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Mainland LLC


In the past decade Dubai has become one of the major business centers of the Middle East, hosting dynamic and diversified economy as well as providing a large number of businesses with great infrastructure. It is located strategically to serve as the biggest production and import-export designation for the Middle East and worldwide. For those looking to engage with Gulf culture, Abu Dhabi the capital of UAE offers opportunities to understand the UAE’s history through museums, exhibitions and tours.


Mainland business setup  in UAE is registered in the Department of Economic Development (DED). This would fit those who are planning to set up a company locally. DED is the place to do if you want to open for example your shop, beauty salon or a car rental.  A local sponsor (UAE citizen) who will be a co-owner of the business, or a local agent who will not own shares, but will be your “gateway” to the local market is required in order to open a Mainland company. Some of the main advantages in setting up business in mainland UAE are no taxes, with direct access to local UAE market and almost no limitations on activities but different approvals may be required for specific activities.


We can assist with the main land company registration in UAE in the following emirates:


  • Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi 


Business setup in Dubai and Abu Dhabi main land will open endless opportunities on both the investor and the host country.


Setup Zone is ready to provide step-by-step assistance with the process involved to make it easy for you in setting up your main land company in UAE.


Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Dubai?

  1. Dubai is a tax-free city, with no income or capital gain tax. This makes it extremely attractive for people from all around the world to come and work in Dubai, as well as invest in property.
  2. Foreign investors are attracted to Dubai due to the various Free Zones and Offshore Opportunities.
  3. Dubai is easily accessible, having direct flights from all the major
    cities in the world.
  4. Dubai is one of the popular tourism destination with its extraordinary shopping malls, fabulous hotels, beautiful beaches and sky scrapers.
  5. Dubai is one of the safest destination, having a very low crime rate – making it an ideal place for families and wealthy individuals.
  6. The climate in Dubai is very pleasant throughout the year, with only few months of summer heat.
  7. 90% of the workforce speak English — the language of business worldwide and many people are multilingual.
  8. In 2003, Dubai is recognized by The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as a financial hub. Also, at this time the property market in Dubai suddenly grows due to the introduction of freehold properties.
  9. Dubai offers as well a 100% foreign ownership business in Dubai Free Zone company formation.
  10. Dubai has won the prestigious right to host World Expo 2020, which is expected to be between October 2020 and April 2021, it will be one of the greatest shows on Earth. UAE will become the hub of business and trade relations with investments pouring in.

Mainland DED Guidance – Dubai Business Setup


business setup uaeStarting Mainland companies in Dubai has become faster and easier than ever before, in line with the vision of the Economic Development Department in to help the owners of companies to launch and expand their business without the need for lengthy processes and procedures.


The emirate of Dubai has two main destinations to start all kind of businesses. Dubai Economic Department is the main place to register a Mainland Business, the other destination would be one of the available 20+ Free Zone Authorities located in the same city providing various advantages to the owners of the establishments according to the type of entities and business activities.


To start a Mainland company in Dubai all investors have to go through the following process:


1. Selecting the Business Activity

The Business Activity has to be wisely selected to match the proposed business. We recommend consulting us to recommend the proper matching business activity that complies with your business needs.


The License is linked to the Business Activity, if the required business activity is Consultancy or Services the license will be issued as a PROFESSIONAL LICENSE, Meanwhile, if the Business Activity is either Trading or Industrial then the trade license will be issued as a COMMERCIAL LICENSE accordingly.


Although the Department of Economic Development is the only authority that regulates the Business Activities, but you must know that some business activities are subject to local authorities and other federal parties to regulate conduct of these activities within the conditions and guidelines set by the laws and regulations in the United Arab Emirates.


Examples of some activities that require approvals of government bodies:

2. The Legal Structure and Business Partners

Again, the legal form of the companies is linked to the selected Business Activities, partners as well as the nature of the partners whether they are individuals or corporates.


3. Name Reservation

The name of the proposed business has to adhere with the type of the selected Business Activity. Once the name is reserved, it will remain valid for 6 months from the date of reservation. The Department of Economic Development (DED) has full rights to cancel or amend the reserved name if a similar registered name has been indicated in the city.



  •  Trademarks cannot be registered by Department of Economic Development. The Trade Marks Department in the Ministry of the Economy is responsible for receiving, studying and deciding requests of registration of the trade marks. When the client submits a complaint of infringement of a trademark, the intellectual property rights unit at DED will first ensure that the registration certificate of the trademark at the Ministry of Economy is available then take legal action.
  •  A company is entitled to use the trade name of another company granted a franchise after submitting a franchise agreement to DED.


4. Initial Approval
The Initial Approval is a document gets issued by the Department of Economic Development which mentions that the same doesn’t have any objections of conducting the proposed business activities as per the regulations in the United Arab Emirates. The Initial Approval Certificate records partners, legal type and activities of the license.


5. Memorandum of Association (MOA) preparation
According to the legal form of your entity, all business partners should draft and sign the Memorandum of Association. In some cases, you will have to prepare and sign a Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement with a UAE national who will represent your company with regards to licensing and compliance with the related authorities.
Drafting an MoA is a process that you cannot do yourself. You will need to use a law firm, DED Legal Affairs or Notary Public.


6. Renting a Physical Office
All businesses in Dubai must have a physical address. You can sign your tenancy contract with the landlord and register the contract with EJARI for attestation.
You can add a new trade license to the same location taking into consideration the following conditions:

• The local party of the new license should be the same owner, partner or LSA in the existing license of the desired location.

• The total number of licenses owned by the local party should not exceed 10 licenses per same location.

• The space of location allocated for each license should not be less than 200 sq. ft.


7. License Issuance

Finally, you will be issued with a payment voucher, which you will need to use as a reference when you pay.


• You have to pay for your trade license within 30 days of receiving the payment voucher.
• In the event of non-payment within 6 months of receiving the payment voucher, transaction will be cancelled automatically.


Congratulations! You can now start operating your Business and make some good profit benefiting from the amazing TAX FREE environment out here in the United Arab Emirates!