Dubai Mainland License, UAE

Mainland company formation in Dubai can be a very lucrative investment option for investors and business establishments. Mainland companies are business entities that are allowed to function and operate within the boundaries of Emirati jurisdiction that come under commercialized geographical regions. In Dubai, all business entities that come under commercial, professional, and sole establishment registered under the Dubai Economic Department (DED) are known as Dubai Mainland License. Primary, possessing a Dubai mainland license helps you enjoy maximum freedom and flexibility to grow and operate your business. There are certain regulations and policies amended by the government that administers the operation of mainland companies in UAE. 

One of the most important governing laws associated with mainland business sets revolves around the company equity share.

The implementation of reforms to the Commercial Companies Law with effect from June 2021 by the Government of UAE will transform the future of business. The UAE government has allowed for 100% foreign ownership for the businesses located on the mainland. Earlier, the expat business owners were only allowed to own a maximum of 49% ownership of their business while the remaining 51% share belonged to the Emirati sponsor. Now, the foreigners opening a company in Dubai will no longer need an Emirati shareholder or agent under changes to UAE company law.

Mainland company formation in Dubai, UAE gives you the freedom to extend your business’ branches to other parts of Dubai and across the UAE. The primary requirement for all business activities in the UAE is to own a license in any of the categories: Commercial, industrial and Professional. Kiltons Business Setup Services LLC provides business consultation for obtaining a Dubai mainland licence and to start your business in the most demanded locations of the UAE. We help you save time and cost of Dubai trade license, ensuring your mainland license in Dubai, UAE, is in accordance with the Dubai Economic Department.

Contact Us
  • Prerequisites to start a mainland business in Dubai,UAE

    In order to set up a mainland company in Dubai, an investor should either acquire a professional license or a commercial license.

    Minimum one director —————–Doubt….???

    Words like Dubai, UAE and other words that carry religious implications must be avoided.

    The physical presence of the investor or the shareholder in the UAE is mandatory at the time of initial approval.

  • Mainland business setup – Benefits

    Benefit of office space – Mainland business can be accomplished anywhere in the country. Both freezone and offshore business entities are required to operate from certain geographical locations.

    Do business anywhere in UAE – You may carry out the business endeavour anywhere in the UAE and there are no restrictions of any kind.

    Favourable geographical location – UAE or Dubai serves as the gateway to the middle east. And hence there is scope for business diversification in the other GCC countries.

    Corporate tax exemption – Mainland companies can enjoy the benefit of corporate tax exemptions. In many countries, foreign investors are required to pay a considerable amount of money in the name of corporate tax.

    Income tax exemptions – Mainland companies are exempted from income tax.

    Capital Incentives – Being a pro-business government, UAE has so many concessions and incentives in store for investors. There is no restriction like a “minimum capital prerequisite” to set up a business in the UAE.

    No Currency exchange restrictions – Mainland companies in UAE need not go through currency exchange regulations.

    Improved business opportunity – Starting up your business concern in the UAE mainland means that you get international exposure. You have a better reach to international clients and markets. You can leverage the international exposure of the mainland to expand or diversify your business.

    Professional business ethos – Dubai has a professional business culture that gives due consideration to business enterprises of all types and nature. The professional work culture environment makes Dubai the favourite business destination of entrepreneurs, startups and seasoned professionals.

    Hassle-free business set up formalities – The mainland business set formalities can be accomplished easily by following the guidelines issued by the License issuance authorities and other governmental agencies. With professional assistance and guidance from experienced Dubai Business consultants, you may accomplish the entire Company Incorporation formalities in the mainland with ease.

  • Mainland business licenses

    Generally, four major licenses are issued for businesses operating in the UAE mainland. The licenses are issued based on the business endeavor and they are:

    1)Professional License – License issued for firms that undertake service-oriented endeavors. Professional License are required for professionals who take part in any professional activity like consulting. Compared to other licenses the cost involved in the issuance of a professional license is less.

