Dubai Mainland Company Formation

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Are you planning on forming a Dubai mainland company?

Expanding any business offshore can be a big and exciting step for every businessperson. We here at Enterslice work dedicatedly to help you make your dreams come true. Together with our expert team at Enterslice, we will explore the detailed process of Dubai Mainland company formation, covering the necessary steps, required documentation, regulatory authority, eligibility criteria, procedure, advantages, and additional insights to help make the complex procedure of Dubai Mainland company formation a piece of cake for you!! Many factors contribute to Dubai's mainland being one of the all-rounder places to start any business by providing world-class infrastructures, better taxation policies, stronger government, 100% ownership of any business, and many more.

What is Dubai Mainland Company?

A Dubai mainland company refers to an onshore entity that is properly recognized and licensed by the Dubai Economic Department (DED). While there are no limitations on engaging in multiple commercial activities under the Dubai Mainland Company formation, it is necessary to note that having a local sponsor or a UAE National as a business partner is a prerequisite for most of the Dubai Mainland Company formation. Dubai Mainland companies can practice any business, such as commercial, industrial, trading, or tourism activity; however, Some professional activities are excluded as per DED's business regulations, and others require approvals of authorities that regulate these activities. So, before settling down in Dubai mainland, we at EnterSlice can help you find the right practice license.

Advantages of Dubai mainland company formation

Dubai Mainland company formation ensures a prosperous future in your business activities and professional endeavours. Mainland companies offer a broad scope of trade, 100% ownership, and location flexibility.

  • Well established connections
  • World Class infrastructure
  • Idea location
  • Strong and flexible government Rules and regulations and opportunities to work with government bodies
  • Economic freedom
  • Investment Incentives
  • Local and worldwide reach
  • Less restrictions on investments and several business activities
  • Multicultural workforces and easy recruitment procedure
  • Easy setups and licensing procedure.

Regulatory authority/ Legal entity for registration in Dubai

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the regulatory body that provides licenses for Dubai mainland company formation. Our experts at Enterslice help you find a genuine sponsor who can provide you with all the help you need without any effort from your end.

UAE Government aid for Dubai Mainland Company

The UAE government incentivizes businesses for mainland setup in Dubai. They offer government tenders to do business in the UAE. The Abu Dhabi Executive Council, or ADEC, recently gave the go-ahead to spend 17.5 billion dirhams on public works initiatives. They only invested more than 4 billion dirhams in infrastructure. Moreover, over 2 billion dirhams were set aside for education. Last but not least, 1.2 billion dirhams in total were used to upgrade social and governmental infrastructure. Your Business will, therefore, be in a favourable position to participate in such lucrative government contracts as an established mainland company.

Reasons why transitioning from a Free Zone company to a Mainland company in Dubai is a strategic move for business growth and prosperity

If your business is presently set up as a Free Zone Company in Dubai and wants to leap into forming a Dubai Mainland Company, such a switch is promising per Dubai Corporate Laws. In UAE, over 25k companies switched from three of the biggest free zones in the Emirates to Dubai mainland companies. In the free zones, numerous entrepreneurs have established their businesses. Additionally, they benefit from the pre-packaged items that make operating a business in the approved free zones easier. Still, there are drawbacks to this free zone concept. Moving to a Dubai Mainland Company will be smart if you want to grow your company. You can make this move with the assistance of our Enterslice experts.

We can help you get the right UAE sponsor or a Business Registration specialist and then transition from the free zone company to Dubai Mainland Company. To make such a transition, connect with the Enterslice Experts. Our team can help with every detail and every aspect of the Mainland company formation process in Dubai. We are one of the chief Business Incorporation specialists in the Gulf Region.

Starting a business in Dubai: Step-by-Step Process

Follow the step-by-step process for establishing your company in Dubai mainland.

