Dubai Mainland Company Formation: A Complete Guideline in 5 Steps

Dubai Mainland Company Formation: A Complete Guideline in 5 Steps

Dubai has been widely recognized as one of the most attractive destinations for trading by investors and entrepreneurs throughout the world. In just a few decades, the United Arab Emirates has solidified its position as a central commerce hub providing access to one of the fastest-growing markets internationally.

Not forgetting the exemption of tax expenses, making it more attractive for entrepreneurs to enter this universal marketplace. The welcoming context of the GCC region has made the new business setup extremely easy, and that explains the increasing score of the expats pursuing Mainland Company Formation in Dubai and other business setup alternatives in the UAE.

Explaining Mainland Company

A mainland company in Dubai is simply an onshore corporation permitted to conduct business activities both within and outside of the UAE region without limitations. When the pros and cons are analyzed, mainland business setup in Dubai is one of the most viable options for achieving the best results in terms of company formation.

However, in order to safeguard the investors’ rights, the Department of Economic Development made it necessary for every investor to partner with a UAE local sponsor who will carry 51% shares of their company. This rule applies to the following situations:

  • Activities that allow 100% ownership to foreign investors.
  • Businesses operating in any of the 40 Free Zones.
  • Partnership agreements between a UAE local and a GCC firm.
  • Activities that allow 100% ownership to local investors.

Process of Dubai Mainland Company Formation:

Setting up a company in Dubai can be a challenging endeavor, but given assistance from a reliable local sponsor or local service agent such as the Trade License Dubai, it can be easily simplified. Nonetheless, let’s take a look into the process in the five steps below:

Step 1: Choose Your Business Activities

It is one of the most crucial steps in Dubai Mainland Company Formation as it will translate the industry you’ll be operating in and the business license you’ll require from the Department of Economic Development (DED). If your business activity falls under a commercial license, you’ll need to issue a commercial trade license, and the same will be the case for industrial and professional licenses. Furthermore, depending on your business activity type, additional approvals can also be required from other local authorities before getting a DED permit.

Step 2:Select the Legal Form of Your Company:

Your business is defined by the legal form you choose for your company. Common legal forms in the UAE include Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole Proprietorship, Civil Company, and branches of UAE or foreign-based companies, etc.

You must make sure the legal form of your company aligns with your business activities, the nature of your business, and stockholding options.

Step 3: Pick a Suitable Trade Name:

You must carefully select your company’s trade name as per the trade name guidelines set by the DED. You must avoid disrespectful or offensive language. Your trade name cannot include slang language or initials of the business owner(s)’s name(s) and must use the complete name(s). You cannot add Allah’s name, divine attributes, or religious and political terms. Also, avoid using punctuation marks in your DED trade name.

A local consultancy firm may further help you screen out the unnecessary errors and choose the fitting DED Trade name for your Mainland Business Setup in Dubai and ensure smooth Trade name registration.

Step 4: Apply for Visa:

Just like the above steps, applying for your and your staff’s visas can be simplified with assistance from the right consultancy partner. In addition, as a UAE business license holder, you will be empowered to sponsor visas for your dependents such as a spouse, child, or domestic worker.

The number of visas you can apply for depends on the size of your Mainland Business Setup in Dubai and your company configuration. Also, your personal earnings will define the number of dependent visas that you will be eligible to apply for.

Step 5: Issuing Suitable Dubai Mainland Trade License:

As per the governmental regulations, you must get a local sponsor for trading and manufacturing activities (Commercial or Industrial Trade License) or partner with a local service agent when offering skill-based expert services (Professional Trade License).

The former two licensing options require 51% ownership from the local partner, while the latter allows 100% ownership to the sole investor. This local service agent will act as your representative in legal matters without any right in your business ownership and will be compensated with a fixed yearly fee.

Investors may feel overwhelmed with the excessive options. In such cases, it is always a good idea to consult with a business setup consultant before you apply for your Dubai mainland trade license registration when starting a new company in Dubai Mainland.

To Sum Up:

Forming a company may seem overly complicated for investors who have limited exposure to the local industry. However, you can benefit from the accessible market of the UAE with assistance from reliable and competent UAE consultancy firms such as Trade License company, among others. With the best professional support services, all of the legal proceedings of your mainland business setup in Dubai will become coherent and allow you to establish your company in no time.


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