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We are a leading corporate service provider in Dubai with extensive expertise in assisting businesses establish their presence in this vibrant business hub. Dubai's mainland offers a range of exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors looking to set up a company in the heart of the city.


At Adler & Partners we understand the unique challenges and requirements involved in the Mainland Company formation process. With our deep knowledge of the local business landscape and a team of seasoned professionals, we are well-equipped to guide you through every step of the setup process and ensure a smooth and successful establishment of your business.

Types of Mainland Business Licenses

When setting up a Mainland Company in the UAE, choosing the right business license is a crucial decision. It determines the activities you can legally undertake and the regulatory framework you need to adhere to. Based on our experience, here are most popular types of business licenses to consider for your Mainland Company:


Commercial License

This is the most common license for general trading and commercial activities, including buying, selling, and distributing goods within the UAE market.



Professional or non-professional services, such as consulting, marketing, IT services, advertising, engineering, design, education, and healthcare.

Industrial License

This license is suitable for companies involved in manufacturing, processing, or assembling products within the UAE. It covers activities such as production, packaging, and distribution.

Image by Sam Moghadam Khamseh

E-commerce License

These licenses enable entrepreneurs to establish and operate online stores, sell products/services online, and engage in e-commerce activities.


Other Licenses





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Why do you need to consider setting up a Mainland Company in the UAE?

While UAE Free Zones continue to be a preferred choice for specific business setups, the advantages of Mainland Company formation cannot be overlooked. The UAE government's pro-business policies, robust infrastructure, favorable tax regime, and strategic location make it an enticing destination for foreign investors seeking broader market reach and sustainable growth. These are the main factors you should consider while setting up a Mainland Company in the UAE:

Access to Local Market

With a Mainland Company, investors can cater to the needs of the growing population, tap into local business networks, and establish a strong presence within the country.

Flexibility in Business Activities

Mainland Companies have the flexibility to conduct business activities across the UAE, without limitations on geographic scope giving the UAE market but also explore opportunities in neighboring countries.

Diverse Industry Presence 

Mainland Companies have a broad range of industry presence, making them ideal for businesses across various sectors. Investors also have the freedom to choose their business activity.

Local Partnership Opportunities

Unlike Free Zones that require 100% foreign ownership, mainland companies allow for partnerships with Emirati nationals or companies. This local partnership brings valuable insights and local market knowledge.

Government Contracts

Mainland Companies have a significant advantage when it comes to bidding for government contracts and tenders.

Eg: Sectors such as infrastructure, construction, and public services.

Enhanced Business Reputation

Operating as a Mainland Company in the UAE adds credibility and prestige to a business. It shows a long-term commitment to the region and instills confidence in partners, clients, and investors.

Mainland Company Formation Process

The timeframe & process for obtaining a UAE Mainland Company license can vary depending on several factors, including the chosen business activities, need in third parties’ approval, legal structure and individual circumstances. The below is the general process and timeframes for obtaining Dubai Mainland Company:


Determine business activity

Identify the nature of your business activity and ensure it complies with the Dubai Mainland regulations.



Choose a local partner or service agent

For certain business types, you will need to select a UAE national or a local company to act as a partner or sponsor.



Trade name reservation

Select a unique and appropriate trade name for your company and reserve it with the Department of Economic Development (DED). This step helps secure your company's identity.



Choose & lease office space

Acquire suitable office space as per the DED requirements, keeping in mind the size and type of business activity.



Initial approval

Submit the required documents to the DED for initial approval, including the MOA, lease agreement, and other necessary paperwork.




Obtain the necessary licenses from relevant government authorities and regulatory bodies based on your business activity. This may involve the DED, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, etc.




Complete the registration process with the DED, providing all the required documents and fees.


Visa Processing

Apply for employee visas and labor cards through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE).


How we can help

Adler & Partners' expertise, personalized approach, and comprehensive range of services make us a reliable partner for foreign investors looking to establish a company in the UAE Mainland. Our knowledge of local regulations, attention to detail, and commitment to client satisfaction set us apart, enabling our clients to navigate the complexities of the UAE business environment with confidence and hustle-free.


Whether you are a startup, an SME, or a multinational corporation, we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to support your Mainland Company formation in Dubai. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and embark on your journey towards business success in this dynamic city.

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