The business owners must obtain specific licenses before starting a business in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The applicant can engage in the majority of activities in the UAE with a trade license in Dubai. New company registration in Dubai is handled by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

This indicates that business owners must deal with DED officials in order to obtain a trade licence in Dubai. The type of trade licence issued depends on the nature of the business and the specific activities being carried out. 


Selecting economic jurisdiction and company structure

Choose the economic jurisdiction where the applicant wants to set up a company. Dubai has three different economic jurisdictions: the mainland, UAE Free Zones – Dubai, and Dubai Offshore Company. The applicant must choose an appropriate corporate structure. The legal structure of the business will set the laws and restrictions it is subject to in the future.

Selecting business activities

The type of trade licence needed will depend on the type of business operations the applicant intends to conduct in Dubai. The applicant must choose all of the business operations that he wishes to carry out since it is not possible to carry out any activities that are not chosen in advance.

Getting initial approvals

The applicant must obtain the initial approval from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. The applicant should fill out an application form provided by them.

Getting an office space and preparing the MOA

Because the tenancy agreement and EJARI are required to obtain the trade licence from the DED, The applicant must find an office space. If a physical office location is not required, the applicant can choose a virtual office. 

EJARI is a system for registering and maintaining tenancy contracts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is a mandatory requirement for all rental properties in Dubai, and the system helps to regulate and streamline the rental process for landlords and tenants.

The system provides a secure and centralised database for tenancy contracts and ensures that all contracts are in line with the Dubai Rental Law. The purpose of EJARI is to provide a secure, transparent, and efficient platform for the management of rental properties in Dubai, and to ensure that all rental transactions are in compliance with the law.

Memorandum of Association (MOA) is an important document. The applicant must seek the assistance of legal professionals when preparing these documents.

Getting the external approvals and submitting the documents

The applicant must obtain a few external approvals from various governmental authorities and agencies that are mentioned by the staff at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development.

The applicant must submit the required documents to the DED.

 Completing the final application and paying the fees

The applicant must submit the paperwork and finish the final application from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. Once all the procedures are finished and the DED approves the application, the applicant must pay the fees and obtain the trade licence.


Professional trade licence

The professional business licence in Dubai is focused on companies’ operations that involve offering their services for sale to other people or companies.

In Dubai Mainland, businesses can sell services to the government and obtain lucrative government contracts if the business has a professional licence.

The professional licence allows many commercial operations, such as auditing, healthcare services, consulting services, digital marketing services, etc.

Commercial Trade License

Businesses that intend to engage in business operations that involve the buying and selling of goods must get a commercial trade licence in Dubai. Products trading, product imports, product exports, rental activities, brokerage activities, etc. are a few of these commercial activities.

Even if the company is based in Dubai and wishes to conduct business outside the United Arab Emirates, it will still need a commercial licence in Dubai to do so.

Tourism Trade License

Businesses that intend to conduct business activities that involve organising and planning tours must obtain a tourist licence in Dubai. Compared to the other trade licences offered here, this company trade licence is relatively new in the UAE.

This licence was created by the government to enhance tourism regulation in the United Arab Emirates. In the UAE, companies including travel agencies, hospitality firms, tour operators, etc. must obtain a tourism licence.

Industrial Trade License

Businesses that intend to conduct operations that include producing goods domestically must obtain an industrial trade licence in Dubai. Owning a physical office space in the nation is one of the requirements for receiving an industrial trade licence.

The industrial trade licence allows a variety of commercial activities, including the importation of raw materials, processing of raw materials, packaging of finished goods, sales of finished goods, exportation of finished goods, etc.

Trade License Dubai Fees

Depending on the goods and services the company plans to sell and the permits the company needs to obtain, the cost of the trade licence varies. A Dubai trading license, however, typically costs between 15,000 and 50,000 AED. 

Other elements that may affect how much the trade licence will cost are as follows:

  • Number of business partners 
  • The region where it was established
  • Business structure
  • partnerships with local sponsors
  • Type of commercial activity


Enhance credibility

Dubai’s corporate environment is very safe and secure. Having a Dubai trade licence in Dubai also makes the company legally recognized, which improves its reputation and as a result, the company gains credibility. 

The company will be more recognizable on the market if it secures a trade licence in Dubai. As a result, the company has more opportunities to network and make profitable relationships. The company benefits from having a stronger brand image as a result.