Recognizing a business activity

Choosing the legal structure and kind of license—commercial, industrial, professional, etc.—is based on the company's endeavours. Licenses can be classified into six categories: commercial, industrial, professional, tourism, agricultural, and occupational. A firm or investment may engage in multiple business activities. Dubai offers around 2,000 business ideas for mainland company establishments to select from. Contemplate factors such as market trends, competition, and regulatory requirements. This exploration will help you make an informed decision about when to start your business in Dubai Mainland.

Selecting a suitable legal form

The legal form is the core requirement for identifying applicable laws and regulations. In Dubai, an investor can select one of these legal forms

General partnership: In a general partnership, two or more people enter into an agreement whereby all of the partners' assets are held jointly and severally liable for the debts of the company. In a general partnership, partners may only be citizens of the United Arab Emirates.

Limited partnership: As per the definition given by the Department of Economic Development, Dubai, A minimum of two partners are required form a limited partnership. one general partner and one limited partner. The limited partners are accountable for a portion of the company's liabilities equal to their share of the investment; the general partners are liable for the company's liabilities to the extent of all of their personal and commercial assets. The company might run several branches. Any branch may initiate any or all of the operations listed in the main business license. When it comes to changing the memorandum, only choices made by the general and limited partners will be regarded as legitimate unanimously.

Limited liability Company (LLC): A professional endeavour that is moneymaking in nature with a maximum number of 50 stockholders. An LLC is the easiest legal entity for expatriate citizens and foreigners to set up a new company in the UAE. To incorporate a limited liability company in the Dubai mainland, a foreign individual must have at least one partner who is a Dubai resident and will possess at least 51% of the paid-up capital. Locals and foreigners are allowed to share in flexible profit sharing through LLC Company. Every year, the UAE national may get a predetermined fee in addition to a portion of the business's profits. If you don't have a UAE Local sponsor, you'll need to think about other choices, such as

  • The overseas business branch
  • Owning a business in a free zone
  • A business controlled by a citizen of the GCC
  • The overseas company's representative office

joint stock company (PJSC): A minimum of ten founding members are required, and a board of directors must run the firm, which is made up of three to fifteen people. UAE citizens should make up the majority of the board's members and directors, including the chairman. A PJSC has a unique share capital structure.

Private joint stock company (PrJSC): Following the UAE's Commercial Companies Law (the "Law"), an organization whose capital is divided into navigable shares of equal value and a partner therein shall be liable only to the amount of his share in the capital of the firm. A private joint stock company must have a minimum share capital of AED 2,000,000. A private joint stock cannot be sold to the general public. A Private Joint Stock Company must have three founder members at minimum, and a UAE national must own fifty-one per cent (51%) of the company's shares. A private joint stock company is established to do commercial or industrial operations. A Private Joint Stock Company is forbidden from engaging in professional activity.

Civil Company: A civil company is a business corporation for professionals like healthcare, legal counsel, engineering, or accountancy; a civil firm is established. Owners of this type of corporation in Dubai may be of any nationality. However, choose a local service agent (either a UAE or GCC national) for this structure.

Local company branch: A setup that is a separate office or branch of an existing company. The local company previously had a license in the UAE. Hence, this is an expansion of their local business. Likewise, the process of acquiring warehouse space is almost identical to acquiring an initial business location. However, a business needs to verify the proposed business activities authorized within the regulations as there are zoning rules. A call to the Department of Economic Development can establish which activities permitted on the parent license can be undertaken at the branch. Based on the location or emirate in which you wish to have the branch office set up.

Foreign company branch: A Dubai-based branch of a foreign company is a formally registered entity that continues the foreign parent company. It operates as an extension of the parent company and does not possess independent legal status. Consequently, the business activities conducted by the Dubai branch must mirror those of the parent company.

Sole establishment: A Dubai mainland company owned and operated by one individual with a trade license issued in his or her name is known as a 'Sole Establishment' – also often known as a 'Sole Proprietorship.'

Holding companies: The holding company will refrain from manufacturing products or engaging in operational activities. Instead, its focus will be on stock ownership and the oversight of operating companies. Opting for a holding company structure enables one to leverage the benefits of conducting business in Dubai, such as tax incentives and safeguarding foreign assets.

