Mainland company
incorporation in the UAE

Open up the full range of opportunities for your business with full recognition from
banks, trading partners and regulatory authorities not only in the UAE but all over the
world

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Since a Mainland Company is officially registered in the Emirates, it has unique opportunities to operate throughout the country and worldwide with almost no limits. Locally established entity provides ample opportunities for conducting various business operations in the UAE. This type of entity is perfect for entrepreneurs and investors who wish to maintain a long-term presence in the UAE.


Types of Mainland companies available for incorporation in the United Arab Emirates

According to the new regulations, many commercial activities that previously required the appointment of a local partner a LLC are now exempt from such obligations for the main business activity, thereby increasing the superb advantages of starting a business in the UAE.

Professional (SE / CC) company.
100% foreign ownership

For activities in the provision of professional services,
you must appoint a UAE national as a service agent for
tasks such as liaising with government departments

Commercial (LLC) company.
100% foreign ownership

For most business activities in the areas of trade,
tourism, logistics and construction, 100% foreign
ownership is permitted

Local partner
holds 51%

Companies considered to have “strategic impact” are
required to appoint a local nominee shareholder, holding
51% of the company shares but with a waiver of rights

100% local
ownership

A number of business activities are closed to direct
foreign ownership. The transfer of full rights to a foreign
manager is formalized in court

Public Joint Stock
Company (PJSC)

Open Joint Stock Company can issue shares for public
subscription and has an unlimited number of partners
with at least 10 founding members

Private Joint Stock
Company

A Closed Joint Stock Company must include at least
three founders. The issue of shares takes place through a
closed subscription

A service agent can be appointed to communicate with government agencies and to process visa and immigration procedures. This is a professional company that will perform representative and functional tasks with the UAE authorities.


Unique features of a UAE Mainland company

Mainland companies (incorporated in the UAE itself instead of in Free Zones) enjoy significant government support.
They are also a perfect way of doing business both in internal and global markets. This form of entity is determined by law and has no equivalent in other countries.

Legal forms of the
business

Depending on the business activities that
will be carried out, all Mainland Companies
can be divided into commercial, industrial
and professional businesses.

The law sets out specific requirements for
each type of business activity.

A local
partner

A local partner is required in order to register
an industrial or commercial type of Mainland
Company, holding at least 51% of the shares.
Waiver of its rights is registered in the court.

With nominee representation only, it does not
carry risks for a foreign business people.

A local
agent

Under Article 15b, Law №13, NON-UAE
Nationals are only permitted to conduct
professional activities in case they have
appointed a UAE Local Service Agent (LSA)

This LSA does not assume civil or financial
liabilities in relation to the company

Legal
address

UAE legislation requires the company to have
a physical office or some other commercial
premises licensed under Ejari / Estidama
rules.

It should be renewable and held under a lease
of at least one year.

Business
licensing

A license is required in order to operate any
legal business in the United Arab Emirates.
This license is the primary authorization
document for a company.

It is valid for one year and renewed annually
with obligation to pay renewal fees.

Management
of a company

A company can have up to five General
Managers. Their rights and powers within
the company are determined and specified
in the memorandum of association (MoA).

The owner may appoint different managers
for separate business operations.

SORP expert solutions for starting a Mainland
Company in the UAE

Prepare your business
model

We will find the best solution for
what you want to achieve, the most
suitable license and type of entity.

Register
your business

We cooperate closely with the
registration authorities and so
we can deliver services quickly.

Your local partner
or agent

Nominee services from SORP
Investment LLC with a waiver
of rights in the Dubai court.

Prestigious
legal address

SORP Business Centre provides
the opportunity to rent an office
under Ejari / Estidama license,
rent flexi-desks or get an E-office.

Opening of
bank accounts

We know the compliance process
of UAE banks and work with them
closely, and so we provide capable
professional help in passing KYC.

Public Relations
Officers (PRO)

With PRO our clients get 24/7
support and representation of their
interests with governmental bodies,
for immigration and in MOHRE.


