8 Easy Steps to Start a Company in Dubai Mainland

8 Easy Steps to Start a Company in Dubai Mainland

Are you thinking of starting a business in Dubai? Well, you have chosen one of the best business ecosystems in the world for your new endeavor. Dubai is more than a mere city of architectural marvels- it is currently the most fertile grounds for new businesses. There is no question that one can find a lot of potentials to be tapped here in Dubai. So, if you are eager to set up your enterprise, this article will help explain what you need to know and do to get your company registered and off the ground.

As you already know, there are three main business jurisdictions in Dubai, UAE. They are;

  1. Mainland
  1. Free Zone
  1. Offshore

Each jurisdiction has its own procedure and law to start a business. Today, let us know more about Dubai Mainland and how to go about setting up a business there.

Procedure to Set up a Business in Mainland Dubai

If you want to commence your operations in this jurisdiction, you have to register your company with the Department of Economic Development (DED). Let us now understand the step-by-step procedure to establish a company in Dubai Mainland.

1.Select a Business Category

The first and foremost step of commencing a business is to choose a business category. If you are confused about it or cannot find your type in the official lists of business activities as provided by DED, you can inquire directly at their official website.

2.Choose a Business Structure

Dubai offers many business structures to its businesses to choose from. This will help you in selecting a proper valid license for the business. The corporate entities provided are as follows;

3.Register a Business Name

This is an important part of the entire setting-up-a-business cycle. You must select a trade name that matches the kind of services your company plans to offer. You then have to register the trade name by paying the fees within 72 hours of receiving the voucher.

4.Get an Initial Approval

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

5.Draft MoA

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

6.Rent an Office Space

It’s now time to find an office space in Dubai as all businesses in the city require an actual physical office address. You need to get Ejari attestation; you will need your initial approval certificate along with your tenancy agreement and other documents. Once you obtain Ejari, you can go ahead with further procedures.

7.Obtain a Business License

After completing the steps above, you need to submit all the documents to DED in the in the respective emirate and finalize the due payments. Then, you can get your business license. Also, depending on the type of business you are setting up (for example, a business type out of control of the DED) you might have to apply for additional licenses from your business type’s governing body.

8.Chamber Membership

You need to apply to become a member of the chamber of commerce in the emirate you operate in, before you can commence with your business activity.

Required Documents

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

Why set up a Business in Mainland?

Dubai Mainland provides humongous opportunities to its entrepreneurs if they set up their business in the jurisdiction. Apart from free access to do business in any part of the world and the UAE, here are a few benefits one can get from Dubai Mainland business setup;

  • No limitation in visas
  • Flexibility to rent office anywhere
  • No limitations in office space requirement
  • Great opportunity to expand by forming branches
  • New permit to grow the business in the mainland without establishing branch office
  • No minimum capital investment required
  • Permission to undertake government projects
  • Easy accessibility of office space

Dubai’s local economy is shaping up to be amongst the most prosperous in the UAE. With so many new projects and industries being developed by the local authorities, having your very own business entity in Dubai will undoubtedly lead you to better fortunes in the near future. And we at Business Setup Worldwide can help you in shaping your future by helping you in the business setup process. Contact us today- we’d be happy to assist you.


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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