Checklist to set up Company in Mainland Dubai, UAE

Dubai mainland checklist


There are two alternatives available to entrepreneurs wishing to launch a new enterprise in the United Arab Emirates. Some decide to locate their enterprise in one of the nation’s free zones in order to profit from the numerous tax, duty, and repatriation advantages.

While others decide to register a business on the UAE’s mainland.

Which would be your best choice, then?

Well, the mainland option might simply be the best one for your business if you want to conduct direct business with the UAE local market, engage in a wide range of commercial operations, or work for the government.

Choosing your Business Activity

Prior to forming a business on the UAE mainland, you must first choose the sector where you will operate. The Department of Economic Development (DED) has a list of thousands of allowed business ventures, including manufacturing, farming, hospitality, and retailing. Mainland enterprises are permitted to engage in any of the more than 2000 DED designated activities, in contrast to several free zone companies that are limited to specific activities based on where they are located.

Determination of Legal Structure According to your Business

Legally speaking, international business owners can establish a number of different corporate structures on the UAE mainland, being the most popular.  Company in Mainland can have a Sole Proprietor or Civil Company. Sole Proprietary will have 1 shareholder whereas Civil Company would have 2 or more than 2 partners. A firm must be formed in the UAE mainland if it want to conduct business under such an industrial or commercial licence (covering trading, industrial, and manufacturing activities). You’d need a local sponsor for this. A professional service firm can be established without a foreign sponsor and with 100% foreign ownership. Next, let’s take a closer look at this.

Choose a Local Sponsor or Local Serving Agent

Before submitting the Final documents to DED to avail of the License, it’s important to understand what is local Service agent, and the essential part of their role in the License. Any Professional License which needs to be taken by Dubai Mainland must have UAE National or Local Service Agent, which will act as an agent in the company and hold no shares. 100% of Shares holding goes to the foreign national or Investor who establishes the business

Name your Company

Anywhere in the globe, picking a brand name that people remember and embodies your brand’s values is difficult. Additionally, there are other factors to take into account in the UAE. In conclusion, derogatory language is prohibited, and corporate names cannot contain references to religion or other well-known organisations (such the “FBI” and “Mafia”). Your company name may only contain your entire name, which means that if you’re using your given name as the name of your business, you must also include your last name. All titles must be presented as they are pronounced, not translated, when it comes to your corporation name in other languages.

Get your Paperwork in Order

When you first go to the DED to reserve your desired business name and apply for your business license, you then give them the following paperwork: your license application; a memorandum of association outlining sponsor agreements and ownership percentages between all partners; an incorporation certificate (if more than one shareholders are corporates); the board resolution approving the LLC (if applicable); and copies of shareholder passports and visas.

Apply for Visa

A significant benefit of establishing a business on the UAE mainland is that business owners are free to apply for as many visas as they need, with no maximum limit. However, there is one catch: for each additional visa you apply for, you must rent an additional Space of workplace or warehouse space. However, the DED may be willing to negotiate this. For instance, you probably won’t need to rent 50,000 square feet of office space if you operate a domestic cleaning business with 500+ remote workers. You will be allowed to sponsor dependents, such as family and friends and domestic employees if you are the proprietor of a UAE mainland company.

Own Shares in your Company

Shares in your UAE mainland company can be acquired primarily in one of two ways: personally or through a company. While both are possible, it is frequently more logical to hold your shares through a business. You will have a strong legal structure to ensure that all shareholders are protected should any concerns develop if you own your shares in an offshore corporation, for starters. For instance, if a shareholder passed away, the assets of your company will not be subjected to Sharia inheritance laws. Additionally, offshore businesses enable investors from outside the UAE to repatriate their money. Shares may also be owned through a foreign corporation, but you must first go through all the legalisation procedures.

Find Office Space

It’s time to look for office space once you get your business licence. There are indeed a few common varieties accessible on the mainland of the UAE. Serviced offices often belong to a third party and are maintained by them. They are equipped with desks, phone and internet connectivity, and receptionists so you may start working right away. Typically, your lease payment would include electricity costs, rent, and the use of office supplies. At the other end of the spectrum, shell and core require extensive fitting and decoration, which comes with additional costs on top of the rent. Sublets fall somewhere in the middle; they often don’t need any decorating or furnishing, but you might have to supply your own office supplies and pay the expenses separately from the lease.

Partner with a Company Setup Consultant

Finally, you can choose whether to work with a UAE-based expert or handle the company setup procedure on your own. Anywhere in the world, starting a business can be difficult; doing it abroad is even more difficult, especially in the UAE with its complex legal system and requirements for company creation, Therefore, with Clever Corp Team of Consultants and PRO you will find that doing so only requires a few hours of your effort instead of the weeks it might otherwise take if you do it alone. This is because collaborating with an advisor with local knowledge ensures that all the necessary steps are completed correctly. Contact Clever Corp for valuable services throughout the process of company formation.

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