Mainland Company Setup in UAE

A mainland company is the one that is established within the boundaries of the country with a purpose of trade. These companies are also known as onshore companies. In a booming economy like UAE’s, onshore companies are extremely beneficial for any kind of business.

A mainland company is unique as it offers freer will. Unlike free zone companies, a mainland company setup in UAE is different. You can set up a mainland company office anywhere in the whole country and continue the trade.

Types of licenses:

Commercial license: A commercial license is a general license required to carry out any business activity. It allows the exchange of goods within and outside the country.

Professional license: If a skill-based business activity needs to be carried out, then a professional license is required. This is for individuals like accountants, lawyers, consultants etc.

Industrial license: Any firm that deals with factory related business activity needs to have an industrial license. This license is for enterprises dealing with industrial work and trade.

Features of a mainland company setup:

A mainland company setup allows you to have a lot of freedom and flexibility with simpler procedures. If you select a suitable location for carrying out all business activities, then the chances of a successful business become higher. A mainland company is governed and regulated by the Department of Economic Development at regular intervals of time.

Benefits of mainland company setup in UAE:

1. Freedom and flexibility: One of the top features of a mainland company is its allowance to carry out a legal business activity without any restrictions.

2. International free will: A business, if done right, has no limits. If you have plans to expand any business in the future, then a mainland company can be the right choice. A mainland company gives freedom to the business to grow globally.

3. Recruitment free will: Many business owners consider this as the best feature of mainland companies due to zero limitation on the number of visas. Although each visa requires an office space of 100 square feet, there is no fixed number attached to how many visas one can apply for in the mainland companies. You can increase the efficiency of your business by recruiting the most suitable employee from any part of the world.

4. Expanding business opportunities: If you are a beginner planning to increase the number of products or services attached to your business, then a mainland license can be useful. A mainland company allows you to add the number of products in your business at any phase of it and make it flourish.

5. Aligning with the UAE or GCC government to trade: Another notable feature of a mainland company is that you can join hands with the UAE government if your business activities match their requirements. The requirements can vary from project to project that a government conducts and hence, you may have a great business opportunity at any point in future.

6. No amount of fixed minimum capital required: This feature makes the mainland company highly affordable. Unlike other business structures, a mainland company does not have any minimum capital requirement. You can start with whatever desired amount you want to.

Steps to start a mainland company:

Clarity and Identification of business activity: The first step to form a mainland company is identifying the activities your business will carry out or serve. You can always select these activities based on your earlier experience or through good consultancy.

• Selection of legal form: The second step to a mainland company startup is selecting a legal form. This form may vary depending on the requirements of the business. It is a basic document which states the identification of laws and regulations that are applicable.

• Registration of trade name: One of the most crucial steps to form a mainland company is to conclude a name for your business. This name must be selected keeping in mind some basic laws. These rules include no name based on any religion, existing trade, or government body/authority. Another rule is to have an acronym at the end based on the business structure like LLC, PJSC etc.

• Getting the initial approval: Fourth step of starting a mainland company in UAE is getting the initial approval. Once the trade name is registered, the initial approval must be obtained from the government of UAE. The approval should indicate that there is no objection regarding the business you wish to carry out. And after this, you need to move ahead for further formalities.

• Draft of the legal documents: Drafting one of the two major documents: MOA or LSA is necessary. MOA stands for Memorandum of Association whereas LSA stands for Local Service Agent. This draft depends upon the business structure like LLC, PJSC etc. Law firms based in UAE, court or any other legal notary public can take this procedure ahead.

• Selection of business location: The importance of having a business location is immense in a mainland company. This becomes physical proof of the business which is governed by the Department of Economic Development of UAE.

• Acquiring additional approvals: Further approvals from different government bodies are required. These bodies are listed below:

Approval of Ministry of Economy
Approval of Ministry of Justice
Approval of Ministry of Interior
Approval of Supreme Petroleum Council
Approval of Executive Council
Approval of Local Municipal Department
Approval of Local Health Department
Approval of Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

• Trading License OR General Trading License

It enables trading actions that also include export, import, allocation, inventory, warehouse management of products, and other such trading actions as are stipulated in the Trading License (Category List).
KIZAD will concern a general trading permit if one requires to make a deal in more than 17 products or more than three groups.

• Obtaining the issued business license: After completing the above-mentioned process, issuance business license takes place.

• Paying the fees: To have a trade license, you will have to pay the fees within the span of 30 days. If you fail to do so, your application will be cancelled.

Our Recent blogs

Contact Us


This depends on the business structure and features you are comparing mainland companies with. In terms of freedom to trade and expansion of business opportunities, mainland companies are one of the best options out there.
No, there is not any amount of corporate tax applicable on the mainland companies, but foreign banks, petrochemicals and gas branches of the companies need to pay the tax.
There are three major licenses:
• Professional License
• Industrial License
• Commercial License

While starting a mainland company is highly beneficial and efficient in terms of business, it may take some planning and guidance like every other business structure. Hence, the Business Setup HQ team focuses on solving the problems surrounding it and guides the way through it. Within the first call itself, you get the correct and detailed consultancy regarding your aim and business structure.