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Is a mainland company the right choice for you? Choose from over 3,000 business activities and enjoy the freedom to trade anywhere in the UAE and overseas.



A mainland company is a business entity that has been registered with the Ministry of Economy under the supervision of the Department of Economic Development (DED). A sponsor, who is a UAE resident, is required for the establishment of a mainland company.

 A mainland company in the UAE is not restricted to trading and can conduct business within and outside the UAE.

 The shareholding pattern will differ between Trade and Service Activities. In a Trade Activity setup, for certain activities, the shareholder (UAE national) would own 51% while the expat shareholder would own 49%. On the other hand, in a Service Activity setup, the foreign national would be able to own 100% of the company.

Benefits of mainland company formation
Some of the benefits of setting up a Free Zone company in the UAE have been listed as follows.

Some of the popular advantages of setting up a mainland company in the UAE include the following:

Income-tax-free environment: Like Free Zones, mainland companies are also exempt from income taxes. This helps business owners keep everything they earn and help their business profit well.

No geographical restrictions: Unlike Free Zones which are restricted to trading within their designated Free Zones and outside the UAE, mainland companies can trade across the region within and outside the region.

More business activities: Comparatively, mainland companies have more business activities as compared to Free Zone businesses. This can help business owners to explore a wide range of opportunities, thereby assisting in the growth of the economy.

100% expat ownership: Mainland companies ideally require a UAE national as a sponsor; however, for selected commercial and service activities and company types, expats can enjoy 100% ownership.

Ease in obtaining a corporate bank account: Mainland companies can easily obtain and open a corporate bank account. For more details, check out this article on how to operate a corporate bank account in the UAE.

UAE mainland businesses can operate and trade within UAE boundaries as well as the free zones, and also internationally.
  • Limitless trade within UAE Global business opportunities 
  • No minimum capital required for company formation
  •  Tax exemption
  •  No annual audits
  • 100% ownership