Starting Mainland companies in Dubai has become faster and easier than ever before, in line with the vision of the Economic Development Department in to help the owners of companies to launch and expand their business without the need for lengthy processes and procedures.
The emirate of Dubai has two main destinations to start all kind of businesses. Dubai Economic Department is the main place to register a Mainland Business, the other destination would be one of the available 20+ Free Zone Authorities located in the same city providing various advantages to the owners of the establishments according to the type of entities and business activities. To start a Mainland company in Dubai all investors have to go through the following process:
- Selecting the Business Activity
The Business Activity has to be wisely selected to match the proposed business. We recommend consulting us to recommend the proper matching business activity that complies with your business needs.
The License is linked to the Business Activity, if the required business activity is Consultancy or Services the license will be issued as a PROFESSIONAL LICENSE, Meanwhile, if the Business Activity is either Trading or Industrial then the trade license will be issued as a COMMERCIAL LICENSE accordingly.
Although the Department of Economic Development is the only authority that regulates the Business Activities, but you must know that some business activities are subject to local authorities and other federal parties to regulate conduct of these activities within the conditions and guidelines set by the laws and regulations in the United Arab Emirates. Examples of some activities that require approvals of government bodies:
|Activity||Approving Authority||Department / Section|
|Road transport activities||Road and Transport Authority||Commercial Activities Department|
|Oil related services||H.H. The Ruler’s Court||Department of Petroleum Affairs|
|Legal activities||H.H. The Ruler’s Court||Legal Affairs Department|
|Telecommunications||Telecommunications Regulatory Authority||Licensing Department|
|Architectural and engineering activities||Dubai Municipality||Building Department|
|Veterinary activities||Dubai Municipality||Veterinary Section|
2. The Legal Structure and Business Partners
Again, the legal form of the companies is linked to the selected Business Activities, partners as well as the nature of the partners whether they are individuals or corporates.
3. Name reservation The name of the proposed business has to adhere with the type of the selected Business Activity. Once the name is reserved, it will remain valid for 6 months from the date of reservation. The Department of Economic Development (DED) has full rights to cancel or amend the reserved name if a similar registered name has been indicated in the city.
- Trademarks cannot be registered by Department of Economic Development. The Trade Marks Department in the Ministry of the Economy is responsible for receiving, studying and deciding requests of registration of the trade marks. When the client submits a complaint of infringement of a trademark, the intellectual property rights unit at DED will first ensure that the registration certificate of the trademark at the Ministry of Economy is available then take legal action.
- A company is entitled to use the trade name of another company granted a franchise after submitting a franchise agreement to DED.
- Initial Approval
The Initial Approval is a document gets issued by the Department of Economic Development which mentions that the same doesn’t have any objections of conducting the proposed business activities as per the regulations in the United Arab Emirates. The Initial Approval Certificate records partners, legal type and activities of the license.
- Memorandum of Association (MOA) preparation
According to the legal form of your entity, all business partners should draft and sign the Memorandum of Association. In some cases, you will have to prepare and sign a Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement with a UAE national who will represent your company with regards to licensing and compliance with the related authorities.
Drafting an MoA is a process that you cannot do yourself. You will need to use a law firm, DED Legal Affairs or Notary Public.
- Renting a Physical Office
All businesses in Dubai must have a physical address. You can sign your tenancy contract with the landlord and register the contract with EJARI for attestation.
You can add a new trade license to the same location taking into consideration the following conditions:
- The local party of the new license should be the same owner, partner or LSA in the existing license of the desired location.
- The total number of licenses owned by the local party should not exceed 10 licenses per same location.
- The space of location allocated for each license should not be less than 200 sq. ft.
- License Issuance
Finally, you will be issued with a payment voucher, which you will need to use as a reference when you pay.
- You have to pay for your trade license within 30 days of receiving the payment voucher.
- In the event of non-payment within 6 months of receiving the payment voucher, transaction will be cancelled automatically.
Congratulations! You can now start operating your Business and make some good profit benefiting from the amazing TAX FREE environment out here in the United Arab Emirates!