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Mainland Company Formation In Dubai


Dubai is a top choice for those looking to set up a company in the Middle East as it is placed in a strategic location whose environment is business friendly and provides state-of-the-art infrastructure that is perfect for businesses to thrive. While Dubai offers various business setups, mainland company formation stands out as a popular choice. We will delve into the benefits, steps, requirements, costs, and even the process of switching from a Freezone to a Mainland company formation in Dubai.

Benefits of Business Setup in Dubai Mainland

Setting up a business in Dubai mainland offers several significant benefits, making it an attractive choice for entrepreneurs and investors. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Access to a Lucrative Market: Dubai mainland businesses can operate and trade anywhere within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This allows you to tap into a broader and more diverse market, including the bustling cities of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and others.
  1. Wide Range of Business Activities: Dubai Mainland provides a comprehensive list of business activities that cater to various industries and sectors. Whether you’re in retail, manufacturing, services, or technology, you’ll find a suitable category for your business.
  1. No Capital Requirements: Unlike some Freezones in Dubai, Mainland businesses do not have strict minimum capital requirements. This flexibility allows entrepreneurs to start their ventures with minimal financial constraints which promotes business growth.
  1. Strategic Location: Mainland companies can set up their offices in prime locations across Dubai. This includes the heart of the city, which offers excellent visibility, accessibility, and proximity to clients and partners.
  1. No Currency Restrictions: Mainland companies are not subject to currency restrictions, making it easier to conduct international transactions and manage finances efficiently.
  1. Full Repatriation of Profits: You can repatriate 100% of your profits and capital back to your home country without restrictions, contributing to your financial flexibility.
  1. Flexibility in Hiring: Mainland companies have greater flexibility in hiring employees, including the ability to employ skilled workers and professionals from various countries. A diverse pool of talent and a highly skilled workforce is readily available for mainland companies, enabling businesses to access a talent pool from around the world.
  1. Ease of Doing Business: Dubai continually enhances its business infrastructure and regulations to facilitate ease of doing business. The government has implemented several initiatives to streamline processes, reduce bureaucracy, and improve the business environment.
  1. Access to World-Class Infrastructure: Dubai boasts world-class infrastructure, including state-of-the-art transportation and utilities, providing a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
  1.  Networking Opportunities: Dubai is a global business hub, hosting numerous international events, exhibitions, and conferences. This provides ample networking opportunities, potentially leading to valuable partnerships and collaborations.

Steps/Checklist for Mainland Company Formation Dubai

Though not exactly accurate, on the world map you can find that Dubai is in the middle of the globe with China, Russia, Africa, Europe and India surrounding it. Raw materials and other manufactured goods are constantly exchanged between these countries. A mainland business setup in will benefit a company majorly as you will be able to make the most of this kind of opportunity that isn’t easy to find. Not to mention the constant tourists that frequent the city of Dubai for its tall buildings, malls, beaches and dessert. Dubai, as seen in many pictures is growing at a rapid rate and those that make the most of this opportunity will surely see their bank accounts growing along with their company.

Select A Business Activity

Determine the nature of your business and choose an appropriate activity from the list provided by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Choose a Legal Structure

Decide on the legal structure for your business, whether it's a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or other forms, depending on your business needs.

Find a Local Sponsor

For mainland businesses, you'll need a local Emirati sponsor who holds 51% ownership of the company. You can negotiate the terms of the sponsorship agreement, including profit-sharing.

Draft MOA

Prepare the MOA, which outlines the company's objectives, structure, and distribution of shares among partners.

Select a Business Location

Secure a physical office space that complies with DED's requirements and obtain a tenancy contract.

Approvals and Licensing

Obtain the necessary approvals and licenses from relevant government authorities, including the DED

Trade Name Registration

Register your trade name with the DED, ensuring it's unique and complies with their naming guidelines.

Visa and Labor Approvals

Arrange for employment visas and labour approvals for your staff, if applicable.

Get a Business License

Apply for the business license corresponding to your activity.

Open a Corporate Bank Account

Open a bank account in Dubai for your company's financial transactions.

Register for Taxation

Comply with UAE taxation requirements, including VAT registration if your business exceeds the threshold.

Documents Required to Procure Dubai Mainland License

The specific documents required may vary depending on your business activity and legal structure. However, common documents include:

  • Passport copies of shareholders and sponsors
  • MOA
  • Tenancy contract
  • NOC (No Objection Certificate) from sponsors
  • Business plan
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Visa copies
  • Any other industry-specific document

Dubai Mainland License Cost

The cost of a mainland business license in Dubai varies based on several factors, including the type of business activity, the size of your office space, and the specific location. It's advisable to consult with a business setup consultant to get an accurate estimate.

Switching from Freezone to Mainland Company Setup in Dubai

Switching from a Freezone company to a mainland setup involves several steps, including liquidating your Freezone company, canceling your Freezone visa, and then following the steps outlined above for mainland company formation. It’s a complex process that may require professional assistance to ensure a smooth transition.

Setting up a mainland company in Dubai offers numerous benefits, but it involves a structured process and compliance with various regulations. Seek professional guidance to navigate the complexities and ensure a successful business setup in this dynamic and thriving business hub.

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Speak To Our Consultant

Connect with out company setup experts to get all your queries resolved.

Speak To An Expert

Speak to an expert via Zoom to understand the business setup process.

Cost Calculator

We will help you determine the cost you will incur through your business setup journey.

Business Cost Calulator

Use our cost calculator to determine the estimated amount you will need to setup your business.


No, mainland companies require a local Emirati sponsor who holds at least 51% ownership. However, profit-sharing arrangements can be negotiated with the sponsor.

The timeline for company formation can vary but typically takes a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on various factors.

 Some business activities may have specific requirements or restrictions. It’s essential to check with the DED to ensure your chosen activity is permissible.

Yes, mainland companies can operate and trade anywhere in the UAE without geographical restrictions

Mainland companies may be subject to taxation, including VAT, depending on their business activities and revenue. It’s crucial to understand and comply with UAE tax regulations.

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