A UAE Mainland Company is required if you want to sell goods and services directly into the local market without the help of a local distributor. LLC companies registered with the Department of Economic Development of one of the Emirates are always majority owned by a GCC citizen. The establishment of a Branch or Representative Office allows avoiding this situation but limits the activities.
There are different ways of creating an establishment in the UAE, depending upon the activity to be carried out.
A Limited Liability Company registered with the Department of Economic Development, is the most common way of registering a company and it’s recommended where the purpose of the entity is to make sales within the region.
Please note, that 100% foreign ownership of such an entity is not yet permitted and in some cases (for example for real estate brokers) the company has to be owned 100% by a citizen of a GCC country (Gulf Cooperation Council).
In most cases you require a 51% GCC shareholder. Majority foreign ownership for LLCs is not permitted.
The main types of companies are: