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100% Business Ownership in Dubai Outside of Free Zones

100% business ownership in dubai outside of free zones

Starting a business in Dubai often leads entrepreneurs to consider setting up in one of the city’s Free Zones to maintain full foreign ownership. However, there’s another equally viable option that allows full ownership and doesn’t limit where you can operate: obtaining a commercial license on the Dubai mainland.

Free Zones are special areas in Dubai where business owners enjoy benefits such as full ownership by foreign nationals, no taxes on income or profits, and freedom to send money back to their home countries. These zones are industry-specific and provide an environment that supports businesses in these sectors. While attractive, Free Zones restrict where you can do business within the UAE.

The Alternative: Commercial Licenses on Dubai Mainland

For those looking to operate across Dubai without the restrictions of Free Zones, getting a commercial license on the mainland is an excellent choice. This option is particularly good for businesses that engage in trading or selling goods and services like retail stores and trading companies.

Key Benefits of a Commercial License:
  • 100% Ownership: You can own your business entirely, just as you would in a Free Zone.

  • No Geographical Limits: You can operate anywhere in Dubai and across the UAE, reaching more customers.

  • Diverse Business Activities: This license is perfect for businesses involved in trading, retail, and other commercial activities.




How to Obtain a Commercial License in Dubai

Choose and Reserve a Name

You need to provide three potential business names for your venture. Names in Arabic are commonly used and can enhance local relevance. This step typically takes 2-3 days to complete.

Initial Approval

Submit an application to reserve your trade name and obtain an initial approval certificate. This certificate is crucial as it confirms that the government has no objection to you conducting your business under the chosen name.

External Approvals

Depending on your business activity, you may need additional approvals from specific agencies. For instance, if you are entering the real estate sector, you must obtain approval from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).

Establish a Business Location

You have several options depending on your business needs, including renting a physical office, using a virtual office service, or securing an Ejari (a standard rental contract) from a business center.

NOC Requirement (If Employeed)

If you are currently employed or hold a residence visa through another employer in the UAE, you’ll need an NOC from your current sponsor indicating they have no objections to your new business venture.

MOA Signatures (If Multiple Shareholders)

Memorandum of Association (MOA): If your business will have multiple shareholders, you must draft and sign an MOA. This legal document outlines the share distribution, responsibilities, and operational terms among all parties involved.

Obtaining a commercial license in Dubai involves careful planning and adherence to the specific requirements laid out by various government bodies. By following these steps, entrepreneurs can ensure they meet all legal obligations, setting a solid foundation for their business operations in Dubai’s dynamic market.

How Can Choose UAE Help

At Choose UAE, we specialize in simplifying the process of obtaining a commercial license in Dubai mainland. Our expert team guides you through every step, from reserving your trade name and securing initial approvals to navigating the complexities of external regulations and establishing your physical presence. Choose UAE ensures a seamless and efficient licensing process, allowing you to focus on growing your business in Dubai’s thriving market.

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