UAE Trade License in Dubai

Easy ways to get a new trade license in Dubai, UAE 

Need a company license in Dubai or anywhere across the UAE? Speak to Shuraa’s UAE trade licensing experts. Call us on +447538205604. 

UAE trade license is a mandatory requirement for every business organization in the UAE. Starting a business in the UAE is an exciting and profitable prospect. However, due importance must be given to learning about UAE business licenses and permits. To get a new trade license in Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE, proper documentation is also a must. 

The UAE has many commercial jurisdictions, and each has its own licensing requirements. These requirements may vary depending on the industry, structure of the business, business activity, and so on. Business licenses in the UAE are issued by the governing bodies of each of these jurisdictions and are further classified based on business activity. For example, registering a consultancy requires a consultancy license in Dubai whereas trading companies must apply for a general trading license in Dubai 

Types of Business Licenses in Dubai 

1. Commercial License

One of the most common licenses is the Commercial License. This license allows businesses to engage in commercial activities within the emirate. The scope of a Commercial License is broad, covering a wide range of business activities such as trading, retail, and general services. 

Under a Commercial License, entrepreneurs can conduct activities such as importing and exporting goods, establishing retail stores, and providing professional services. 

To obtain a Commercial License, certain requirements and documentation are needed, including – 

  • Application form 
  • Proof of business ownership 
  • Financial statements 
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from a local sponsor 

2. Professional License

In addition to the Commercial License, entrepreneurs in Dubai can also consider obtaining a Professional License to establish their business. A Professional License is suitable for individuals or companies offering specialized professional services such as consultancy, accounting, legal, engineering, and healthcare services. 

To acquire a Professional License, individuals must fulfill certain requirements, including – 

  • Educational certificates 
  • Professional qualifications 
  • Proof of experience 
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) 

3. Industrial License

For entrepreneurs looking to establish manufacturing or industrial-based businesses in Dubai, obtaining an Industrial License is a key requirement. An Industrial License allows businesses to engage in activities related to manufacturing, production, and industrial operations. 

Under this license, entrepreneurs can set up factories, warehouses, and production facilities. Activities permitted under an Industrial License include manufacturing goods, processing raw materials, and conducting industrial research and development. 

To obtain an Industrial License, entrepreneurs must meet specific requirements and provide necessary documentation, including – 

  • Detailed business plan 
  • Proof of technical expertise 
  • Environmental impact assessments 
  • Compliance with health and safety regulations 

Free Zone Licenses 

Free zones are designated areas within Dubai that offer special incentives and benefits to businesses looking to establish themselves in the region. These incentives include 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and streamlined procedures for licensing and registration. 

There are over 40 free zones in Dubai, each catering to specific industries and sectors. Obtaining a free zone license in Dubai is a relatively straightforward process.  

The first step is to choose the appropriate free zone based on your business needs. Once you have selected the free zone, you need to submit the necessary documentation and complete the registration process. 

How to Get a Business License in Dubai? 

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai plays a vital role in the licensing process for businesses. It serves as the main regulatory body responsible for issuing licenses and overseeing business activities in the emirate.  

The DED’s primary objective is to promote economic growth, encourage entrepreneurship, and ensure fair business practices. 

It creates a favorable environment for businesses to thrive and contributes to Dubai’s reputation as a global business hub. The licensing process administered by the DED involves several key steps. These steps include: 

1. Preparing the Application

Entrepreneurs must prepare and complete the license application, providing accurate and detailed information about their business activities, structure, and shareholders. They need to gather the necessary supporting documents, such as proof of ownership, financial statements, and No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from relevant authorities. Notably, renowned business consultant firms like Shuraa are available to assist in easing the process of obtaining a business license. 

2. Submission and Review

Once the application is submitted to the DED, it undergoes a thorough review process. The DED assesses the proposed business activities, financial stability, and compliance with regulations. This review ensures that the business aligns with Dubai’s legal framework and meets the required standards. 

3. Approval and Issuance

Upon successful review and evaluation, the DED grants approval for the business license. The entrepreneur is then issued the license, which officially authorizes them to operate their business in Dubai. 

4. Setting up Business Bank Account

Once the business license is approved by DED, the next step is to establish a business bank account. This crucial step allows entrepreneurs to start trading activities and carry out financial operations. Furthermore, setting up a corporate bank account paves the way for obtaining an investor visa, allowing holders to live and work in the UAE as well as sponsor family members. 

5. License Renewal

Business licenses in Dubai are subject to periodic renewal approximately after one year of operations. Entrepreneurs must comply with renewal requirements and obligations, such as submitting annual financial statements, maintaining valid trade licenses, and adhering to any specific regulations applicable to their industry. 

Benefits of Holding a Dubai Business License 

There are several benefits to holding a Dubai business license. Here are some key points to consider: 

  • Dubai is strategically located between Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it an ideal hub for international trade and business. 
  • One of the biggest advantages of holding a Dubai business license is the tax-free environment. There is no personal income tax, or capital gains tax in Dubai. 
  • Dubai has a strong legal framework and a business-friendly regulatory environment, providing stability and security for businesses. 
  • Dubai’s modern infrastructure is unparalleled, with state-of-the-art facilities, world-class transportation systems, and cutting-edge telecommunications networks. 
  • Dubai attracts skilled professionals from around the world, creating a multicultural and highly skilled workforce. 
  • Dubai is home to numerous free zones that offer additional benefits to businesses. These zones provide 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and simplified customs procedures, making them ideal for specific industries such as technology, media, finance, and logistics. 

Common Challenges and Tips  

One of the common challenges is dealing with the extensive documentation required for obtaining a business license in Dubai. The paperwork can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially for those unfamiliar with the process. 

Another common challenge is language and cultural barriers. Dealing with different government departments and authorities may require patience and effective communication. 

Here are some of the tips for a smooth licensing experience: 

  • Research and understand the requirements – Before starting the licensing process, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and gain a clear understanding of the specific requirements for your business activity. 
  • Plan ahead and be patient – Starting a business in Dubai requires patience and careful planning. The licensing process can take time, so it is essential to allocate ample time in your business plan for completing the necessary procedures. 
  • Maintain Clear Communication – Effective and transparent communication is crucial when dealing with government authorities and licensing departments. Ensure that all your documents and applications are accurate & complete. 
  • Build a Strong Network – Networking plays a vital role in the business landscape of Dubai. Connect with local entrepreneurs, industry professionals, and business associations to expand your network and gain valuable insights. 

Begin Your Business Venture in Dubai with Shuraa 

No doubt, Dubai’s thriving economy, strategic location, tax advantages, and business-friendly environment make it an ideal destination for business growth and success. If you’re ready to embark on your entrepreneurial journey in Dubai, Shuraa Business Setup is your trusted partner.  

With over two decades of experience, Shuraa has been helping entrepreneurs take their first steps since 2001. As an authorized agent for company formation in Dubai, Shuraa offers the best business setup services in the UAE, providing comprehensive support and guidance throughout the licensing process. 

Begin your business venture in Dubai with Shuraa and unlock the vast opportunities that this dynamic city has to offer. 


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