Complete Guide to Get Business License in Dubai

How to Get a Business License in Dubai?

The first thing required to launch a business in Dubai is to get a business license. There are different types of licenses as per the  Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in the UAE. 

For an entrepreneur or investor, applying for a license is straightforward. Depending upon the type of business or services one provides, licenses issued in that category with its own rules and regulations. The application process is quick, and one can get a business license in a few weeks only. But this can happen quickly only if one is conversant with the application process. Moreover, it is prudent to take the help of a business consultant in Dubai. 

Types of Business Licenses

There are three main categories of Business licenses in Dubai.  

1. Commercial – A company, whether LLC or sole ownership, trading in goods and commodities can apply for a commercial license. There are different commercial licenses, and one must apply for the correct one. Rental transportation, healthcare, retail, real estate, trading, import, export, etc., need to have a commercial trade license. 

2. Industrial- Businesses in manufacturing or industrial activities need an industrial trade license. The DED issues this license, but additional approval is required from different UAE Ministries such as Finance, Infrastructure and Energy depending on the industrial activity involved. 

3.Professional – All professionals such as accountants, auditors, healthcare specialists, teachers, advertising consultants, legal advisors, etc., come under professional services. The Department of Economic Development (DED) gives a professional license in Dubai to establish that the person or business is skilled in providing professional services. 

License issue, modifications, and renewals

A business license is issued for one year in the UAE, otherwise, the entrepreneur cannot continue with an expired license. 

Most importantly, Apart from renewals, business owners can make amendments to their licenses. Following circumstances are matters for considering business license.

  • Addition or deletion of a business partner
  • Changes in Management details 
  • Change of Trade name 
  • Modifications in the authorized capital of the business 
  • Replacement of local sponsor with a new one 
  • Change in business activities 
How to apply for a business license? 

One must first decide what type of business activities someone will undertake in Dubai. Our Business consultants will then suggest what kind of license one should apply for. The authorities have pre-published business lists covering more than 2000 activities ranging from food, retail, manufacturing, and consultancy. It is also possible to list more than one activity in the application.

During the Company Formation in UAE, it is advisable to take the services of Business Link UAE, who will assist in every activity at the initial stages. This stage is where the entrepreneur will face the maximum bottleneck, and consultants can make the process smooth with their guidance and expertise at every step. 

Business name should be reflecting the activity of the business type. Regardless of what name one chooses, a suffix will be added to the name. The suffix corresponds to the legal entity of the company. For example, FZE, FZC, and FZ LLC stand for Free Zone establishment, Free Zone company, and Free Zone Limited Liability Company. For a mainland or local company, one will see suffix L.L.C. 

The application for the business license apply through to the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the municipality or the managing authority of Dubai. Here also, the business consultant will guide on where to apply. 

Documentations required 
  • Completed application form
  • Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
  • Two-color passport size photos
  • MOA with the local Sponsor
  • Original along with a copy of the company’s statutory documents
  • DED approval letter for company name
  • DED attestation letter approving business setup
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Shareholder’s complete details and their passport copies

The documents needed for business setup in Dubai are to be submitted to the Trade License and Commercial Registration Department in the DED. The fees for the license will depend on the nature and size of the business. The cost of a business license in Dubai depends on the business activity. There are no additional trade license costs to consider unless one wants to take on mainland premises or apply for additional UAE trade license visas.