Mainland Company Formation

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Dubai is one of the most attractive jurisdictions in the world for investors to establish business operations as it offers privileges and benefits unrivalled by any other country. With the awarding of the Expo2020, Dubai is the new upcoming central business hub in this part of the world and serves as a gateway to new and upcoming economic powers of the region. Licenses for the mainland are issued from the Department of Economic Development (DED), a one window service center for corporate entities or individuals who desire to carry out business in the mainland of Dubai outside the free zones. However, some categories of business licenses require approval from other ministries and authorities.  Getting a mainland license works out as a preferred option because you can open an office anywhere in Dubai and you will have no restrictions on where you can or cannot conduct business. For certain business activities, you will have no choice but to open a locally licensed company. However, unlike a free zone, you cannot own 100% of the company and will require a local sponsor or local service agent (UAE National) based on the activity that you choose. Not having full ownership of your company occasionally pushes foreign investors into setting up a free zone company, but our advisors can show you how to operate within the environment with minimal risks.

Types of Licenses issued:

  • Commercial license covering all kinds of trading activities
  • Professional license covering professional services, other services, craftsmen and artisans
  • Industrial license for establishing an industrial or manufacturing activity

Special Approvals:

Licenses under some categories require specialized ministry approvals. Some of the examples are mentioned below:

  • Cargo Clearing, Cargo packaging, Canal dredging contracting and Fishing cages manufacturing activities require approval from Dubai Maritime City
  • Travel and tourism activities require approval from Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
  • Gym and Fitness Centers require approval from the Dubai Sports Council
  • Social Club registration and licensing is obtained from Community Development Authority
  • Tents, awnings and Tarpaulin manufacturing need approval from Environment Protection Section of Dubai Municipality
  • Banks and financial institutions must receive clearance from the Central Bank of the UAE
  • Training Institutes and Educational Establishments require Knowledge and Human Development Authority approval
  • Trading of Media and Broadcasting services require clearance from National Media Council
  • Manufacturing facilities must obtain clearance from the Ministry of Finance and Industry
  • Pharmaceutical and medical products trading needs approval from the Ministry of Health
  • Contracting and Building Maintenance and related activities must be cleared from the Municipality
  • Transportation and vehicle rental activities require approval from Road and Transport Authority
  • Printing, publishing and advertising activities must have permission from the National Media Council
  • Practicing some trade activities (e.g. jewellery and insurance) requires the submission of a financial guarantee issued by a bank operating in the United Arab Emirates

Additional Fees:

Licenses under some categories attract additional fees. Some of the examples are mentioned below:

  • Tourism Companies – For Inbound Tourism and Outbound Tourism
  • Travel Agency
  • Building Contracting Companies
  • General Trading
  • Customs Broker
  • RTA Activities – Rent a Car, Bus Rental, Passenger Transport by rented Buses
  • Jewelry
  • Restaurants
  • Supermarket
  • Telephones & Telecommunications Equipment Trading
  • Security Service – Property Guard & Surveillance Services, Party security & private guarding services
  • Oilfield & Natural Gas related activities
  • Law firms
  • Media Management, Trading and Broadcasting
  • Money Exchange / Foreign Exchange Remittance Service

We have a team of expert advisors and reliable partners to assist you with a wide variety of solutions to suit your business requirements.

Request for a quote today or let one of our advisors connect with you.

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