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Setting up a mainland business in DUBAI UAE.

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Our business is to help you do your business, there are many steps that need to be taken to setup your mainland license business in Dubai UAE. A mainland business is a legal entity registered under the DED (Dubai Economic Department). Mainland registered businesses are permitted to trade freely in the UAE and GCC which gives it the added advantage in terms of growth and opportunities in comparison to a freezone entity. 

Having to set up your own business can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience for someone doing this for the first time. That's the reason why some things are best left to the professionals. Keep your mind clear and focused on your business, and leave the rest to us. Below are the steps needed to set up a mainland license in the UAE;

  • Finding a local sponsor to act as the service agent for your business in the UAE.  
  • Decide on a business license activity that best suits your business.
  • Trade name registration. 
  • Acquiring any initial and any special approvals if needed depending on the license and business activity. 
  • Getting an office space and acquiring inspection approval from the municipality. 
  • Getting a memorandum of association (MOA) notarized by the public notary (only for LLC company). 
  • Acquiring initial approval for trade license.   
  • Processing all documents and obtaining a payment voucher to pay for a trade license. 
  • Paying the trade license fee. 
  • Applying for and obtaining an establishment card.  
  • Visa processing for partners and employees. 

We can ensure a smooth and stress-free process. All the processing and arrangements will be done by our experts. 

Essential documents needed:

  • Valid passport copy of intended business owner.
  • Valid passport copy of intended business partners for LLCs only.
  • Certified copy of tenancy contract  for office space.
  • Passport copy, Emirates ID, and family book (Khulasat-alqaid) for local sponsor. 
  • Attested memorandum of association (MOA) for LLCs only.
  • Stamped visa from the Immigration department.
  • Trade name certificate 



Be your own Boss!

Every market is different but there is always an angle to get your foot in the door and make your mark. With the right market research and strategies applied you can be the wolf of your wall street, and have that added competitive advantage needed to be one of the game changers and trendsetters of your industry. 

Being an entrepreneur and and owning your own business has become a norm in Dubai. With it's fast pace and ever growing economy there is always opportunities for new innovative ideas, businesses to flourish and succeed.

Our team is always available for business consultancy and strategic planning that will blow your competition away.



Sole Establishment

A sole establishment is owned by a single owner (sole proprietor) who is the owner of 100% of the establishment. A non-UAE national or non-GCC national can appoint a UAE national to be a local service agent for the establishment. The local agent will be paid an annual fee (sponsorship fee) for representing the establishment in liaising with government entities in the areas of licenses and labor approvals. 

Things to know:

  • Full Control
  • Sole Profit Recipient
  • No Capital
  • Easy setup and closure
  • Sole Risk Bearer
  • Maximum 1 manager can be appointed 
  • Unlimited Liability

Sole Establishment LLC

The Sole establishment LLC is very similar in nature to the Sole Establishment license. The main difference would be that a Sole Establishment LLC’s owner’s liability is limited to the amount invested in the business and he/she is legally distinct from that establishment. 

Things to know:

  • Full Contro.l
  • Sole Profit Recipient.
  • Sole Risk Bearer.
  • Easy setup and closure.
  • Maximum 11 managers can be appointed. 
  • Limited Liability.

Civil Company

A civil company is basically a business partnership for professionals, and the share holders of the civil company can be of any nationality. A local service agent is needed in the case that none of the shareholders are UAE nationals or GCC nationals. The local service agent is paid a yearly sponsorship fee for his involvement with the company and assists with acquiring the needed documents and approvals from governments entities in regards to labor, immigration and business licensing. A civil company is 100 percent owned by its shareholders and does not require a minimum capital to set up.  

Things to know:

  • Full Control.
  • Easy setup and closure.
  • Maximum 1 manager can be appointed.  
  • Unlimited Liability

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company license is the most popular type of license acquired by investors as it has a wider scope. A limited liability company can practice in industrial, commercial, tourism or professional activities, provided their commerce is related to that activity and they have the necessary approvals.

A limited liability company can have 2 to 50 partners, a local sponsor (sleeping partner) would be mandatory if none of the partners are UAE or GCC nationals. The local sponsor must be a 51 percent shareholder in the company as per UAE customary law; the local sponsor does not usually have any involvement in the business nor any shares of profits or loss in general. A yearly sponsorship fee is paid to the local sponsor for his/her involvement and assistance. 

Things to know:

  • Unlimited visa quota.
  • Investors are permitted to have credit cards and personal bank accounts in UAE.
  • Properties and assets belongs to the company not partners.
  • Local sponsor required to have 51 percent share of company.
  • Limited Liability.

Most Common Types of Commercial License in Dubai UAE

Commercial License

Professional License

Professional License


A commercial trade license is one of the most popular license activities. A general trading activity license allows for multiple trading options as well as ease in the importing and exporting of goods. Some goods will need approval from government department(s). This type of license is normally set up as a sole establishment or a limited liability company (LLC). 

Professional License

Professional License

Professional License


A professional license is the most cost efficient license if you have a professional services to offer, it is also the easiest to set up compared to other licenses. Usually a common choice for new investors specializing in a particular service such as designing, typing and consultancy, this particular type of license is normally set up as a sole establishment or a civil company.

Tourism License

Industrial License

Industrial License


A tourism license is the ideal choice for a business that provides tourism activities such as desert safaris, boats rentals, hotels, travel agencies, inbound and outbound tours. This particular license is normally formed as an LLC and requires an approval from the DTCM (Department of Tourism and commerce) for most of the activities.

Industrial License

Industrial License

Industrial License


An industrial license is used by businesses that specialize in manufacturing or industrial activities; any business related to the packaging, manufacturing and productions of goods. The location of such business should either be either in a factory or warehouse. Special government approvals would be needed depending on the particular activity the business is in. This type of license is normally set up as a limited liability company (LLC).