Business Setup in Abu Dhabi Mainland

Form your company in Abu Dhabi Mainland with guidance from the experts at MSZ Consultancy

The UAE is a prime destination for entrepreneurs around the globe looking to form their company in a booming economy. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, and it’s also one of the fastest-growing and most wealthy markets in the world. The Emirate is one of the largest oil producers, but it’s also heavily funded in real estate, industrial development, retail, and tourism. The great location mixed with the diverse and expanding economy makes business setup in Abu Dhabi Mainland a great choice. The process is quick and easy and only takes a few days to get setup. With the help of the experts from MSZ Consultancy, you’re guaranteed to have a hassle-free business setup in the popular location in no time.

How to Form a Company in Abu Dhabi Mainland?

If you choose Mainland business setup Abu Dhabi, you’ll have a number of options to choose from. However, one thing that is required across the board is a local sponsor. This is a UAE Companies Law that requires a UAE national to own 51% of shares in the company that is owned by a foreigner.

There are other rules and regulations required before you can establish your Mainland business. Here are the six key steps to business registration in Abu Dhabi Mainland:


Determining the economic activity

In order to get a business license, you will have to determine the activity of your business. Different business activities may have different requirements, like the location and size of your company.


Determining the legal form of business

Next, you’ll have to determine what type of legal structure your business will be. This will include determining the shareholders and partners you need. There are nine different types of legal forms to choose from for a Mainland business.


Trade name registration

Now, it’s time to choose your company’s name and get it registered. You’ll have to fill out the application and submit the documents that are required depending on the type of business activity you choose to have.


Obtaining initial approval

During this step, you’ll request an initial approval certificate. This will let you proceed with applying for a business license. You’ll also have to get approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and the Commercial of Residency and Foreign Affairs.


Obtaining approvals of relevant authorities

Now you’ll have to get final approval from the Department of Economic Development and other government authorities that are required for your business activity.


Issuing a business license

After you get the final approval and pay the required fees, then you’ll get your business license. After you get your license, you’ll be able to start your business.

What Licenses are Available for Abu Dhabi Mainland?

If you plan on having a business in Abu Dhabi Mainland, then you will need a business license. This is a requirement for any business to legally operate in the UAE. In Abu Dhabi, there are five different types of licenses that you can apply for:

Commercial License

Any company that has general business activities will need a commercial license. This includes businesses like public trading companies, hospitals, clinics, construction companies, real estate, and contractors.

Occupational License

An occupational license is issued to companies that have individuals who use their intelligence, talents, and abilities to serve their clients. This license is used for law firms, accounting firms, audit firms, research firms, and more.

Professional License

If your company is based on a particular craft, then you will need a professional license. This includes carpentry, smithery, steelwork, and other craft-related industries. With this license, you can work alone or with up to five people.

Industrial License

This license is issued to companies that plan to open a factory and manufacture in Abu Dhabi.

Tourism License

This license is given to companies that offer tourism-related services, like hotels, travel agencies, etc. The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority issues this license.

Tourism License

Why You Should Form Your Company in Abu Dhabi Mainland?

  • Low rent costs for office spaces and commercial buildings
  • The investor can become a partner in the firm
  • Commercial license is valid for two years
  • It is easy to open a global corporate bank account
  • Competitive freight charges
  • Easy to apply for local visas

Business Types for Abu Dhabi Mainland Company

A big part of forming a company in Abu Dhabi Mainland is to decide on a legal form. There are nine different types of legal entities that you can choose for your company:


  • Sole Proprietorship – With this company type, the investor is the sole trader. Doctors, lawyers, and engineers often use this type of company registration. Although there is a single investor, there will still have to be a local sponsor that will own 51% of shares.


  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – This is the most popular type of business setup in Abu Dhabi. This company type can be formed by a minimum of two and a maximum of 50 shareholders. The shareholders’ liability is limited to the shares in the business.


  • Partnership – If you’re a foreign investor looking to do business in the UAE, you won’t be able to have this type of company. A partnership company is a business structure that is limited only to UAE nationals.


  • Public Shareholding Company – This business structure is most common for larger operations. A Public Shareholding Company, also called a Joint Stock Company, can have a minimum of ten founders. A UAE national must own 51% of the company shares.


  • Joint Ventures – This is a contractual agreement between a foreign party and a regional party that is licensed to engage in a business activity together.


  • Branch of a Local (UAE) Company – This is a UAE registered company that can sell or distribute goods in the country.