    2)Commercial License – License issued for those business establishments that undertake buying and selling of goods or services or simply trading. Most traders opt for the general trading license in order to conduct more than one trading endeavour with a single license. Commercial licenses are very common in Dubai and the UAE mainland. The entire formalities connected with Professional License like issuance, amendment, cancellation can be accomplished easily.

    3)Industrial License – License issued for firms that are involved in the manufacture of goods like factories, industries etc. When it comes to Industrial License, you may need to seek the approval of External Ministries and government departments depending upon the type of industrial activity.

    4)Tourism Licence – All tourism related activities require a valid Tourism License. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing DTCM has a major role in the issuance of Tourism licenses. A valid Tourism license is mandatory to conduct inbound and outbound tour related activities.

  • How to set up Mainland Company in Dubai

    Step by step instructions for mainland company formation in Dubai, UAE: 

    Memorandum of Association (MOA) – Get ready with the MOA that clearly indicates the operational guidelines of your company like the purpose, capital involved, share details etc.

    Obtain Initial Approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED) – DED performs the notarization of MOA and then issues the Initial approval. You may contact a business consultant to get this formality done.

    Trade name registration – Find an appropriate trade name for your business and get it registered with DED. DED has the right to alter or discard the trade name if it has already been selected by another company.

    Office space requirement – An office space is mandatory to set up any mainland business in Dubai or UAE. A registered office address is required for the issuance of a trade license. Information regarding ownership agreement or tenancy can be produced as evidence of a registered address.

    Apply for the license – If all the above-mentioned prerequisites are satisfied, you may apply for a trade license. DED is the agency that issues the mainland license in Dubai, UAE.

    Pay the license fee – Submit all the relevant documents connected with company incorporation to the Commercial registration department and DED and pay the required license fee.

    Get your license – Get your trade license from the DED. The company registration procedures shall be accomplished in a week if all the formalities are through.

    If you are new to Dubai or UAE and have doubts regarding company incorporation and license issuance, it is advisable to entrust the job to an experienced business consultant. Kiltons Business Set up Services can assist you through the entire tasks associated with mainland business formation in Dubai and UAE.

    Our advisors and consultants are always ready to help you.

  • Documents required for mainland business incorporation

    The document requirements change with the type of shareholder. Individual shareholders require a specific group of documents. Corporate shareholders require another set. Both requirements are listed below. 

    Individual shareholder documents

    • The foreign shareholders, directors and managers are required to submit their copies of their passport. 
    • Employer’s NOC is applicable if the shareholder is on an employment visa.
    • UAE shareholder’s National ID card (copy)

    Removal of Mandatory Requirement of a Local Emirati Sponsor in UAE 

    Earlier, the company formation regulations necessitated the requirement of a local Emirati sponsor to establish a business in the UAE. It had been an uphill task to identify the reliable sponsor. A risky element here was that the sponsor would be holding 51% of shares in the company and all the official documents would be addressed to him or her. The country’s decision to remove this mandatory requirement is expected to lead to a quantum leap in the arrival of expatriate businesspersons. Consequently, strengthening the business sector and fortifying the UAE economy abundantly.

    Corporate Sponsorship

    Mainland LLC companies may seek the service of a corporate sponsor. Here the Corporate sponsor would function on behalf of the individual sponsor. A corporate sponsor must be a corporate company owned by UAE nationals. 

    Types of Company formation in Mainland UAE

    1. Incorporation of Professional Company – Professional companies rely on the professional or intellectual capabilities of its shareholders. Business establishments that provide all kinds of consultancy services can be put into the category of professional companies. Accounting firms, legal firms, educational consultants, consultancies that deal with administration and management all come under the category of professional companies. A professional trading license is mandatory for all professional companies to operate in the mainland UAE. In certain scenarios, professional company licenses demand educational qualification of the shareholders in order to ensure the quality of the services.

    Professional company assets are subject to government monitoring. The monitoring is conducted for assets like websites to safeguard certain professional standards. 

    Foreign investors or shareholders can fully own a professional company. However, the service of a UAE national is mandatory for company incorporation. The UAE national has no ownership rights or equity share in the company but receives a fixed annual service fee.

