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UAE Mainland Business Setup

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Work anywhere in the emirate

Businesses intending to supply goods and services across an entire Emirate, rather than within the restrictive geographical boundaries of a free zone, need a mainland trade license. Issued by the economic department, it's the most flexible license, permitting the company to operate anywhere within the emirate in which the license was issued.

100% Foreign Ownership

The UAE's Foreign Direct Investment Law (Federal Decree Law No. 7, 2018) permits up to 100% foreign ownership of mainland businesses with certain business activities. The activities permitting full foreign ownership are decided by each individual Emirate and are therefore not consistent across the country.

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Corporate Local Sponsor

Some business activities still have limits on foreign ownership. For such activities, a local partner (local sponsor) is needed. Gateway Group provides a nominee corporate local sponsor service to fulfil this requirement and remove the associated risks for foreign companies.

Work with the government

Businesses supplying goods or services directly to the government or quasi-government entities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai need a mainland license issued in the respective Emirate. They also need to register as a supplier with each of the entities they wish to do business with - this registration process varies by entity and can take some time, several months in some instances, so be sure to start the process as soon as possible.

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Expand across the UAE

Businesses planning to expand across multiple Emirates can do so in a variety of ways, depending upon their legal structure. Foreign Branches need to set up a separate foreign branch in each Emirate where they want to do business. However, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) can step into an additional Emirate by setting up a local branch of the main LLC, which is a much cheaper option.

Setup your new business in the capable hands of Gateway Group.

Let's get started! Our experienced business setup team is here to help.

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Why Use Gateway Group

for your business setup in the UAE

✔️ We are highly experienced in setting up companies in the UAE. Our business setup team are here to help you through the company registration, from application to license issuance.

✔️ We have the ability to setup your UAE company electronically - eliminating the need to complete any paperwork.

✔️ Upon completion of your license registration, you will receive an electronic copy of your Commercial Registration Certificate and Trade License, confirming the existence and validity of your new company.

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Strategic Partnership

with Abu Dhabi government

Gateway Group was chosen as preferred partner for business setups by Abu Dhabi Residents Office, part of the Department of Economic Development (DED). This strategic partnership is committed to attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Abu Dhabi and supporting foreign companies entering the market to promote the ease of doing business in the emirate.

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Gateway Group Address Location Abu Dhabi Dubai United Arab Emirates UAE


Hamdan Street

Abu Dhabi

Conrad Hotel, Dubai

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