The Onshore Company or simply “the onshore”. Let’s clarify the meaning of this term.
For instance, many consider this to be synonyms for an offshore company or just ”offshore”. Some might even deem this to be a misspelling of the good ol’ "offshore".
Whilst the closest approximation to its core meaning have got those who think this is a term for every local company that is registered on the mainland of a given state and conducts activities in accordance with the state’s general economic regulations.
Even though such an interpretation leads the right direction, it doesn't explain it in full. The point is: if the given state has one or more free-trade zones (FTZs) established on its territory where applying of special economic regulations has a place, then companies registered within such FTZs are considered as well a free zone or onshore business entities, gaining access to all the possible favors of the status.
While onshore companies certainly have a number of economic benefits to take advantage of, registering as an onshore company does have its drawbacks. Usually, they are limitations on getting profit from sales of goods and services on the mainland of a state.
On the other hand, if the business model of an onshore company is oriented towards receiving profit, based on relations with other jurisdictions or within the territory of FTZ it’s located on, the benefits can be heavenly high.
In the UAE, for example, there are currently over 40 FTZs. All zones are characterized by the following common features: complete absence of taxation for exporting/importing duties; lack of currency restrictions; full repatriation of capital and profits for foreign owners; 100% company ownership by foreigners is allowed
The general differences refer to the list of licenses for activities permitted by the Free Zone Authority, registration requirements, requirements regarding office leasing, and provisions as to obtaining the residential visas.