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TOPIC: New company registration process in mainland (DED)

New company registration process in mainland (DED) 3 weeks 2 days ago #1723

  • AleenaJoseph
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Company formation in UAE can be very hectic and extremely costly, if you do not have a proper business plan before staring it. As we all know, tax free environment in Dubai is very beneficial for an investor to start a business here. So you should know which location is best for business to grow very well.



Dubai Mainland is one of the preferred business locations by the most of organizations while thinking for company formation in Dubai. You can also get office space at affordable cost.

A business setup in Dubai mainland involves the Department of Economic Development (DED) regarding business registration, trade license etc. A local sponsor is also must to have for Dubai Mainland company formation.

There are some important requirements for business setup in Dubai Mainland.

1. Business name and type selection
2. Find Local sponsor or sleeping partner
3. Apply for initial business setup approval
4. Preparation of Court Notarization and MOA
5. Choose Company/Office Space and Tenancy Contact
6. Final submission for company formation in Dubai Mainland

1. Business name and type selection
When you have decided to setup a business in Dubai, firstly you need to know the type of your business and what will be the name of your company. It helps you to get the right business license.

2. Find Local sponsor or sleeping partner
For setting up business in Dubai Mainland, you are required to appoint a local sponsor/UAE national for your company. Local sponsor will work as a sleeping partner for your business and does not participate in your business activities. You have to pay him a fee annually for his involvement. We also help you to get the reliable local sponsor in Dubai.



3. Apply for initial business setup approval
Once you have selected your trade name then you need to submit it for initial business setup approval.

4. Preparation of Court Notarization and MOA
It involves all the legal documents and MOA procedures to be completed which are required for company formation in Dubai Mainland.

5. Choose Company/Office Space and Tenancy Contact
You must require having a verified office address from Dubai Municipality before applying for the business license.

6. Final submission for company formation in Dubai Mainland
This is the final step to start your company in Dubai Mainland. If you have already completed all the initial business setup procedures, then you can apply for the final submission for setting up business. Our professional consultants also assist you through complete procedures for Dubai Mainland business setup with our best PRO services in UAE.
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New company registration process in mainland (DED) 1 year 9 months ago #185

  • susangeorge
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Thanks for the useful information Aziz!
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New company registration process in mainland (DED) 2 years 2 months ago #52

  • adamglobal
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Dubai offshore company formation can be a great idea looking at the perks that the government is offering for investors in this part of the world.
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New company registration process in mainland (DED) 2 years 3 months ago #32

  • Aziz
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Selecting the right legal structure

Once you are ready to implement your business idea and your funding and initial investment capital is in order, you can begin to look into legal formalities to register you company and obtain a trade license. It is very important to do as much preliminary research as possible before deciding which legal structure you would go for and what type of license you need to obtain. In general, the type of companies in the UAE can be grouped into three categories: Mainland (On-shore) Companies, Free Zone Companies and Offshore Companies. Here I will talk about the registration process of Mainland (or onshore) companies.

What is mainland (onshore) company?

Mainland companies are those entities that are incorporated in the mainland (on-shore) jurisdiction. One of the main characteristics of the mainland companies is that they can be formed only in association with a UAE national, who must be either a company shareholder holding at least 51% of shares or local service agent, depending on the legal form and activity of the company. However, nationals of GCC countries can establish mainland companies without having a UAE partner or an agent, subject to certain limitations. Local partners or agents can be individuals or locally-owned businesses. Mainland companies are registered and licensed by the Department of Economic Development (DED). Also keep in mind that certain business activities require separate approvals from different government departments or ministries before the trade license is issued. When starting a company registration, be sure to enquire about any external approvals that will be needed for the proposed business activity.

There are several types of companies that can be formed in the mainland, such as Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, Public/Private Joint Stock Companies and Civil Companies. One of the most used enitities is the Limited Liability Company (L.L.C.). According to the Commercial Companies Law (the “Law”), 51% of shares should belong to a UAE national, and 49% of shares can be owned by an expat. The parties can agree on distribution of profits and losses in different ratios. L.L.C. can be formed by partners of not exceeding fifty (50) but should not be less than two (2).

Registration Process:

1. Trade name reservation & initial approval

The first official step in obtaining a trade licence is to reserve a trade name and obtain the initial approval from the DED. The application for trade name approval can be completed online or van be done in many typing centers. The costs for obtaining a trade name varies depending on the content and language of the name. Normal trade name reservation cost AED 260 if you do it through typing offices. The process is relatively straight forward.
You can usually submit your initial approval application at the same time with trade name reservation. The documents needed for this step vary depending on the business structure of the company. Initial approval certificate is usually issued immediately, if the business activity does not require any external approval.

2. Finding an office space

Another major aspect of setting up a business in Dubai is finding an appropriate office space.When applying for the formal trade licence, you will be asked to show a rent agreement for the proposed location of your business. Normally authorities have strict zoning rules for businesses, so be sure your business is legally allowed to operate in that particular area or building before signing any agreements. To be sure your proposed location is within the city’s zoning regulations, you can call the Planning Department Office within the DED who can inform you whether or not it is acceptable.

3. External Approvals

Before issuing the trade license, DED may require to get special approvals from corresponding Ministries or Departments. For instance, medical clinics should be approved by Dubai Health Authority; auditing of accounts activity should be approved by the Ministry of Economy; real estate brokers or developers should be approved by Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), oil and lubricants trading activities should be permitted by the Ruler’s Court and etc. The corresponding Ministries and Departments have their own list of requirements to comply with in order to issue the required approval. External approvals can be precursor for issuing the initial approvals by DED. Therefore, before selecting a business activity, it is advisable to enquire about any external approvals that will be needed for the proposed business activity.

4. Final Registration and License

Once the name is reserved and the initial approval is obtained, you can proceed with signing the Memorandum & Articles of Association (MOA) or Local Service Agency Agreement (LSA) before the Notary public and lease agreement for the selected office. After receiving the MOA or LSA and the lease agreements from you, the DED will proceed with the final registration of the company. At this stage, DED issues a payment voucher (order) for the registration and the license. Once the payment is made, you will be able to obtain your original company documents and the license.

5. Registration with Ministry of Labor and Immigration Department

After getting the company license, you need to register the company with the Ministry of Labor and the Immigration department in order to be able to apply for residency visas for company employees.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share. :)
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