Set up a company in the Dubai Mainland

Dubai offers multiple options for company formation in Dubai Mainland. Over 2,000 business activities in a wide range of sectors are available at the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), which is the licensing authority for Company formation in Dubai Mainland. Of late, the DED has implemented various initiatives to help startups and entrepreneurs set up a company in Dubai at low costs. This includes instant general trading licenses, sustainability licenses on desk spaces (in lieu of a full office) and e-commerce licenses for social media businesses.



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Advantages of Company Formation in Dubai Mainland

Unlike free zone companies, company formation in Dubai Mainland allows you to carry out their business anywhere in the UAE, without any restrictions. Here are some of the advantages of company formation in Dubai Mainland:
Easy setup – In some cases of company formation in Dubai Mainland, license can be setup in an hour, if you meet the required criteria. Full office space is not mandatory, you can also set up in a desk space.
Cost-effective – Unlike many free zones, the Dubai LLC license is economical, since you do not need to commit to a large office space in the first year.
Flexibility of doing business – Unlike free zone companies, company formation in Dubai Mainland with LLCs allows yo to conduct business anywhere in the UAE, and in other countries as well. The company can set up retail outlets, showrooms, and enter into trade agreements with Government entities.

Range of locations – Unlike a free zone, which is a designated area, company formation in Dubai Mainland can be done in any area of Dubai, including Deira, Bur Dubai, Business Bay and anywhere else on the Dubai mainland.
Options for multiple visas – In most cases, the authorities allow for unlimited visas company formation in Dubai Mainland. The number of visas allowed depends on the office space taken, which is usually calculated at 80 square feet per visa. In some cases, the DED is flexible on this allocation, for example in instances where the company has a large outdoor sales force, or cleaning services.
Sponsor of dependents – Company formation in Dubai Mainland allows yo to apply for multiple visas for their employees, and the shareholders and employees can sponsor visas for their dependents – spouse, child, parents, maid, cook etc.


LLC in Dubai

100% foreign ownership is possible in most consultancy activities in the Dubai mainland.
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Professional License

100% foreign ownership is possible in most consultancy activities in the Dubai mainland.
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Foreign Branch Company

Branch or representative office of your existing company outside Dubai, and carry out select actvities.
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Instant General Trading License

The DED now issues instant licenses for General Trading activities. You can setup this license in 48 hours!
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Selective packages to help you get started


DED license fees
UAE National/Service agent annual fees
Permanent address in Business Bay
Two visa eligibility
Meeting room facilities

AED 25,000



Includes Basic features plus:
Co-working space
Free standard .ae domain
free legal & HR starter kit
Free business consultation – 1 hour

AED 30,000



Includes Entrepreneur features plus:
Dedicated desk-space
1 employment visa eligibility
Free PRO service (1 investor visa)
Free Bank account assistance

AED 45,000



Includes Professional features plus:
Dedicated 3-desk office
4 employment visa eligibility
Free PRO service (2 investor visas)
Free one-page introducer website

AED 65,000


Want to form a company in a Dubai free zone instead?

The UAE has over 40 free zones, where you can setup a business with 100% foreign ownership. Dubai-based free zones are most popular, given the Dubai brand and easy access to the Dubai market. The Northern Emirates also offer exciting cost-effective solutions for businesses.


Forming a company in the UAE can be a daunting task, due to the multiple options available. Do you start a company in the Dubai mainland, or do you setup a free zone company? What are the laws and regulations governing your company? Answer these questions, and many more, through our Doing Business Guides that you can download for free!

Naming your Dubai Company

From tips on searching names, to acceptable trade names in Dubai.

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Relocating to the UAE

The lowdown on living costs, school fees, and everything about living in Dubai.

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Setting up in Dubai Mainland

Covers every aspect of establishing a presence in the hub of the Middle East.

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We write on all aspects of doing business in the UAE. Read our blogs to understand more about company formation, advantages of various free zones,
typical issues that you may face when setting up a company in the UAE, or operating in the region, and much much more.

UAE Substance Regulations
Company Setup in Dubai
Company Setup in Dubai