A Comprehensive Guide to Ajman Mainland License

Ajman, the smallest of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has emerged as a preferred investment destination for foreign entrepreneurs. Despite its size, Ajman offers a cost-effective and strategic location for business setup. This article provides a detailed guide on obtaining various licenses and setting up a business in Ajman mainland.

Why Choose Ajman Mainland?

Ajman’s strategic location on the Arabian Gulf Coast, close to Umm Al Quwain and Sharjah, makes it an attractive destination for various business activities, including real estate, construction, consultancy services, and trading. Moreover, the process of business setup in Ajman mainland is one of the most cost-effective options in the UAE.

Understanding Ajman Mainland Licenses

A trade license is a mandatory document for starting and running a business in Ajman. Operating without a trade license can lead to severe penalties. The type of license required depends on the nature of the business. Here are the major business licenses in Ajman mainland:

Professional License

A professional license authorises the conduct of professional or services-related activities. Issued by Ajman's Department of Economic Development (DED), this license allows skilled professionals to practice their craft, such as accounting services, management consultancy services, and technical services. A professional license allows 100% foreign ownership, provided a Local Service Agent (LSA), who must be a UAE national, is appointed.

Trading License

A trading license permits the sale of goods specified in the license, including import, export, and re-export of almost all kinds of goods. A general trading license allows the selling of a diverse range of goods, while a regular trading license permits the trading of a limited set of similar goods. Foreign investors can enjoy 100% foreign ownership for specific activities listed by the DED.

Industrial License

The industrial license permits activities such as logistics and manufacturing. This license is essential for businesses involved in the production or manufacturing of goods.

Legal Entities in Ajman Mainland

Choosing the right legal structure is crucial for business setup in Ajman. The type of legal entity is determined based on the number of shareholders and the nature of the proposed entity. Here are the legal entities permitted in Ajman mainland:

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is run by a single shareholder who owns the company. The owner's liability towards the company is unlimited. Both UAE nationals and foreigners can set up a sole proprietorship, but foreigners must appoint a UAE national as LSA.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC in Ajman can have 2-50 shareholders. Foreign investors can start an LLC with 100% ownership for nearly a thousand commercial activities listed by the Ajman DED. The liability of each shareholder is limited to the extent of capital they have invested in the company.

Private Joint Stock Company (PJSC)

A PJSC requires at least 51% of the paid-up capital to be owned by one or more UAE nationals. Foreign investors can carry out most commercial, industrial, and some specific professional activities in a PJSC.

Civil Company

Any two persons can set up a Civil Company in Ajman mainland. However, investors must appoint a UAE national service agent or include them as a partner.

Business Setup Process in Ajman Mainland

The process of business setup in Ajman mainland involves several steps:

  1. Select a business activity
  2. Identify a legal structure
  3. Fill out and submit the business application form
  4. Reserve the trade name
  5. Obtain approval of government bodies for high-risk activities
  6. Sign a lease agreement for office space
  7. Receive trade license
  8. Apply for a Residence visa
  9. Open a corporate bank account
Ajman license

Benefits of Business Setup in Ajman Mainland

Setting up a business in Ajman mainland comes with numerous benefits:

  • 100% foreign ownership in specific activities
  • Zero corporate tax
  • Zero personal tax
  • Robust infrastructure
  • Excellent connectivity through sea, air, and land
  • Strategic location
  • Low-cost living
  • Ability to hire foreign labourers at a low cost
  • Availability of office spaces and warehouses at low rentals

Compliance Requirements in Ajman Mainland

Foreign investors need to comply with certain critical regulatory requirements, including Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO), Economic Substance Regulation (ESR), and Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT). Non-compliance can lead to severe consequences, including administrative penalties and suspension of trade license.

Need Assistance?

PW offers comprehensive services covering essential requirements such as visa processing, document drafting, government liaising, bank account opening, and more. Their team of business setup consultants, PRO service executives, and compliance advisers ensures a hassle-free company incorporation process in Ajman

Umair Ahmad

Company Formation Specialist

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