Dubai is a business hub for international trade. It attracts the investors from all over the globe on a large scale with its well-regulated economy boosting the investor’s confidence to bring their business in Dubai. Before starting a business in Dubai you must know that you need to acquire an appropriate license from the DED (Department of Economic Development).

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is responsible for monitoring and regulating the economic activities outside the designated range of free zones. It is the authority with the power to issue licenses & trade permits, setting rules for business hours, and classifying the business activities legally permitted within the jurisdiction of Dubai mainland

Here are the types of trade licenses and their respective requirements

Essential Documents Required for any Trade License in Dubai

  1. Passport copies of all business partners
  2. A NOC from the sponsor of the company for international investors
  3. Copies of Residency Visa for all business partners
  4. Memorandum and Articles of Association
  5. Lease agreement

Read also : How to setup business in UAE – Complete Guide 

Types Of Licenses

Commercial Licenses or Trading License including all kinds of trading activities.

A business entity that engages in trading activities like buying and selling goods in Dubai is issued a Commercial License. That business entity is not allowed to do anything outside the range of the Trade License. The first step will be to designate the main type of activity the company will carry out and the adjacent activities that can be maximum ten per one commercial license, Determine the type of business and company, After this step, the documents have to be submitted with the Department of Economic Development in Dubai and with the UAE Federal Ministry of Economy for the commercial license. Therefore, it is necessary for every company seeking to trade in Dubai to get a trade license. The license is not available easily as the companies are required to show and submit certain documents in order to get the license.

Documents Required
  • An application form where the company name will be mentioned in English and Arabic,
  • The original lease contract for the company’s registered address,
  • The permit issued by the Dubai Municipality Building Department clearing the use of the office space as a business address for the company,
  • Proof of paying the fee for the issuance of the trade license

Professional Licenses – professions, services, craftsmen and artisans.

Professional License will be given on the basis of your educational entitlement and area of expertise; acquiring can include several factors – such as documentation, approvals from the Chamber of Commerce, municipality formalities, public notaries, protection agreements and so on. A Professional Trade License allows 100% ownership for foreign investors, permitting them the advantage of a sole proprietorship.

Documents Required
  • Filled form
  • Passport Copies of Partners
  • Naturalization book’s (Jinsiyya) copy of Local Partner
  • No Objection Letter from the sponsor for expatriate partners (NOC is not required for visit/Tourist visa holders, and their visa copy should be attached).
  • If UID Number is not mentioned in the Visit/Tourist/Transit visa, it has to be collected from the Immigration Department on payment of Dh130.
  • Some activities require initial approval from concerned departments (eg. Municipality, RTA, National Media Council etc.

The above-mentioned documents make a business entity eligible for the trade license. Department of Economic Development checks and assesses the documents closely and approves the license.  This trade license will allow the companies to get engaged in trade outside the free zone. It will open up an excellent opportunity for business professionals and investors to invest more in Dubai.

Industrial Licenses for establishing industrial or manufacturing activity

Industrial License is issued to those business LLC establishments who indulge in manufacturing, semi-manufacturing activities such as the manufacture of motor vehicles, motorcycles & its spare parts, appliances and machinery manufacturing and water manufacturing and bottling.  Dubai has already experienced an industrial revolution, and several medium and big sized manufacturing firms are looking forward to further enhance their businesses in Dubai. All they need is industrial license to trade outside the free trade zone. The policy of licensing will contribute to the economic growth and development of City.

Industrial licenses in Dubai are issued by the Department of Economic Development and need special approvals from Dubai Municipality – Planning department – civil defense is also required and more government offices approval according to industrial license activity.

  • There must be a local sponsor holding 51% of shares, and the foreign investors will own the remaining 49%.
  • Requires a physical office inside the country, Virtual office is not entertained by the DED.
  • Issuance of licenses for manufacturing companies must have the approval of the Finance and Industry Ministry.

Coming to the most important question, How to apply for Trade license and get it instantly , Here’s everything you need to know.

Any business of any category must have a ‘trade’ license in Dubai. After gathering all the documents what you need to do is

  1. Visit a center or DED e-Services and obtain the legal form required to obtain a trade license.

Visit for DED e-services

  1. Choose the trading activity that your business provides
  2. Add partner’s name while filling the form
  3. Mention the share capital and total capital value of the business
  4. Partnership ratio needs to be stated at the time of registration
  5. Reservation of a trading name needs to be done
  6. Get an instant trade number provided by the system
  7. A payment voucher will be generated, and you need to complete the payment process. Paymentvoucher includes Trade Name Reservation, Initial Approval, and Issuance of the License. The fee is subject to change depending upon the business activities, and it’s type. Also there’s no rental fee for one year.

After following all the steps you will get your trade license instantly but you must know that you need to pay an additional amount of AED 3,000.

To know more about trade licensing in Dubai visit


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