    1. Incorporation of branch office – You may set up your branch office in Dubai. The branch company can operate as the child company of the parent company and perform all the business activities and transactions vested upon the parent company. The activities include customer-oriented interactions and services, settlement of agreements on behalf of the parent company etc. The branch office is not supposed to perform any operations that the parent company is not allowed to undertake. Business establishments of the financial sector like banks, financial institutions and insurance companies can set up branch offices in Dubai.  

    Step by Step instructions for branch office incorporation in Dubai

     Finalize you business activity for company formation in Dubai mainland

    Frame your company structure

    Trade name reservation – Approach the Department of Economic Development (DED) for trade name registration of your branch. 

    Ministry of Economy - initial approval 

    After you get the initial approval from the Ministry of Economy, you are required to apply for a Commercial License. The license issuance is carried out by the DED and the validity of the license is 1 year. 

    Find appropriate office space for your branch and confirm the location. 

    Get a Corporate bank account 

    Accomplish the employee-related formalities like labour cards and visa. 

    Get the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry membership.

    Documents needed for MOE – Initial approval 

    • In order to get MOE – Initial approval, the following documents are necessary. 
    • Registration forms
    • Trade name registration (proof)
    • Parent company’s MAA (Memorandum and Articles of Association)
    • Parent company’s Certificate of Incorporation 
    • Passport copy of the director
    • Parent company’s NOC
    • Local service agent – Naturalization book and passport (copy)
    • The local director of the branch requires a power of attorney. 
    • Board resolution from parent company
    • Setting up a new branch in Dubai requires the authorization of the management of the parent company.

    Documents needed for DED - Commercial License issuance

    • MOE – Initial approval 
    • The Parent company should issue a statement that defines the business undertakings of the branch
    • Parent company’s audited financial statement (previous 2 years)
    • Property lease contract (copy)
    • Initial approval documents (Copy)

    Kilton’s branch Incorporation Services in Dubai

    If your company requires a branch in Dubai, Kiltons can guide you through the Business Incorporation process. We assist you in matters related to:

    • Documentation related services
    • Finding a trustworthy local service agent
    • Coordinating the various government agencies for approvals
    • Branch location assistance
    • Corporate bank account opening assistance
    1. Limited Liability Company Incorporation – Limited Liability Company Incorporation is one of the most preferred mainland business priorities. LLCs can accommodate multiple shareholders ranging from 2 to 50. A wide range of business activities can be incorporated under LLC with exception to financial endeavours like insurance or banking 

    The company share ratio need not be followed in the case of profit and loss acquired. The LLC licenses are issued by the Department of Economic development or DED.

    Instructions to set up a Limited Liability Company in Dubai

    • Reserve the trade name
    • Office space registration
    • General information of shareholders - name and nationality. 
    • Capital share of the individual shareholder.
    • Identity information of managers like name and nationality
    • Profit and loss share of shareholders. 
    1. Representative office – An International business concern is allowed to set up a representative Office in Dubai on its behalf in order to attain UAE-wide representation. The representative office is established mainly for the promotion of business. At times, the international company may form a representative office to end all the business transactions with its clients. The representative office is not authorized to perform any business transactions in the UAE. 

    The Ministry of Economy’s approval is mandatory for the registration of a representative office. 

    Advantages of setting up Representative office 

    Economical company set up cost

    The total cost of formation of a Representative office in UAE would be reasonable.  Since having a physical office is not mandatory in UAE, it is economically more beneficial.

    Many shareholders

    Maximum of 50 shareholders can take part in company formation. And hence the representative office has the benefit of flexibility.  

    Share capital benefit

    Minimum share capital is not required for representative office formation.

  • Mainland Business set up jurisdictions in Dubai

    Mainland business setup has the advantage of selecting a wide range of locations. The most preferred business set up jurisdictions in Dubai are listed below.

