Onshore Company

The term ‘Main Land’ is used to represent the geographical area in the land of UAE that are subject to the laws and regulations of UAE unlike the Free Zone areas which are governed by separate laws and insulated mostly from the laws of main land.

The registration of business in main land is opted for when a substantial volume of business is expected
inside UAE or when the intention is to explore the UAE business market.

The incentives are:

  • License to have business dealings all over UAE
  • Exemption from tax on corporate gains or personal incomes
  • Individual Establishment (with just one shareholder / owner)
  • Branch / Representative Office of Foreign Company or UAE company

A business can be practiced in UAE only after the Department of Economic Development of any of the Emirates licenses it. The Department of Economic Development of the particular Emirate where the registered office of the business is to be situated is the license issuing authority for the business. The licensing procedures at DED are designed to ensure that the business they issue license for will be conducted creating convenient economic climate and protecting consumer rights.

United Arab Emirates Nationals:

United Arab Emirates nationals may operate all commercial, professional and industrial activities, when they fulfill all Terms and Conditions.

They may carry on activities through any of the following legal forms:

  • Individual Establishment.
  • Limited / Joint Liability Company.
  • Private / Public Shareholding Company.
  • Civil Business Company.

Nationals of Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCCC):

GCCC nationals may carry on most commercial, professional and industrial activities, when they fulfill all Terms and Conditions (except for activities of Haj and Umra, trade agencies, houses of disabled and old people, community service, and journals and magazine publishing and printing houses as they are limited only to United Arab Emirates nationals).

They may carry on activities through any of the following legal forms:

  • Individual Establishment.
  • Limited Liability Company: Two or more GCCC nationals may establish a Limited Liability Company to practice a specific commercial activity. However if there is one or more partners who are not GCCC nationals in this case one or more UAE national partner is required, with a shareholding of not less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Private / Public Shareholding Company: Three or more GCCC nationals may establish a private shareholding company to practice a specific commercial activity. However if there are one or more partners who are not GCCC nationals in this case one or more UAE national partner is required, with a shareholding of not less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
    (For Example: GCCC partner, foreign partner, it is a must to have a partner from the United Arab Emirates nationals).
  • Civil Business Company: Two or more GCCC nationals may establish a civil business company to practice a specific profession without a Local Services Agent. However if there is one or more partners who are not GCCC nationals, a Local Services Agent who is a UAE national shall be appointed or included as a partner.

Nationals of Other Countries:

Nationals of other Arab or foreign countries may carry on economic activities through any of the following forms:

  • Individual Establishment: It may be established to practice any professional activity, only by appointing a Local Services Agent who shall be a UAE national.
  • Limited Liability Company: This kind of company shall be established to carry on any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE partners whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Private Shareholding Company: This kind of company shall be established to carry on any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE national partners whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Civil Business Company: Two or more persons may establish a civil business company to practice a profession, provided that a Local Services Agent who must be a UAE national is appointed or included as a partner.

Foreign Companies:

Any company incorporated outside the United Arab Emirates may operate any commercial, industrial or professional activity through one of the following legal forms:

  • Branch of a Foreign Company.
  • Limited Liability Company: this kind of company shall be established to operate any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE national partner whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.
  • Private / Public Shareholding Company: this kind of company shall be established to operate any commercial or industrial activity, including one or more UAE national partner whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the paid-up capital.