Main Land Company Registration


United Arab Emirates is a federation consisting of seven Emirates. The following are the Emirates of UAE:-

  • Abu Dhabi (Capital City)
  • Dubai
  • Sharjah
  • Ajman
  • Umm Al Quwain
  • Ras Al Khaimah
  • Fujairah

Mainland companies are formed under the Economic departments (DED) of each Emirate. Generally company registration rules are common across UAE, however some special rules or requirements might be applicable in each Emirates considering the nature of business activity and structure of the company.

Though generally mainland companies require a local Emirati, now it is possible to register companies in Dubai with 100% foreign ownership for most of the business activities. Most of the commercial activities (eg. trading) are included in this. Professional activities (eg. consultancy, service, etc) shall require a local agent to be appointed, though the company can be owned 100% by expatriate. The role of the local agent shall be limited to support the company in administrative and official transactions. Partners can operate the company independently.

Some of the benefits of the mainland companies are :-

  • Freedom to choose the office in the desired area of the Emirate
  • Relatively easier bank account approvals
  • Flexible visa options
  • Investor/ Partner visa
  • Freedom to operate across the Emirates

Mainland companies are formed mainly in the following legal structures:-

  • Sole proprietorshipThe company is owned completely by an individual.
  • Civil CompanyIt is a business partnership owned by two or more people conducting mainly professional or service activities. Eg. Accountants, Consultancy, Tailoring, Saloon, Etc
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)A limited liability company is formed with two or more partners. Before the recent UAE Cabinet decision, this legal structure limited the ownership of expatriates to a maximum share of 49% and mandated 51% UAE ownership. However now it’s possible to register LLC companies in Dubai without the mandatory local partnership for most of the business activities (few activities are excluded from full ownership and subject to approval from DED). Rules might be slightly different for each business activity in different Emirates.
  • One Person Limited Liability CompanyThis is a single shareholder limited liability company exclusively available for UAE nationals and nationals of GCC countries.
  • General PartnershipThis type of company would have two or more UAE nationals as partners and they shall be liable jointly and severally for company’s obligations with their personal funds.
  • Branches of Foreign CompaniesThis license type is applicable for foreign companies establishing their branches in UAE. They can conduct the same activity as the parent company. Approval shall be subject to competent authority considering the nature of business activity. Registration with Ministry of Economy might also be needed. Attested documents of the parent are required for the registration.
  • Representative OfficeA representative office can be established by a foreign company when they would like to have a base in Dubai to market the parent company’s business in Dubai and facilitate a face to face interaction with the potential customers. A representative office can only promote and market, products and services of the parent company and shall not do the same business in Dubai. Attested documents of the parent company are required for the registration.
  • Branches of Companies Based in Other EmiratesAs the name indicates this legal type is granted for establishing branch of a company who already established it’s business in another Emirate.
  • Branches of Companies Based in Free ZonesThis is the legal structure when a company based in free zone establishes its branch in mainland.
  • Public Shareholding CompanyIn this type of company founders subscribe to a certain percentage of shares and the remaining shares are offered to general public through public offering. Capital is divided into equal negotiable shares
  • Private Shareholding CompanyPrivate shareholding company is established with more than two and less than two hundred shareholders. Capital shall be divided into equal shares.
  • E TraderThis license is issued by Dubai Economic Department to license the sales happening through social networking sites. Those who do online sales could opt for this license. This could be perhaps the most economical licensing options available. Let us know your interest and we can advise the license type best suits you and thus begin your entrepreneurial journey!

License Amendment Services:

Once the company is registered, over the period of time changes in the structure of the company is quite a possibility. Mostly changes reflects the robust growth of the company and adaptation to the changing times. It’s often challenging for business owners to do these formalities themselves considering the time constraints and documentation.

Master Plan Corporate Services offers seamless license amendment services comprehensive support for the entire process.

The major license amendment services are-

  • Changes in the name of the company
  • Addition/withdrawal of Partner
  • Change of local agent
  • Addition/removal of activities
  • Changes in the capital of the company
  • Amendment of manager on the license
  • Location change of the license

We are just a call away. Please reach us for the services.