When starting a business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you have to be familiar with the "mainland", "freezone", and "offshore" jurisdictions. There are pros and cons for all the three jurisdictions as well as business opportunities for entrepreneurs with different priorities. The priorities can be subjected to type of business entity, business activity performed by the company, your intended trading partners and your visa requirements.
A Mainland license also referred as an onshore license has the flexibility to execute business inside of the UAE and internationally without any limitations.
The freedom of choosing a premise in any area
The option of conducting a wide range of business activities
The ability to trade anywhere in the UAE and internationally
Free Zones are special economic zones set up with the objective of offering tax concessions and customs duty benefits to expatriate investors
No need for a local partner 0% corporate and income tax rate
No customs duties levied on imports and exports
The option to repatriate 100% of the profits from the business
Offshore companies are mainly based on executing, managing and operating in foreign countries with benefits in financial, legal and tax.
Low startup cost
Speedy incorporation process
100% foreign ownership permitted
No paid-up share capital or audit requirement