Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi: All you need to know

Abu Dhabi is an attractive destination for foreign and local investors. Companies from UAE, GCC, and other foreign nations are keen to invest in this Emirate owing to several benefits it offers. Abu Dhabi allows you to set up a company in the free zone, mainland, or offshore. Today, this blog will explain the mainland company formation in Abu Dhabi.

Business Setup HQ has years of experience in business setup services across the UAE and other countries. We help you with a detailed understanding of mainland company formation in Abu Dhabi. We explain the process, benefits, and how we can help you set up a business in Abu Dhabi.

So, let’s get deep down into the topic.

Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi: All you need to know

Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi: An Overview

If you want to form a company in an advanced and progressing Emirate of UAE, Abu Dhabi is the right place. It has a top-quality infrastructure and related facilities for its residents. Also, the strategic location makes it a preferred destination among global businesses and investors.

Setting up a business in mainland Abu Dhabi is beneficial because of the following reasons:

  • The registration and licensing procedures are fast.
  • The validity of the trade license is for a longer duration.
  • You do not have to bear many taxes.
  • The annual renewal process has several discounts.

Explore these benefits by setting up your business in Abu Dhabi.

Who can form a Mainland Company in Abu Dhabi?

Anyone from the UAE, GCC, or foreign countries can form a mainland company in Abu Dhabi.

Investors have an option of establishing a business in any of the 2,000 or more business activities possible in Abu Dhabi:

  • Import-export
  • Consultancy services
  • Real estate
  • Construction
  • Travel and tourism
  • Freelancing
  • E-commerce
  • Healthcare
  • And many more

If you are a craftsperson, artisan, or an expert in some creative arts, you can get a professional license. A commercial license Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi allows you to engage in retail, construction, healthcare, real estate, transportation, trading, communications, or broadcast.

If you want to engage in manufacturing-specific activities, industrial-related businesses, or natural material processing, you must get an industrial license. A tourism license is also available for expertise in travel and tourism.

Legal Structures Allowed for Abu Dhabi Mainland Companies

For Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi, the government allows you the following legal structures:

Sole Establishment

An establishment with a single owner. The owner is responsible for all the liabilities of the company.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC can have a minimum of two and a maximum of 50 shareholders. Each partner must bear the company’s liabilities based on the percentage of shareholding in the company. LLC is one of the most common forms of business structure in mainland Abu Dhabi.

Public joint stock company

A public joint stock company divides the capital into equal-value negotiable shares. Herein, each member has to bear the responsibility of the company’s liabilities per their share in the capital. Such a company can raise more capital from the market by selling stock later. Generally, insurance, banking, and financial services businesses form a public joint stock company.

Private joint stock company

A private joint stock company is like a public joint stock company, but there are differences in share capital requirements.  Also, you cannot raise capital from the public offering.

Branch of a foreign company

A foreign company can open its branch office in Abu Dhabi. It can receive a trade license for its parent company’s activities.

Representative office

Foreign investors can also be present in Abu Dhabi through a representative office. It can only engage in a foreign company’s promotion and marketing activities. No permission to engage in its daily activities.

Professional firm

If you want to engage in professional activities in the area of your expertise, you can form a professional firm in mainland Abu Dhabi. These can be 100% foreign-owned, provided you appoint a local service agent.

Benefits of Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has huge oil resources. These resources make it one of the wealthiest Emirates in the UAE. Industrial, trade, travel, property investment, and hospitality are some of the strongest sectors. That is why many businesses and entrepreneurs want to set up their business base in Abu Dhabi.

