Mainland Licenses in UAE

When setting up a Mainland company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), obtaining the necessary licenses is essential to ensure compliance with local regulations and operate legally. The UAE offers a range of licenses tailored to different business activities. These licenses cover various sectors, including trading, manufacturing, professional services, tourism, healthcare, education, construction, and media-related activities.

Obtaining the appropriate licenses is a fundamental requirement for Mainland companies in the UAE. These licenses allow businesses to engage in their desired activities and operate within the legal framework. Each license has specific requirements, documentation, and fees associated with it.

Navigating the licensing process can be complex, and it’s crucial to work with experienced business consultants who can guide you through the requirements and ensure a smooth application process. At Zara Business We have extensive knowledge of the licensing procedures and can provide valuable support in obtaining the necessary licenses for your Mainland company in the UAE.


    Types Of License Required To Setup Business In Mainland

    Professional License

    A professional license is suitable for individuals or companies providing professional services such as consultancy, legal services, accounting, engineering, healthcare, and more. This license is ideal for businesses that require specialized expertise to deliver their services.

    Commercial License

    A commercial license is designed for businesses engaged in trading, retail, and general commercial activities. It covers a wide range of sectors, including retail stores, restaurants, general trading companies, and e-commerce businesses. With a commercial license, businesses can import, export, distribute, and sell products within the UAE.

    Industrial License

    An industrial license is required for companies involved in manufacturing, production, and industrial activities. It covers sectors such as manufacturing plants, factories, industrial facilities, and assembly units. Businesses with an industrial license can engage in activities related to manufacturing, processing, and production of goods.

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    Benefits of Mainland Licenses

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      Business freedom and flexibility

      One of the primary advantages of obtaining a mainland license is the freedom and flexibility it offers to businesses. Unlike free zone licenses that have specific restrictions and limitations, mainland licenses allow entrepreneurs to establish their business in any location within the UAE. This flexibility enables businesses to target a broader customer base, explore various market opportunities, and establish physical offices or outlets wherever they deem fit.

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      Access to a wider market

      Operating with a mainland license grants businesses access to the local UAE market, which is known for its robust economy and immense growth potential. The UAE serves as a gateway to the wider Middle East region, providing businesses with opportunities to connect with both local customers and international clients. With its strategic location and excellent infrastructure, the UAE facilitates seamless trade and business transactions, making it an attractive destination for companies looking to expand their operations.

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      Local business operations

      Mainland licenses require businesses to have a physical office or workspace within the UAE. This aspect ensures that companies establish a local presence, fostering stronger relationships with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Having a physical presence also helps businesses build trust and credibility among the local population.

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      Get Sponsor/Agent

      Foreign entrepreneurs previously needed a local sponsor or local service agent to set up a mainland business in Dubai. For an LLC trading under a commercial or industrial license, a local sponsor owning 51% of the business is required. Zara Business can provide a Corporate Nominee as a local partner to retain 100% control. For a professional company, only a local service agent is needed to act as a representative.

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      Name your company

      When naming your company in the UAE, it is important to consider the brand and professional values you want to convey. Offensive language, religious references, and references to other organizations are not allowed. Company trade names must include only full personal names and must be spelled phonetically in different languages. Check out our guide, Choosing a Company Name in the UAE, for all naming guidelines.

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      Apply for Mainland Trade License

      Once you have decided on the trade name, structure and location of your business, you need to apply for a mainland trade license with the Department of Economic Development. This process requires several documents such as the licence application, memorandum of sponsor arrangements, and ownership percentage among all partners and shareholder visas.

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      Secure your office space

      After obtaining a business trading license, it’s essential to secure an office space. In the UAE mainland, serviced offices are commonly used as they come with everything necessary to start immediately. Rent, office equipment, and utility bills are usually included in the lease payment. A ‘shell and core’ office space is at the other end of the spectrum, requiring a full fit-out and decoration with bills on top of rent.

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      Apply for relevant visas

      Foreign business owners in the UAE mainland can apply for as many visas as needed, but the number of visas should correspond with the amount of office space required, usually 100 sq. ft. per visa. However, this rule may not apply in some cases, such as a domestic cleaning company with many remote workers. Business owners can also sponsor dependents for their visas and may be eligible for an investment visa, which allows them and their families to live and work in the UAE for up to three years.

    Just 4 Steps To Start Your Company in a UAE Freezone

    Here is how you may establish your ideal business in the UAE and take advantage of 100% foreign ownership:

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      Registering Company Name

    • Business-License-11

       Get a Business License

    • Apply-for-relevant-visas-2

      Processing Visa Applications

    • bank-account-8

      Opening a Bank Account

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