A Complete Manual: Establishing a Mainland Company in Dubai

One of the top cities in the world, Dubai offers fantastic commercial prospects to companies worldwide. Many economists and industry experts believe Dubai is among the greatest locations to establish and launch a company.

These results from the many resources made available by the government, including top-notch facilities, dependable internet, a skilled labor pool, international workspaces, and financial incentives for more investment. This favorable business climate greatly aids the growth and expansion of the company.

Your guide to setting up a mainland company in Dubai 

Your company setup checklist is ready. Let’s launch your business with success!

1. Decide on your business venture.

Before Mainland Company Formation, you must choose the sector you will transact in. The Department of Economic Development (DED) has compiled a list of thousands of approved business activities. Among these are manufacturing, hospitality, farming, and commerce. Mainland enterprises can trade in any of the 2000+ DED-listed activities, unlike many free zone businesses prohibited from doing specific things according to location.

2. Choose the best UAE location for your company

Your operating location is the next step after deciding on your company activity. Operating on the mainland of the UAE does not impose any geographical restrictions on businesses. Your chosen business activity and budget are two of the factors that will help establish the ideal site. Locating near one of the United Arab Emirates’ major ports is a financially sound choice for any organization that relies on imports and exports. Establishing a mainland business in Dubai has several advantages, including the ease of putting up branch offices. This means that enterprises are not limited to a particular location and may ultimately grow their local presence.

3. Choose the legal framework for your company.

Legally speaking, international businesspeople may establish various commercial ventures on the UAE mainland. An LLC is the most popular kind of company structure on the mainland. An LLC is a separate legal company owned by two or more investors. When establishing a corporation in the UAE mainland, a firm that wants to operate under a commercial or industrial license (which includes manufacturing and industrial operations) must create an LLC. It would need a local sponsor for this. In contrast, establishing a professional services firm maybe 100% foreign-owned and does not need a foreign sponsor. Next, more on this!

4. Find a local service agent or sponsor.

In the past, international company owners setting up shop in Dubai could only do so with a sponsor or local service agency. A local sponsor is necessary if operating as an LLC under a commercial or industrial license. A firm established in the UAE or a person from the UAE may be your local sponsor. The local sponsor will own 51 percent of the company in both scenarios. 

This shields you from danger and keeps you in complete company operational and financial control. All that is needed to establish a professional business on the mainland is a local service agent (LSA). The LSA will solely serve as a representation in all administrative interactions and with the government; it will not have any equity in the company.  

5. Give your business name.

One of the most crucial business choices an entrepreneur can make is selecting a trade name for their firm that accurately represents their brand and professional principles. There are a few things to think about in the UAE. Your company’s trade name may only include complete personal names. All names must be spelled out exactly when it comes to your company’s trade name in several languages; translations are unacceptable. Check out our article on Choosing a Company Name in the UAE to learn about the rules around naming your business.  

6. File for a trading license on the mainland.

It’s time to apply for a mainland trading license to the Department of Economic Development. When applying for a trade license, certain papers are needed. These consist of, among other things, a license application, a memorandum of sponsor agreements, ownership percentages among all partners, and shareholder visas.

7. Lock up your workspace

It’s time to reserve an office after you have a company trade license. Serviced offices on the UAE mainland often belong to and are managed by a third party, and they come equipped with everything you need to start working right away. Typical accommodations include desks, phone and internet access, and reception services. Typically, your lease payment covers utility expenses, rent, and the usage of office supplies. A “shell and core” kind of office space is at the opposite extreme of the range. Expenses above rent are typically incurred due to the need of a comprehensive fit-out and décor. Another option is to rent an office space that has already been furnished; in this case, the business owner need simply provide their own equipment and pay for utilities separately.

8. File for the necessary visas

No limitations are imposed on business owners in the mainland of the UAE while applying for mainland visas. Nevertheless, the amount of office space that is required needs to correspond to the number of visas that are sought. One hundred square feet of warehouse or office space is the usual for each visa. This may not be applicable in certain cases. In contrast to a textile or manufacturing firm, the office space requirements would be much lower for a home cleaning company with more than 500 remote workers. You can sponsor dependents, including family members and domestic workers (such as drivers or cleaners), for their visas if you operate a mainland UAE business. An investment visa allows them and their families to live and work in the UAE for up to three years and is also available to foreign company owners who set up shop on the UAE mainland.

9. Take the help of a Company Establishment Consultant

A thorough grasp of the law and Mainland Company Setup in Dubai procedures is necessary when establishing a mainland business in the United Arab Emirates. Establishing a corporation may be daunting for overseas business owners, but teaming up with professionals in UAE business formation can alleviate some of that worry. A company consultant can work with you and comprehend your objectives. This would provide you more assurance to launch a prosperous company on the mainland of Dubai.

In summary

Careful preparation and respect to the legal processes defined by the appropriate authorities are necessary when registering a business in Dubai. You may complete the registration procedure by adhering to these step-by-step instructions, providing a solid basis for your company in Dubai’s energetic and dynamic metropolis.

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