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Mainland License

It's important to select the correct type of business license you need for your new company to be able to operate in the UAE. Also factor in your 1-5 year plan with our business set up advisors.

Start your company in Mainland

Dubai Mainland Company License, issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). 

A Mainland License allows you to conduct business anywhere in the United Arab Emirates and now offers 100% ownership for most business activities. Coupled with flexibility to operate from anywhere in the country and remove trade barriers. Our industry experts can help you establish your company in Dubai Mainland through a seamless process.

Why set up your business
on the Mainland

Company registration on the mainland has several advantages. Setting up a mainland corporation ensures success in your professional and business endeavours. Companies based on the mainland provide a wide range of trade, 100% ownership, and location flexibility. It is important to establish your 1-5 year plan with our set up advisors before choosing between mainland and freezone options. 


100% ownership of the business

Companies can now have 100% ownership of their businesses without associating with a local Emirati company or individual as a partner. OpenHub can help you set up your company with 100% ownership with other benefits. We also provide local service agent services and 51% local sponsorship services, if your business activity and/or company requirements legally permit.


No trade restrictions

You have a wide range of options of business activities to choose from, and you can carry out your business operations anywhere in the UAE without any trade restrictions. OpenHub can help you register your business with DED and will be ready to trade.


Access to unlimited visas

There is no restriction on the number of business owners applying for visas for the UAE's mainland. However, the office space needed should align with the number of employee visas requested.


Change between two licenses

We can assist if you are operating under a free zone business structure and are considering switching to a mainland corporation. This can allow you to expand your current operation and provide direct access to new customers. 


Flexibility of location

No geographical or business-to-business trade limitations apply to companies operating on the Dubai mainland. Companies from the mainland are also allowed to conduct business with customers directly from any location in the UAE and provide services to the UAE government.

Mainland Licenses in the UAE

Dubai Mainland 

The Mainland is the territory of Dubai that is not part of a free zone and is governed by the Department of Economic Development (DED). DED issues all three categories of Mainland trade licenses - Professional/Services Licence, Commercial Licence, and Industrial Licence. The most popular business structures on Dubai mainland are a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a branch/representative of a foreign firm. 

According to the most recent revision to the UAE Commercial Companies Law, more than 2000 commercial and industrial company operations have been eligible for 100% business ownership under a mainland license since June 1, 2021. This is one of the reasons why establishing a mainland company in Dubai is the most popular option among investors.



