Mainland Company Formation UAE

Mainland Company Formation

Our team recommends the most suitable mainland company legal structure according to the core business needs of our clients and investment budgets
Ease of doing business
Easy approval processes, flexible regulatory procedures, and quick timelines
Business opportunities
Possibility to participate in private and government tenders
100% foreign ownership
For the activities included into DED list of approved activities
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Mainland business setup
What is a mainland company?

Let us guide you in choosing the best corporate structure for your business

In order to start a business in the UAE, investors need to register their company in the Emirate mainland or in one of the free zones of the Emirate. By deciding to open a business in the mainland of the UAE, the investor will receive a variety of benefits, maximum freedom and flexibility to develop and conduct business. A Mainland License is issued by the Department of Economic Development of an Emirate (DED).

Emirates mainland companies enjoy almost unrestricted trading opportunities. Investors who invest in mainland companies in the UAE will have access to the local market of the UAE as well as international markets.

Business Setup Mainland UAE
What is a mainland company?

Take advantage of the UAE's position as the fastest growing economic hub in the world

As a result of the amendments made to the Commercial Companies Law in 2021, mainland company formation became very popular with foreign investors for the following reasons:

  • 0% personal income tax and VAT as low as 5%
  • There are no restrictions on mainland companies doing business in the UAE or outside the country, including free zones.
  • Visas are not restricted by number, but usually by workspace.
  • A wide range of 2000+ business activities are available for mainland licenses, including those related to industrial, commercial, trading, and professional activities.
Advantages of obtaining a UAE Mainland License

Perfect conditions for your business

Let My Business Consulting DMCC guide you in choosing the most effective corporate structure for your mainland company in the United Arab Emirates so that you can benefit from the following features.

No limit on company activities in one license

DED offers a wide range of 2000+ business activities to choose from

Variety of legal options

Limited Liability Companies (LLC) & Private Joint-Stock Companies (inc. Single Owner Companies).

Сapital without restrictions

No minimum or maximum limit of capital amount

Office anywhere in Dubai

No limitation on where to rent/buy an office or commercial space

No limit in UAE resident visas

Visa eligibility will depend on the size of the office

Enchase more business opportunities

Pitch private and government projects that are not available to Free Zone


My Business Consulting DMCC is here to assist you with choosing the right location, corporate structure and best facilities for your mainland company in the UAE.

Mainland Company vs Free Zone Company

Choose the right legal option that works for your business!

Unlike a mainland company, a free zone company is established within a special jurisdiction within an Emirate. The Free Zone Authority is responsible for issuing trade licenses, while the Department of Economic Development issues trade licenses to mainland companies. Free zones in the UAE provide benefits such as 100% foreign ownership and tax concessions.

An entity organized under a free zone can only conduct business within the free zone and outside the UAE, whereas an entity organized under a mainland can conduct business both in the UAE and overseas.

Mainland Company Formation in Dubai & UAE
Mainland and Free Zone Licenses features comparison

Compare UAE mainland and free zones business setup features and pick the one that's right for you

Features Free Zone License Mainland License
Company ownership 100% foreign ownership When the activity is listed in DED's approved activities list, foreign ownership is 100%. For strategic activities, UE/GCC shareholders must hold 51% of the shares
Business scope Within free zones and internationally Inside UAE and internationally
Minimum share capital Starting from AED 10,000. Each free zone has its own requirements for proof and amount No standard requirement, determined by the legal structure
Company setup procedure 100% remote Physical presence of shareholder(s) or POA is required
Business setup time 3-15 days 5-21 days
Work premises Office facilities are required for all free zone businesses. In almost all free zones Virtual offices options are available Minimum of 140 sq.m. office space is required
Import/ export duties No exemption Free zone companies are allowed to import and export goods to other countries without customs duties
Financial audits Depending on a free zone Mandatory for all businesses
Corporate bank account Starting from 3 weeks Within 2-3 weeks
Visa eligibility In most free zones up to 6 visas are allocated under 1 business activity With sufficient office space visas eligibility can be unlimited
My Business Consulting DMCC team with CEO Keren Jadhav.
How can we help?

We can assist you register a mainland company in the UAE

The process of setting up and obtaining a Mainland License in the UAE can be lengthy, however, obtaining legal advice will streamline the process and help foreign companies determine the proper legal structure for their business.

You can rely on My Business Consulting DMCC for assistance in choosing the most efficient corporate structure for your mainland company and support through each step of the registration process, till your company is up and running in compliance with all UAE laws and regulations.

Besides helping your company to get started in the UAE, we provide support for visa applications, bank account opening, bookkeeping, and tax compliance.

Let us help you succeed in the UAE

Reach out to our experts to successfully start a mainland company in the UAE.