Dubai Mainland company requirements explained

Dubai Mainland companies are businesses that are allowed to operate within the boundaries of the commercialized Emirates region by the approval of the Dubai Economic Department (DED). All the businesses in Dubai that come under professional, commercial, and sole establishment registered under the DED are known as Dubai Mainland companies. Mainland Dubai company formation is a very lucrative option for both foreign investors and local business aspirants. 

By possessing a Dubai mainland business license, you can enjoy maximum benefits and freedom to operate and grow your company. Note that several requirements need to be fulfilled for a mainland business setup in Dubai. But with Shuraa Business Setup, you don’t need to worry one bit. Our experienced business consultants take care of all the requirements related to business setup in Dubai mainland by doing all the heavy lifting for you.

Why is the mainland a thriving area to set up a company in Dubai? 

The Dubai mainland is the prime geographical area in the UAE available to various business entities and their representatives to carry out commercial activities. The DED maintains a list of more than 2,000 permissible business activities, and you can choose the ones that best suit your business model. Moreover, mainland business setup in Dubai also helps you secure valuable government projects in the UAE. 

According to the business incorporation laws of the UAE, a foreign business owner can hold up to 49% ownership of the business if it’s set up in Dubai mainland and a local having UAE citizenship mandatorily holds 51% ownership. However, this law has a few exceptions: 

  • Activities with 100% GCC ownership 
  • Instances where GCC companies enter into a partnership with a UAE citizen 
  • Amendments made to the previous law to allow 100% expat business ownership in the mainland region 

What are the various business requirements to set up a company in the mainland? 

Here, we list down the most critical requirements for business setup in Dubai mainland – location, documents, and a valid business license. 

(I)  Location 

Choosing a location for setting up your company is a very critical decision because it impacts the day-to-day commercial activities of your business as well as decides the long-term growth of your enterprise. The following are the most popular regions in Dubai mainland for starting a business:

Business Bay 

The Business Bay should be your first locational preference for business ventures such as the financial sector, retail industry, professional consultancy, and more as it provides impeccable infrastructural assistance. It’s the central business district and a prime location for investors looking to make the most out of the business opportunities on offer in the UAE. 

Sheikh Zayed Road 

Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR) is well known as one of the busiest highways which connect to the seven Emirates in Dubai. This road has the most distinguished buildings and skyline which accommodate some of the world’s largest MNCs and businesses. Business setup in Dubai mainland can’t get any better than SZR. 

Al Quoz 

Al Quoz is located in western Dubai. It is a vibrant region full of art galleries, performance spaces, shopping centers, and much more. Al Quoz is among Dubai’s prominent business hubs as it provides the benefit of warehouses and industrial options much closer to the city. The region is divided into factories, industrial setups, warehouses, and other locations. 

(II)  Paperwork and documentation 

The following documents are required for business setup Dubai mainland

  • Trade name choices (at least 3) 
  • List of business activities 
  • Passport copy of the shareholders 
  • Entry stamp or visa page 
  • Passport size photograph as per the protocols (size, background color, etc.) 
  • Initial approval receipt and documents submitted previously 
  • Copy of the lease agreement signed by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) in Dubai 
  • Duly attested Memorandum of Association (MoA) for all types of companies 
  • Approvals from other concerned government authorities 
  • Formal agreement letter with the local sponsor 

(III) Mainland business license

Follow the steps mentioned below to acquiring the relevant business license needed for mainland Dubai company formation

  1. Select the business activities

Choosing a business activity is the basis for obtaining a certain type of license for your company. There are four types of licenses issued by the authorities in the UAE – industrial, commercial, tourism, and professional. Moreover, you can choose one or more than one business activity from a list of more than 2,000 options available at your disposal. 

  1. Decide your company’s legal structure 

The legal form depends mainly on business requirements. In the UAE, a business owner or investor can select from various legal forms such as limited liability company (LLC), public joint-stock company (PJSC), civil company, local branch company, foreign company branch, and many more. 

  1. Select a trading name 

A trade name is an identity for your company and distinguishes one business from another. You need to submit at least 3 trade names in order of preference to reserve an official name for your company. These names must be unique, carefully chosen, and should not contain words relating to any religion or any governing authorities. Furthermore, the trade name certificates must be renewed periodically. 

  1. Apply for the initial approval 

Getting an initial approval from the DED implies that the governing authorities of the UAE have no objection to your enterprise being established in the country. However, it doesn’t permit the practice of any business activity. Moreover, it’s recommended to obtain the approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs before getting the initial approval.

  1. Choose the ideal business location 

Where in the mainland region do you wish to establish your company? Remember that It’s mandatory for any business operating in Dubai to have a physical address. The infrastructure and the location of the premises must comply with the requirements set by the DED and the local municipalities. Furthermore, the office lease/agreement should be registered with Ejari. 

  1. Obtain a business license 

Once you have completed all the above steps, it’s time to apply for a business license needed for mainland business setup in Dubai. This is a legal permit that allows you to carry out various permissible business activities without any compliance or regulatory concerns. Ensure that you renew your trading license at least one month prior to its expiration date.

  1. Open a corporate bank account 

You need a corporate bank account to take care of all the monetary transactions related to your mainland company. Therefore, choose a reliable bank that offers long-term benefits and top-notch banking services. Shuraa has tie-ups with numerous reputed banks in the UAE and we can help you in finding the ideal bank for your venture too.

Shuraa – your business companion 

Mainland Dubai company formation is a remunerative business venture that has a plethora of advantages that overshadow the minimal limitations. Therefore, you don’t need to think twice before setting up your company in the region. The process becomes even simpler when you collaborate with Shuraa Business Setup. Our business experts handle banking, documentation, and more related to company incorporation in the UAE. Connect with us today! 

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