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Opening a Dubai Mainland Branch for a Free Zone Business

dubai mainland branch for a free zone business

Dubai, the heart of the UAE, offers numerous growth opportunities for ambitious businesses. Free Zone companies, enjoying perks like tax exemptions, often look to expand into the Dubai mainland. This move, however, requires navigating a series of regulatory challenges set by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Understanding Licensing Differences

It’s essential for Free Zone companies planning to set up a mainland branch to know that Free Zone commercial licenses do not transfer directly to the mainland as per DED rules. This restriction helps keep the distinct operational frameworks of Free Zones and mainland areas separate.

Professional vs. Commercial Licenses: Expanding to the Mainland

While commercial licenses face certain restrictions, professional licenses are allowed to extend into the mainland. This provides service-based Free Zone businesses a way to grow their market reach directly within the broader UAE market.

Businesses can bypass the restrictions on Free Zone commercial licenses by forming separate entities in both the Free Zone and the mainland. This strategy allows for the operation of two parallel companies, combining the flexibility of a Free Zone with the broader access of a mainland business.

By establishing a company in the Free Zone and another on the mainland, businesses can mimic a branch structure. This setup helps maintain the advantages of a Free Zone while broadening the company’s reach across the UAE.

In Dubai Free Zone, it’s mandatory for branches to maintain the same business activities as the parent company, ensuring consistency across different operating regions.



Securing a New Mainland License: Essential for Expansion

To operate on the mainland, Free Zone companies must acquire a new DED license that matches the activities of their Free Zone operations, ensuring compliance with local business laws.

How Can Choose UAE Help

Choose UAE is your ideal partner for expanding your Free Zone company into Dubai’s mainland, ensuring a smooth and strategic transition. Our team offers personalized consultations to align with your business objectives and navigates through the DED’s licensing intricacies with expertise. We specialize in setting up dual entities and handle all documentation processes to ensure compliance with local regulations. With continuous support from start to finish, Choose UAE is dedicated to transforming your business expansion goals into reality, unlocking new opportunities in Dubai’s dynamic marketplace.

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