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How to Start a Mainland Company in Dubai?

Dubai is one of the most sought-after destinations for entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the Middle East. With its favorable tax policies, business-friendly environment, and excellent infrastructure, Dubai offers a plethora of opportunities for businesses of all sizes. One of the most popular options for starting a business in Dubai is to obtain a mainland license. In this article, we will explain what a mainland license is, the benefits of having one, and the steps involved in setting up a mainland company in Dubai.

What is a Mainland License in Dubai?

A mainland license in Dubai refers to a license issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) for businesses operating within the mainland area of Dubai. With a mainland license, businesses have the advantage of operating in any location within Dubai, as opposed to being restricted to specific free zones. Licenses have to be renewed on a yearly basis and are always a fixed amount, regardless of the revenue the company makes,

Benefits of Having a Mainland License in Dubai

  • 100% Ownership: Since the beginning of 2022 a mainland license allows also for 100% foreign ownership of the business. This means that you have complete control over your company and can make all decisions without the need for a local sponsor.

  • Wide Range of Activities: A mainland license allows you to carry out a wide range of activities and offers more flexibility compared to other business license options in Dubai.

  • Access to Dubai’s Market: With a mainland license, you have the opportunity to tap into Dubai’s vast market and reach a larger customer base.

  • Low Corporate Tax: The United Arab Emirates will introduce a Corporate Income TAX on June 1st, 2023. This amounts to only 9% on the taxable profit.

Steps Involved in Setting up a Mainland Company in Dubai

  1. Choose a Business Activity: The first step in setting up a mainland company in Dubai is to choose a business activity. This will determine the type of license and legal structure required for your business.

  2. Choose a Legal Structure: The next step is to choose a legal structure for your business. The most common legal structures for mainland companies in Dubai include Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole Establishment, and Branch Office.

  3. Obtain Approvals and Licenses: Once you have chosen your business activity and legal structure, you will need to obtain the necessary approvals and licenses from the relevant authorities, including the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Dubai Municipality.

  4. Register with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce: The next step is to register your company with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, which is a government body responsible for promoting trade and commerce in Dubai.

  5. Secure Office Space: You will need to secure office space for your mainland company in Dubai, either by renting or buying.

  6. Apply for Residency Visas: If you plan to live and work in Dubai, you will need to apply for residency visas for yourself and any other employees.

  7. Open a Bank Account: Finally, you will need to open a bank account in Dubai to handle the financial transactions of your company.

Find the right partner that helps you through out this process

An experienced business setup consultant in Dubai, like Flag Strategies, can guide you through the process and ensure that everything is done correctly. Here are some of the key reasons why using the right consultant is so important:

  • Knowledge of Local Regulations: Business setup consultants in Dubai have a thorough understanding of the local laws and regulations, and can help you navigate the process of obtaining approvals and licenses from the relevant authorities. They can also advise you on the best legal structure for your business, based on your specific needs and goals.

  • Saving Time and Money: Working with a consultant can save you time and money in the long run, as they can handle all of the administrative tasks involved in setting up a mainland company in Dubai. This allows you to focus on growing your business, while they take care of the rest.

  • Access to Resources: Business setup consultants have access to a network of resources, including lawyers, accountants, and office space providers, that can be extremely valuable when starting a business in Dubai.

  • Avoiding Mistakes: Starting a business is a big investment, and making mistakes can be costly. A good consultant can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that your company is set up correctly from the start.


Starting a mainland company in Dubai with a mainland license offers numerous benefits, including 100% foreign ownership, access to Dubai’s market, and the ability to carry out a wide range of activities. The process of setting up a mainland company in Dubai can seem daunting, but with the help of experienced business setup consultants in Dubai, it can be a smooth and straightforward process. Whether you’re looking to start a small business or expand your existing operation, Dubai is the ideal destination to establish a successful business. At Flag Strategies, we will provide you with comprehensive support throughout the entire process of starting a mainland company in Dubai. From selecting the right license activity and establishing your business, to opening your bank accounts, we will be there to ensure that every step is carried out successfully. Our goal is to help you get your business up and running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.



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