29 December, 2023

Mainland Company Formation in Dubai : Process & Cost Involved

mainland business setup in dubai

What is Mainland Company in Dubai

Mainland company formation in Dubai refers to setting up a business in the heart of the city, outside of the free zones. This option is ideal for those looking to engage directly in the local UAE market. When you set up a business in Dubai mainland, it offers greater flexibility in business operations and the ability to trade anywhere in the UAE or internationally. The process involves specific steps and documentation, making it essential to understand the requirements for a smooth business setup in Dubai 


Benefits of Mainland Company Formation in Dubai

  • Direct Access to UAE Market: Mainland company formation in Dubai allows businesses direct and unrestricted access to the expansive UAE market, enabling trade with a wider range of clients.
  • No Limit on Business Activities: Unlike free zones, mainland businesses face no restrictions on business activities or the types of services they can offer.
  • Trade Anywhere in UAE and Globally: Mainland companies can freely trade within the UAE and internationally, offering greater business expansion opportunities.
  • 100% Repatriation of Profits and Capital: Businesses enjoy the benefit of fully repatriating their profits and capital, enhancing financial flexibility.
  • Eligibility for Government Contracts: Mainland companies can bid for lucrative government contracts, an option usually not available to free zone companies.
  • Ease of Getting Visas for Employees: The process of obtaining employee visas is straightforward, making it easier to build a strong workforce.
  • Networking and Growth Opportunities: Operating on the mainland facilitates networking with local businesses and authorities, fostering growth and partnership opportunities.
  • No Currency Restrictions: Businesses benefit from no currency restrictions, allowing smooth international transactions.
  • Simple Legal Formalities: Mainland business setup in Dubai involves clear and straightforward legal formalities, easing the setup process.


Documents Checklist for Mainland Business Setup in Dubai

  • Trade License Application: The first essential document for mainland business setup in Dubai, outlining your intended business activities.
  • Passport Copies of Shareholders: Ensure all shareholders provide clear and valid passport copies.
  • UAE Resident Visa (if applicable): If shareholders are UAE residents, their resident visa copies are required.
  • Emirates ID (for UAE residents): A copy of the Emirates ID is needed for shareholders residing in the UAE.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC): From current sponsors for foreign shareholders who are UAE residents.
  • Local Sponsor Agreement: A mandatory document for expatriates, detailing the agreement with a UAE national sponsor.
  • Office Lease Agreement: Proof of a physical office space in Dubai, a prerequisite for company registration.
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA): A legal document outlining the company’s structure and shareholder details.
  • Dubai Chamber of Commerce Membership: Necessary for trade and business activities.
  • EJARI Registration Certificate: Confirming your office space’s address and tenancy details.

Remember, while this list covers the basics, it’s advisable to consult with a mainland company formation specialist in Dubai for the most current requirements and guidance.


Steps to Set Up a New Business in the Dubai Mainland

Each step requires careful consideration to ensure a smooth mainland company formation process in Dubai.

  • Determine Business Activity: Identify the specific business activities for your mainland company in Dubai. This will guide the type of license required.
  • Choose a Legal Form: Decide on the legal structure of your business, such as an LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership.
  • Select a Trade Name: Choose a unique and relevant trade name for your business, adhering to UAE naming conventions.
  • Apply for Initial Approval: Submit an application for initial approval to the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.
  • Draft the MOA and LSA: Prepare a Memorandum of Association (MOA) and, if needed, a Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement.
  • Choose a Business Location: Select a suitable office or business location and secure a tenancy agreement.
  • Obtain Special Approvals: If required, get approvals from specific government departments related to your business field.
  • Finalize DED Approvals and Pay Fees: Submit all documents to the DED, receive final approvals, and pay the necessary government fees.
  • Collect Your Business License: Once approved, collect your mainland business license and start your operations.


Get Required Approvals and Your Mainland Company License in Dubai

  • Select Your Business Activity: Choose the specific business activity or activities for your mainland business setup in Dubai, which will determine the type of license you need.
  • Decide on Your Business Structure: Opt for a legal form that suits your business goals, like an LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership.
  • Apply for Initial Approval: Reach out to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) to get initial approval for your business.
  • Choose a Trade Name: Pick a unique trade name for your business, following the DED’s naming guidelines.
  • Draft MOA and/or LSA Agreement: Prepare your Memorandum of Association (MOA) and, if applicable, a Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement.
  • Finalize Business Location: Secure an office space or commercial premise and get your tenancy contract and EJARI registration.
  • Obtain Special Approvals: If your business requires, get additional approvals from relevant government bodies.
  • Submit Final Documents to DED: Provide all necessary documents to the DED for final approval.
  • Pay the Required Fees: Clear all the government and administrative fees to receive your mainland business license in Dubai.

Following these steps will ensure a seamless process in obtaining your mainland business license in Dubai.


Cost of Starting a Mainland Company in Dubai

Remember, these costs can vary widely based on several factors, so it’s wise to get a tailored estimate for your specific Dubai mainland company formation.

  • Initial Approval Fee: The first step in mainland business setup in Dubai involves paying a fee for initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  • Trade License Fee: This is a major cost component, varying based on your business activity and size.
  • Local Sponsor Fees: If you’re an expat, factor in the annual fee for a local sponsor, essential for mainland company formation.
  • Office Rent: Renting office space is mandatory, and the cost depends on the location and size of the premises.
  • Registration Fees: These are paid to the DED and vary depending on the legal structure of your company.
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA) Charges: Drafting and attesting an MOA incurs fees.
  • Government Levies: Various small fees and levies are charged by different government entities.
  • Visa Costs: If you’re hiring staff, consider the costs for processing their visas.
  • Professional Service Fees: Hiring a consultant or legal advisor for assistance can add to your setup costs.