Mainland Business Setup

Mainland Business Setup 

A Business Setup in Dubai Mainland  is highly sought by international investors and entrepreneurs . Company Formation in Dubai Mainland can be a quite challenging task if you do not have the right business advisor, but with us you can be assured you are dealing with the most  trusted business setup consultancy offering highly professional services for mainland company formation in Dubai, UAE. Dubai  Mainland Business Setup or a UAE Mainland Business Setup is often incorporated for the purpose of conducting business activity locally.

Mainland Company Setup in Dubai

Since 1992, the Department of Economic Development (DED)which is a business hub under the jurisdiction of the government of Dubai, UAE. DED was established in March 1992 with the prime aim of regulating & organizing the trade & industry in the Emirate of Dubai & simultaneously enhancing the economic development & growth of Dubai & the UAE. DED is the licence issuing authority  for business setup in Dubai mainland, business registration & mainland license as well as commercial compliance & consumer protection in the Emirate of Dubai.


  Dubai Mainland Business Setup Procedure 

The Procedure to start your UAE or Dubai Mainland Company is outlined as below. Ideally our Business Setup Consultant will facilitate you in;

  1.  Selection of business activity and name approval
  2. Assisting you choose the Local  Business Sponsorship type  or Service Agent
  3. Apply for Initial Approval for Mainland Business Setup
  4. Your Business Consultant will Prepare Court Notarization and MOA
  5. We will help you get office space and tenancy contract (Ejari)
  6.  Final Submission for Mainland company formation in UAE

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1. Select your UAE /Dubai Mainland Company Formation Type

In order to start with the company formation process, your consultant will help you to identify the type of business or commercial activity. This is important in order to identify the  legal structure of the company and the parties associated with that activity. Business types are mainly categorized into:

  • Commercial (trading)
  • Professional (vocational)
  • Industrial.

2. Determine the legal form of the UAE/Dubai Mainland Business Setup

Choosing a legal form of the business in the UAE’s mainland depends mainly on the nationality of owners and type of activity. You can set up one of the following company types:

  • Joint Liability Company
  • Simple Commandite Company
  • Limited liability Company (LLC)
  • Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC)
  • Private Joint Stock Company (PrJSC)

         Other types of companies:

  • Sole establishment
  • Civil company
  • Local Company Branch
  • Foreign Company Branch
  • GCC Company Branch
  • Free zone company branch
  • Foreign companies’ representative offices

3. Trade name registration

For DED to approve the name, the trade name must 

  •  never violate the public morals or the public order of the country
  • be accompanied in suffix  by the legal form of the company, succ as  LLC,  PJSC, PrJSC,EST,)
  • not have been previously registered
  • must be compatible with the required type of activity and the legal status of the company or business entity
  •  not reflect any religious names, governing authority, or names or logos of any external bodies.

4. Obtaining initial approval

Once your type, activity and legal form is established and trade name registered, your consultant will obtain the initial approval certificate. This is important in order to proceed for additional approvals of authorities other than the DEDs which may be  required in case of certain business/trading activities.

Note for foreign investors

It is mandatoryForeign investors must obtain the approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs before getting the initial approval. Unless a commercial licence is duly issued,the initial approval itself does not grant a person the right to conduct  the activity.

5. Choosing a location for your business

It is mandatory for all businesses in Dubai Mainland to  have a physical address. Our Business Consultant  will assist you in determining a site to conduct your business activity which would be fully compliant with the requirements set out by DED.

In Dubai, for attestation purpose, you must  present a rent agreement (MoU) registered with Ejari for the proposed location of your business .

You may be able to add a new trade licence to the same address. In Dubai, you would need to consider the following:

  • Ownership of LSA or Sponsor must be the same.
  • The total number of licences owned by the local party cannot be more than 10 licences per location
  • Not less than 200 sq. ft. for each space allotted.

6.Obtaining approvals of relevant authorities

In certain instances, other  approvals of  other authorities are required  as well. Our Business Consultant will be able to inform you if you need to receive approvals from

  •  Ministry of Economy
  •  Ministry of Interior
  •  Ministry of Justice
  •  Civil Defence.

7. Receiving your business licence

After completing the steps above and in order to receive your DED trade licence , our business consultants will 

  • give submission of all document to DED in the respective emirate.
  • and finalise due payments.

Congratulation! You will now be able to receive your business licence.

Mainland Types


Dubai Mainland Company Categorization:

1. Joint liability company

Under a joint liability company you are allowed only to conduct commercial and industrial activities.

2. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

This type of Dubai Mainland Business setup (also shortly known as a Dubai LLC) can conduct any , commercial, professional, industrial and tourism business. Whilst some professional business are not permitted , others require additional approvals.Our Business Consultant in Dubai can give you the best advise on how the process would work out for you.

3. Private Joint Stock Company

Similar to a Joint Liability Company , A private joint stock company can conduct only commercial and industrial activities.

4. Public Joint Stock Company

Any industrial, commercial or professional business activities can be conducted under a  public joint stock company.

5. Civil company

If you are in a professional  field such as law, medicine, engineering and accountancy you will fall under the category of a civil company.

6. Branch of a local or GCC company

Under this type of Mainland Company formation , a branch of a GCC Company can conduct activities included on the Parent company’s licence.

7. Branch of a foreign company

Similar to the activities the head office conducts , a branch of a foreign company can conduct selected commercial and professional activities.

8. Branch of a free zone company

As long as the activity of the main company is authorised on the mainland, a branch of a free zone company can conduct commercial, industrial and professional businesses 

9. Sole establishment

An industrial or commercial type sole proprietorship is only permitted for Emiratis (UAE Nationals) or GCC nationals where the business owner can practise any industrial, commercial or professional business activities. 

No, you may only proceed after receiving the licence.

Yes, you can after getting the required approvals.

Commercial activities are the activities that require a capital. They include wholesale and retail trade, construction, transportation, communication, financial mediation, real estate and leasing.

Industrial activities are the activities that require a capital. They include manufacturing, mining, quarrying, electricity, gas, and water.

Professional activities are the activities that depend on mental and physical effort. They include agriculture, fishing, education, health, social work and community, social and personal services.