As one of the fastest growing and most attractive business hubs in the world, Abu Dhabi offers a wealth of opportunities that will enable you to reach your financial targets this year and beyond. Statistically, it accounts for 95% of the UAE’s total oil reserve and provides varied investment opportunities to all economic industries. Hence, it offers a great opportunity for success and growth to those who dream big.

Abu Dhabi Mainland Company Formation

Perks of Abu Dhabi Mainland Company Formation

  • Zero foreign exchange controls, trade barriers, and quotas
  • Full foreign ownership and exemption from personal and corporate income tax
  • Abu Dhabi is strategically located at the crossroads of the world such as Asia, Africa, and Europe. Hence, it offers convenient access to and from the rest of the globe.
  • Experience upscale living standards with world-class amenities and facilities in transportation, recreation, residences, healthcare, entertainment, and education

Steps on Setting Up a Company in Abu Dhabi

To get started with your venture, here are the procedures in establishing a company in Abu Dhabi mainland.

1. Choose a Type of Business Activity

Prior to initiating the steps, the first thing you need to do is gain an understanding of your preferred business activity as the legal procedures and fees may vary depending on the nature of your company.

2. Search for a Local Sponsor

In accordance with the jurisdiction of the UAE, foreign companies must have a local sponsor who will handle the required licenses for the branch office without bearing liability to losses or capital contribution.

3. Decide on the Legal Form of Your Business

Keep in mind that policies and regulations vary for different types of ownership and business establishments. Hence, selecting a type of legal entity to run your business under is necessary.

4. Trade Name Registration

A trade name sets your business apart from the competition and represents its legal form and nature.

5. Obtain Licensing Requirements

Among the different licenses issued by the Abu Dhabi licensing authority are the following:

  • Industrial license
  • Professional license
  • Agricultural license
  • Commercial license
  • Tourism license
  • Vocational license

6. Get Initial Approval

Prior to obtaining the initial approval, approval from General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Abu Dhabi (GDRFA) is mandatory. With an initial approval certificate, you will be able to continue with the business licensing formalities that allow foreign nationals to conduct their preferred business activity in the emirate.

7. Cost of Starting Up a Business in Abu Dhabi Mainland

Keep in mind that the cost of a mainland company formation will greatly vary based on the activity, structure, premises, and the number of visas. However, there are certain fees you need to be aware of.

  • One-time legal fees
  • Annual sponsor fees
  • Annual commercial premises
  • One-time incorporation fees for the arrangement of inspections and approvals as well as submission of documents
  • Visa per person which typically lasts for 2 years
  • New company registration with Immigration and Ministry of Labour (one-off, with establishment card renewal for every three years)
  • A mix of one-time and yearly fees for notary, trade license, typing centers, legal translations, and government department registrations

These are just some of the things you need to know about setting up a company in Abu Dhabi mainland. To experience ease and convenience with the entire process, seek help from an established and reputable business consultant.


Join the discussion One Comment

  • Maria says:

    Hello. We have DMCC freezone company in Dubai. However for trading we required set up Abu Dhabi main land company.
    Kindly inform me if we can have virtual office?

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