Where to start a business in Dubai is a strategic decision for foreign investors. A wrong decision may alter the future success of your business dramatically. With the government allowing 100% foreign ownership, the process of business setup in Dubai mainland has become more attractive to the investors. Opting for a mainland license issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) offers key benefits such as freedom to trade anywhere in the UAE and flexibility in expanding the business.
Despite the COVI-19 pandemic and special offers of free zones, many entrepreneurs still prefer to set up business in Dubai mainland. As per DED’s latest statistics, Dubai recorded 15,475 new licenses in the first three months of 2021, a sharp 19% rise on the same period last year. If you wonder why the mainland is in demand always among foreign investors, read the following seven reasons:
1. Unrestricted Market Access
Setting up a company in Dubai mainland is the best option for foreign investors who wish for wider market access. A mainland company allows you to trade directly with the consumers anywhere in the UAE market. Apart from that if your company plans to undertake government projects or offer services to the government, undertaking company formation in Dubai mainland is recommended.
For instance, starting a restaurant or cafeteria in Dubai becomes more profitable when you register it as a mainland entity. More customers will visit your cafeteria if it is incorporated in the mainland. This is also true for an e-commerce company where the delivery part becomes smooth when set up as a mainland company. The other option for you is a free zone, where you can trade only within the free zone. Starting a restaurant inside a free zone means you can serve your food to the customers living, working or doing business inside the free zone.
2. Location Flexibility
Registering a mainland company in mainland provides you with the benefit of renting or leasing a commercial space anywhere in Dubai. If you are planning to start a shop, getting a mainland license is better. With a mainland license, your shop can be opened in business districts such as Bur Dubai, Deira, Karama, Satwa etc. that are known to be thriving commercial centres. These areas are preferred places for starting an office space as well.
3. Widest Range of Activities in Offer
Choosing the right business activity is a key factor that determines the efficacy of your business plan. Your business will be affected if you are left with only a limited choice of business activities. You don’t need to battle such concerns if you are aiming for mainland company incorporation in Dubai. The DED offers more than 2000 business activities covering commercial, industrial, professional and tourism activities.
4. Flexible Rental Schemes
The DED will ask you to provide the address of your physical office space/establishment while applying for a trade license in Dubai mainland. Depending on the nature of your business, you can have a commercial space or an office space of various rental schemes on the mainland. If you are aiming for low rental schemes, you can have a co-working space in any business centre. The business centres offer shared working spaces and Flexi-desks at affordable rents. You can get a Flexi desk at a free zone, but your options will be limited to the license package provided by the particular free zone. The mainland provides you with more options.
5. Ability to Build a Better Workforce
When your business grows, you will be requiring more workers under your company to meet your increased business requirements. In a Dubai mainland company, you are entitled to apply for more visas than a free zone company. The lack of restrictions on the visa quota means you can bring more flexibility to your recruitment process. Dubai is a land where you can hire qualified professionals and skilled labourers of a wide variety of nationalities at affordable salaries. The visa flexibility in the mainland will improve the quality of your workforce.
6. Freedom to Expand & Diversify Business
When it comes to expanding the business, having a mainland license is more advantageous for foreign investors. With a Dubai mainland license, you can expand your business anywhere in Dubai or other emirates in the UAE. Opening a branch in the UAE or any other part of the world becomes more flexible with a mainland trade license. Starting a mainland company in Dubai is recommended for you in case you want to diversify the business later on with new products, services or sectors.
7. Hundred Percent Foreign Ownership
The inability to form a company with 100% foreign ownership was a major drawback associated with the process of business setup in the UAE mainland. The foreign investors were required to engage a UAE National Sponsor holding at least 51% of shares in the company. Total ownership was the main reason many foreign investors gravitated towards free zones for company formation in the UAE.
However, the government has revised the foreign ownership regime by allowing 100% ownership for foreign investors. The foreign investors are no longer required to engage a Local Sponsor or Local Service Agent (LSA) to set up a business in the UAE mainland. The amended ownership regime will take effect from 1st June 2021.
How can Jitendra Business Setup Consultants Help?
The process of business setup in Dubai mainland needs you to have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations. Some activities known as special activities require approval from relevant ministries and government bodies. This is where you need the assistance of the best business setup consultants in Dubai such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC).
Our highly qualified business setup advisers can help you with all aspects of company formation in Dubai including visa processing, documentation, bank account opening etc. We also help you with compliance requirements such as VAT return filing, audit, Economic Substance Regulation (ESR), Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) etc. Company incorporation in Dubai can be hassle-free with the right business setup partner such as JBC.