Commercial Licenses (LLC)
available for 100% foreign
ownership

According to the new regulations, many commercial activities that previously required the appointment of a local partner for incorporating a LLC are now completely exempt for their main activities. This maximizes the superb advantages of starting a business in the UAE

Trading
For the main categories of goods: food
and beverages, cosmetics, fertilizers, live
animals and plants, medicines and chemicals
Investment
Unregulated licenses for venture investments,
commercial projects. Does not include third
party asset management activities
Construction
For the construction of all types of buildings
and structures and providing subcontracting,
infrastructure work, excluding design services
Logistics
For all types of cargo and passenger land, air,
sea transportation, including cargo chartering
and the activities of airline representatives
Tourism
Activities of hotels of all types and categories,
guest houses and apartments. Except tourist
offices
Industry
Industrial licenses for manufacturing and
processing of all types, including extracting
natural resources, except for oil and gas

A number of commercial licenses (LLCs) do not require a local partner, but SORP Group experts recommend using nominee services for the purpose of concealing the beneficiary and simplifying the mandatory procedures for confirming economic presence. In addition, the nominee partner can be used to avoid CFC rules by minimizing the ownership share of the foreign investor.

Professional licenses (SE / CC)
available for 100% foreign
ownership

The activities of service provision may be 100% foreign owned and may be established by individuals, or as a local branch. Incorporation requires the mandatory appointment of a local service agent representing your interests with the UAE government

Services for consumption
by the public
Cleaning, laundries, fashion designers, beauty
salons, repair and craft workshops, car services
Management
and consultancy
Project management, management, tax and
personnel consulting, specialized expertise
Medicine
and healthcare
Medical centers, private hospitals, clinics,
laboratories, pharmaceutical consultations
Sports and education
Preschool, secondary and higher education,
courses, training, sports clubs
Catering and agriculture
Activities of restaurants, catering, cafes, fast
food outlets, farms, crop production
Information Technology
Information security, network setup, office
equipment maintenance, software development

To provide professional services to the public and to businesses in the UAE domestic market, you must first assess the likelihood of obtaining all the permits required to conduct your selected line of business. UAE legislation provides a special registration process for professional services and pays attention to the qualifications and relevant education of the owners and employees of the company.

Licenses Requiring 51%
Nominal Local
Ownership

Incorporation of Mainland companies in sectors of the economy that are considered strategically important still requires the appointment of a nominee local partner with a 51% share of ownership with a waiver in court.

Investment-
financial licenses
Financial intermediaries, brokers, commodity &
currency exchanges, currency exchange offices
Television
and broadcasting
Independent video and radio broadcasts via
satellite, television, or radio channels
All kinds of
insurance
Companies that specialize in life, health,
property insurance, financial risks
Real estate
Development
Real estate and infrastructure development,
including the subsequent sale of such projects
Engineering and
geodetic licenses
Design works and engineering/geological
studies of terrain for planned construction
Fishery
Breeding and catching live fish or seafood,
including artificial reservoirs and fish farms

A number of business activities require the appointment of a local partner with a 51% share, not only to protect the rights of the local population, but also to enable foreign investors to conduct business in strategically important industries. We recommend engaging a professional service agent to simplify interaction with government agencies, as well as providing opportunities to participate in local tenders.

Limited Licenses for foreign ownership

Foreigners frequently operate so-called “strategic activities” even though foreign ownership is restricted by law. The company is incorporated with 100% ownership by a local partner who subsequently transfers all rights to a foreign investor who is appointed by the general manager.

Real Estate Brokers
Agents accompanying transactions of purchase
and sale of real estate and lease to third parties.
Real Estate Trustee
Companies that are trusted representatives of
the interests of customers at Land Department.
Printing and journalism
Printers specializing in producing commercial
documentation, checkbooks, credit cards, etc.
Personnel agency
Providing employees upon request, and
supporting their employment as per UAE legal requirements

In addition to meeting legal requirements, this form of ownership is actively practiced in other areas to build trust structures while maintaining full management control. This practice is an established business tradition in the Emirates and does not contradict the legislation.

