Business Setup in Dubai, UAE | Beyond View

Company Formation

Company Formation Services in Dubai UAE

Comprehensive guide on business licenses in Dubai!

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or an established business owner looking to expand your operations, understanding the different license options available is crucial for a successful setup.


In Dubai, businesses can choose from three primary license types: Freezone License, Mainland License, and Offshore License. Each option offers distinct advantages and considerations that cater to different business needs and goals.

Discover the benefits, regulations, and procedures associated with each license category, and find the right path that aligns with your business objectives.

Travel And Tourism Business

Mainland License

A Mainland License allows businesses to operate in the broader Dubai market and engage with local customers. With a Mainland License, businesses can tap into the thriving economy, benefit from a larger customer base, and establish partnerships with local entities. This license requires a local UAE partner or a local service agent, depending on the business activity.

Tax planning experts in Dubai

Freezone License

A Freezone License in Dubai offers businesses attractive benefits such as 100% ownership, zero corporate tax, customs duty exemptions, and simplified setup procedures. Operating within a designated freezone, businesses can enjoy a business-friendly environment, excellent infrastructure, and access to a global network of investors and customers.

Dubai business registration taxes

Offshore License

An Offshore License enables businesses to operate outside the UAE while enjoying the advantages of a tax-efficient jurisdiction. This license is ideal for international businesses seeking asset protection, confidentiality, and the ability to conduct international trade and investments. It offers simplified administration, minimal reporting requirements, and provides a gateway to global markets.

Business License Type Comparison

Freezone vs Mainland vs Offshore

License Type Freezone License Mainland License Offshore License
Ownership 100% foreign ownership allowed Local UAE partner or local service agent required No local ownership requirements
Taxation Tax exemptions on corporate and personal income Subject to corporate and personal income tax No corporate and personal income tax
Business Activities Limited to activities permitted within the specific freezone Wide range of activities allowed, including local and international trade Primarily for holding assets, investments, and international trade
Customs Duty Exempt from customs duty on imports and exports Subject to customs duty on imports and exports No customs duty on international transactions
Operational Flexibility Flexibility in terms of office space, employment visas, and sponsorship More stringent regulations and requirements for office space, employment visas, and sponsorship Limited physical presence requirements
Market Access Restricted to operating within the freezone or dealing with entities outside the UAE Access to the broader Dubai market and the ability to engage with local customers No local market access; primarily focused on international markets
Legal Framework Governed by the respective freezone authority regulations Governed by the laws and regulations of the UAE Governed by the laws and regulations of the offshore jurisdiction
Confidentiality High level of privacy and confidentiality protection Less privacy and confidentiality compared to offshore jurisdictions High level of privacy and confidentiality protection
Setup Time Generally faster setup process compared to mainland Setup process may take longer due to additional requirements and approvals Generally faster setup process
Suitable For Startups, small and medium-sized businesses, and businesses targeting specific industries or markets Businesses targeting local customers, retail, service-based businesses, and those seeking broader market access International businesses, asset holding companies, investment vehicles, and those focused on international trade and transactions

Please note that this comparison chart provides a general overview and may vary based on specific freezone regulations, mainland regulations, and the chosen offshore jurisdiction. It is advisable to consult with business setup professionals for accurate and up-to-date information tailored to your specific business requirements.