To know more about forming a new company, refer to the Dubai company registration page

Increase sales through domestic and foreign trade

Considering all of the export and import curated free zones, it is clear that Dubai focuses a lot on import and export. This indicates that the government’s primary concern is ensuring that goods and services can move freely within and outside of the nation.

Companies can export to and import from any country with a general trading licence in Dubai. This gives companies greater flexibility when setting up a branch or organisation in Dubai.

Tax exemptions and benefits

The tax advantages are one of the key reasons to establish businesses or invest in Dubai. For instance, Dubai has no personal taxes. This implies that there will be no taxation of any kind on any dividends or other income received from the investments.

Dubai recently introduced corporate income taxes for mainland companies. However, it is only available to large firms that make more than a certain amount of money. Even then, one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the world.

Opportunities for sponsorship and investment

The applicant can simply get the visa in Dubai if he has a trade licence. Additionally, the applicant can sponsor the visas of some of the employees as well as members of the immediate family.

There are numerous investors and local sponsors in Dubai that will gladly invest in the business if the applicant presents a strong business plan, in addition to having a low starting cost.

Minimal trading limitations

Due to the minimal trade restrictions present, Dubai is the best location for businesses. This is because business owners do not need to worry if the things they are trying to buy and sell are covered by the general trade licence Dubai. Additionally, the UAE has positive commercial relations with almost every other nation in the world. The only items that are banned are those that are unlawful in most of the world. 

Easy to set up a business

Opening a business in Dubai is fairly simple. In addition, there is a wide variety of options for office space here for entrepreneurs with varying budget ranges. Business owners can therefore easily launch a business here and profit from a trade licence in Dubai.


  • Copy of shareholders’ passports and the business licence
  • A copy of the residency visa if the applicant is a resident
  • Filled-out application form
  • Emirate ID of the applicant (when applying through the online portal)


The first step in renewing the company licence is to secure the necessary approvals. The type of business will determine the kind of permits and authorizations required.

For instance, in order to renew the business licences, transportation businesses must receive clearance from Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority.

The applicant should review the lease agreement before submitting an application to renew the trade licence. It must be valid for at least three months from the date of submitting a renewal application for the licence.

To obtain approval, the business owner must submit these documents to the DED

  • The completed renewal form
  • Attested EJARI
  • Authorization and approval letters
  • A tenancy contract
  • Photographs of all business partners
  • The payment number for the renewal fee


At Relin Consultants, we are dedicated to simplifying the process of obtaining a business licence in Dubai. As a professional consultancy firm, our team of experts will guide you every step of the way, providing expert advice on the required documents and handling the licence application on your behalf.

With our in-depth knowledge of local regulations and our extensive network of contacts, we can streamline the entire process, ensuring that your application is submitted quickly and efficiently. And, with regular follow-ups with the relevant authorities, you can rest assured that your licence will be approved in a timely manner.

By partnering with Relin Consultants, you can save valuable time and effort, and focus on growing your business. So why wait? Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you obtain a business licence in Dubai with ease.


How to apply for a Dubai trade licence?

To apply for a Dubai trade licence, the following steps can be followed.

  • Determine the type of business and the activities that will be carried out.
  • Choose a legal form for the company 
  • Select a trade name and check its availability.
  • Decide on a location for the business and obtain approval from the relevant authority.
  • Submit the application and required documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  • Pay the applicable fees.

How much does a business licence cost in Dubai?

The cost of a business licence in Dubai depends on several factors, such as the type of business, its size, and the number of visas required for employees. On average, the cost of a business licence in Dubai can range from AED 15,000 to AED 50,000.

Do small businesses need a licence in Dubai?

Yes, small businesses in Dubai are required to obtain a trade licence in order to operate legally. The process of obtaining a trade licence is the same for small and large businesses, and all businesses must comply with the regulations set by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.

The cost of a trade licence for a small business in Dubai may be lower compared to larger businesses, but it still depends on various factors such as the type of business and its activities, the number of visas required for employees, and other related expenses.

How can I get a business licence online in Dubai?

A business licence can be obtained online in Dubai through the Dubai Economic Department (DED) website. The following steps outline the process for obtaining a business licence online in Dubai.

