Mainland UAE entities are licensed by the relevant emirate’s Department of Economic Development (DED) and such entities are governed by the UAE Civil Code or the Federal Law No. 2 of 2015 concerning Commercial Companies. The chief advantage of mainland company setup is that there are no territorial restrictions on carrying out its business activities (unlike free zone or offshore companies) and, as such, an office may be set up in any part of the emirate in which the company is registered.

The presence of a UAE National is mandatory in all mainland licenses either as a Local Partner or a Local Service Agent. Local Partner/service agent is responsible for signing all government applications, while the expat partner can be solely  in control for business operations with no input from the Local Partner/Service Agent unless agreed.

There are some business activities which are regulated, and therefore require prior approvals by the respective governmental authorities. These include; RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) for all Real Estate and Developers related licenses, KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) for all Education related licenses, DHA (Dubai Health Authority) for all Hospitals, Clinics and other medical related licenses, etc.

Types of Licenses:

Commercial License – this license allows a company to trade in all legally tradable goods.

Industrial License – this license allows a company to engage in manufacturing activity or other types of industrial activities.

Professional License – this license allows the individuals or groups that would like to offer their expertise as services to the general public.

Types of companies:

Some of the different forms of mainland or DED licensed entities are as under:

  • Individual Establishment (Sole Proprietorship)
  • Civil Company
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Private Shareholding Company (Private Joint Stock Co)
  • Public Shareholding Company
  • Simple Limited Partnership
  • Partnership Company
  • Branch of Foreign Company
  • Branch of a Civil Company
  • Branch of Dubai Based Company
  • Branch of U.A.E. Based Company
  • Branch of GCC Company
  • Branch of a Freezone Company
  • Intelaq (UAE Nationals Only)

Company Formation in Dubai Mainland can be a very challenging and time-consuming task. Fichte & Co. Legal offers specialist expert advice and services for mainland company setup and incorporation across all emirates of the UAE.

For more information or enquiries, email us at

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At Fichte & Co, Managing Partner Jasamin Fichte leads a team that is ‘impeccable, in all areas.’ It handles an array of high-value claims for international clients and government entities.

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Mainland Company Setup was last modified: July 26th, 2018 by Fichte Legal