Forming a business in mainland Abu Dhabi gives you the following advantages:

  • You can have several employee visas for one business, which depends on the size of the office.
  • You have a wide range of options in business activity types.
  • You have several options of affordable locations for setting up your office or renting in mainland Abu Dhabi.
  • More countries have permission to have their investors form a business or work on employee visas in Abu Dhabi.
  • You can engage in contracts with several government-owned companies having their national headquarters in this Emirate.
  • You can enjoy easy access to an international airport and three seaports, connecting you to two-thirds of the global countries. It is a major attraction point for trading companies.
  • Abu Dhabi is a well-developed Emirate of UAE, with many MNCs, SMEs, and businesses in diverse sectors. So, by forming your company in Abu Dhabi, you will get access to a large and evolving market.
  • This Emirate gives accessibility to a diverse set of skilled workforce.
  • It also offers you the benefits of a less restrictive regulatory and compliance framework. Also, the administrative procedures are simple and straightforward.
  • A stable political environment, advanced infrastructure, and top-class facilities are significant drivers for investors.
  • You can enjoy 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
  • The government also offers many incentives to emerging businesses and new entrepreneurs.
  • You can obtain two-year licenses at reduced costs in Abu Dhabi.

Contemplating establishing a company in mainland Abu Dhabi?

Contact our business advisors right away!

Benefits of Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi

Generally, the UAE has a generalized standard process of company formation in mainland areas. The difference lies only in the free zones.

So, for mainland company formation in Abu Dhabi, you must follow the below steps:

Step 1: Selecting the type of activity for Mainland Company in Abu Dhabi:

You must choose one or more activities you want to engage in as a business. The choice of the business activity determines the fee amount for license and legal procedures. You have the options of:

  • Trading
  • Media and marketing services
  • IT services
  • Entertainment
  • Consultancy services
  • Industrial warehousing
  • Publication
  • Education, learning, and training
  • Banking and financial services

Step 2: Finding a local sponsor

Some business activities do not need a local sponsor for Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi, as 100% FDI is allowed in them. You must find a local sponsor for activities where 100% FDI is not allowed. An individual of at least 21 years or a company incorporated in UAE can be a local sponsor.

Step 3: Selecting the legal structure

The second step involves selecting the right legal structure for your business. You can select the legal form depending on your business activity and preferences.

Step 4: Registering the trade name

In the third step, you must select a few possible names for your business. You must follow the naming convention rules of Abu Dhabi before selecting such a name. Also, the name must justify the business activity you will engage in. Register the trade name with the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Step 5: Obtaining approvals from relevant authorities

Now, you must prepare all the necessary documentation for submission to the relevant authorities. These documents are the necessary evidence these authorities need. With these proof documents, you can get approvals from the DED, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or any other authorities.

Step 6: Finalizing an office location

Once you get the necessary approvals, you must draft the Memorandum of Association and Local Service Agreement. Also, you must select an office location for owning or taking it on rent. It must comply with the local municipality’s land planning regulations and DED’s standards.

Step 7: Issuing business license

Once you obtain all approvals, you can get a license from DED. DED checks all your documents and approvals and gives you the business license after proper consideration.

What are the Documents Required for Abu Dhabi Mainland Company Formation?

The following are the documents necessary for mainland company formation in Abu Dhabi:

  • A filled-up application form
  • Proof of trade name registration
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Articles of Association
  • Business plan
  • Business location’s schematic drawing
  • Bank reference letter
  • Each shareholder’s passport copies
  • Each shareholder’s proof of residence
  • Each shareholder’s details
  • Copy of the leasing contract

In the case of a branch or representative office, you must also submit the parent company’s translated company registration or license documents.

Business Setup HQ's Abu Dhabi Mainland Company Formation Service

This blow gives you all the details for mainland company formation in Abu Dhabi. Now, you can proceed with the process. It is an easy process, and you can manage it on your own. But to ensure an accurate and smooth process, it is best to engage a business setup specialist.

Business Setup HQ provides all professional services needed to form a business in the UAE. We help you at every step of the procedure as well as the documentation arrangements. Be it finding office space, trade name options, getting necessary approvals, or registration, we handle it all.

On partnering with us, you get a detailed consultation for your business. We analyze your activity, suggest the right legal structure and license, and help with the registration. After you get the license, we also help with visa approvals and bank account opening. Thus, you can enjoy our knowledge of local regulations and experience in the business setup process.

Let us be your guiding light for the company setup expedition in Abu Dhabi.

Connect to our strategic consultants for an assessment of your requirements.

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