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About Mainland Company Formation

Dubai, the bustling city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has emerged as a prominent business hub, attracting entrepreneurs from around the world. 

With its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly environment, Dubai offers excellent opportunities for company formation. Get a consultation from our experts for business setup in abu dhabi mainland

One of the popular options for entrepreneurs is mainland company formation, which allows businesses to operate throughout Dubai and the UAE. 

Mainland business setup in Abu Dhabi refers to establishing a business entity in the mainland of Dubai, which allows companies to operate locally and internationally. 

Unlike free zones that have specific restrictions on business activities and require a local sponsor, mainland companies have more flexibility in terms of operations and can engage in a broader range of activities.

Abu Dhabi Mainland Company Formation & Business Setup

Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), offers excellent opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish a presence in the region. One of the options available for company formation in Abu Dhabi is setting up a mainland company. In this article, we will explore the process and requirements for mainland company formation in Abu Dhabi, highlighting its benefits and key considerations.

If you’re considering starting a business in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you may be interested in learning about mainland company formation. Abu Dhabi offers a favorable business environment, strategic location, and various incentives for entrepreneurs. In this article, we will delve into the process of forming a mainland company in Abu Dhabi, highlighting the key requirements and benefits associated with this type of business setup. Before we explore the specifics of mainland company formation in Abu Dhabi, let’s understand what it entails. A mainland company refers to a business entity that is registered and licensed by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Abu Dhabi. Unlike free zone companies, mainland companies have no restrictions on the geographic location of their business activities. They can operate within the UAE market and also engage in international trade without limitations.

Benefits of Mainland Company Formation in Abu Dhabi

Mainland Company Formation In Dubai Establishing a business setup in Abu Dhabi mainland offers several advantages for entrepreneurs and businesses:

Access to Local Market

A mainland company allows you to access the local UAE market and cater to the needs of both local and international customers. It enables you to engage in business activities across the UAE without restrictions on geographic location.

No Restrictions on Geographic Location

Unlike free zone companies, mainland companies have the flexibility to operate anywhere in Abu Dhabi or other Emirates of the UAE. This opens up opportunities to serve a wider customer base and expand your business network.

Flexibility in Business Activities

Mainland companies enjoy greater flexibility in terms of the range of business activities they can undertake. You can engage in various commercial and professional activities, subject to obtaining the necessary licenses and approvals.

Full Ownership for UAE Nationals

For UAE nationals, mainland company formation provides the advantage of 100% ownership. This allows local entrepreneurs to have complete control and decision-making power over their business operations.

Potential for Government Contracts

Mainland companies have the opportunity to participate in government contracts and projects, which can be a significant source of revenue. This can contribute to the growth and sustainability of your business in Abu Dhabi.

Legal Requirements for Mainland Company Formation In Abu Dhabi

To form a mainland company in Abu Dhabi, you need to fulfill certain legal requirements 

Local Partner

A mainland company requires a local partner who is a UAE national or a company fully owned by UAE nationals. The local partner must hold at least 51% of the shares in the company, while the foreign investor can own the remaining 49%.

Trade Name Approval

Selecting a unique trade name for your mainland company is crucial. The proposed name should be in line with the guidelines set by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Abu Dhabi. It should not conflict with existing trademarks or violate any regulations.

Business Activity Approval

Obtain approval for the specific business activities you wish to engage in. The business activity must align with the UAE’s commercial activities classification and the regulations set by the relevant authorities.

Memorandum of Association (MOA)

Prepare the Memorandum of Association (MOA) in Arabic, stating the company’s structure, objectives, and operational details. The MOA must be notarized by a public notary.

Physical Office Space

Having a physical office space is mandatory for mainland companies. The office should meet the requirements set by the authorities and serve as the registered address of the company.

Licensing and Approvals

Mainland companies must obtain the necessary licenses and approvals from various government authorities, depending on the nature of the business activity. This ensures compliance with local regulations and allows for legal operation.

Company Formation Process

The process of mainland company formation in Abu Dhabi involves the following steps:

Choose a Business Activity

Identify the specific business activity you wish to engage in and ensure it aligns with the UAE’s commercial activities classification.

Find a Local Partner

Engage with a reputable local partner who meets the legal requirements and can provide the necessary support and expertise. The partnership agreement should clearly outline the roles, responsibilities, and profit-sharing structure.

Draft the Memorandum of Association (MOA)

Prepare the MOA in Arabic, stating the company’s objectives, shareholding structure, and operational details. Seek legal assistance to ensure all necessary clauses and provisions are included.

Obtain Necessary Approvals and Licenses

Submit the required documents and applications to the relevant authorities to obtain the necessary approvals and licenses for your business activity.

Register the Company with Relevant Authorities

Once all approvals and licenses are obtained, register the company with the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant authority. Pay the required registration fees and provide the necessary documentation.

Post-Formation Obligations

After forming a mainland company in Abu Dhabi, certain post-formation obligations must be fulfilled:

Bank Account Opening

Open a corporate bank account in Abu Dhabi to facilitate business transactions. Choose a bank that suits your business needs and provides convenient banking services.

VAT Registration

If your company meets the criteria for Value Added Tax (VAT) registration, ensure timely registration and compliance with VAT regulations in the UAE.

Labor Contracts and Employee Visas

If you plan to hire employees, ensure compliance with labor regulations, including obtaining appropriate labor contracts and employee visas.

Annual Compliance Requirements

Mainland companies in Abu Dhabi must comply with annual compliance requirements, such as filing annual financial statements, conducting annual general meetings, and renewing licenses and permits.

Why Choose Us?

Neeja Corporate Services is one of the leading consultants and solution providers for licensing, business incorporation, and other related activities. With the right set of expertise and experience, we help entrepreneurs and business owners acquire licenses and registration in a short span of time.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Can foreign nationals own 100% of a business setup in Abu Dhabi mainland

: In most cases, foreign nationals cannot own 100% of a mainland Abu Dhabi company. However, depending on the business activity and certain exceptions, it may be possible to have varying levels of ownership. Generally, a local UAE national must hold at least 51% ownership.

Are there any specific legal requirements for company formation in mainland Abu Dhabi?

Yes, there are legal requirements that must be met. These include having a UAE national as a sponsor or local service agent, adhering to the applicable company structure and ownership regulations, and complying with the relevant commercial laws and regulations.

What are the benefits of setting up a company in mainland Abu Dhabi?

Setting up a company in mainland Abu Dhabi offers benefits such as access to a broader market, the ability to do business with the local population, and the opportunity to operate outside the restrictions of a free zone. It also allows for flexibility in selecting office locations within Abu Dhabi.

What taxes are applicable to companies in mainland Abu Dhabi?

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, there is no federal corporate tax on companies in the UAE. However, certain emirates and municipalities may impose local taxes and fees. It is advisable to consult with a tax expert or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information on taxation.

For right estimates and latest cost details, consult our company formation experts. Start a free consultation.
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