance/Compliance Officer(s).
  • Certified passport copies of the promoters
  • Certified passport copies of the Head of Compliance/Compliance Officer(s).
  • Anti-Money Laundering compliance manual, including internal Know-Your-Customer and CTF policies.
  • Copy of entity’s professional license covering its business activities in the U.A.E.
  • An outline of approximate number of international business companies that will be incorporated during a period of a year (Estimate letter).

REDUCTION IN NUMBER OF AGENTS

  1. REDUCTION OF AGENTS BY 150+
  2. AGENT REDUCTION A RESULT OF
    • Agents inability or unwillingness to meet new standards
    • Applications rejected by the Registrar due to perceived quality and reputational issues
    • Inability of agent to provide sufficient business
  3. MIXED REACTIONS
  • Negative feedback & complaints from a number of agents
  • Some agents seeking to work with other registered agents and transfer business to them
  • Some agents moving business to other jurisdictions
  • Positive feedback from larger better quality agents, market reaction from KBIs positive on general direction and strategy

FUNCTIONS OF THE REGISTERED AGENT

  1. The functions of the Registered Agents include –
    • Incorporation of the international company
    • Maintenance of the registered office
    • Corporate and administrative services
    • Management of all matters pertaining to the relationship between the registry and RAK ICC
    • Bank account opening or references to banks ( In some cases )
    • Matters pertaining to working with other Federal and Governmental bodies

IBC INCORPORATION

  1. For RAK IBCs –
  • Subsequent to documents being submitted to the registrar , a through verification is done. Further, due-diligence checks are conducted on the shareholders/ Ultimate Beneficial Owners of RAK IBCs .
  • Agents are required to witness the signing of the legal documents by the shareholders
  • Legal documents signed outside the UAE must be duly notarized
  • Shareholders from AML High-risk jurisdictions are subject to enhanced due diligence checks
  • PEPs are subject to enhanced due diligence checks
  • Due-diligence checks are repeated at the time of renewal of the RAK IBCs

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