Do you want to setup a business in Dubai? The most important step is to get Dubai Business License. We will talk about UAE trade license categories, Dubai trade license and trade license renewal, home business license in Dubai, Commercial License, Industrial License, and Professional License.

If you are willing to setup a business in Dubai, you are going to need a “Trade” license. What steps you exactly need to take in order to get a trade license in Dubai depend on the type of the business you are up to open in Dubai.

As we told you that business type varies the requirements needed to be fulfill to get trade license in Dubai. There are three types of licenses available for the businessmen who want to setup a business in Dubai.

Different types of business need different types of licenses and some of them need more clearances than the general trade license. The businesses related to financial and health services, printing and publishing and food trading require more steps to get registered as compare to normal trading license.

We will put light on all types of licenses available for a business setup in Dubai and will try to touch all the points you need to know before applying for the business license in Dubai.

UAE trade license categories      

There are three categories of business licenses available in UAE and especially in Dubai to get registered.

The types of licenses are mentioned below to get an idea about the business types and the license for them.

  1. Commercial License

This license is for the business that is related to any kind of trading.

  1. Industrial License

Industrial license is issued to a manufacturing company or business. It will help you to get all legal protection for your business and will allow you to go with the flow easily.

  1. Professional License

If your company is some sort of service provider or other professional one then you will need a professional license to overcome all obstacles your business can face in Dubai. Get professionally registered and take your business up to the highest ranks.

Why it is important to have a Business License in Dubai

This license helps you to have legal protection and make clients to trust you even if you are new comer in business. It is easy to receive funds when you have a registered trading business.

If you want to stay out of legal and financial troubles you would prefer to pay taxes you owe to the city. License allows you to pay quarterly taxes and paying taxes keep your license current.

If you are running a wholesale business then you really going to need a wholesale business license that would help you to find and get items at wholesale rate. You would not need to pay tax for the items you bought to resale it means this license helps you to get tax free items on discount.

Department of Economic Development DED Dubai

The department that issue Dubai company licenses is called DED (Department of Economic Development) Dubai. Every license for all types of businesses should be registered by this government agency. The offices of this department are at many locations in Dubai.

If you want a complete range of all services for your company, you would need to go to the main office of DED that is situated near the clock tower in Dubai.

Requirements DED Dubai asks for Business License Process

It depends on what type of business you are going to get approved by DED. Requirements and processes are different for each license. There are separate departments for each business license working in the city. You need to go to that one office which deals in that specific business license you need.

  • If you own a financial company like bank or other financial organization then you need to go to UAE Central Bank to get registered.
  • If your company deals with manufacturing activities then you must get registered by Finance and Industry Ministry.
  • If you own an insurance firm or other same type of company then you need to be approved by Economy and Commerce Ministry.
  • Health Ministry will approve your company if it is related to medical and pharmaceutical products.
  • In case of businesses related to oil and gas industries, need to get approved by other government agencies.

One more important thing, you need the involvement of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to get registered.

As we know that getting registered or approved or getting business license is must to setup a business in Dubai otherwise you cannot even start your business activities. So you must know what department you need to contact to. Go to the relevant department, provide all credentials, pay for license and get registered.

Getting registered and getting business ownership are two different aspects. We tell you about the requirements you need to fulfill for a business ownership.

Business Ownership Requirements

If you do not own a professional license then you need fifty one percent 51% shareholding by a local UAE National to start a business in Dubai or anywhere in UAE.

The question arises here is that in what conditions you need a local National shareholder? You can find the answer below.

  • If your company located in any free zone then you need a share holder.
  • There are few cases in which law bounds you to get 100% local ownership for your business setup in Dubai.
  • There are few activities that demand 100% ownership for GCC (Gulf cooperation Council) nationals.
  • If you are establishing a branch of your company that is residing outside of UAE then you need a local national to involve in partnership.
  • If you have a professional license but still want to involve a local UAE National in ownership then you have permission to have a local partner for your business.
  • If you are an architect, doctor or an artist etc and you have a professional license then you own your business 100 percent but it is advised to have a local national as your service agent.

Provide Comprehensive Business Structure to get Registered

The Federal Law of Dubai or UAE give few legal structures for your business from which you need to choose one and provide all legal credentials related to this. The structure will basically show what type of ownership you own in your business.


There are seven legal business structures options given by Federal Law.

  1. General Partnership
    2. Partnership in Commendams
    3. Public Shareholding
    4. Private Shareholding
    5. Joint Venture
    6. Share Partnership
    7. Limited Liability

How to Establish a Branch Office for Your Business in Dubai

There are two options to be availed when you want to establish a representative or branch office for your foreign based company. You can have own your branch office 100% or you can find some UAE National as a shareholder.

If you have a professional license and have legal authority to 100% ownership then you also need a local national who would perform a role as a local agent to get all services you need. You can also find a company as your agent which is owned by local nationals.

Commercial Companies Law protects your business that has a branch office in Dubai. All the procedure for setting up a representative office in Dubai covered by this law and it makes the whole process easier and free of complications.

Dubai Business License is not difficult to get. You just need to know the whole legal procedure.

Registration Process- Step by Step Guideline

  1. Find a local partner for your business. Find a suitable sponsor for your business who can bring services you actually want for your company.


It is upto you that on what conditions you want a partnership. If you want your sponsor to give you complete assistance in order to tackle government procedures and to get services for your company.


You can also have a sponsor to only use his name on the license. The other important aspect you need to clear to a local National before signing the partnership is the fees you have to pay to the sponsor. It is that how much fees you need to pay your sponsor every year.


  1. Second step is to choose a name for your business to get Dubai Business License. Get approved the name by Department of Economic Development DED.


  1. Third step is to arrange a tenancy contract. If you want your business or company to get registered in Dubai this is the most important requirement you have to fulfill.


  1. Arrange a sponsored Memorandum of Association (MOA) and submit it to Department of Economic Development Dubai.


  1. Fifth step will cover up everything. You will need to submit MOA along with application, tenancy contract and other important documents at DED Dubai to get registered.


  1. Pay your fees and wait for about a week and you should get a license after that.


We tried to cover all important aspects everyone needs to know regarding Dubai business License. Though it is a very simple and complication free procedure but it also needs expert supervision if you are willing to setup a business in Dubai.

It is advised to hire some legal advisor or a company that can help you in getting registered. They will not only help you in providing all information but also will go with you till end.

Hope you have got everything you wanted to know from our article. We wish you good luck for setting up your company in Dubai.