Mainland Company Setup

Mainland Company Setup

A mainland license allows people the opportunity to operate and trade freely within the United Arab Emirates, with no limitations.

Mainland licenses for new companies are issued and regulated by the Department of Economic Development (DED) of each Emirate. It is a government body responsible to drive the economic agenda of the country.

Opening a mainland, also known as an ‘’onshore’’ company, provides many benefits:

  • Freedom to trade with no restrictions within the United Arab Emirates
  • Ability to rent/ buy commercial space almost anywhere
  • 0% corporate and personal income taxes
  • Wide range of activities available
  • No currency restrictions
  • No annual audits
  • Ability to bid on Governmental projects

List for Mainland Company Setup & Prices

There are certain steps that we need to take to open your mainland company, with which we will help you, guiding you along the way:

Mainland License Registration

We will register your company through the Department of Economic Development (DED).
License price will vary according to your company’s activities.

Assistance With External Controls

Depending on your type of company, the DED might have to contact a second governmental body, that will have impose its own rules and regulations.
For example, a company selling pharmaceuticals in Dubai will have to go through the Dubai Health Authority, which will need to inspect the leased property and verify that it is in accordance to its rules.

In these cases, Ariston Companies Formation is more than suited to inform you on all governmental regulations and prepare you accordingly.

Residence Visa

Securing a Residence Visa is paramount in order to properly operate your mainland company  and enjoy all benefits provided by the United Arab Emirates but also to open your corporate bank account.

We will make all necessary arrangements and apply for Visas through the General Directory of Residency and Foreign Affairs.


We can get Residence Visas for:

  • all shareholders of the company
  • Company’s manager/ director
  • Employees
  • All shareholder’s spouses/ children

You will also require an EMIRATES ID, an identification card issued by the General Directorate of Identity and Citizenship, that allows any U.A.E. resident to get access to a multitude of governmental services, open a bank account, and buy or rent property, among others.

These bureaucratic endeavors have many steps and might take up to a month, requiring coordination with governmental agencies, so let Ariston take care of any immigration-related issue.

Corporate Bank Account Opening

Another mandatory step, this will be the financial basis of your business. Banks have different requirements and restrictions, so it might take from two weeks to a month to open a business account in the UAE.

Let us find the bank that best suits the nature of your business and have your account opened with minimum hassle.

Commercial Space

A mainland license allows business owners to buy or rent commercial property almost anywhere in the UAE.

There are countless options, as the United Arab Emirates are a hub for prime real estate and mainland companies benefit from all these options and exclusive deals.

We at Ariston, provide assistance to our clients finding a space that is in accordance to their budget and needs, whatever they may be.

Local Sponsorship

Since June 2021, a federal law lifted the requirement to have a Local Sponsor or Local Service Agent as the main shareholder of the company.

While this still applies to most licenses, some business activities still require to have a Local Service Agent in order to operate.

The Agent virtually owns 51% of the company, but the two parties sign a legal agreement, according to which he cannot take any executive decisions, and has nothing to do with the company’s revenue and operations.

That person is essentially a ‘’silent partner’’ that receives an annual fee in exchange for his service, which is registering his name as the prime shareholder, in order for the company to operate within legal constraints.

With our experience and connections, we will put you in touch with a trustworthy Emirati local and make all necessary arrangements for you.

One stop shop

We have strong business setup service experience in the Middle East and particularly in the UAE. The company formation and incorporation is different and some Free Zones are some of the most sought after places.