Are you looking to start a business in Dubai Mainland but don’t know where to begin? You’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of starting a company in Dubai Mainland. From choosing the right business structure to obtaining a trade license, we’ll cover everything you need to know to set up your business successfully.
Dubai Mainland, also known as onshore, is the area of Dubai that is regulated by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). If you’re planning to start a business in Dubai Mainland, you’ll need to follow the regulations set out by the DED. This guide will provide you with a step-by-step process to help you start a company in Dubai Mainland.
Business Structures in Dubai Mainland
Before you start your business in Dubai Mainland, you need to choose the right business structure. There are three main business structures you can choose from.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
An LLC is the most common business structure in Dubai Mainland. It requires a minimum of two and a maximum of 50 shareholders. An LLC is suitable for most types of businesses and offers limited liability protection to its shareholders.
A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person. It’s a suitable business structure for small businesses that don’t require a lot of investment. However, the owner of a sole proprietorship is personally liable for the business’s debts.
A branch office is a separate legal entity of an existing company. It’s suitable for businesses that want to expand their operations to Dubai Mainland.
Choosing a Business Name
The next step is to choose a business name that’s not already taken. The business name should comply with the DED’s guidelines, which include not using any offensive language and not including any religious or political references.
Local Sponsorship Requirements
In Dubai Mainland, it’s mandatory to have a local sponsor for your business. A local sponsor is a UAE national who will hold 51% of the shares in your company. However, the sponsor has no involvement in the management or day-to-day operations of your business.
Obtaining Initial Approvals
Once you have chosen your business structure, business name, and local sponsor, you need to obtain initial approvals from the DED. This includes obtaining an initial approval certificate, a notarized memorandum of association, and an approval from the Ministry of Economy.
Lease Agreement and Tenancy Contract
Before you can obtain a trade license, you need to have a physical office space in Dubai Mainland. You need to sign a lease agreement and obtain a tenancy contract from the Dubai Municipality.
Obtaining a Trade License
The final step is to obtain a trade license from the DED. The type of trade license you need depends on the nature of your business. You can choose from a commercial license, industrial license, or professional license.
Registering for VAT
If your business is eligible for VAT, you need to register for VAT with the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). You need to submit all the required documents and information to the FTA and obtain a VAT registration number.
Opening a Corporate Bank Account
Once you have obtained your trade license and VAT registration number, you can open a corporate bank account in Dubai. You need to provide the bank with all the necessary documents, including your trade license, tenancy contract, and passport copies.
Also Read :- How to Open a Business Bank Account in Dubai | Full Guide (2023)
If you’re planning to hire employees for your business, you need to follow the employment laws and regulations set out by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. This includes obtaining a labor card, a residency visa, and a health card for each employee.
Q : Do I need a local sponsor to start a business in Dubai Mainland?
A : Yes, it’s mandatory to have a local sponsor for your business in Dubai Mainland.
Q : Can a sole proprietorship have a trade license in Dubai Mainland?
A : Yes, a sole proprietorship can obtain a trade license in Dubai Mainland.
Q : Can a branch office operate independently in Dubai Mainland?
A : No, a branch office is a separate legal entity of an existing company and cannot operate independently in Dubai Mainland.
Q : How long does it take to obtain a trade license in Dubai Mainland?
A : It usually takes between two to four weeks to obtain a trade license in Dubai Mainland.
Q : Can I open a corporate bank account before obtaining a trade license?
A : No, you need to obtain your trade license before you can open a corporate bank account in Dubai.
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