Setting up a Mainland Company provides unique
business opportunities

Owning a Mainland Company allows to take full advantage of provisions in UAE legislation that are very favorable to business. For example, advantages when operating in the domestic market and across the 6 countries of the GCC zone, or when doing business internationally under the ‘UAE Flag of Convenience’. Equally importantly, banks and financial providers do not apply any special terms and conditions on Mainland Companies and treat them just like any other company from the United Arab Emirates.

Opportunity to bid on tenders

A Mainland (local) Company is a trusted
legal entity in the eyes of governmental
bodies and commercial institutions. As
well as it provides the opportunities to
participate in local or global tenders.

Obtain tax residency

All Mainland Companies owners
can apply for UAE tax resident status
and be shielded from personal data
exchange requirements under the
Common Report Standard (CRS).

Protect assets and property

Only Mainland Companies have the
right to acquire and re-register assets
in the UAE and globally for the purpose
of concealing the identity and other
information about the owners.

Form holding companies and
other business structures

A Mainland Company is a unique
tool for minimizing your tax burden,
consolidating business and assets,
optimizing cash flows within entities
and structures under its control.

Keep personal and financial data
confidentiality

Information about beneficiaries,
shareholders and signatories of
a company is hidden. Company
owners get full protection from
automatic tax exchange.

Optimize cash flows and
transactions

The settlement center provides for
efficient allocation of international
business operations without taxes. You
can also make payments on behalf of
third parties and offset mutual claims.


Integrated solutions from SORP for setting up
your business in the UAE

Evaluate your
business idea

We will conduct an analysis of your
business idea and suggest the
most suitable licensing to allow
you to operate successfully both in
the UAE and international markets.

Complete
business analysis

We will conduct market research,
identify potential competitors and
also review relevant legislation. We
will source and suggest facilities
suitable for your business.

Business
consulting

SORP has strong relations with
all governmental bodies involved in
registration and licensing. We will
support you at each step of getting
your business up and running.

PRO - support
for your business

We act on your behalf with UAE
government agencies for issuing
resident visas to partners, staff and
their families, and obtaining all
licenses, registrations and permits.

Outsourced business
processes

It makes sense to use SORP’s
expert professional administrative,
recruiting, accounting and tax
competencies, saving the cost of
employing highly paid personnel.

Legal
support

SORP Group’s corporate lawyers,
and our strategic partnerships with
the best lawyers in the UAE and
around the world, provide superb
legal support for your business.

Tax residency
certificate

Enjoy tax resident (domicile)
status shielding you from CRS
requirements for sharing tax
details and preventing double
taxation.

International
tax planning

We design optimized tax solutions
for international business within
the full scope of UAE legislation,
drawing on our wide experience
in this field.

Confirmation of
Economic Substance

We help fulfil proof of economic
substance based on the registered
location of your company, its
localized decision making and
management, and tax compliance.

Years of SORP experience is a guarantee of the
success of your business in the UAE

SORP Group's own resources, based in the SORP business center, are professional experts in a range of specializations. Our close cooperation with the Dubai Economy Department ensures impeccable quality and high speed of service delivery.

15 years of successful work

We have helped thousands of clients register companies in Dubai, as well as build and develop businesses in the UAE

Banking support

Assistance in choosing a bank that is suitable for your purposes, support with bank accounts opening and passing KYC procedures (know your customer).

Complex of all services

SORP offers comprehensive support for companies registered in Dubai and their shareholders: from licensing, maintaining Bank accounts to obtaining the status of a tax resident of the country

Individual approach

Your requirements are unique. That is why we treat every business individually to tailor the right services to achieve your priorities. From registering a company in Dubai till providing outsourcing services to support and maintain your business in the UAE



Our professisonal business facilities

Business-
school

A new generation educational platform
for obtaining real knowledge and skills
for doing business effectively in the UAE
and the wider Middle East.

Business Expertise
Center

Consulting on any aspects of organizing
and doing business in the UAE, and
entering the international arena with a
company incorporated in the UAE.

SORP Business Center
In Dubai

Business center with a prestigious
address for registration and operations.
A solution for passing KYC procedures
as part of bank checks.


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