Mainland companies

Features of mainland companies:

  1. Mainland companies may operate in one or more Emirates in the UAE mainland as well as outside the UAE
  2. The office can be located anywhere in the Emirate except for free zones
  3. Relatively low office rental costs
  4. A wide range of licensed types of activities
  5. All corporate documents are drafted in Arabic and English
  6. An Emirati notary is required for a number of corporate actions


What legislation applies to mainland companies?

All federal laws of the UAE and the laws of the Emirate in which the company is established shall apply.

What are the main steps in establishing a mainland company?

  • reservation of the proposed business name
  • office lease
  • signing the Articles of Association with an Emirati notary public (with the option to sign and notarize online)
  • verification of participants and managers by government agencies
  • obtaining approval of the licensing authority

Are there any requirements regarding a minimum share capital of the mainland company?

There are no specific requirements regarding the minimum amount of share capital for mainland companies in the UAE. However, the share capital must be adequate to support the intended business activities of the company. In practice, since investments of 75,000 AED and above allow for the possibility of applying for an investor visa, the minimum share capital is typically set at least at the amount of 75,000 AED (approximately 20,420 USD).

What is a mainland company’s establishment timeline?

Establishing a mainland company takes up to 2 weeks.

What is the number of visas granted when establishing a mainland company?

The number of visas depends on the size of the office. For instance, renting a 50 m2 office gives a company a quota of 10 visas.

Do the members and managers of the company have to be UAE citizens or residents?

For the vast majority of activities, there are no restrictions on the nationality or residency of participants and managers. The only exception is that there are certain activities (a limited list of strategic sectors, such as oil and gas and defence companies) for which the requirement to have a local partner who is a UAE national is maintained.

What are the requirements for a mainland company’s office?

The establishment of a mainland company requires a physical office within the Emirate in which it is established.

What data about a mainland company is available in the public registry and/or disclosed to the licensing authority?

Only the name of a mainland company, its activities and its address are publicly disclosed.
However, at the establishment stage and thereafter when renewing a commercial license any mainland company must also disclose its ultimate beneficiaries to the licensing authority (this information is not disclosed to third parties).

Is personal presence of participants and/or managers required to establish a mainland company?

No, personal attendance is not required.

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