Registering the company name

A company name differentiates one venture from another. It also mirrors the nature and the form of the business. An investor can apply for the trade name through the Economic Department in Dubai, through its website or mobile application. Dubai mainland company acronym to be followed by the (legal form of the company) such as LLC, EST, PJSC, PrJSC. The local Department of Economic Development records the trade name, while the Ministry of Economy registers the trademark. Trade name certificates are renewable.

Applying for an initial sanction

Any company formation requires initial sanctions from all the necessary government agencies. Foreign investors must obtain the approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners' Affairs before getting the initial approval. Some activities require additional approvals from government entities related to that particular business before applying for the initial approval. These include activities related to legal affairs, security affairs, and financial securities and commodities. When the company's trade name gets approved, one can start getting the initial approvals of the necessary regulatory authorities.

Approval from the Dubai Municipality

This approval is essential for industries involved in construction, healthcare, food services, and other activities regulated by the municipality.

Approval from the Dubai Civil Defence

If your corporation involves activities related to fire safety or lethal materials, you will need approval from the Dubai Civil Defence.

Approval from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA)

Healthcare industry deals, such as clinics and pharmacies, require approval from the Dubai Health Authority.

Approval from the Dubai Economic Department

This approval is essential for most business activities in Dubai Mainland. It guarantees compliance with the regulations and requirements set by the DED.

Additional approvals from government entities governing particular businesses are required

  • Ministry of Interior: Grants permission for general transportation-related businesses, including driving schools, fire apparatus, safety and alarm systems, used car dealers, used auto parts, and car rentals.
  • Justice Ministry: Legal engagements and legal advice
  • The municipal department
  • Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) Telecommunication activities Architecture and engineering affairs
  • Ministry of Economy Consultancy services and insurance operations
  • Regional Health Departments: Health-Associated Businesses
  • Supreme Petroleum Council Oil-field services and gas services in the mainland and free zones, as well as procedures for oil drilling in mainland and free zones

Memorandum of Association and local service agent agreement to be drafted

Depending on the Dubai mainland company formation, a signed MoA or a local service agent agreement of the business is necessary. MOA has to be drafted for your company, which outlines the company's objectives, shareholders, capital, and all the other necessary details. UAE-based law firms, courts, and notary public prepare and attest MoAs and agreements. Non-GCC residents' own Businesses completely require a local service agent from the UAE. Appointing the local service agent will be under an agreement attested by the notary public or the court.

Select a business placement/location

After thorough research, before picking up a location for your company, you must understand the market requirements, the competition of the particular product in the market, the consumer's needs and wants, and the location that suits you the best. All Dubai mainland companies must have a physical address from which to operate. The business premises and location must comply with the requirements defined by the respective emirate's Department of Economic Development, as well as the land planning regulations of the local municipalities. For the rental office and warehouse, an agreement must be provided. Some emirates require the agreements to be attested. Registration of such an agreement in Dubai with Ejari is a necessity.

Apply for relevant visas

There is no limit to the number of Mainland Company visa applications for business owners in Dubai. But the number of visas applied for should correspond with the amount of office space required. Generally, 100 sq. ft. of office or warehouse space per visa is the law. This law has its exceptions. Foreign businessmen who establish their operations on the mainland of Dubai are also eligible for an investment visa, which allows them to reside and work in the United Arab Emirates for a maximum of three years together with their families.

Collect the business license

Once all the steps are completed, the investor can collect the business license from the service centres of the economic departments or through their websites.

The subsequent documents are mandatory to get a license for all legal forms

  • The original permission receipt, together with every document that was previously filed
  • A copy of the lease agreement that has been properly attested by Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).
  • A properly attested Memorandum of Association (for all sorts of corporations)
  • Any necessary approvals from other relevant government bodies
  • A properly certified service agent contract using a local service agent in the UAE (for civil establishments and businesses controlled 100% by non-GCC nationals).
  • After obtaining the payment voucher, you have thirty days to pay for your trade license. The application will be terminated if payment is not received within a designated timeframe.