- Can locate the business anywhere within the Emirate

- Allows international trade 

- Unlimited employment visas 

- 100% foreign ownership - depending on company activities

- The ability to conduct business across the UAE

- Account Management Personnel

- A diverse range of commercial activity from many industries

Set up Mainland Company

  • How long does it take to register a company in the UAE?
    Company registration timelines vary per UAE government jurisdiction. With a number of external factors also contributing, such as third party approvals depending on your business activity and documents required depending on your desired company structure. We will work with you on your timelines, during your initial consultation. Business licences can be issued between 1 -30 working days.
  • How much do Open Hub charge to set up my company for me?
    We work in strategic partnership with most government jurisdictions and provide the same cost as our clients going direct to the jurisdiction. However we have the added benefit of offering non bias jurisdiction comparisons to save you money and time researching. We also offer additional services that can not be obtained by going direct to a jurisdiction. Such as corporate bank account opening, visa services, insurance, accounting, co-working / office space, virtual receptionists, mandatory UAE compliance etc. We make our money by receiving commission payments from government jurisdictions, because of the high volume of business we provide each of them. We then pass that saving onto you.
  • How many UAE Government Jurisdictions does Open Hub cover?
    Open Hub assists with business setup in more than 50 UAE Free Zones. Additionally, it aids in company formation on the mainland, offshore and international locations.
  • Can I get a residence visa after registering my business in the UAE?
    Yes, individuals establishing a new business or invest in an established one on Dubai's mainland or free zones are eligible for a residency visa. This is applicable to all shareholders involved.
  • Should I visit UAE to setup my business in the UAE?
    In most cases, you don't have to be in the country to setup your business here. Nevertheless, there may be restrictions based on the sort of business you want to create and which zone you want to open up in.
  • How much does it cost to set up a company in the UAE?
    There is not one product that fits all in terms of company formation in the UAE. UAE Jurisdictions all have different pricing models and benefits, there are various options to cater for each budget. External factors will also contribute to price, based on your individual and company requirements, which will be discussed during your initial consultation.
  • How many visas can I get for the company? Can I get unlimited visas once we open the company?
    There is a visa quota for each firm. In other words, there is always a limited quantity of resident visas available. The number of permissible resident visas is initially determined by the size of your business space. Visa quotas are often computed based on the amount of square meters given to each individual sponsored by a firm, so for businesses that choose to employ real office space, the minimum required is around 9 square meters per person.
  • Is it allowed to do international business with a free zone business license?
    Free zone licensees are permitted to import products or equipment from a foreign country into the free zone without paying customs charges.
  • Can I carry out business anywhere with a Free Zone Company?
    The local government in each different emirate regulates free zone firms. As a result, each free zone has its own set of processes and constraints. In general, a firm registered in a free zone is not allowed to conduct business outside of the free zone, i.e. on the mainland.
  • What is a free zone company?
    Economic zones where products and services can be traded are known as free zones. These areas are often referred to as free trade zones or free zone authorities. Free trade zones have 0% tax rates, advantageous customs duty rates, and 100% exemption from import and export taxes. Free zones are especially popular among businesses that value their privacy. This is due to the fact that there is 100% foreign ownership and no open directory of business facts. Due to 100% foreign ownership, important company information such as shareholder details are never made public.
  • Should I pay VAT (Value Added Tax) if I setup my business in a free zone?
    VAT is levied on tax-registered firms operating on the UAE mainland as well as in free zones. Nevertheless, if the UAE Cabinet designates a specific free zone as a 'designated zone,' it must be taxed as being outside the UAE. Goods transferred between authorized zones are tax-free.
  • What tax benefits will I get from setting up my business in a Free Zone?
    There are many benefits to setting up in a Free Zone, and most notable is the tax benefits. Start your company in a free zone to benefit from 0% corporate and personal tax, as well as VAT exemption for your industry. VAT is now fixed at 5% and applies to all products and services in Dubai and its environs. Profit and capital are completely repatriated in free zones.
  • What is the minimum share capital required to form a company in a Free Zone?
    The volume of share capital required is largely dependent on the kind of license and firm, however each share must be in the denomination of AED 1000. For certain types of licenses and business activities, the amount of needed share capital might range from AED 1,000 to AED 1,000,000. A firm must have a minimum of AED 1 million in share capital in order to be granted a General Trading Licence.
  • Can I open a bank account for my business with a free zone license and any limitations?
    It is normally easy to open a bank account for a corporate body in a Dubai free zone. Nevertheless, depending on the bank and the free zone in where the firm is registered, the process and conditions for creating a bank account may differ.
  • Should I pay only once to register my business, or should I renew every year?
    Trade licenses must be renewed every year. Your renewal date may be found in your initial licensing documentation or by contacting your firm setup agent. You may also check the status of your license online.
  • Can I own 100% ownership of my business in the UAE?
    Yes, you may own your company completely. The UAE Government revised the federal Commercial Companies Law, allowing foreign investors to acquire full ownership of enterprises. This means that foreign investors' shares will no longer be limited to a maximum of 49%, but can now be up to 100%.
  • Can I have a USD, EUR, GBP currency account in the UAE?
    There are various banks in the UAE that provide bank accounts in several currencies to UAE residents. This allows expats and international bank account users to utilize foreign money to conduct international transactions with lower fees and exchange rates.
  • How many days it would take to set up a business in Mainland?
    The average time would be around 10 days when setting up in the mainland.
  • What are the benefits of a business set up in Dubai Mainland?
    1. Trade freedom throughout Dubai and the UAE 2. Capability to deal on a global scale and increase your presence 3. The ability to expand your business and staff 4. Capability to broaden your offers 5. Capability to interact with UAE or GCC governments 6. Capability to establish a flexible startup
  • How many Visas can be applied in Mainland?
    You can apply for an unlimited number of visas, but there are limitations based on the size of your office.
  • What is mainland business in Dubai?
    A Dubai mainland firm has no limitations on trading with other enterprises and no geographical constraints. Mainland firms can also provide government services or deal directly with customers from anywhere in the UAE. Mainland company formation also enables enterprises to operate various branches, allowing them to have a significant presence throughout the Emirates.
  • Is VAT applicable to the Mainland Companies in the UAE?
    VAT is levied on tax-registered firms operating on the UAE mainland as well as in free zones.
  • Is renting an office space is a requirement for to start a mainland business in Dubai?
    Office space is required on Dubai's mainland. The use of a registered office address is required for the issue of a trading license. Information concerning an ownership agreement or tenancy might be supplied as verification of a registered address.
  • What are the best business to start in Dubai?
    Some of the most popular businesses in Dubai are: 1. Construction Sector 2. E-Commerce Solutions 3. Travel and Tourism 4. Real Estate Agency 5. Consultancy Service 6. Restaurant
  • What is the process of setting up the business in the Mainland?
    Setting up a business in the Mainland entails a sequence of steps, which include: Recognizing a commercial activity Choosing a suitable legal structure Registering the business name Requesting an initial approval Creating a Memorandum of Association and a contract with a local service agent Choose a company location Get more government permissions Documents must be submitted and fees must be paid
  • What is Mainland company ?
    A mainland corporation is merely an onshore entity registered with the government of the relevant emirate. The trading license is issued by the Emirate's Department of Economic Development (DED). A mainland company's primary distinguishing trait is that its business operations are not restricted.
  • Is it necessary to have a local partner or local sponsor to set up the business in mainland?
    The rules are different depending on whether you're setting up in the Dubai Mainland or Abu Dhabi Mainland. In Dubai, new policies have come into play that allow foreigners and expats to own 100% of their business, depending on the industry. In Abu Dhabi, however, any sort of business must have a local sponsor who owns 51% of the company, with foreigner investors controlling the other 49%.
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