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Benefits of Setting Up Mainland Company

  • Flexibility to do business in any part of the UAE
  • No requirement for minimum capital
  • Ease of getting office space at affordable rates with the flexibility to rent/lease office anywhere
  • No yearly auditing
  • No restrictions in processing legal documents
  • No corporate or personal taxes
  • No limitations in getting employment visas and easy recruiting process
  • No need for the professional service agent to avail Professional Licenses

What is Dubai mainland company?

mainland company is a legal entity registered under the Dubai Economic Department (DED) and governed by the UAE commercial company– Federal Law No. 2 of 2015- the New Commercial Company Law, (NCCL).16 déc. 2019

To set up an onshore business in Dubai costs a minimum Dh34,340 ($9350), the rankings note, and requires payment of myriad fees. These include Dh15,000 for a general trading licence, plus fees of Dh10,000 to Dubai Municipality, Dh3,000 to the Ministry of Economy and Dh1,200 to Dubai Chamber of Commerce.22 sept. 2019

Foreign ownership and Dubai company licence options

As we previously mentioned in our article about setting up a mainland enterprise, while only specific legal corporate structures allowed for majority foreign ownership, a recent Decree led to changes. Starting on 30 March 2021, foreigners can now have a full ownership stake rather than the previous maximum ownership stake of 49%. That means foreigners no longer have to hire a local Emirati sponsor who holds a membership stake of at least 51%. If you’re carrying out commercial or trade activities, you are subject to the requirement of carrying out your corporate registration as an LLC.

Branch companies will also no longer need a local agent as they did previously, also starting on 30 March 2021. However, please note that there are some strategic industries to the Emirati national interest that are exempt from these changes. 

If there is only one shareholder, there are more options for full foreign ownership. Why? That’s because company formation for Sole Establishment/Civil Companies only requires foreigners to appoint a local agent. You must only have the local agent to offer his or her services to represent your interests in front of the Labour and Immigration ministries.  The regulations state the local agent for this type of enterprise does not have any decision-making role in your company’s operations. As such, you will have full managerial control over your entity.

And, in Dubai, there is another option that allows for full foreign ownership for freelance activities. What is this option? The Dubai Trader licence is only available to those individuals who are already residents in the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, it does not let you apply for any visas. In contrast to other paths for how to start a business in the UAE, you do not have to rent an office space with Ejari because you would register the entity at your residential address. For this option, unlike the other formats, you do not need to appoint a local agent or sponsor. Just like with other enterprises, you can apply for a limited set of licence activities. 

This programme aims explicitly to integrate enterprises that operate on the internet and social media into their official database. Among the benefits allotted to Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) Trader Licence holders are the opportunity to participate in exhibitions and workshops, facilities to manage imports and exports through customs and access to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. You’ll also receive an establishment card that lets you employ up to three workers. In essence, you can license the business activities you work on remotely and the relevant authorities will be available to assist you as needed. You can get up to ten licence approvals within one similar activity group per licence in this scheme.