A Comprehensive Guide to the Types of Trade Licenses in Dubai

Starting a business in Dubai can be tricky without the right information, especially when it comes to getting your trade license. Dubai is one of the most booming economies, which is why having the right licenses in the UAE, especially a valid trade license, is key for any company’s operation and growth. Hence, knowing about all types of trade license in Dubai is crucial. 

This guide will lead you through and make you understand the different types of trade licenses available in Dubai, making sure you choose the perfect fit for your budding business venture. Keep reading to discover your path to creating a great company in Dubai!

Understanding a Trade License

Moving from the basics, let’s dive into what a trade license really means. A trade license is like a pass that allows you to do business in the UAE. A trade license is required to show you’re following the rules. Although there are numerous varieties available, there are primarily three main types of trade licenses. 

This piece of paper proves your company is legal and serious about working right in the city. This category of license enables businesses to not only appear legitimate, but also function without facing any legal troubles.

If you want to start selling things, offering services or making stuff in Dubai, getting this license is step one. To put it simply, having the specific business license in Dubai allows businesses to commence operating legally. Moreover, it shows customers they can trust you because the government keeps an eye on what you do.

Also, without this document, approval of United Arab Emirates authorities is not possible. Hence, without a trade license, it’s not allowed to run your business at all – it’s a big no-no from the UAE Ministry of Economy and can get you in trouble. So having a trade license makes sure everything goes smoothly for both your business formation in Dubai and anyone who buys from you or works with you. Remember – various types of trade licenses are issued for various businesses operating in Dubai, which is why it is important to choose the right one. 

Different Types of Trade License in Dubai

Dive into the heart of UAE’s bustling business scene by exploring the array of trade or professional service licenses that Dubai offers, each tailored to fit diverse commercial needs and entrepreneurial visions.

This section unveils the specialized permits that pave the way for ventures in commerce, professionalism, industry, and tourism within this dynamic city. Without further ado, let us dive into each different license category in Dubai:

Commercial License

Out of all types of mainland trade licenses included in Dubai, commercial license is a must-have for every commercial trade business that wants to sell goods or trade in Dubai. This type of license is for businesses involved in commerce. You need to have an office or shop here and get the right papers ready. The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) in UAE, or a free zone authority will check everything before they say yes.

If you try to sell without this license, it’s against the law, since every company must have a proper trading license to conduct business.

Once you get your commercial license, you’re all set to start general trading activities. You can open bank accounts for your company and look more trustworthy to customers. Next up is learning about professional licenses, another key kind of permit for doing business in Dubai.

Professional License

A professional license is for experts who offer special skills or services. This type of Dubai trade license is necessary for working professionals with special skillsets. This includes jobs like accountants, engineers, and lawyers. To get this license in Dubai, you must prove your education and work history.

You also need the right certificates.

Doctors and other healthcare workers also need a professional license. Before they can work, they must show their medical degrees. They also need experience and a thumbs-up from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

Next up is the industrial license for those wanting to make or produce things in Dubai. 

Industrial License

An industrial license is required in Dubai if you want to make things, process goods, or run an industrial business. The DED gives the first “okay” for these licenses.

You have to give them certain papers and get permission from important groups in charge.

Trade License Zone can help a lot with setting up a business and asking for an industrial license in Dubai, UAE. They know how everything works and can guide you through every step.

Next up is learning about the tourism license for businesses that work with travelers and vacationers.

Tourism License

If you want to run a business in Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sector, you need a tourism license. Since Dubai is a major tourist attraction and businesses can capitalize on it, this special permit lets you host travelers and offer them services. To get one and start your business, your business must follow certain rules set by Dubai Tourism.

You should have all the right facilities for tourists.

The Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai in UAE issues the permission, since the tourism business is under its jurisdiction, besides all the other ones. Therefore, it is important to ask them for an initial okay to get started with the chosen business. Then, get a green light from Dubai Municipality saying your place is good to go. If they agree, you can start making travelers happy with your services!

Choosing the Right Trade License for Your Business

Picking the best trade license for your business in Dubai is a big deal. You want to make sure it fits what you do. If you sell things, get a Commercial License. For offering advice or services, grab a Professional License.

Making stuff? An Industrial License is the way to go. And if tourists are your thing, aim for a Tourism License.

Think about where you want to set up too. Dubai Free zones might be good if you like keeping all your profits and running things on your own terms without local partners. On the other hand, being on the mainland can give your company more freedom to trade inside and outside the UAE without as many limits in terms of business activities in Dubai.

Your choice affects how easy it is to grow and work with others in different places!

Steps to Getting a Trade License in Dubai

Embarking on the journey to obtain a trade license in Dubai can be streamlined and efficient with a clear understanding of the necessary steps. From engaging with experienced partners like Trade License Zone to finalizing your business setup, each phase is designed to pave a smooth path toward launching your venture in this dynamic market.

Partnering with Xpert Advisory

Getting your trade license in Dubai can be easier with help from Xpert Advisory. They guide you through each step. This means they will work with you to choose the right business structure, registering the company name, and get all your documents in order.

They make sure that you submit a strong application for your business license.

Xpert Advisory takes care of the details so you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. With their expertise, applying for any trade license becomes smoother and faster. This helps you start doing business in Dubai quickly and without stress.

Choosing a Business Structure

After you’ve got help from a partner like Trade License Zone, it’s time to think about the shape of your company. Your choice will affect how you run your business, pay taxes, and deal with paperwork.

