10 Essential Steps for Company Formation in Dubai Mainland

How to Successfully Initiate Company Formation in Dubai Mainland

The process of establishing a business in Dubai Mainland entails a structured sequence of steps, each required for a successful company setup. Thoroughly considering the nuances and complying with legal requirements is a technical must for the smooth establishment of a business in Dubai Mainland. There are key steps when it comes to planning your company formation in Dubai Mainland. Learn these essential ways to successfully make your own business venture.

  1. Define Your Business Activity

    Economic licenses cover a wide range of activities, with over 2,000 opportunities available in the UAE. The kind of your company’s operation determines the sort of license you’ll acquire, which is divided into six categories: Occupational, Commercial, Tourism, Agricultural, Industrial, and Professional.

  2. Decide on Your Company’s Legal Structure

    Your business structure aligns with your specific needs and determines the legal frameworks and regulations your company must comply with in the UAE.

  3. Register Your Trade Name

    The trade name is essential, requiring uniqueness and distinctiveness from any other registered company. Application for a trade name can be made via the chosen emirate’s Department of Economic Development, either online, through their application, or in person.

  4. Apply for Initial Approval

    This next step garners the UAE Government’s nod for establishing your business, allowing progression to subsequent setup phases. However, it doesn’t grant immediate permission for business operations or activity.

  5. Prepare LSA or MOA

    A Memorandum of Association (MOA) is required for certain legal company formation, whereas a local service agent agreement (LSA) is required for a sole proprietorship establishment.

  6. Select Your Business Location

    Every UAE business needs a physical address complying with emirate-specific Department of Economic Development stipulations and local zoning regulations. In Dubai, the tenancy contract must be registered through the Dubai Land Department’s Ejari portal.

  7. Seek Additional Government Approvals

    Certain business activities necessitate supplementary approvals from respective government entities, such as transport, legal, consultancy, architectural, engineering, telecommunication, and healthcare services, among others.

  8. Submit Required Documentation

    This step entails submitting the initial approval receipt, previously furnished document copies, attested copy of the lease contract, necessary memoranda of association, and any mandated approvals from external entities.

  9. Fee Payment and License Collection

    Customers may acquire their business license after paying their fees at economic department service locations or through their internet portal.

  10. Chamber of Commerce and Industry Registration

    Register your company in the same emirate where it was formed.

Company Formation Cost in Dubai Mainland

Here’s an in-depth look at the expenses involved in company formation in Dubai mainland, essential for any investor considering establishing a business in this region.

The overall company formation cost in Dubai mainland hinges on multiple factors: the business’s nature, visa requisites, and the expenses related to procuring or leasing office space. The initiation of a company formation in Dubai encompasses compulsory government charges involving notarial, licensing, and registration fees at government departments, often necessitating legal translations.

These charges may take the form of either one-time payments or recurring annual expenses. An additional obligatory fee incumbent upon the investor is the Investor Visa fee, necessitating renewal every three years. Additionally, annual sponsorship fees, one-time legal charges, and commercial property expenses, along with the visa cost per person, add to the financial commitments.

Moreover, there exists a one-time fee for securing the initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED) for obtaining the business license, crucial for commencing operations. Concurrently, upon selecting a business name, the investor incurs another one-time fee.

The company formation in Dubai alongside setting up a bank account incurs varied costs contingent upon the types of accounts required and the array of options offered by the bank for investors.

Upon comprehensive evaluation of these aspects, an approximate expenditure of AED 15,000 is anticipated for the company formation cost in Dubai mainland, inclusive of all associated costs.

Differences Between Freezone and Mainland Businesses in Dubai

Mainland businesses in Dubai have greater operational freedom but require local ownership, whereas free zones allow for foreign ownership and special tax benefits but have operational constraints.

Differentiating between Freezone and Mainland businesses in Dubai is crucial in determining the best arrangement for your company formation. Mainland enterprises provide greater operational independence within the UAE market but must be owned locally. This setup enables corporations to engage directly with the local market, bid on government projects, and operate throughout the UAE.

On the contrary, Freezone entities allow for foreign ownership as well as special tax advantages. They are located in defined zones and provide reduced customs processes as well as full profit repatriation.

