UAE Expat Zone

Dubai Mainland Licence for Expats

Expat Zone specialists are here to assist you in choosing the most fitting and advantageous Dubai mainland license for your company, whether it's for commercial, industrial, or professional purposes.

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Table of Contents

How Dubai Mainland Licenses Actually Work?

Business Setup in UAE is exciting! Here’s what you need to do: Decide what your business will be about and pick a company structure. Register your business name and get a license by applying through Dubai’s Economic Development Department (DED). 

You might need a local partner for some businesses. Lastly, find a place for your office. 

This way, you get to be part of Dubai’s vibrant market and enjoy its fantastic facilities.
9 Steps on Getting a Business License in Dubai Mainland​

9 Steps on Getting a Business License in Dubai Mainland

1. What Business Will You Start?

Ready to Decide Your Business Path?

Before diving into the entrepreneurial waters of Dubai, pinpoint the core of your business. 

What services or products will you offer? This initial step shapes the rest of your journey, guiding the type of license you’ll need.

How Does Expat Zone Help?

With an array of industries thriving in Dubai, from tech startups to food and beverage.

Expat Zone offers expert insights to align your business idea with market demands, ensuring a smooth entry into your chosen sector.

2. Choosing Your Business Structure

Legal Frameworks Explained

Your business structure, such as a Sole Proprietorship or Limited Liability Company (LLC), impacts everything from your liability to tax obligations.

Each has its advantages and regulatory requirements.

Expat Zone Advantage

Navigating legal structures can be daunting. 

Expat Zone simplifies your business setup in dubai, advising on the best structure for your goals and handling the legal intricacies, saving you time and confusion.

3. Registering Your Trade Name

Crafting Your Identity

Your trade name is not just a label but the brand identity under which your business will operate. 

It must be unique and reflective of your business activities.

How Expat Zone Assists

 Expat Zone ensures your chosen name complies with UAE regulations and is available.

So streamlining the registration process for the freezone or offshore business setup with the Department of Economic Development (DED) to secure your business name efficiently.

4. Securing Initial Approval

Opening the Doors

This step is about getting the green light from the DED, confirming there are no objections to your proposed business. 

It’s an essential milestone towards making your business dream a reality.

Expat Zone’s Role

With an in-depth understanding of the approval intricacies.

Expat Zone navigates the paperwork and requirements for you, ensuring a hassle-free approval process.

5. Finding a Local Sponsor

Partnering Up

For many businesses, UAE law requires a local sponsor (UAE national) or service agent. 

This partnership is crucial for legal and operational success.

Why Choose Expat Zone

Expat Zone visa services has a network of reputable and trustworthy local sponsors and service agents.

Ensuring you find the right partnership for your business needs.

6. Setting Up Your Business Location

Establishing Your Base

A physical location for your business is not just a regulatory requirement but a strategic decision. 

The right location can significantly impact your business’s visibility and growth.

Expat Zone’s Contribution

 From finding the perfect office space to handling lease agreements.

Expat Zone’s local knowledge and real estate partnerships provide a tailored solution, simplifying this critical step.

7. Necessary Approvals

Crossing the T’s

Depending on your business activity, additional approvals from specific government bodies or regulatory authorities may be required.

How Expat Zone Streamlines This

 Leveraging their expertise and relationships, Expat Zone services efficiently manages these additional approvals, ensuring compliance and saving you from bureaucratic runarounds.

8. Final Submission and Payment

The Home Stretch

With all prerequisites met, it’s time to submit your final documents to the DED and make the necessary payments for your business license.

Expat Zone’s Efficiency

 Handling document submission and fee payment can be complex. Expat Zone makes this step seamless, ensuring all paperwork is correct and fees are paid promptly, avoiding any delays in license issuance.

9. Receiving Your Business License

Your Launchpad

Congratulations, you now hold the key to start operating your business in Dubai. This license is your official permit to commence business activities.

Celebrating with Expat Zone

Beyond just obtaining your license, Expat Zone offers ongoing support for your business, from market entry strategies to operational setup, making it an ideal partner for expats venturing into Dubai’s dynamic business landscape.

By breaking down each step with Expat Zone’s expertise, expat entrepreneurs can navigate the process of setting up a business in Dubai mainland with confidence, efficiency, and strategic insight, ensuring a successful and compliant business launch.

Learn More About Expat Zone Here

FAQ What is a Dubai mainland company


What is a Dubai mainland company?

A Dubai Business Setup in UAE company is a business that operates in the commercial geographic areas that fall under the jurisdiction of the Dubai Economic Department (DED) and can conduct business across the UAE without restrictions.

Do I need a local sponsor to set up a mainland company in Dubai?

For certain types of businesses, you need a local sponsor who is a UAE national owning 51% of the shares, except in professional service companies where you can have 100% foreign ownership but require a local service agent.

What are the benefits of setting up a business in Dubai mainland?

Benefits include the ability to trade anywhere in the UAE and internationally, no minimum capital requirement, no corporate or personal taxes, and the opportunity to bid on government contracts.

How long does it take to set up a mainland company in Dubai?

The process can take from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on the business activity, licensing requirements, and how quickly you provide the necessary documents.

Can I own 100% of my business in Dubai mainland?

As of recent changes, foreign investors can own 100% of certain types of businesses in Dubai mainland, primarily in the professional, trading, and industrial sectors, but it’s essential to check the specific activities as exceptions exist.

What are the steps to obtain a Dubai mainland license?

Steps include deciding on your business activity, choosing a legal structure, registering a trade name, obtaining initial approvals, finding a local sponsor or service agent, renting office space, obtaining additional approvals if needed, and submitting final documents for your license.

How much does it cost to set up a mainland business in Dubai?

Costs vary depending on the business activity, office space, and other variables, but they typically start from AED 20,000 to AED 30,000 for basic setups.

What is the difference between Dubai mainland and free zone companies?

Mainland companies can operate anywhere in the UAE and beyond, while free zone companies are restricted to doing business within their specific free zone and internationally, with different ownership and tax implications.

Can expats get financing for their Dubai mainland business?

Yes, expats can access financing, but it may require thorough business plans, collateral, and possibly a UAE national sponsor depending on the bank’s policies.

What are the visa options for Dubai mainland business owners?

Business Setup in UAE owners can sponsor themselves, their employees, and their family members for residency visas. The number of visas depends on the size of the office space and the type of license.

Start Your Dubai Mainland Business with Expat Zone

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