Mainland Companies

The strategic location of Dubai and its diverse market opportunities have made it one of the business capitals of the world. Mainland companies are increasingly setting up in the city, attracted by Dubai's strategic location, business-friendly environment, and diverse market opportunities. Some of the most successful mainland companies in Dubai are state-owned enterprises China State Construction Engineering Corporation and China Harbour Engineering Company, which played a significant role in the city's infrastructure development. Other notable mainland companies in Dubai include tech giant Huawei and e-commerce giant Alibaba.

One of the benefits of setting up a company on Dubai's mainland is that the company enjoys tax advantages. Unlike companies in Dubai's free zones, mainland companies are not subject to tax-free status. However, mainland Dubai companies are subject to a low tax rate of 5% on net profits and are not subject to corporate or income tax. This can be attractive to companies looking to maximize profits while also benefiting from Dubai's strategic location and favorable business environment.

Your Step-by-Step Guide

Setting up a company on Dubai's mainland involves several steps and considerations. Here is an overview of the process:

The process of setting up a business on Dubai's mainland is a challenging undertaking that requires a lot of time and planning. It is a process that consists of several steps, all of which are crucial to ensuring that you can set up a successful business.

Choose Your Name

First, you need to choose a unique business name approved by the Department of Economic Development (DED). It is important to ensure that your business name is unique and does not resemble existing business names. This is similar to the requirements you are accustomed to in the Netherlands or other countries where you operate. If you plan to relocate your current business to Dubai's mainland or register a new business, this is the first step you need to take.

Choose Your Structure

Next, you need to determine which type of company best suits your business needs. The most common types of companies in Dubai are limited liability companies (LLCs) and free zone companies. LLCs are owned by UAE citizens for at least 51%, while free zone companies are 100% foreign-owned. It is important to carefully consider which type of company is best for you and what the pros and cons are of each type of company.

(Possible) Licensing Requirements

After you have chosen the type of company you want to establish, you may need to obtain specific licenses and approvals from various government agencies. This depends on the type of company you want to establish. For example, if you want to import or export goods, you need to register with Dubai Customs. It is important to know what licenses and approvals you need and how to obtain them.


Next, you need to find a suitable location for your business. This can be a physical office space or a virtual mailing address. It is important to know the differences between a physical office space and a virtual mailing address. For example, a virtual mailing address offers more flexibility and lower costs, but a physical office space may be important if you need to hold regular face-to-face meetings.


Finally, you can register your business with the DED and pay the necessary fees. It is important to know what fees there are and what to expect during the registration process.

Setting up a business on Dubai's mainland can be complex and time-consuming. Therefore, we recommend seeking professional advice and assistance from a business advisor, such as the ones we offer at Growth One. A business advisor can help you understand the process of setting up a business on Dubai's mainland and guide you through each step of the process. This can save you a lot of time and effort and ensure that you set up your business the right way.

With Growth Legal, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Assistance with company set-up
  • Full support with establishing the business structure
  • Guidance with opening a bank account
  • Assistance with medical examination
  • Inclusive of an accountant
  • VAT & TAX consulting

Are you interested in setting up a Mainland Company? Contact us and we will be happy to assist you.