Dubai Mainland License Activities

Mainland businesses in Dubai encompass a diverse spectrum of activities, catering to various industries and services. These activities span across commercial, industrial, tourism-related, and professional services, among others. Setting up a company formation in Dubai Mainland allows for a wide array of operations, enabling entrepreneurs to engage in trading, manufacturing, consultancy, tourism, healthcare, logistics, and numerous other sectors.

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai offers detailed classifications of business activities, enabling entrepreneurs to choose from a comprehensive list. Each activity falls under specific categories, guiding businesses in obtaining the relevant licenses and permissions required for their operations.

Here is the official website of one of the business consultants in Dubai, providing comprehensive information on business activities and legal requirements. This authoritative domain offers detailed insights and guidance for entrepreneurs initiating company formation in Dubai Mainland.

Legal Forms Identifying Applicable Laws and Regulations in Company Formation in Dubai Mainland

Recognizing the legal paperwork and the associated rules and regulations plays an important role in company formation in Dubai Mainland. There are twelve basic legal forms that control corporate organization and governance:

Sole Proprietorship– Held by one person and is governed by the UAE Commercial Transactions Law.

Civil Company- Under the UAE Civil Transactions Law, this type is for professionals such as lawyers or consultants, providing for joint ownership as well as shared liability.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)- Governed by the UAE Commercial Companies Law and allows participants to share ownership with limited liabilities.

Public and Private Shareholding Company– Governed by the UAE Commercial Companies Law, private company allows stockholders to have limited liability, and public shareholding company has its shares listed on the stock exchange.

Partnership Company– Authorized by the UAE Commercial Companies Law and works under a partnership agreement in which partners share earnings and liabilities.

Branch of a Foreign Company– Overseen by the UAE Commercial Companies Law, it’s an extension of a foreign parent company with its liabilities.

Representative Office– Governed by specific regulations, it allows foreign companies to explore the market without engaging in commercial activities.

Branch of a UAE Company– An extension of a local company and operates under the same regulations as the parent company.

Free Zone Establishment (FZE)– Governed by free zone regulations, this form allows sole ownership within designated free zones.

Free Zone Company (FZCO)– Similar to FZE, but with multiple shareholders allowed, operating within free zone jurisdictions.

Offshore Company– Operates under the rules of offshore jurisdictions, with limitations on conducting business within the UAE.


Planning a company formation in Dubai Mainland provides unique future potential but traversing its legal framework can be difficult. Aspiring entrepreneurs entering the Dubai business setting may be daunted by the rigorous laws and regulations that regulate mainland activities. In establishing a company formation in Dubai Mainland, the expertise of a business advisor is needed because understanding its regulatory structure can be complex. The strict laws and regulations that govern mainland activity could deter aspiring entrepreneurs from joining the Dubai business setting.
Dubai Mainland follows a different set of restrictions than free zones, which typically entices companies due to their perceived ease of operation. However, the benefits of doing business on the mainland are equally important, with unlimited access to a larger market.

  • Understanding Legalities: Advisors simplify the process by ensuring that entrepreneurs understand the regulations involved and assisting them through the actions required for compliance.
  • License Acquisition: Securing the right licenses for your business is a necessity. Advisors help in determining the appropriate licenses required for specific business activities and assist in obtaining them efficiently.
  • Local Partnerships: A local partner or sponsor is required for certain business structures. Advisors can assist in identifying trustworthy local partners or in proposing alternative legal structures that minimize this obligation.
  • Compliance and Regulations: Compliance with local rules and regulations is obligatory. Business consultants provide regular support to entrepreneurs to ensure they are aware of any changes and comply with the changing legal situation.
  • Cultural Insights: Understanding the local culture and business etiquette is vital for success. Advisors provide insight into local cultures and conventions, promoting smoother corporate operations and strengthening community partnerships.

Dubai’s Mainland offers a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking to establish a robust presence in the region. However, the complexities demand meticulous planning and expertise, making the guidance of an accredited legal business advisor invaluable. By partnering with Adam Global who is well-versed in the nuances of Dubai’s business landscape, entrepreneurs can confidently pursue the complex of company formation setup, ensuring a smoother and more successful venture in Dubai mainland.