How to Get a Trade License in Dubai?

Trade License in Dubai

The UAE’s booming economy makes it the go-to choice for all the new-age investors and business aspirants looking to establish their respective companies. It’s now a premier hub for various business industries, and all you need is a trade license in Dubai to get started with your business activities. 

The government maintains a stepwise process to obtain a trading license, and you need to submit the required documents and pay the requested fee to get the same. However, any mistakes made during this phase can extend the process. Therefore, always get in touch with the business experts at Shuraa, and we’ll guide you throughout the business licensing process so that you get your license at the earliest. 

What are the different trade licenses in the UAE? 

An in-depth understanding of your business requirements is a must before you apply for a trade license in Dubai. Each license type comes with its set of advantages and limitations. You enjoy increased surplus and hassle-free business functioning in the UAE when you choose the right business license for your company. Here are the various trade licenses available in the country: 

Industrial license 

If you want to explore the manufacturing sector, lathe industry, processing operations, etc., then the industrial license is for you. This license gives you the legal permit to carry out various industrial business activities in the UAE. Ensure that your firm has a minimum of workers to meet the labor requirement guidelines maintained by the government. Furthermore, you’ll need a physical working premise since enterprises having virtual offices cannot apply for an industrial license. 

Commercial license 

All businesses related to construction, real estate, commodity trading, import-export, and more fall under the commercial license category. It’s a trade license in Dubai that approves the investors to proceed with all the discussed business categories in the UAE. Moreover, companies involved in foodstuff trading, auto spare parts trading, etc., also need to apply for a commercial license. 

Professional license 

You need to apply for a professional license if you’re offering any professional service to your customer like beatification, grooming, repairs, and several others. The best part is that you don’t need any local sponsorship under this license. This implies that you’ll enjoy complete business ownership of your company as your local service agent would only help you obtain a professional license without taking part in any business activity. 

Steps to obtain a trade license in Dubai 

Businesses that don’t have a valid trade license in Dubai face consequences including penalties, suspensions, and blacklisting of their companies. Therefore, having a trading license is a must for all legal entities in the UAE. Here’s how you can obtain it: 

  1. Finalize your business activities 

List down all the business activities that you expect to carry out each day while doing business in the UAE. The Department of Economic Development (DED) maintains a list of more than 2,000 permissible activities. Therefore, you can choose the ones that match your requirements and approach the concerned department for approval. Moreover, you’ll need to obtain external approval from other independent authorities in case some of the business activities aren’t covered under your trading license. 

  1. Trade name reservation 

What names do you have in mind for your company? Shortlist them and make a list of 3-4 preferred names and send them over for approval to the concerned governing body. Your business name should be unique and indicative of your business activities. Ensure that you follow all the naming convention protocols before finalizing your company’s legal name. Furthermore, ensure that the name doesn’t have any derogatory terms or words that hurt the sentiments of any religion or community. You need to use a person’s full name and not any nickname if you wish to keep it as your official name in Emirates. 

  1. Choose a business location 

Choosing the ideal business location is critical and can make or break your business. You have a plethora of options to explore in the UAE with regard to the business location. You can choose a mainland establishment to get hassle-free access to Dubai’s local marketplace. Conversely, you can pick any of the free trading zones (more than 40) in the UAE depending on your requirements as there are several specialized free zones too. You can also open your company in the offshore region as it has supreme connectivity to airports, docks, and more. Remember that you’ll need to form an LLC (limited liability company) to open a company in the mainland. 

  1. Apply for a trading license 

Applying for a trade license in Dubai is straightforward and very convenient. All you need to ensure that all the steps mentioned above are completed without any hiccups. Once done, you can apply for a trading license alongside all the mandatory documents. The concerned authority will evaluate your application based on various grounds and approve it once satisfied with your submissions. The cost of a trade license in Dubai is pretty subjective as it depends on your company’s structure, business activities, external approvals, and a lot more. However, you can consider the expected cost to be anything from AED 25,000 to 50,000. 

  1. Trade license renewal and validity 

Many consider obtaining a trade license in the UAE as a one-and-done deal. However, that isn’t the case as you need to renew your trading license annually to keep it valid at all times. Companies that fail to renew their license within the specified timeframe need to submit daily personalities, and strict legal action is taken against them. Therefore, always renew your license one month prior to the expiry date. All you need to do is update your tenancy contract and apply for a payment voucher to settle the payment for license renewal. 

Paperwork needed to acquire a trading license in the UAE 

The UAE’s government conducts a rigorous document evaluation to ensure a risk-free working environment for all the investors and also eliminates fraudulent applications. Therefore, you must be ready with all the documents and approvals mentioned below to obtain a trade license in Dubai

  • Duly filled application form 
  • Passport copies of all the business partners 
  • NOC from the local sponsor (applicable for expats and foreign investors) 
  • Payment receipt of trade name reservation 
  • The lease agreement document to verify the registered address of your business 
  • A descriptive document of your business plan and associated activities 
  • Details of shared capital (for industrial trade license) 
  • A copy of the naturalization book of local partners also called Jinsiya 
  • A copy of the registry identification form notarized by the concerned council 

Connect with Shuraa 

All businesses need a trade license in Dubai to align with the compliance guidelines maintained by the government. Obtaining it easier than ever when you get in touch with Shuraa Business Setup. We have already helped more than 20,000 businesses make a name for their brand in the UAE’s marketplace. Our business consultants provide end-to-end business assistance that includes help related to documentation, licensing, banking, and more. We take care of all your company formation worries so that you can focus on your business’s growth. So, what’s the wait for? Connect with Shuraa today, and let’s take things forward! 

Click here to book a free consultation with our experts and know more about acquiring a trade license in Dubai or call at +971 44081900. You can also send a WhatsApp message at +971 50 777 5554. For email assistance, mail your query at