What is the difference between a mainland company, a free zone company and an offshore company? - TASC Corporate Services
The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the regulatory authority for issuing a mainland license in the UAE. A mainland license, also referred to as an onshore license, gives you the flexibility to operate inside of the UAE and outside of the UAE without any limitations. Each free zone jurisdiction has a specific list of activities which can only be operated within the creating free zone or outside of the UAE. There are certain limitations to a free zone company which varies from free zone to free zone. An offshore company is a legal entity incorporated with the intention of operating and executing business outside the UAE. Offshore companies are permitted to open a bank account in the UAE, however, they cannot issue visas or have a physical office space within the UAE.