Trade License in Dubai: Types, Procedures, Fees, and Renewal

Trade License in Dubai

Table of Contents

A trade license in Dubai is one of the initial steps toward your dream of owning a business in the most prominent economic hub of the world. The business setup services in Dubai allows various options for Individuals, such as mainland company formation in Dubai, offshore company formation in Dubai, as well as free zone company setup in Dubai.

Before you set up business in Dubai, it is necessary to go through the complete process, starting with trade name registration in Dubai and ending as your company starts functioning.

In the whole process, you need to get a trade license in Dubai as per your business activities and preferred company structure. Nonetheless, Let’s get started by knowing what exactly a trade license in Dubai is.

Trade License Fees in Dubai

While setting up a company in Dubai, UAE, you need to have specific permissions for conducting business activities. A trade license in Dubai allows you to conduct most of the activities in the UAE. It is issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), popularly known as DED Dubai, and thus, can be called a Dubai DED license.

It is also known as a general trade license, and also it supports the following activities:

  • For the company formation in Dubai mainland or free zone, this license serves as the gateway of importing and exporting material to and from UAE.
  • A license in Dubai will allow you to sell goods as well as services in the various parts of the emirates.
  • It is also necessary for professional services such as healthcare and art galleries, etc.

Types of Trade License

Business activities supported

There are majorly four trade licenses. However, there are a few exclusive ones only for specific free zones and business activities. The following information will make you familiar with each type now.

Commercial License:

The commercial license in Dubai allows a company to conduct trade activities such as buying as well as selling goods. You can only perform the activities for the items mentioned on the license.

Industrial License:

This license allows the company to manufacture products, import the raw material required for the product, and export the finished product. When you seek an industrial license, make sure you have a physical office in Dubai as it is mandatory.

Professional License:

This license is, particularly for the service providers as well as professionals. The main advantage of this license is you don’t need to have a local sponsor; you can have 100% company ownership.

Tourism License:

As Dubai exclusively values Tourism, it has a separate license for companies engaging in the tourism sector. Therefore, this sector has different rules, regulations, taxes, compliance, and permissions.

Trade License Fees in Dubai

DED Trade License Fee

The Trade license fees in Dubai vary as per your business activities and requirements. However, if one goes through the general charges, he can find out the total cost.

The License Fee starts from AED 12,000. Activity fees start from AED 150 to 500, depending upon the type of business activity. There are a few more requirements where you need to let go of your pennies, such as activity class guide fees, license replacement, license translation fees, etc.

Please note that this fee is only the official fee for obtaining the trade license, not the complete company formation in Dubai.

Step by Step Procedure

Business Setup in Dubai

trade license in Dubai

DED takes responsibility for issuing Dubai’s trade license. Therefore, the DED Dubai guides the licensing and business activity classification in the local market of Dubai.

As the UAE always welcomes foreign investment, the company formation in Dubai must be effortless. For that reason, company registration costs and procedures are favorable for everyone.

1. Trade Name Registration in Dubai and Obtaining Initial Approval:

First, you must reserve a trading name for your company by applying to DED Dubai. Nonetheless, if the company name is available, the permit will be provided. In addition, you need to apply for initial permission for the business activities; you will conduct using your Dubai trade license.

2. Company’s Memorandum of Association Notarization:

In order to obtain a trade license in Dubai, it is necessary to conduct a notarization of the company’s MOA. One can do notarization in less than a day at DED Dubai. One needs to file a trade license application along with it.

3. Submission of Documents:

Document submission is not only required for getting a Dubai trade license but also for membership registration with the Dubai Chamber of councils. To submit the required original document, the applicant must visit the commercial registry at the DED Dubai. However, if the documents are complete and legit, the name of the company is added to the Commercial Register. Then these documents, MOA, and trade license application form are forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Economy.

Getting Instant Dubai Trade License

Can’t wait to set up a company in Dubai? Luckily, there’s an option

You must be expecting that there would be a long wait before your company starts functioning. Though the process seems to be time-consuming, there is an alternative.

It is, therefore, possible to obtain Dubai economic department trade license instantly. To summarise, if your business activities require a commercial trade license or professional trade license, you can immediately get it in five minutes. It doesn’t even require MOA or the rent contract for the initial year. However, this license is limited to the business setup in Dubai, whose activities don’t require external approval, i.e., approval from government bodies other than DED.

You can apply through DED’s e-service portal, happiness lounge, service centers, as well as smart lounges with minimal documents.

Getting E-Trader License in Dubai

License for home-based businesses

An e-trader license has some significantly special features. The Department of Economic Development Dubai has introduced this E-Trader license. This license allows conducting as well as promoting the business through online mediums. However, there can be only home-based businesses owning this license. Therefore, it is suitable for business owners who don’t require local partners.

Only a single owner can own a DED Trader License, so one needs to have 100% ownership of the company. Further, E-Trader License does not require submission of ejari documents as physical office space is not required for this type of license.

How to Renew Dubai Economic Department Trade License

Renewing trade license in Dubai

trade license in Dubai

Trade License is only valid for one year, and thus, its Renewal is required. If you do not perform renewal under the valid period, your license will immediately expire, and a ban on business activities will be imposed. A license penalty may be charged for the renewal of an expired trade.  Therefore, renewal is as important as getting a DED Trade License. Go through the detailed process to make sure you get your license renewed.

1. A requirement of the Tenancy Contract

It is necessary to have a tenancy contract that has at least one month of validity from the expiration date of the Dubai Trade License. If your tenancy contract does not have the required validity period, you need to get that renewed first.

2. License Renewal Application

For doing business in Dubai, you need to renew the license by applying for renewal at DED and submitting the required documents. The process is facile, and you need to submit the following documents mentioned below :

  1. A typed BR/1 form
  2. Copy of Tenancy Contract
  3. Copy of current Trade License
  4. Passport copies of business partners and investors

3. Make the Payment

After the documents are submitted and the authenticity is approved, you receive a DED voucher for making the payment. You need to make the payment, and then you will instantly get your license renewed.

Advantages of having a Trade License in Dubai

Benefits of a DED Trade License

As UAE is directed towards bringing more and more foreign direct investment, the DED trade license provides huge advantages to investors and company owners.

  • Import duty is low
  • Paid-up capital is not necessary
  • 100% repatriation not only on capital but also on profit
  • A wide range of banking benefits
  • Tax-free jurisdiction
  • Provides gateway for local as well as an international trading


Company Formation in Dubai

1. What duties must a company fulfill after getting a trade license in Dubai?

A company needs to fulfill the following duties after obtaining a trade license in Dubai:
1) Apply for the establishment card
2) Native workers’ registration with the Labor Ministry
3) Native workers’ registration with the General Authority of Pension and Social Security

2. Is having separate trade licenses in Dubai for different product categories is required?

No, you can conduct business activities for different products through one single Dubai trade license by the Dubai Economic Department.

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

Yes, even if you are setting up an office branch in Dubai, you need to register for the Dubai trade license.

4. Is there any need to obtain other licenses besides getting a trade license in Dubai?

Yes, DED Dubai only provides a trade license in Dubai for certain business activities. There could be a possibility that you need permission from other government authorities for your business activities. For more information, you can check the official website of DED Dubai.

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