Differences between Mainland and Free Zone Business Set Up in the UAE

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One of the most common questions from entrepreneurs looking to set up their businesses in one of the seven Emirates is: “should I open in a Free Zone or in the Mainland?”

With more than ten years of experience in the industry of business formation, our experts are giving you some explanations about the difference between Free Zone and Mainland.

2 structures!

  • A mainland company is an onshore company licensed by the DED, Department of Economic Development which is responsible for registration, licensing, commercial compliance, and consumer protection of the company. A mainland company is allowed to do business in the local and international markets without any restrictions. However, to set up your company on the mainland you need a local sponsor (a UAE national) holding 51% of the company shares and the foreign shareholders hold the remaining 49%. With regards to the local sponsor, he receives an annual fee or a percentage of sales/profits.
  • Also called a free trade zone, Free Zones are geographically demarcated business zones in which companies may operate to benefit from a preferential tax, customs, and import regime. But the biggest benefit of operating in a Free Zone is the ability to have 100% foreign ownership of the company. This means you do not need a local sponsor or partner to open your business in the country!

Do you know the differences between them?

Service details
  • Free Zone company registration
  • Mainland company registration
  • Offshore (IBC) company registration
  • Residence visa
  • Bank account opening
  • Share transfer
  • Residence visa cancellation
  • Change of company name
  • Change of company name
  • Company liquidation
  • De-registration
  • Incumbency Certificate
  • Good Standing Certificate
Service fee

It is time to choose

We at FreeZoneMarket.ae escort entrepreneurs in their dream to set up their businesses in Dubai and the UAE. We help them make the RIGHT choice for their businesses, always serving their interests.

If you feel needing further clarification to understand the differences between Mainland and Free Zone companies simply talk/speak to us at: (+971) 58 514 2021 or email us at info@freezonemarket.ae

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