How to Start a Business in Mainland Dubai?

Posted by OBK Business Centre on October 18th, 2019

Establishing a business in mainland Dubai can be difficult for those new to its policies and regulations. While setting up a business in free trade zones in Dubai is much easier, it is not so easy in the case of forming a company in mainland Dubai. The legal procedures are not easy that you will have to manage apart from the new work culture and marketplace that you will have to deal with.

Here we will discuss a few steps that you can consider looking at before you start a business in mainland Dubai.

Find a Local Sponsor

To form a business in mainland one requires a local sponsor, which is not needed if one forms a business in a free trading zone in Dubai. An Emirati (UAE national) should be a local sponsor for expatriates. In this case, 51% of the business shared is owned by the local sponsor, why the remaining 49% of the total share is left with the expatriate. It is not necessary for the local shareholders to invest in the expat’s business but still, they are legally the majority shareholder of the business. However, an expatriate who also happens to be managing partner in the business has 100% operational power in his business. In day to day operations, sponsors have no role to play.

Register Your Business with the DED

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the authoritative body to register companies and issue license for business in mainland Dubai. The body is responsible for developing economic policies and regulations, identify the growth sectors in the city and then assist local and international investors with their efficient services.

Business Address Verification 

The verification of your office address is done by the Dubai Municipality. The license for business is issued based on the office space of the investor. Before applying for the license, the tenant should have both the tenancy contract and tenancy contract registration certificate ready.


Quick Look at the Steps to Form a Company in the mainland Dubai

  • Choose the right business type
  • Choose the right business zone (mainland or free trade zone) that suits your business
  • Find a local sponsor or a local service agent
  • Apply for initial approval for name and business type
  • Get the MOA/Agreement validated
  • Now find out a right office space and obtain the tenancy contract
  • Get all other necessary approvals (if any)
  • Finally, submit all the documents for a license and registration


Wrap Up

Whatever is your business type, Dubai has countless office spaces for its local and international investors. You can own complete office space or even choose from a wide selection of shared offices and serviced offices in Dubai. Serviced offices are the best bet for the new business setup in Dubai.

Moreover, if you are not sure about the process of company formation and getting confused then you can hire a local Dubai based business consultant who can efficiently assist you in legal issues. They can also help you in finding the right serviced office in Dubai for your business.

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OBK Business Centre

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OBK Business Centre
Joined: May 6th, 2019
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