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Business Setup in Dubai Mainland

Dubai mainland company setup is a lucrative investment option for investors. The mainland companies are allowed to operate within the boundaries of Emirates jurisdiction. Mainland company setup has business entities that come under commercial, professional, and sole establishment registered under DED. However, some of the professional activities are barred, as per Dubai DED's business regulations, and many activities need the permission of authorities that regulate them.

Starting on 30 March 2021, foreigners can now have a full ownership stake rather than the previous maximum ownership stake of 49%. That means foreigners no longer have to hire a local Emirati sponsor who holds a membership stake of at least 51%. If you’re carrying out commercial or trade activities, you are subject to the requirement of carrying out your corporate registration as an LLC.

Branch companies will also no longer need a local agent as they did previously, also starting on 30 March 2021. However, please note some strategic industries to the Emirati national interest are exempt from these changes.

Advantages of a mainland company setup

  • Mainland company in Dubai enjoys 100% corporate tax exemption

  • No currency restrictions

  • No capital required for a local Dubai mainland license

  • The registration process for mainland businesses is straightforward

  • Freedom to choose office locations anywhere in Dubai

  • Easy processing of employment visas

  • Option to trade anywhere in the UAE and internationally

  • No audit requirement in Dubai Mainland

  • The advantage to bid on government projects

  • Flexibility to expand their business into different industries

In contrast, Free Zone companies can locate offices only in their zone, operate only within the industry the zone specializes in, and do business only with the private sector. Mainland Company Formation in UAE, therefore, is an attractive prospect for many entrepreneurs.

Process of Dubai Mainland business set up :

The process that one needs to follow for setting up a business in Dubai mainland is straightforward. Below is a stepwise guide on how you can set up a business in Dubai mainland:

  • Decide on the business activity you want to do in Dubai

  • Get a Local Service Agent who will be the acting Local Sponsor

  • Check for location suitability, accessibility, and cost

  • Obtain initial approval from the Department of Economic Development Dubai

  • If all the prerequisites mentioned above are satisfied, you may apply for a Dubai mainland license.

  • Submit all the relevant documents required for the company incorporation to DED and pay the required license fee.

Mainland company legal structure

Businesses on Mainland can operate their businesses under different legal structures available according to their business plan and activities. All these licenses are primarily issued by the Department of Economic Development along with different departments / Ministries depending on various special approvals.

  • Sole establishment

  • Limited Liability Company

  • Civil company

  • Branch Office

  • Representative office

  • Subsidiary Company

Mainland Company setup license types

-          A commercial license that covers all kinds of trading activities

-       A Professional license that covers specialized professional services

-       An industrial license for establishing industrial or manufacturing activity

These licenses are issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). However, licenses for some categories of business require approval from certain ministries and other government authorities. DED has more than 3000 activities grouped under a wide range of business license categories for investors to choose when setting up their company in the UAE.

Suitable locations for business setup in Dubai Mainland

Company formation in Dubai Mainland gives the advantage of selecting a prominent location for your business from a wide range of locations. The biggest benefit of setting up in Dubai Mainland is that the company is not restricted to any geographical boundaries. Every region can be advantageous depending on the business type. Some of the most preferred locations for company setup in Dubai are:

  • Sheikh Zayed Road

  • Business Bay

  • Deira

  • Al Quoz

  • Jumeirah

  • Al Quasis

At Concept Advocates and Business Consultants, we understand that the process of setting up business in Dubai can get cumbersome and expensive without the right expertise, guidance and connections. We make the client's requirements and business a top priority and provide simple and effective business setup solutions at competitive prices. 

Feel free to reach out to our business consultants by calling at + 971 4 353 0020, +971 52 454 2020, +971 4 220 00030. You may also drop an email to;