Jan 31, 2023


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Dubai being a vibrant city offers excellent facilities and infrastructure along with a welcoming policy on undertaking business. The geography of Dubai is divided into two tax jurisdictions one is Mainland & other is a Free Zone. Dubai Mainland offers a plethora of benefits that help in the expansion of business.

In this document, we are focussing on setting up a company in Mainland, Dubai.


Before going through the details of business set-up in the Mainland, let’s understand the prominent business features offered by the place –

  • Mainland is generally intended for doing local business
  • It has no geographical limitations in carrying out its business activities across the UAE except for Free zones
  • No exemption from Corporate Taxes
  • 100% repatriation of profits & capital
  • Audit of accounts is mandatory

For foreign investors, it is pertinent to know the percentage of ownership they can hold in a Dubai Mainland company-

  • Having a Dubai local holding 51% of the total equity is mandatory except for certain business activities such as trading, manufacturing, contracting, and packaging where 100% foreign ownership has been permitted

Dubai Mainland offers a variety of corporate structuring that can be formulated as per the requirements of the investors. Here we have mentioned the types of companies available-

  • General Partnership
  • Limited Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC)
  • Private Joint Stock Company (PRJSC)
  • Civil Company
  • Branch Office
  • Sole Establishment

Before initiating the business activities, obtaining a business license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) in accordance with the proposed business activity is very important, thus let’s understand the concept of licenses available-

1. Commercial License

Adequate for businesses involved in trading or retail activities (i.e., buying and selling of goods, import and export activities, real estate service, logistics, travel & tourism, auto vehicle rental business, etc).

2. Industrial License

Specifically, for manufacturing enterprises and industrial companies, the industrial license is required to be obtained from DED. The validity of the license granted is for a definite period. Further, the industrial trade license obligates a company to have a leased or owned physical warehouse inside the country and manufacturing facilities.

3. Professional License

This license is applicable to companies engaged in the service industry such as training, management consultancy, teaching, consultancy etc.

4. Tourism License

As Dubai is a global tourist spot, the Government of Dubai has mandated the business to obtain the said license before initiating the tourism business.

In case you are looking to set up your business in Dubai, we will be happy to assist you.

Please reach out to us at shweta@indiacp.com or 91-11-40622208.


Mr. Ankit Singhi

Head of Corporate Affairs & Compliances



+91 9910888952

Request a Call