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Mainland Company Formation in Dubai, UAE

About Mainland Company Formation in Dubai

A mainland company refers to a company that has been granted a license by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the United Arab Emirates. Business setup in Dubai mainland comes with a number of key benefits. Your professional ventures are set up to be successful in the future thanks to the framework of the company. Companies based on the Mainland provide a diverse range of trading options, complete ownership, and flexible location options. These are just some of the reasons that business owners consider establishing a mainland company in the UAE.

General Guidelines to be Considered Before Setting Up Mainland Company in UAE

A mainland company formation in the UAE comes under one of the following three categories:

  • Commercial Business License
  • Professional Business License

With a commercial license, businessmen and entrepreneurs in the UAE are allowed to trade. They can trade in a wide range of goods. This license authorizes export, import, distribution, and storage of particular items.

A professional license also allows 100% of the foreign investor but requires a local citizen to be a general representative for all the govt. related requirement including activities related to employee visa, making amendments in the license and so on.

In order to manufacture goods or engage in other industrially focused operations in the UAE, businesses need to get an industrial trade license. They would be able to engage in activities that are associated with the incorporation or conversion of raw materials or resources into finished products. It is also owned completely by the foreign investor.


Switching from free zone to mainland company formation in Dubai

The three largest free zones in the United Arab Emirates are home to more than 30,000 businesses. They allow you to establish a business in a free zone and take advantage of pre-packaged business aggregates for international investors. However, this model has its own disadvantages. For businesses in the United Arab Emirates, a free zone company is a great place to start, but when it’s time to grow, one must switch to an established mainland company. Mainland company formation process is a low-maintenance and cost-effective structure, especially if you find a company formation specialist or national sponsor.

Advantages of Mainland Company Formation

Freedom to rent commercial space in any area
Ability to conduct a wide range of business activities
Option to trade anywhere in the UAE and internationally
100% foreign ownership
No currency restriction
Easy employment visa processing
Advantage of bidding on government projects
Ability to open a corporate bank account easily

Advantages of Mainland Company Formation

Freedom to rent commercial space in any area
Ability to conduct a wide range of business activities
Option to trade anywhere in the UAE and internationally
100% foreign ownership
No currency restriction
Easy employment visa processing
Advantage of bidding on government projects
Ability to open a corporate bank account easily

Mainland company formation process

The company formation process is not that easy, Here is the process and needed documents for your company formation with Mainland.

1. Choose your business activity

When starting a business in the United Arab Emirates, the first thing you need to decide is what kind of business you want to run. As stated by the Department of Economic Development, there are several business options you can choose from. In addition to trading, farming, tourism, and manufacturing, there are many others. Businesses on the mainland, contrary to those in free zones, can trade in more than 2000 DED-listed activities.

2. Find your ideal location

It is crucial to determine where your business will be located. Businesses in the UAE have the freedom to set up their business anywhere on the mainland. When it comes to setting up a business, there are many factors associated such as your budget and the business activity. With mainland business set up, you have the advantage of opening branches.

3. Determine your business legal structure

When it comes to setting up a business in the United Arab Emirates, foreign entrepreneurs have a variety of options. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most common business structure on the mainland. It is a separate legal entity involving two or more shareholders. If you are conducting commercial or industrial activity in the UAE, you would need an LLC.

4. Obtain a local sponsor or local service agent

If you are trading with a commercial or industrial license as an LLC, a local sponsor is not necessary. However, a professional company would require the assistance of a local agent.

5. Name your company

One of the most critical decisions a businessman can make is selecting a company name that accurately reflects their brand and career objectives. The use of inappropriate words, religious analogies, or implication of other organizations is strictly prohibited. Your business name can only contain your complete name and surname. The name must be spelled exactly how it is pronounced in other languages in order to avoid confusion.

6. Apply for a mainland trade license

It’s now time to submit an application for a DED mainland trading license. An application for a business license necessitates the submission of numerous documents. Among these are a license application, a contract of sponsor arrangements, the equity held by each shareholder, and their visas.

7. Apply for relevant visas

For entrepreneurs in the UAE mainland, there is no restriction on the number of mainland visa applications they can submit. Visa applications should, however, be based on workplace space requirements. Per visa, the standard is typically 100 square feet of office or warehouse space. It is possible to represent dependents, such as friends and family and domestic employees for visas in the UAE.

8. Partner with a Company Setup Consultant

The legal and business formation procedures in the United Arab Emirates necessitate extensive knowledge before starting a mainland company there. Foreign entrepreneurs can reduce the burden of business formation by working with a consultant resident in the United Arab Emirates. A business consultant can work with you to understand your business objectives and partner with you. As a result, you’ll have more faith in your ability to launch a profitable enterprise on the UAE mainland.

Most Popular Business Licenses in Dubai Mainland

These are the most popular business activities which you can choose for your business start.

Dental Clinic

With an ever-increasing population, Dubai's healthcare industry is in high demand. In addition, you'll discover a lot more Asians travelling to Dubai in search of lower prices and better-quality services. A dental clinic in Dubai is a great place to start if you want to get into the healthcare industry.


Opening a restaurant in Dubai is one of the most lucrative businesses in the city. You don't need a lot of money or a lot of time to open a restaurant that serves a wide variety of cuisines. Due to the high standard of living in Dubai, many of the city's residents prefer to dine out rather than cook for themselves.

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Mainland Business Formation FAQ's

What are the lowest and highest numbers of partners that a license can have, depending on the type of legal structure it is?
  • One individual alone owns the single proprietorship as their business entity.
  • The limited liability company can have any number of partners between two partners and fifty.
  • Civil works and the partnership businesses have at least two partners each.
  • There must be at least three people involved in the formation of the private joint-stock corporation.
  • The publicly traded joint-stock company allows for an infinite number of partners and makes its shares available for subscription.
Can I run a commercial business in a car?

Commercial license holders are permitted to use their vehicles to sell their goods, provided they have received authorization from the Roads and Transport Authority as well as other authorities involved in the activity.

Can a citizen from other Emirate be a local service agent?


Is it possible to issue two licenses at the same business address, regardless of whether the two license holders are the same person or different?

Taking into account the scale of the site, both licenses must be issued from the same location.

Are there any restrictions on the total number of licenses that residents of the UAE, GCC, or foreigners can own?

No, there are no restrictions.

How can I renew my license?

When the license expires, you can have it renewed by texting the license number to 6969. If you have a UAE Pass account, you can also apply for license renewal via the Invest in Dubai platform.  Alternatively, you can go to a service center to apply.

What paperwork is required to get a mainland company up and running?
  • Business name
  • Business activity
  • The shareholders’ passports.
  • A visa page or entry stamp
  • An official passport-sized photo.

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