Mainland Business Setup in Dubai UAE

Mainland Company Setup is the most flexible option for investors.

How to Set Up a Dubai Mainland Company

Today, Dubai has emerged as one of the top destinations for business in the UAE. Apart from the other factors, it is mainly because of its geographical location. It lies at the center of the Africa, India, and Asia triangle, which facilitates easy connections, business networking, and trade access. The other reasons being.

  • Modern infrastructure and world-class technology
  • Stable and supportive UAE Government
  • Friendly tax environment
  • Welcoming society
  • Favorable trade laws

So, if you are thinking of expanding your business or opening up a new venture in Dubai, you have made the right decision. 

But many pro or budding entrepreneurs have a question about where in Dubai should they start their business to reap maximum benefit. Business establishments and foreign investors who want to start a business in Dubai have three options to register themselves to carry out their commercial activities- Mainland, Free zone, and offshore. Your decision about the location of your business will depend upon the nature and type of your business activities. If you are looking to trade in UAE's local market as well as abroad and take advantage of lucrative government contracts, the best place to start your business in Dubai is its mainland. 

What is a Mainland Company?

A Mainland company in Dubai will be an onshore company that can carry out business activities in local markets, other areas of the UAE, and even outside the UAE. Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) is responsible for the setup of mainland companies. They oversee the registration, license, and commercial compliances and ensure that consumer protection laws are followed. 

Earlier, it was mandatory to have a UAE Local Sponsor as a local partner. But, from June 2021, this criterion has been scrapped by a historical decision of the government administration. The government took a decisive step towards its commitment to ensuring a diversified economy with enhanced participation of foreign investors. Hence, foreign investors can now have 100 % ownership of the business. Therefore, more than 1000 commercial and industrial units have been included in the 100% ownership list. 

Why a mainland company formation is the best choice in Dubai?

Setting up a mainland company is a lucrative proposition because:

  • 1000+ business activities to choose from
  • Freedom to trade in any part of the UAE or abroad.
  • Freedom to select any business premises across Dubai.
  • Easy Visa processing for employees
  • No Currency restriction for repatriation
  • 100% ownership of a company
  • No restriction on bidding for Government projects
  • No such mentioned minimum capital limit

While Dubai is welcoming and setting up business over there is almost a hassle-free process, foreign investors can find it confusing. Many local agents can guide you to open up a business in Dubai. Their assistance seems most required to select the best location for your company in Dubai based on your business requirements. They also help you understand the law of the land and complete the legal formalities required for setting up.

Determining an appropriate legal form is another significant requirement to set up a business in Dubai mainland. The legal structure you will select will determine the personal liability you will face, your ability to raise funds, ownership arrangements, and the documents required to be submitted.

What are the Legal requirements for A mainland Company setup?

The legal structure of a Mainland company setup in Dubai, UAE is determined by the nature of the activity, and the number of shareholders extra.

A Mainland company can be any of the following:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership (LLC)
  • Branch of a Multinational company
  • Representative office
  • Subsidiary
  • Civil Office

Each legal structure has its advantages and disadvantages. Take advice from experienced business consultants before selecting the legal structure. You have to consider your nature of business, growth prospects, financial requirements, and risk factors before considering the legal structure. 

After you are sure about the legal structure, it is time to register for the business license. The trade license will validate your company as a legal entity. DED issues the license for mainland companies in Dubai. You have to submit a fee along with all necessary documents for company incorporation to get the license.

The trade license of a Mainland company can be of 3 types: 

  1. Professional License - involves a wide range of service-related activities.
  2. Commercial License - it involves different kinds of trading activities.
  3. Industrial License - includes a wide range of manufacturing activities.

Understanding different types of licenses and which one will fit you is also a tough job. On the more, you will need to complete the necessary documentation and fill out all the forms before you submit your requisition for the license. There are experts to guide you in this regard. You must seek help from them. 

How to set up a Dubai Mainland company? 

  • Decide on business activity: A first-time investor must select what type of business they want to start.
  • Company structure: Depending on the business activity chosen, one can either have sole ownership or go for an LLC partnership.
  • Approval of Business name: Check on the availability of the Trade name decided and get it registered with DED, Dubai.
  • Initial license approval: Getting the initial license approval from DED to start the business and simultaneously apply for other licenses.
  • External approvals: External approvals are necessitated from different authorities like Dubai Municipality, judicial bodies, or some ministries for sectors like education, healthcare, and food-related business.
  • Visas and other documentation: Getting a work visa for employees after the establishment card and labor file has been obtained.
  • Selecting business premises: Having an office or a commercial space is necessary to get a trade license. The RERA has regulated the renting and leasing of office space in Dubai. To obtain the trade license, any investor can show the “Ejari” or “my rent “to DED.
  • Fees: One has to pay specific fees to DED and other authorities to get the license and other statutory approvals.
  • Opening Bank account: One has to open a Corporate Bank account in the company name for transaction purposes.


Absher Business consultancy 

We are one of the leading business setup consultants in Dubai. We assist businesses interested in setting up their ventures in Dubai. If you are a first-time investor in the UAE and looking for a team of professionals, we can help you set up a business in an economical and hassle-free manner.  

Contact us:
For the best services in business consultancy in dubai, you can reach us by e-mail or via call


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