Company Formation in Dubai Mainland: Steps & Advantages

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of company formation in Dubai mainland, exploring the steps, documents required, benefits, and why this is a strategic move for business owners.


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    Company Formation in Dubai Mainland

    In the dynamic landscape of global business, Dubai has emerged as a beacon for entrepreneurs and investors seeking opportunities for growth and success. One of the key pathways to establishing a strong business presence in Dubai is through mainland company formation. In this guide, we will delve into the intricacies of company formation in Dubai Mainland, exploring the steps, documents required, benefits, and why this is a strategic move for business owners.

    What is Mainland Company Formation?

    Mainland company formation refers to the process of forming a company on Dubai’s mainland, which enables businesses to operate both domestically and globally. This approach grants businesses the flexibility to engage with the local market and tap into the global economy seamlessly.

    Why set up a business in Dubai Mainland?

    Setting up a business in Dubai Mainland is a desirable alternative for business owners because of its many benefits.

    Here are some key reasons:

    • Strategic Location: Dubai serves as a hub for global trade and business due to its advantageous location at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Establishing a business in Dubai Mainland provides access to a vast market.
    • Business Diversity: A wide range of commercial activities, including manufacturing, services, and commerce, are permitted on the Dubai Mainland. This flexibility enables entrepreneurs to explore various sectors and diversify their business portfolios.
    • Global Business Hub: Dubai has positioned itself as a global business hub, hosting numerous multinational companies and serving as a meeting point for various industries. This can improve your company’s reputation and visibility internationally.
    • No Currency Restrictions: Dubai Mainland businesses are not subject to currency restrictions, providing flexibility in financial transactions and facilitating smoother international trade.
    • Tax Benefits: While there is no corporate tax for businesses operating in Dubai Mainland, it’s essential to note that this might be subject to change, and it’s advisable to stay updated on the latest tax regulations.
    • Access to Skilled Workforce: Dubai attracts a diverse and skilled workforce from around the world. Setting up a business in Dubai Mainland allows you to access this talent pool and lets you hire workers with a range of specializations.
    • Infrastructure and Facilities: Dubai is home to top-notch facilities and infrastructure, such as cutting-edge transit, networking, and office spaces. This can contribute to the efficiency and productivity of your business operations.
    • Proximity to Free Zones: While Dubai Mainland itself offers various advantages, businesses also benefit from proximity to the numerous free zones in Dubai. These zones provide additional incentives and exemptions, and companies in Dubai Mainland can easily collaborate with those in free zones.

    Steps Involved in Company Formation in Dubai Mainland 

    Step 1: Selecting a Business Activity:

    The first step for company formation in Dubai mainland involves choosing the type of business activity you wish to engage in. Dubai offers a diverse range of sectors, from trading to professional services.

    Step 2: Choose a Business Structure:

    Entrepreneurs can opt for various business structures, such as Sole Establishment, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC). Every structure provides a unique set of benefits, depending on the nature and scale of your business.

    Step 3: Selecting a Local Sponsor:

    To establish a mainland company, a local sponsor is required. The sponsor can either be an individual or a corporate entity, holding at least 51% of the company shares. This partnership facilitates smooth operations within the local market.

    Step 4: Trade Name Approval:

    The next step involves selecting and securing approval for your company’s trade name. Making sure the name you choose fits your company’s needs and follows the Department of Economic Development’s (DED) requirements is very important.

    Step 5: Submission of Documents:

    Prepare and submit the necessary documents, including the Memorandum of Association, lease agreement for office space, and other relevant paperwork, to the DED for approval.

    Step 6: Obtain Necessary Approvals:

    Await approvals from various governmental bodies, including the DED, the Ministry of Economy, and any specific regulatory authorities related to your business activity.

    Step 7: License Issuance:

    Once all approvals are obtained, the DED issues the business license, officially authorizing the commencement of business operations.

    Documents Required for Mainland Company Formation in Dubai

    • Memorandum of Association (MOA): A comprehensive document outlining the company’s activities, shareholders, and corporate structure.
    • Lease Agreement: Similar to mainland firms, proof of physical office space is necessary in Dubai.
    • Passport Copies and Visa Status: Copies of passports of all shareholders and details of their visa status.
    • No Objection Certificate (NOC): A letter from the local sponsor consenting to the expatriate partner’s involvement in the business.
    • Trade Name Reservation Certificate: Confirmation from the DED that the selected trade name is approved and reserved.

    Advantages of Company Formation in Dubai Mainland 

    Strategic Geographic Location

    Dubai’s strategic location between East and West makes it a great place for global business. Establishing a mainland company provides businesses with direct access to the local market as well as the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area.

    Full Ownership and Control

    Contrary to free zones where foreign ownership is limited, mainland companies allow entrepreneurs to have 100% ownership and full control of their businesses. This autonomy is a significant draw for investors looking to maintain a strong presence and influence in their companies.

    Access to a Diverse Market

    Operating within the mainland allows businesses to tap into the extensive local market, fostering connections with both government and private sectors. This direct engagement opens doors to a wide array of business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.

    No Currency Restrictions

    Mainland businesses are exempt from currency restrictions, offering complete freedom in financial transactions. This flexibility is invaluable for companies engaging in international trade and investment.

    Business Freedom and Flexibility

    Mainland companies enjoy the freedom to conduct various business activities without limitations. This adaptability helps business owners diversify their products and services, find new sources of income, and respond quickly to market demands.

    Read More: Benefits of Registering a Company in Dubai


    Mainland company formation in Dubai is a strategic move for entrepreneurs and investors aiming for sustainable growth and global success. The process offers a unique blend of local market access and international connectivity, coupled with the benefits of full ownership and control. Dubai’s business-friendly environment, government support, and robust infrastructure make it a desirable location for people wishing to start and expand their enterprises.


    Yes, Mainland company formation allows entrepreneurs to have 100% ownership and control of their businesses.

    The key documents include the Memorandum of Association, lease agreement, passport copies, No Objection Certificate (NOC), and the Trade Name Reservation Certificate.

    Mainland businesses enjoy the freedom to conduct various business activities without limitations, offering flexibility and adaptability to market demands.

    The timeline varies, but on average, the process takes several weeks, considering the approvals required from different governmental bodies.

    While there is a corporate tax rate, Dubai’s tax structure is business-friendly, with numerous exemptions and incentives provided to support business growth.