  • Visit the Dubai Economic Department (DED) website.
  • Register for a new account by providing personal and company information.
  • Choose the type of licence that you need and fill out the required information.
  • Upload the necessary documents, such as a passport copy and proof of business location.
  • Pay the applicable fees online.
  • Wait for the DED to process the application and issue the trade licence

How many types of Dubai licences are there?

There are multiple types of business licences in Dubai. Some of the common ones are listed below. 

Dubai Commercial License: For businesses engaged in trading activities, such as import and export.

Industrial Licence: For businesses involved in manufacturing and production activities.

Tourism Licence: For businesses related to tourism, such as hotels and tour operators.

Professional Licence: For businesses offering professional services, such as consulting or medical services.

Is a trade licence mandatory in Dubai?

Yes, a trade licence is mandatory in Dubai for all businesses operating in the emirate. The Department of Economic Development (DED) is responsible for issuing trade licences and regulating the business activities in Dubai.

Obtaining a trade licence is a legal requirement for all businesses, regardless of size or type, and failure to obtain a licence can result in fines and penalties. The trade licence is also necessary for obtaining other permits and visas, such as work visas for employees.

What duties must a company fulfil after getting a trade licence in Dubai?

After obtaining a trade licence in Dubai, an organisation must perform the following obligations:

  • Apply for a business establishment card.
  • Native employees’ Labor Ministry registration
  • Registration with the General Authority of Pension and Social Security for Native Workers

Is having separate trade licences in Dubai for different product categories is required?

In some cases, a company may require separate licences for different product categories, especially if the products fall under different regulatory requirements. For example, a company that sells both food and clothing items may need separate licences for each category, as they are regulated by different government agencies.

It’s important to note that the regulations and requirements for trade licences in Dubai can change frequently, and it’s always best to check with the Department of Economic Development (DED) or a professional consultancy firm for the most up-to-date information.

Is it mandatory to obtain a trade licence even for the companies that are opening a company branch in Dubai?

Yes, it is mandatory for companies that are opening a branch in Dubai to obtain a trade licence. According to the regulations set by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, all businesses operating in the emirate must have a valid trade licence. This includes both local and foreign companies, as well as branches of international companies.

The type of trade licence required will depend on the nature of the business, such as whether it is engaged in commercial or professional activities. Companies must also comply with the conditions and regulations set by the DED, such as having a registered office address in Dubai and meeting the minimum share capital requirements.

Is there any need to obtain other licences besides getting a trade licence in Dubai?

Yes, in addition to obtaining a trade licence in Dubai, companies may also need to obtain other licences and permits to operate legally in the emirate.

What is the Instant Trade License in Dubai?

The Instant Trade License in Dubai is a type of business licence that allows companies to start operating in Dubai immediately. This licence is designed for entrepreneurs who are looking to set up their business quickly and efficiently, without having to go through the typical lengthy and complex process of obtaining a regular business licence.

With the Instant Trade License, you can start your business operations right away, without having to worry about the bureaucratic red tape that often comes with starting a new business. This type of licence is ideal for companies that are looking to test the market or launch a new product or service in Dubai, as it provides a fast and easy way to get started.

The Instant Trade License is valid for one year, after which it can be renewed for additional years. It also provides a number of benefits, including full access to Dubai’s business infrastructure, lower costs compared to a regular licence, and the ability to operate across multiple locations in Dubai.

If you are looking to start a business in Dubai, the Instant Trade License may be a great option to consider. Be sure to consult with a professional consultancy firm to ensure that you understand the requirements and process for obtaining this type of licence.

Is it hard to obtain a trade licence in Dubai?

Obtaining a trade license in Dubai can be complex and time-consuming without proper guidance and support. The process involves navigating various regulations and requirements set by the Department of Economic Development (DED), and submitting a range of documents and fees.

In addition, there are several types of trade licenses in Dubai, each with its own specific requirements and conditions. For example, a commercial trade license is required for businesses engaged in buying and selling goods, while a professional trade license is required for businesses offering services.

To make the process of obtaining a trade license as smooth and straightforward as possible, it’s recommended to work with a professional consultancy firm that has experience in the Dubai market. Such firms can assist you in navigating the regulations, provide guidance on the required documents, and handle the entire license application process on your behalf.

In summary, while obtaining a trade license in Dubai can be challenging, with the right support and guidance, the process can be made much simpler and more efficient.


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