Why Should I Opt for a Mainland Dubai Company?
How is Mainland Different from the Free Zone?
In UAE there are two types of trade zones – Mainland and Free Zones. Mainland companies are licensed by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in each Emirate of the United Arab Emirates, and Free Zone companies are licensed by one of the Free Zone Authorities and are restricted within an allocated geographical area.
Here are the main factors to consider when you plan to choose your business setup structure:
- What will be your business type and activity?
- What is the location of your customers?
- What type of customer are you going to serve (individual, business, government, etc.)?
- What is your proposed physical location?
- What is the number of employees you need to run your business?
Benefits of Business Setup In Dubai Mainland
Unrestricted Business Location
Who can trade and with whom you can trade, these restrictions are not for any mainland company in Dubai. Therefore, if you wish to do business directly with your customers or with the government or any such agency, then you need to establish a mainland company without any doubt. This is because companies in the free zone areas are restricted to run their business within their free zone. Consequently, they are not authorised to offer their services or do business directly with customers outside their jurisdiction.
Moreover, mainland companies do not have any limitation on the number of visas that can be provisioned. Your commercial space determines the number and size of your visa quota. The bigger the size of your office, the higher will be the number of visa issuance, which can even be unlimited.
Open Your Office Anywhere in Dubai
A mainland company can set up their office anywhere in mainland Dubai but a free zone company has limited options for commercial space. As a mainland company, you can also run your business without any physical office space, if you do not need one in the beginning.
Broader Business Activity Available
Mainland companies have broader business activity options to pick from, whereas free zone companies have limited activity offerings. Free zone companies’ business activities are based on the themed category for a particular free zone.
Flexibility, Expansion Options, and Adaptability
Mainland companies have the option to open branches in multiple locations in the mainland. They are also entitled to additional visas as per their business needs.
100% Ownership Control
There is a misbelief that a local partner (who holds shares in the business) is necessary for all Mainland Companies. This makes most companies and investors opt for a Free Zone company that allows 100% ownership. The fact is, if you start a mainland company with a professional activity (like – accounting, technical services, and project management), it is possible for you to own 100% share of the company in the legal form of a Sole Establishment (with just one shareholder) or as a Civil Company (with more than one shareholder).
If you are still not convinced and find it complex then hire a business setup consultant. The consultant can assist you in the entire process and help you in establishing your business in Dubai smoothly. Both mainland and free zone companies have their own pros and cons. You will need to find out which one suits the best for your business activity type. Your choice will also depend on what business you are into. It is recommended you consult with a professional who knows the process very well and can guide you in the right direction when you plan to set up your business in Dubai or any other emirate of UAE.