In Dubai, you can set up as a sole proprietorship if you want to own everything yourself. This is simple and means you make all the decisions but also take on all the risks.

Another option could be forming a partnership where two or more people share control and profits. There are also options for bigger setups like limited liability companies which protect personal assets from business debts.

Pick what fits best with how big or small your plan is and what kind of work you’ll do. Each structure has its own rules in Dubai, so choosing wisely helps keep things smooth later on.

Registering a Business Name

Choosing the right name for your business is a key step in Dubai. The name should match the type of business you want to do. It can’t be the same as another company’s name. You need to check that your chosen name is not already used by someone else.

To register your business name, fill out an application with the Department of Economic Development (DED). They will look at your application and make sure that it follows their rules.

Once they say yes, they will give you a paper that says you can use this name for your business. This takes about two weeks. Make sure you have ID and address proofs ready for all the important people in your company like directors and shareholders.

This helps make things move faster and smoother.

Notarizing your Company’s Documents

Getting your company’s documents notarized is a must-do in Dubai. You need to show that the details you give are true. This means taking papers, like the Memorandum of Association, to an official who makes sure everything is correct.

They check IDs and make you sign in front of them to confirm it’s really you. Once they stamp your documents, they are legal for your trade license application.

The next step after making your papers official is submitting a business license application.

Submitting a Business License Application

After your company’s documents are notarized, the next step is to apply for the trade license. Fill out the application form with all your business details. Make sure everything you write is true and matches your documents.

Then, give this form to the DED or the free zone authority where you want to set up shop. They will look over your application and check if you have everything needed, like a physical office space for a commercial license or safety approvals for an industrial one.

Once they’re okay with your paperwork, pay any fees that they ask for. They may tell you to make changes or get extra approvals depending on what kind of business you have. But if everything looks good, they’ll move forward with giving you your trade license so you can start doing business in Dubai!

Receiving your Trade License

Once your business license application is in, you wait for approval. Getting the green light means your trade license is ready. This paper lets you do business in Dubai legally. You can now open corporate bank accounts, sign contracts, and hire staff.

Your trade license shows everyone that your company meets all rules and standards in Dubai. It’s a big step to starting a successful business!

Trade License Renewal Process in Dubai

In Dubai, if you have a business, you need to keep your trade license up to date. You must renew it every year with the Department of Economic Development.

  • Check the expiration date on your current trade license to know when to start the renewal.
  • Gather all required documents like your passport copy, tenancy contract, and any other paperwork asked for.
  • Make sure your tenancy contract is valid for at least another month after your license renewal date.
  • Pay any outstanding government fees or fines that might stop you from renewing your license.
  • Get all necessary approvals from authorities if your business needs special permissions.
  • Fill out the renewal application form provided by the DED in Dubai.
  • Submit these forms along with the supporting documents either online or at one of Dubai’s service centers.
  • Pay the renewal fee which varies based on your business activity and size.
  • Wait for processing; once approved, you will receive an updated trade license usually via email.

Common Queries about Trade Licenses

People often ask how long it takes to get a trade license in Dubai. The time can vary, but generally, you may receive your license within one to two weeks if all your papers are correct and complete.

Another common question is about the cost of obtaining a trade license. Costs differ based on the type of business, location, and size of operations. Consulting with a company formation specialist, who has all the knowledge regarding company formation in Dubai, can help you understand specific costs for your situation. Knowing the company formation process in Dubai will make the entire process much easier. 

Many want to know if they need to be present in Dubai to get their trade license. While some steps can be done online, such as sending an application to the relevant bodies regarding specific queries or issues, or with the help of an agent, others might require your physical presence. 

For example, notarizing documents usually needs you at the notary office in person. It’s also important to note that having a local partner isn’t necessary for every type of business; free zones offer options where foreign business owners can have 100% ownership.

Now let’s move on to what comes next: understanding renewal processes for keeping your trade license active.


Dubai has many trade license types for different kinds of work. You must pick the right one for your job. If you do, your business can grow well in Dubai. Remember, a trade license is a must to run your company there.

Always follow the rules when you apply and renew your license.


1. What are trade licenses in Dubai?

Trade licenses in Dubai are permits that allow you to do business in the city. They make sure your company follows safety regulations and gives it credibility.

2. Can I start an online business with a trade license in Dubai?

Yes, you can start an online business like e-commerce or internet retailing with a special e-commerce trade license.

3. Do healthcare professionals need a special license in Dubai?

Healthcare services including doctors and medical professionals must get a healthcare professional license in Dubai to work legally.

4. Are there tax benefits for businesses with trade licenses in Dubai?

Trade license allows UAE businesses to enjoy perks like no personal income tax and other tax on business incentives, depending on the freezone area they choose to set up their business.

5. How does having a trade license help travel agents in Dubai?

Travel agencies and travel agents need specific licenses which allow them to operate legally, boost trust from customers, and connect easily with tourism industry networks on Sheikh Zayed Road or Business Bay.

6. If I’m into IT services or consultancy, what type of trade license should I look at getting?

For IT services, technology consulting or general consultancy work, you’d likely apply for either a freelance permit if working alone or consultancies’ commercial license if setting up as a formal business entity.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only. The content is provided “as is” and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding its accuracy, completeness, or suitability. Any reliance on the information is at your own risk. We are not liable for any losses or damages arising from the use of this blog.

* – Fees and Costs Mentioned are for Reference Only.

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