  • Branch of a Foreign Company – This is the branch of a foreign company that can invoice customers in the UAE. This means they can sign local sales contracts and receive income from customers.


  • Free Zone Company – Free Zone companies are formed because of the great benefits. A Free Zone company will have 100% repatriation of capital and profits, 100% foreign ownership, no currency restrictions, and so many more benefits.


  • Foreign Representative Office – This is an office that is fully owned and controlled by a non-UAE national and isn’t allowed to make direct sales in the UAE. This type of office is usually formed just for market research.

Things to Know Before Company Registration in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has everything that an investor dreams about when they are thinking of forming their company. It is an ideal location with global recognition and great tax benefits. MSZ Consultancy can help your business dreams come true and make the process a quick and easy one. But, before you get your company formed, there are a couple of things to consider:


  • Know the business setup costs – There will be several fees associated with business setup cost in Abu Dhabi Mainland. There will be a capital investment and a few additional costs such as operational costs, business license, government certificate, visa, trade name registration, incorporation fees, etc.


  • Understand the legalities and paperwork – The Abu Dhabi Mainland government is very stringent when it comes to legal formalities and paperwork. Any delays may lead to a heavy penalty on the company. This is why it is a smart choice to hire a company like MSZ Consultancy that is familiar with all the legal procedures in the UAE.


  • Know the incorporation and licensing process – To set up your business in Abu Dhabi Mainland, know the incorporation process, research the market well, understand the place, currency, trends, and other factors that impact your business. You’ll also have to make sure you follow all the proper rules and regulations that come along with the licensing process. We can help make sure you follow all the proper steps to make sure there aren’t any delays.


  • Know that you are under cultural borders – Abu Dhabi Mainland has a modern look, but it has its own cultural borders that need to be followed while starting a business. So, you will need to be familiar with the city and its cultural boundaries before starting your business.

Complete Business Setup with MSZ Consultancy

MSZ Consultancy will be there for your complete business journey. We will guide you through the entire process for business setup in Abu Dhabi Mainland. We will start from scratch, then develop your company while giving you the knowledge and tools you need to successfully run your business in the UAE. Don’t let any roadblocks stand in your way. Call MSZ Consultancy at +971 52 544 1248 for your free consultation, and let’s start forming your company in Abu Dhabi Mainland!


We help your business setup in the UAE. We specialize in all forms of business setup along with financial and legal suggestions for your company in the UAE. We don’t just help you set up your business, we give you all the tools to make you self-reliant. We will guide you through the entire process and advise the best options to set up your company anywhere in the UAE.


We have a unique team consisting of business setup consultants, lawyers, and PRO executives. We provide business setup consultancy services in Free Zones, Mainland, and Offshore business anywhere in the UAE. Because of our strong relationship with government officials, we can help the business setup process move along quickly.


We are your one-stop-solution business consultants. We will provide everything you need to seamlessly embark on your business journey. We guarantee that you won’t find better service. Our customers are our top priority, and we will make sure to customize our services to meet the exact needs for your business.

Trademark Registration

Protect your work, create brand recognition, and bring in more revenue for your company with trademark registration. We will help with all aspects of registering your trademark, including patent registration, web domain registration, copyright, and more.

Local Sponsorship

Foreign investors who want to form a company in the Mainland will need a local sponsor. A local sponsor is a UAE national who will serve as a sleeping partner and own 51% shares in your company. We have connections to the best local sponsors who you can trust with your company.

PRO Services

We have Public Relations Officers to help with all the legal paperwork for your business. We can help with family visas, passport clearance, annual renewals, annual updates, immigration cards, and more!

Bank Account Assistance

Opening a bank account with a UAE bank is an important step in owning a company. The procedure for a UAE bank account differs from bank to bank. We will make sure you follow all the necessary steps of the application to get your bank account quickly opened.

Product Registration

Products that are manufactured and distributed in Dubai have to be registered before starting your business. This includes cosmetics, food, health products, and many others. We will help with the entire registration from start to finish.

Business Centers

It can be hard finding a place for your business when you aren’t familiar with the area. MSZ Consultancy has business centers located in strategic areas throughout the UAE. So, we can easily help you find an office space for your company in Abu Dhabi.

Company Liquidation

If you have to make the painful decision to liquidate your company, we will help you through the entire process. We have helped hundreds of clients minimize their legal liabilities and possible financial losses during their company liquidation, and we can help your company too.

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