What Is A Mainland Company In Dubai?
Mainland companies are companies registered with the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the United Arab Emirates. Mainland companies enjoy a lot of advantages that make them a favorable investment choice for many investors and ambitious startups wishing to grow their businesses and expand their work sectors.
Setting up a mainland business in Dubai allows you to do business across Dubai and the United Arab Emirates in addition to the GCC countries. The formation of a mainland company also allows you to expand your business by opening new branches, hiring more employees, taking part in tenders, government projects and many other benefits.
Sole proprietorships, civil companies, limited liability companies LLC, representative offices of foreign companies, branches of free zone companies and branches of companies based in the UAE are the types of business companies that can be registered in mainland Dubai. Limited liability companies (LLC) are the most common in the local market of the United Arab Emirates.
Limited Liability Company Setup in Dubai
Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the standard form of company in the UAE mainland and the most common. LLC licenses are issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), which is the government body authorized of license issuance for mainland company registration and activities regulation.
Although the new UAE Commercial Companies Law allows setting up an LLC company in Dubai with one shareholder, it is common for these companies to be formed with a minimum of 2 shareholders. Since this type of company setup requires foreign investors to have a local partner with 51 per cent of the company's shares for specific activities, it's usually formed with a minimum of 2 shareholders. While the maximum number of shareholders allowed for an LLC company is 50.
Advantages Of Setting Up An LLC Company In Dubai
- The limited liability company allows business owners to carry out their business activities anywhere within the United Arab Emirates and the GCC countries without any restrictions or location limitations
- There is no restriction on owning or leasing properties
- There are no limitations on the number of visas that can be obtained under an LLC
- There is no minimum capital requirement
How To Set Up An LLC In Dubai?
The first step of setting up your company in Dubai is to choose the activity that matches your company's business the most from the activities presented by the Department of Economic Development. Whether it is commercial, industrial, professional or craftsmanship. You can choose the activity of your company from more than 2000 options of commercial activities offered by the Department of Economic Development.
Limited Liability Companies (LLC) require a partner who is a citizen of the United Arab Emirates or one of the GCC countries depending on the activity of your company, as some activities do not require a partner but only a service agent. Foreign and professional companies require the appointment of a service agent.
Steps to Form an LLC company in Dubai go as follows:
- Choosing the name of the new company, make sure that it’s unique and relatable to your business activity
- Choosing your local partner if applicable
- Registering your company with the DED, Department of Economic Development
- Preparing the Memorandum of Association or Service Agent Contract and getting it attested by the notary public in Dubai
- Obtaining external approvals from the relevant government agencies
- Submitting the completed documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED) and issuing the trade license
What types of business can an LLC company operate in?
Investors can hold an LLC license of one of 3 types of business: commercial, professional, and industrial.
All types of trading activities fall under this category. With an LLC license, almost any product can be imported and exported to Dubai. Excluding products that require approvals from other government agencies, such as jewelry trade, magazines and newspapers.
Services and crafts fall under the professions category. It is the easiest type of license and should only include professional activities. New investors usually prefer this type because of its low cost and fast processing times compared to other types of license issuance.
Manufacturing activities fall under the industrial category. The license location must be a warehouse or factory. Industrial activities require approvals that include: the Ministry of Economy, Civil Defense, the Municipality and others.
How to get an industrial License in Dubai?
With the superior logistical facilities and services and the solid ground that Dubai provides, in addition to being a commercial center that enjoys a geographical location between the East and West and forms a link between them, it provides investors in the industrial field with the best location to set up their business.
- To obtain an industrial license in Dubai, you need to register your company with the Department of Economic Development DED.
- The activities that fall under the industrial license in Dubai include production, separation, assembly, packaging, etc.
- The industrial license requires a physical warehouse within the UAE.
100% Ownership in Dubai mainland for foreign investors
A foreign company owned entirely by a foreign investor can be established in mainland Dubai when any of the following cases are present:
Establishing a professional services company:
A foreign investor can have 100% ownership of their company in Dubai that offers professional services without the need for a local partner. However, licensing a professional services company owned completely by a foreign investor requires a local service agent who facilitates government services for a fixed annual fee without owning any shares in the company. The service agent can be a person, who is a UAE citizen, or an entity (a UAE company, where all partners are UAE nationals).
Establishing a branch of an overseas company:
Investors who have their own active companies in their countries can open a subsidiary company as an expansion of their business to develop their activity in the United Arab Emirates. Opening an overseas branch in mainland Dubai does not require a local partner but a local service agent. Provided that the company's branch is active in the field of business in which the mother company is active.
Establishing a branch of a free zone company:
A foreign investor can set up a branch of their free zone company with 100 per cent ownership without the need for a local partner but a local service agent.