What is a Mainland company?

The freedom to operate throughout all the emirates and internationally is one of the major reasons to consider opening a mainland company.

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the regulatory body that oversees the issuance of mainland licenses. While previously restricted by the need to have a local sponsor, over 1000 commercial licenses no longer have this dependency.

Mainland companies have no limitations on the number of visas issued by the company and are able to open a bank account with ease compared to Freezone and offshore entities.

In recent years the UAE government has allowed for 100% ownership for a vast array of mainland company business activities, therefore removing the need for a local national to be a 51% shareholder.

Forming a mainland company in the UAE is a highly complex process and varies greatly depending on the nature of the business. Speak to our expert consultants who will answer all of your questions and advise you on the formation process.

Narenda Punwaney, CFO of Strive Consultants

The default licence available in the UAE. This is often the best licence for companies really looking to expand in the local market as well as the GCC region.

Narenda Punwaney

Benefits of forming a Mainland company in the United Arab Emirates

A mainland company is much like a regular company in any country and benefits from the following features:

100% Foreign Ownership

No requirement for local sponsors giving you total control

    Employ local staff

    Unlike with other company types, there are no restrictions on employing staff from the local market

      No visa cap

      There is no limit on the number of visas you can have on the company


        Enables access to a wider range of banking providers in the UAE

          Tax Relief

          Certain business activities have exemptions from corporation tax

            Trade across the UAE

            Trade openly across the UAE and the world with no restrictions

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