UAE Mainland Company Setup Services

Recently, there has been a change in business ownership laws in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Previously, foreign nationals could only own up to 49% of a business, but as of June 1st, 2021, they can now own 100%. This change is expected to result in increased economic growth and attract more investors to the region. In fact, the UAE has emerged as a prime location for investment globally.

Law No. (26) of 2020 amended Law No. (2) Of 2015 for commercial companies, allowing foreign investors 100% ownership and attracting a significant amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the UAE. This groundbreaking measure encompasses over 1,000 commercial activities. The law does not apply in central sectors like oil, gas, utilities and transport.

More overseas investments are now confidently pouring in the UAE and rightly so after HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum decided to allow 100% foreign ownership of mainland companies.

Business owners can now operate without an Emirati partner and immediately begin conducting business. While strategic sectors like oil and gas still require local partners, 100% foreign ownership of mainland UAE businesses presents a tremendous opportunity for foreign investors to tap into the country’s growth-machine economy.

What is a UAE Mainland Company?

A UAE Mainland Company is a licensed business operating in the mainland area of the UAE, governed by both the Federal Government and the individual emirate’s laws and regulations. It allows unrestricted trading within and outside the UAE, enabling businesses to undertake various activities and bid for government projects. In addition, UAE Mainland Companies have access to the local market and can operate throughout the UAE, including in free zones.

The UAE mainland comprises areas that are not classified as free zones and are governed by the federal government. Businesses operating in these areas are subject to regulations enforced by the government, including the UAE Commercial Companies Law. Major cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah are included in the mainland areas.

Horizon Biz Consultancy for Business Setup in Dubai Mainland

Several factors are involved when it comes to Dubai mainland business setup. At Horizon, we have been serving businesses setup successfully whether they are in the Free Zone or Mainland or Offshore. Several nuances matter, even more so, when you are starting out.

Our unique framework, strategic approach, working knowledge and onground experience gives you greater leverage to kickstart your business while keeping your dubai mainland company formation cost at optimum.

It is crucial to start with a professional so you can avoid the most common pitfalls that amateurs make when it’s about Dubai business license. As experienced mainland business setup consultants in Dubai, we have seen it all and are equipped with technical knowledge and strategic insights to help you take the best step forward.

the graph representing company setup in Dubai.

Moving Your Company from Free Zone to the Mainland

Moving a company from a free zone to the mainland in the UAE is a strategic coming-of-age exercise that many Free Zone Companies do. It is an indication that your business is ready to take on more challenges and expand. However, it can be a complex process which demands careful planning and execution. It is highly recommended to seek counsel from expert mainland business setup consultants in Dubai like Horizon Biz Consultancy for a smooth transition with minimal disruption.

It mainly involves:

  • Cancelling your existing Free Zone License and obtaining a No Objection Certification from Free Zone Authority.
  • Obtaining a New Trade License in Line with your Mainland Company Operations and Business Activities from the Department of Economic Development (DED) and your chosen Emirate
  • Hiring a Local Sponsor in certain cases or a Service Agent for making your move
  • Applying for Visas, updates with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) for any business changes related to Visas earlier issued
  • Asset and Employee Transfers to the Mainland Company

Get in touch with Horizon Biz Consultancy for a Free Consultation on moving your Free Zone company to Mainland business setup Dubai.

What are the Benefits of Mainland Business Setup Dubai UAE

Several benefits have increased after the new business ownership laws came into force. Interestingly, a resident visa is not compulsory, and no local sponsor is required at the time of formation of the company. Once the company is formed, one can apply for a resident visa that will be valid for three years. Later, one can also become the sponsor of their dependents.

Individuals, as well as multiple business owners/shareholders, can own a limited liability company in the mainland. Moreover, existing business companies can also change their structure of ownership according to the new laws.

In addition, native locals too will benefit. The minimum wage for nationals has been increased from AED 17,000 to AED 25,000, which accounts for a 40% hike than the western belt. This decision is expected to play a crucial role in addressing issues of unemployment.

The amended ownership laws include some new segments of commercial activities, such as gold, pearls, jewellery, luxury watches, cars, food, and general trading. Not only that, but having a Mainland Business Setup Dubai comes packed with its own benefits including but not limited to

  • Access to the local market and local infrastructure operating freely in the local market without restrictions.
  • Office can be setup anywhere in the city
  • Wide range of business activities including commercial, industrial, and professional services
  • Trading with local companies for access to greater markets and distribution channels
  • Open to bidding for government contracts as an additional revenue stream
  • No restrictions on the number of visas making it easier to hire and retain talent
  • No foreign currency restrictions for easier international business operations

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1. Target to trade with other mainland companies

2. Wider Scope of Business

3. Work along with government bodies

4. Market Presence

5. Financially viable

The key steps are name reservation, obtaining trade license, registering with DED & Ministry, appointing a local service agent, leasing office space, issuing entry permits, opening a bank account.

The main company structures are Limited Liability Company (LLC), civil company, one-person company, branch/representative office, and subsidiary of a foreign company.

If all documents are ready, getting a company registered takes 4-6 weeks typically. We offer express registration that can reduce this timeline.

As per latest rules, a Dubai mainland LLC requires a minimum of 1 shareholder and 1 director. Single and multi-member LLCs are now permitted.

 Key requirements are visa sponsorship, leasing office space as per license, registering with DED, opening a business bank account, accounting software setup

Main compliance includes license renewal, filing financial statements, submitting tax returns, meeting Emiratization targets if applicable.

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