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Business Setup in UAE Mainland: Key things to know before taking the first step

By Sakshi Srivastava - 18 Feb 2022 Last Updated: 13 May 2022
Business Setup in UAE Mainland: Key things to know before taking the first step

In the last 40 years, the UAE has diversified its economy to provide worldwide business opportunities in a variety of areas. The government is incredibly adaptable, and it continues to increase the number of incentives available to new, established, and growing businesses. With this blog, Dhanguard will assist you with the key steps of how to set up a business on the Mainland.

These are some of the incentives available

  • Allowing enterprises to be 100 percent owned by foreigners
  • Entrepreneurs' visas are extended.
  • Corporate taxes are almost zero, and there is no withholding tax.
  • Providing cash and support to help cover the costs of starting a business.
  • Great infrastructure and business climate geared toward creating the world's richest economy with the highest GDP.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the UAE's three primary jurisdictions:

  • Mainland
  • Off-shore
  • Free-zone

Read more:-5 Ways Businesses Can Benefit from Budgeting

What is the Mainland of the UAE?

The UAE mainland is the area that serves as the hub for most business operations. This location is also known as an onshore company creation area. The complete geographical region allowed by the Department of Economic Development (DED) of the relevant emirate for all business entities to operate business functions freely is referred to as the UAE mainland.

Benefits for enterprises operating under a Mainland license

The following are the main benefits for enterprises operating under a Mainland license

  • There is no minimum capital required for forming a business.
  • The signup process is easy and quick.
  • The ability to open offices and conduct business anywhere in the UAE.
  • Capacity to operate in both the private and public sectors
  • There is no limit on the number of visas that can be given (subject to office size)
  • Capital and profits can be repatriated up to 100 percent.
  • Corporate and income tax exemptions are available with no annual audits necessary.
  • The ability to diversify their enterprises into new areas.

Registrations for Mainland Business Setup in the UAE

There are two important jurisdictions:

Dubai Economy

  • Dubai's economy is characterized by its ability to conduct business anywhere in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Fewer ownership and visa restrictions depending on nationality
  • Dubai's world-class infrastructure is available to you.

Abu Dhabi Economic Development Department

  • Flexibility to conduct business anywhere in the United Arab Emirates
  • Efficiency in terms of the cost of forming a corporation on the mainland of Dubai
  • Unlike other emirates, the commercial license is valid for two years.

Types of Mainland Company Setup in UAE

Legal Type

Legal Types of Mainland Companies in the UAE

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Civil Company
  • Sole Establishment
  • Subsidiary Company
  • Branch Office Setup
  • Branch Office of Foreign Company
  • Branch Office of Local Company

License Categories

  • Professional License
  • Commercial License
  • Industrial License
  • Tourism License

Steps to Start a Company on the Mainland

Various Steps are as follows

Starting an Online Business

The UAE government launched the services to help people start businesses. Where an integrated eService that allows investors to set up enterprises in the UAE in as little as 15 minutes using a single online platform.

Creating a Business on a Regular Basis

Starting a business the traditional method entails a series of phases, which include

  • Identifying a commercial activity
  • Selecting an appropriate legal form
  • Obtaining a trademark registration
  • Obtaining a first approval
  • Creating a Memorandum of Association and a contract with a local service agent
  • Select a business location
  • Obtain more government permissions
  • Documents must be submitted and fees must be paid.

Determine the Nature of the Business

The legal form and type of license, whether commercial, industrial, or professional, is determined by the nature of business activity. There are six different types of licenses available. Industrial, commercial, professional, tourism, agricultural, and occupational are the categories.

Choose a Legal Form

The legal form is mostly determined by the needs of the firm. Furthermore, the legal form serves as a foundation for determining which laws and regulations apply. An investor in the UAE can choose from one of the following legal structures:

  • Limited liability company (LLC) General partnership Limited partnership Civil service firm
  • Branch of a local enterprise
  • Company branch of the GCC
  • Branch of a foreign firm
  • Branch of a free zone company
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Holding businesses are a type of corporation.

Obtain a Trademark Registration.

A trade name separates one company from another. It also represents the company's nature and structure. An investor can apply for a trading name through each emirate's economic department's website or mobile approval at the start

Approval at the Start

An early approval indicates that the UAE government has no objections to the company's operation in the country. It also permits the investor to move on to the next steps in the business setup process. It does not, however, give you permission to run or practice your business application.

Choose a Location for your Company.

To operate in the UAE, all firms must have a physical address. The business premises and location must meet the requirements set forth by the Department of Economic Development of each emirate, as well as local municipality land planning legislation.

Obtain more Government Permissions

Additional approvals from government entities controlling certain company a obtaining the business permit.

After completing the following requirements, investors can obtain a business license via the economic departments' service centers or through their websites. Activity may be necessary in some situations.

Why do Banks in the UAE want to open Mainland Accounts?

Because of the following factors, a bank can simply open a Mainland Account

  • Companies on the mainland have proper offices, and it is simple for a bank to do a physical verification of the same.
  • Keeping track of your accounts and completing your VAT returns
  • The majority of the money goes to local businesses.
  • Buyers and suppliers can both be tracked simply.


Dhanguard is a FinTech firm that helps people with their finances. Dhanguard assists our clients with Setting up a Business on Mainland by completing the necessary papers and following the appropriate procedures.

Dhanguard provides the business setup and company formation services in Dubai, UAE with the guidance of our professional team of consultants. Faster and hassle-free company setup in Mainland and Freezone in UAE.

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