A mainland company is an onshore company licensed by the Department of Economic Development (DED), and permitted to conduct business activities in its region as well as outside UAE. Mainland companies are directed by the Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 (the New Commercial Companies Law, (NCCL)), in effect from 1 July 2015. The NCCL replaces the previous Commercial Companies Law (UAE Federal Law No. 8 of 1984, as amended, (CCL)). Mainland companies are regulated by the UAE legal structure and government policies, and are located within the limitation of commercialized geographical areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Emirates government.
The Department of Economic Development is a business hub under the jurisdiction of the government of Dubai, UAE. DED was established in March 1992 with the primary objective of organizing and regulating the industry and trade in the Emirate of Dubai, and at the same time enriching the economic development and growth of Dubai & the UAE.
Benefits of Setting Up a Company in Mainland
Astutely thought enterprising initiatives, a plethora of tax incentives, abundance of natural resources like petroleum, and preclusion of double taxation have led to service, industry and trade sectors flourishing in the mainland, thus turning UAE mainland into a dynamic business hub.
The benefits of setting up a mainland company in the UAE are:
- There are no corporate or personal taxes if you form a company in the mainland
- There is no minimum capital required to start a business
- One gets the flexibility of conducting business in any part of the UAE
- There is no need of a local sponsor to get professional licences
- There are no limitations on getting employment visas, hence employee recruiting process can turn out to be quite simple
Procedure of Mainland Company Formation
As the first step in setting up a business in UAE mainland, a UAE national needs to be appointed as the local sponsor for your business. Nevertheless, the local sponsor would make an agreement that he would not have any involvement in the company operations or profit sharing of the mainland company setup in the UAE. Hence, the local sponsor is also referred to as a sleeping partner.
Talking about licences, for a professional licence, the investor can have 100% ownership, but a local service agent is still called for. This implies that the local service agent has no active part in the company business management, operations or profit sharing under a professional company. The local service agent instead acts as a figurehead representative, while drafting legal agreements and setting up other business documentation required in the UAE.
Requirements for Mainland Business Setup
When opening a business in UAE mainland, a verified office address from the Municipality is mandatory. The requirement of office space for mainland business setup can be varied based on the type of license the investor is interested in, and it is the investor’s responsibility to ensure that a valid tenancy contract for an office is available at the time of applying for the license of the company in UAE mainland.
There are certain activities to be conducted prior to a business setup in UAE mainland that require special approvals from few specific government departments. The 6 main steps/approvals required are:
- Business activity selection and name approval
- Selection of local partner or service agent
- Application for initial approval for mainland company setup
- Preparation of court notarization and MOA (Memorandum of Association)
- Getting office space and tenancy contact
- Final submission for mainland company formation
- Collection of licences from the judicial bodies
UAE mainland is indeed a lucrative location option when it comes to business setup, from the standpoint of infrastructure, facilities, connectivity, workforce, tax savings and business milieu. We at Business Setup Worldwide can help you minimize your business liability when setting up your dream business in the UAE. We have the resources and expertise to handle everything you need for business setup in UAE mainland. Our team has comprehensive knowledge of local affairs, and will help you handle documentation/paperwork formalities, strategize your business plan, and evaluate the structure that best suits your business requirements without any hassles.