    Business Bay – Business Bay is a business hub ideal for service and hospitality sector business concerns. From small shops to big MNCs, Business Bay is an ideal location for a variety of business establishments. The region is located between Dubai Creek and Sheikh Zayed road.

    Deira – Deira is one of the oldest parts of Dubai. Located in Dubai north, Deira shares the border with Sharjah and is an ideal location for establishing small shops and medium enterprises.

    Al Quoz – Al Quoz is located in the South-west region of Dubai. The region is basically an industrial area. Both the Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road run parallel to each other on either side of Al Quoz in the north-south direction. As an industrial area, Al Quoz is a preferred destination for setting up warehouses, industrial concerns and other related business activities.

    Al Qusais – Located close to Dubai International Airport, Al Qusais is another well-known industrial area. The region has well-equipped residential complexes too. Al Qusais belongs to the suburbs of Dubai. Al Qusais is ideal for setting up commercial establishments, educational concerns, etc.

    Jumeirah – Located in the west-coast, Jumeirah has a lot to offer for the real estate and tourism sectors. The resorts and restaurants in the region attract tourists from all over the world.

Mainland Company Formation in Dubai, UAE

The foreign investor or the expat owner can hold 100% ownership in the Mainland company in UAE as per the latest policy. But the greatest benefit is that the mainland company can operate the business across the length and breadth of UAE. Mainland company operations are not restricted to the geographical boundaries of the free zone. At Kiltons, we offer reliable services for any kind of business setup in Dubai mainland. Here are the most preferred locations to start a mainland company in Dubai.

Sheikh Zayed Road

Sheikh Zayed Road

The key business and tourist destinations like Dubai World Trade Centre, Emirates Tower, Financial Centre, etc are located along the most happening Sheikh Zayed Road. The world-famous Burj Khalifa stays very close to Sheikh Zayed Road. Sheikh Zayed Road offers scenic beauty too.<



Deira – being one of the oldest localities of Dubai is home to the workforce populace. The region has so many apartments, hotels and is a bustling place. Deira is a desirable niche for many SMEs.<

Business Bay

Business Bay

Business Bay is a fast-paced developing region in Dubai. Many projects and developmental activities are taking place in the region. Business Bay is deal for investment in the hospitality sector. The close proximity to Burj Khalifa is another added advantage. Other preferred locations to start mainland company in Dubai are Al Qusais, Bur Dubai and Al Quoz.

Company formation in Dubai is not at all a tedious task provided you have a dedicated consultant to assist you in all matters related to back-end operations. As an investor, you can leverage Dubai’s strategic location and diversified economy. Kilton Business Setup Services provides the A to Z services connected with company formation in Dubai. We undertake the process of finding the right sponsor, Bank Account opening, liquidation procedures, registration etc in the most professional manner. Feel free to contact us for all your business set up in Dubai requirements<

Al Qusais

Al Qusais

Al Qusais is an outlying region of Dubai. Even though it is located in the suburbs of Dubai, Al Qusais has well-developed infra-structure facilities. The region comprises of housing areas and various industrial establishments. Therefore, the region is ideal to start service-oriented endeavours, educational concerns, hospitals, and trading ventures. If you are looking for an economical option, setting up your business venture in Al Qusais can be helpful. Other preferred locations to start mainland company in Dubai are Bur Dubai and Al Quoz.<

Professional License | FAQ

Trade licenses in Dubai/UAE are classified based on the type of business. And a valid license is the major prerequisite to start a business etc..

Commercial License | FAQ

Investors need to apply for a mandatory license to start a business in Dubai. The licenses vary with the type of Business and the region of etc..

Industrial License | FAQ

The superior and wide-spread logistics and infrastructure of Dubai facilitate industrial growth. Being a trading hub that connects the east to etc..

Tourism License | FAQ

A valid Tourism License is required for the companies and establishments that operate in the travel and tourism sector of Dubai and UAE. etc..

E Trader Licence | FAQ

E trader license is meant for home-based individuals or entrepreneurs who sell products and services via social media platforms like etc..

Get Started Today!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Seek expert advice from our experienced professionals.
Call +971 522 407 111