Commercial License

If the purpose of the Entity is to trade within the whole of Dubai Mainland, then the investor applies for the commercial license.

Professional License

This type of license applies to professionals, service providers, and consultants. A foreign investor can get 100% ownership in a Dubai mainland company by setting up such a business.

Industrial License

Industrial licenses are required to institute industrial or manufacturing activity in Dubai Mainland. With the industrial license, capitalists can accumulate and process goods using raw materials that are local or imported.

Required Documentations post Dubai mainland company formation

  • MoA and Articles of Association and Lease agreement for the office space and no-objection letter (NOC) from the landlord or the property owner
  • Trade name registration certificate
  • Copies of each director's and shareholder's passport and visa.
  • Address verification of each director and stockholder
  • Approval of the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • Proof of payment for the initial approval, trade license, and other fees
  • Company stamp
  • A reference letter from the bank for all shareholders
  • Share capital deposit in any UAE bank
  • A board decision gives the shareholders the power to form the business and choose directors.
  • Power of Attorney for the legal representative of the Dubai Mainland corporation
  • Statement of Good Standing (in the event that the shareholder is an already-existing business)

Establish a Bank Account

After completing the process, you should create a bank account in Dubai for your company's transactions. The process can take several weeks, and you may need to seek assistance from our experts at Enterslice, a service provider, to ensure a smooth registration process

Cost of registration of Dubai Mainland Company

  • The government fee of Dubai's commercial license costs for a year is approximately AED 10,000
  • The government fee for Dubai's Professional License costs for a year is approximately AED 5,600(Approx.)
  • The Dubai mainland license cost in 2024 starts from approx. AED 15,000 to AED 28,500

Frequently Asked Questions

Steps for Dubai mainland company formation

  • Determine the Business activity.
  • Determine the legal form of the business.
  • Register the Trade Name.
  • Apply for initial approval.
  • Get MOA or LSA Business Forms.
  • Choose the Business Location.
  • Apply for Other Government Approvals.

Dubai mainland company formation can range anywhere from AED 15,000 to AED 35,000.

Determine a suitable legal structure. Get the company name approved. Obtain an initial approval from DED. Obtain external approvals for special activities.

Yes, 100% ownership of any company is now granted in UAE

IFZA Free Zone's license

Yes, any Indian can open a company in Dubai. To start a business in Dubai, you will need to submit specific documents, which can vary based on your chosen business structure.

The process of starting a business in Dubai is quite direct

0% Tax for businesses and individuals that generate annual revenues less than AED 3 million.

Dubai enthusiastically welcomes financiers and business owners from all over the world for company formation in Dubai.

The Commercial License is also known as the general trading license or business license.

No. As per the income tax rules of the UAE government, as an NRI, you are not required to pay income tax in UAE. Under the DTAA between India and UAE, you are also exempt from paying income tax in India on your UAE income.

If a business earns income that doesn't exceed AED 375,000, 0% tax will be charged, and 9% will be charged if income earned exceeds AED 375,000.

Follow the step-by-step process

  • Identify the Nature of Your Business Activity.
  • Determine Your Company's Legal Structure
  • Register the Trade Name.
  • Apply for Initial Approval
  • Create LSA or MOA
  • Choose Your Business Location
  • Apply for Additional Government Approvals

A mainland license in Dubai allows you to conduct business activities anywhere in the Dubai Emirate. Mainland businesses have 100 % foreign ownership and can be set up as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or branch of a foreign company.

IFZA Free Zone's license

The top three free zones in UAE are

  • Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)
  • Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
  • International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

Setting up a business in Dubai mainland can be a complex process, involving various documentation and approvals for obtaining a license. Our business setup can expedite this process by leveraging its affiliations with the Dubai government and its entities.

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