creative zone

How to Setup a Dubai Mainland Company in the UAE

  • Select business activities
  • Select legal form
  • Select trade name
  • Apply for initial approval
  • Prepare Memorandum of Association and LSA agreement
  • Establish business location
  • Get approvals
  • Collect your business license

A ‘mainland company’ or DED license is a legal entity that can conduct business operations and transactions throughout the UAE and in other countries without restrictions. UAE Companies Law dictate that expatriate shareholders must nominate a local service agent or a local partner (sponsor) to setup a mainland company. In the case of a Limited Liability Company LLC (i.e Commercial Trading entity) the local partner must hold the majority equity share – a minimum of 51%.

A favourable and legal alternative to a local partner acting as the 51% local sponsor, is to choose a corporate nominee partner. This provides expatriate shareholders with 100% financial and operational control and stronger legal rights. The obvious benefits of corporate nominee partnership include complete control of the business operations, 100% of financial benefits, and of course stronger legal contracts aimed at protecting the interests of the business owner and respective shareholders.

We at CREATIVE ZONE offer that local partner service as a ‘corporate nominee partner or entity‘. Therefore the shareholding of the 51% falls under this new entity CREATIVE ZONE General Trading LLC, rather than a local individual.

The main benefits of local partner being a company and not an individual are firstly, you are taking out the emotional relationship of dealing with an individual from both sides of the relationship. So as a corporate nominee partner, the foreign company is complying with UAE Companies Law and you deal with a corporate entity with a structured board and a power of attorney over this company rather than a local individual.

So from a corporate governance perspective, for transparency and so forth, this adds a number of benefits to the foreign party, not least of which is succession planning. Companies often worried about coming into the market and selecting a local partner and then wondering what would happen if the local partner were to die or change his mind. With a corporate entity, the contractual terms remain in place, so it gives more rigidity to the arrangement than having an individual national being the local partner.

Why Setup a Company in Dubai Mainland?

  • Flexibility to trade either within the UAE (with private, local and government authorities) or overseas
  • No limit on number of visas (depending on the size of the office space)
  • Office premises anywhere in mainland Dubai
  • Fewer nationality restrictions in ownership and visas compared to other jurisdictions
  • More options for business activities

Some of the popular business activities registered in Dubai

Commercial Enterprises Accounting and Bookkeeping General Trading
Real Estate Development Events Management Sports Services
Building Material Trading Technical and Occupational Skills Training Commercial Enterprises
Interior Decoration Rent a Car Cosmetic Trading
Building Material Trading Restaurant Travel & Leisure Services
Design & Artwork Services Hospitality Services Logistics Consultancy
Merchandising services Vehicles Registration Services Coffee Shop


Our DED advisory team will provide you with transparent and concise advice on all aspects of mainland company formation covering structures, licensing and business activities. Our customer service management team provide efficient ongoing advice and support ensuring you can simply focus on the day to day operations of your business.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our Dubai Mainland company formation specialists today. 

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