8 Easy Steps to Start a Company in Dubai Mainland

steps to start a company in dubai mainland

Are you considering initiating a business setup in Dubai? If so, you have opted for one of your new venture's most dynamic business environments. If you’re enthusiastic about establishing your enterprise, this guide will outline the essential steps and information required to register your company and kickstart operations in Dubai.

Procedure for Incorporating a Company in Dubai Mainland

Here are the steps to mainland company formation in dubai.

  1. Select a Business Category

The primary step in starting a business is selecting a business category. The various categories available are listed below - 

  • Commercial Businesses

This is the most common type of company setup in Dubai. This type of mainland business licence is issued to businesses that engage in commercial practices such as trading, wholesale and retail distribution. 

  • Professional Businesses

This type of business provides professional services such as accounting, legal advice, engineering, consultancy, IT, medical and educational services.

  • Industrial

These businesses engage in manufacturing or processing activities. Industrial activities in Dubai Mainland are concentrated in specific zones such as JAFZA and Dubai Industrial City. 

  • Tourism

Dubai is a global tourism hub. An offshore business setup focusing on providing tourism-related services such as hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, tour operators, and entertainment facilities can be profitable. 

In addition to these main categories, there are other licences also such as healthcare, education and real estate. The Department of Economic Development is responsible for issuing all business licences in Dubai. 

  1. Choose a Business Structure

Dubai offers many business structures from which its businesses can choose. This will help you select a proper, valid licence for the business. The different business structures offered are as follows:

  • Sole Proprietorship

This is the easiest way to setup a company in Dubai. It is owned and controlled by a single individual who takes full responsibility for the debts.

  • Joint Venture & General Partnership 

In this, two or more entities (companies or individuals) come together to run a business, sharing profits and liabilities. 

  • Public Shareholding (Joint Stock Company)

These are Companies with shares sold to the public on a stock exchange with at least 51% ownership by UAE nationals. 

  • Private Shareholding (Limited Liability Company): 

This type of business structure has multiple owners (shareholders) who have limited liability for business debts (protected by their share investment).

  • Simple Partnership (Civil Company): 

This is similar to a general partnership but restricted to specific professional activities.

  • Professional Company

This type of business structure is similar to an LLC but restricted to professionals like doctors or lawyers, with some ownership limitations.

  1. Register a Business Name

Select a trade name that matches the services your business plans to offer. It is important to abide by local regulations and naming conventions while selecting the name. 

  1. Get an Initial Approval

At this point, you must obtain a ‘no-objection certificate from the DED for starting the business. If you intend to set up a company dealing with commodities, securities, or legal services, you will require additional approvals.

  1. Draft Memorandum of Association

After you get the approval, you will need to approach an authorised entity (like DED) to help you draft the Memorandum of Association and then sign your LSA or Corporate Agent Agreement. These requirements depend on the legal size of the business.

  1. Rent an Office Space

During company setup in Dubai, renting an office space is imperative. Businesses must have a registered address which can be a serviced office, co-working space or even a virtual office in some cases.

  1. Obtain a Business Licence

After completing the steps above, you need to submit all the documents to DED and finalise the due payments for mainland company setup in Dubai. Then, you can get your business licence. Depending on the type of business you are setting up, you might have to apply for additional licences from the concerned authorities.

  1. Chamber Membership

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) registration and a membership certificate are compulsory steps to legally operate a business in Dubai Mainland. It acts as a verification of the existence of your business. 

The following documents are required while registering with the DCCI

  • Passport copies of all the partners (not for a sole proprietorship)
  • Copy of Memorandum of Association
  • Approval from external departments
  • Name reservation Certificate
  • Certificate of initial approval
  • Tenancy contract

Following the mentioned steps, you will be able to set up a company in Dubai Mainland without any hindrances, but to avoid any hassle in the future, you can avail our assistance. 

How it would be a beneficial?

Dubai mainland provides numerous opportunities to entrepreneurs if they set up their businesses in the jurisdiction. Here are a few benefits one can get from availing:

1. Business Reach

Mainland companies have greater freedom to trade in the mainland UAE and they cannot trade with free zones. This allows them to directly access the entire Emirati market and participate in government tenders in the mainland.

2. Wider Talent Pool

Mainland companies have direct access to a larger, more diverse talent pool which will help in the proper running of the business.

3. Tax Advantages

While Dubai has a low corporate tax rate in general, there are also tax exemptions for certain mainland businesses with profits under a specific threshold.

4. Repatriation of Funds

There are no restrictions on the repatriation of capital and profits out of Dubai for mainland businesses.

Why Us?

At Business Setup Worldwide, we help you embark on your entrepreneurial journey in a hassle-free manner. A team of competent professionals will assist you in incorporating your business in Dubai.


What are the different types of licenses in Dubai mainland?

The types of licenses in Dubai mainland are,
Professional license
Commercial license
Industrial license
Tourism license

What are the mainland business setup jurisdictions in Dubai?

The mainland business setup jurisdictions in Dubai are,
Business Bay
Al Quoz
Al Qusais

Who issues a business license in Dubai mainland?

The Department of Economic Development issues a business license in Dubai mainland.

What is a Dubai mainland license?

All business commodities that come under commercial, professional, and sole establishment registered under the Dubai Economic Department (DED) are called Dubai mainland license.

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