Dubai Mainland Company Formation

October 30, 2018

Setting up a mainland company in Dubai offers several advantages for businesses looking to establish a presence in the region. Mainland companies are governed by the Department of Economic Development (DED) and are permitted to conduct business both within the emirate of Dubai and across the UAE. Here’s an overview of the process involved in Dubai mainland company formation:

  1. Select a Local Partner: One of the key requirements for mainland company formation in Dubai is to have a local partner who holds at least 51% ownership in the company. The local partner can be an individual or a corporate entity, but they must be a UAE national or a company wholly owned by UAE nationals.
  2. Choose a Business Activity: Determine the nature of your business activity and ensure that it complies with the regulations set forth by the DED. Dubai mainland companies have the flexibility to engage in a wide range of commercial and professional activities, subject to approval from the relevant authorities.
  3. Trade Name Reservation: Select a unique trade name for your company and submit it for approval to the DED. The trade name should reflect the nature of your business and adhere to the guidelines provided by the authorities. Once approved, the trade name will be reserved for a specified period, during which you can proceed with the company formation process.
  4. Prepare Legal Documents: Prepare the necessary legal documents, including the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and the Articles of Association (AOA), outlining the company’s objectives, shareholders’ details, and corporate governance structure. These documents must be notarized and attested by the relevant authorities.
  5. Obtain Initial Approvals: Submit the required documents to the DED along with the application for company formation. The DED will review the application and issue initial approvals based on compliance with regulatory requirements and business viability.
  6. Lease Agreement: Secure a physical office space for your company within Dubai’s mainland jurisdiction. A valid tenancy contract or lease agreement is mandatory for company formation and must be registered with the Ejari system, which is administered by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).
  7. License Issuance: Upon obtaining all necessary approvals and completing the documentation process, the DED will issue the commercial license, allowing your company to commence business operations legally. The commercial license specifies the permitted activities, trade name, and other relevant details.
  8. Visa Processing: After obtaining the commercial license, you can proceed with the visa processing for shareholders, employees, and dependents. The visa requirements and procedures may vary depending on the individual’s nationality, job role, and other factors.
  9. Bank Account Opening: Open a corporate bank account with a reputable financial institution in the UAE to facilitate financial transactions and business operations. The bank may require copies of company documents, shareholder details, and other supporting information for account opening.
  10. Compliance and Renewals: Ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements, including periodic license renewals, visa updates, tax obligations, and other legal formalities. Stay informed about changes in legislation and industry regulations that may impact your business operations.

By following these steps and working with experienced business consultants or PRO services providers, you can navigate the process of Dubai mainland company formation efficiently and establish a robust legal and operational framework for your business endeavors in the region.

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