A mainland business setup in Dubai is a registered business entity with the Department of Economic Development (DED) that operates within the country, i.e., onshore. A Mainland company requires that a UAE national own a minimum of 51% of the company but can be owned by a foreign national if the foreign national meets certain requirements. This means visa restrictions do not apply when setting up a Mainland company.
Mainland companies are registered with the Department of Economic Development (DED) in the United Arab Emirates:
While Mainland companies are generally required to obtain an industrial trade license to operate in the UAE, it is not required for all types of businesses. If you plan manufacturing activities, you can register as an industrial trade company with the Dubai Economic Department. Depending on the type of business, you might need additional approvals from the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.
Mainland companies are onshore companies:
Mainland companies are a good choice for UAE entrepreneurs seeking to set up their businesses in the UAE. As the Department of Economic Development regulates them, these companies comply with UAE laws and are compliant with best business practices. As a rule, an investor must own 51% of a Mainland company. This figure may be higher for certain activities, such as equipment trading, but is still much less than the DMCC’s 50,000 AED minimum.
Mainland companies require a UAE national’s ownership:
Most mainland companies require a UAE national to own them, but exceptions exist. There are a few reasons that a mainland company may be preferable. First, it offers more potential for business growth than a Free Zone company. In addition to the potential for higher profits, mainland companies do not require yearly audits or minimum capital requirements. In addition, mainland licenses offer real scope for growth, as they can scale across the UAE without worrying about currency restrictions.
Mainland companies are not subject to visa restrictions:
Mainland companies, also called onshore companies, must obtain a license from the Department of Economic Development before conducting business in the UAE. Mainland companies are not subject to visa restrictions and can apply for multiple residence visas without a problem. The office space size determines the number of residence visas available. The larger the office space, the more visas can be issued. The maximum number of residence visas per Mainland Company is three.