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Ajman mainland business setup | Starting a business in ajman

News & Blog

Ajman mainland business setup | Starting a business in ajman

Ajman may be the smallest of the seven emirates, but it offers big opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to set up shop in the UAE. With lower costs than Dubai and a more relaxed regulatory environment, the Ajman mainland is an appealing option for new businesses, especially in sectors like trading, manufacturing, and professional services.

Ajman mainland business setup | Starting a business in Ajman

In this comprehensive guide, we walk you through everything you need to know to establish your company on the Ajman mainland, from choosing a legal structure to obtaining licenses and finding office space. Whether you want to open a branch of an existing company or launch a new startup in Ajman, read on for expert tips to get your business up and running.

Choosing a Legal Structure

The first step is deciding how you want to legally structure your Ajman mainland business. Here are the most common options:

  • Mainland LLC: This separate legal entity limits owners’ liability to their capital share only. Minimum 2 shareholders and capital requirement of AED 300,000 apply.
  • Branch of a UAE or Foreign Company: Instead of a new entity, you can simply register a branch office of your existing company in Ajman.
  • Sole Proprietorship: A quick option for small businesses owned by one person. No minimum capital needed but owner has unlimited liability.
  • Civil Company: An association between individuals for professional services like medical, legal, etc.
  • Free Zone Entity: Set up in a free zone like Ajman Free Zone or RAK FTZ for additional benefits.

Your business activity, scope, and owners’ long-term vision will determine which framework makes the most strategic sense. Consult with a company formation specialist for personalized advice.

Service: Pro and visa for company 

Obtaining Approvals and Licenses

Once you’ve chosen a structure, the licensing process can begin. The exact approvals needed will vary by industry, but common requirements include:

  • Initial Approval from the Economic Development Department
  • Trade Name Reservation
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Notarization of Documents
  • Emirates ID Medical Fitness Certificate
  • Lease Agreement for Office Space
  • Final License from Economic Development Department

Certain sectors like education, healthcare, and finance require additional clearances from relevant authorities at the state and federal level. Expect this process to take 2-4 weeks. Having an experienced PRO to handle it makes getting licensed much smoother.

Finding the Right Office Space

While you can operate from a flex desk or coworking space at the start, most mainland companies eventually want their own office. Ajman has commercial buildings located near main roads like Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. Key factors to consider when picking office space include:

  • Location and proximity to target markets
  • Quality of facilities and amenities
  • Cost per square foot
  • Flexible leasing terms
  • Ease of commuting for employees

Plan on allocating 20-25% of your startup costs to rent to secure a space suited to your needs. Look for inclusive deals that cover maintenance fees and utilities.

See: Company formation

Hiring Employees

With licenses secured, it’s time to build your team. Hiring expat workers in Ajman involves procuring employment visas, labor cards, medical insurance, Emirates IDs, and other documents. Your options include:

  • Hiring Locals: Support the community and avoid visa costs by recruiting citizens.
  • Outsourcing Visa Process: Let an agency or third-party handle the paperwork and logistics of hiring expat workers.
  • DOA Accreditation: Obtain this to independently sponsor and manage employees’ visas and residence.

Map out roles, responsibilities, salaries, and timelines before starting the recruitment and onboarding process. Understand labor laws and protections to legally employ staff in Ajman.

See: Small business setup in Ajman


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about setting up on the Ajman mainland:

What are the benefits of mainland vs free zone company formation?

Mainland licensing allows doing business across the UAE without a local partner. Free zones can only operate in that specific zone. However, free zones do offer tax exemptions and 100% foreign ownership.

What industries are best suited for the Ajman mainland?

Trading and manufacturing are common, given Ajman’s port access and industrial infrastructure. Professional services like IT, marketing, and consultancy also thrive in the emirate’s pro-business environment.

How much does it cost to establish a company in Ajman?

Between licensing fees, office rent, visa costs, and professional services, expect startup costs from AED 50,000 for a basic LLC to over AED 300,000 for larger operations.

What type of office premises are available in Ajman?

Options range from shared workspaces to small commercial offices and large warehouses. Newer spaces offer high-quality finishings and facilities. Rents are lower than Dubai.

Is it easy for employees to find accommodation in Ajman?

Yes, Ajman has very affordable housing options. Many budget hotels offer monthly rates for long-term stays, and sharing flats is also common amongst workers. Proximity to Dubai and Sharjah brings even more choices.


From understanding legal structures to obtaining licenses, leasing office space, and hiring talent, this guide covers everything you need to successfully establish your business on Ajman mainland business setup. While the process requires careful planning and preparation, the savings and ease of doing business make it an advantageous option versus setting up elsewhere in the UAE. Let the experienced consultants at Makateb help you get up and running smoothly. Contact us today to begin your Ajman mainland company formation journey.

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