Trade License Dubai, UAE: A Comprehensive Guide

trade license dubai

Entrepreneurs contemplating launching a business in Dubai must prioritize obtaining a Dubai trade license. Securing this license ranks among the crucial initial steps for newcomers venturing into the local business landscape.

Dubai is known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, but it’s also a hotspot for business opportunities. That’s why many entrepreneurs are making Dubai their business hub. Just last year, over 55,000 new businesses got their licenses here.

If you want to be part of this growing trend and get a business license in Dubai, keep reading. This guide will explain the steps to get your Dubai business license in simple terms.

What Is a Dubai Trade License?

A Dubai trade license is an official document that outlines the types of activities a company is allowed to conduct in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This license is granted by the Department of Economic Development.

There are different types of trade licenses in Dubai. One common type is the general trading license, which permits businesses to engage in various activities such as importing, exporting, and conducting commercial operations.

Companies operating within Dubai Free Zones can obtain a Dubai trade license. Additionally, professionals providing specific industry-related services are also eligible to apply for this license.

Exploring the Various Types of Trade Licenses in Dubai

In Dubai, there are four main types of trade licenses to choose from, each suited for different types of businesses:

  1. Professional License: This license is for professionals offering specific services.
  2. Commercial or Trade License: If you’re involved in trade, this license is for you.
  3. Industrial License: For businesses engaged in industrial and manufacturing activities.
  4. General Trade License: This license covers general trading, as well as imports and exports.

Remember, it’s crucial to have all the necessary documents ready before applying for any of these licenses to avoid delays in the issuance process.

Different Types of Business Licenses in Dubai: Free Zone, Offshore, and Mainland

In Dubai, the type of trade license you need depends on where you want to set up your business: in a free zone, on the mainland, or as an offshore company.

  1. Mainland License: This license is for businesses setup in Dubai’s mainland. It requires approval from various government bodies and is issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  2. Free Zone Trade License: If you choose to establish your business in one of Dubai’s free zones, you’ll need a trade license specific to that zone. Each free zone has its own regulations, advantages, and limitations.
  3. Offshore Incorporation Certificate: For offshore companies in Dubai, an offshore incorporation certificate is necessary. These businesses are not permitted to conduct operations within the UAE and are primarily used for international business purposes.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Trade License in Dubai?

Obtaining a trade license in Dubai comes with several advantages that make it an appealing choice for entrepreneurs. Here are some key benefits in simpler language:

  1. Boost Local and International Trade: With a Dubai trade license, you can manufacture goods, import products, and sell them in Dubai or abroad. This allows you to tap into both local and global markets, potentially increasing your profits.
  2. Build Credibility: Operating with a legal trade license shows that your business follows the rules and regulations. This builds trust among customers and enhances your reputation in the market.
  3. Enjoy Tax Benefits: Dubai offers significant tax incentives. Unlike many other countries, Dubai doesn’t impose income, sales, or manufacturing taxes. This means you can keep more of your earnings and invest them back into your business.
  4. Few Trade Restrictions: Dubai has minimal trade restrictions, especially for businesses operating under a general trading license. This makes it easier to conduct business without unnecessary hurdles.
  5. Simplified Setup Process: Acquiring a Dubai trade license is quicker and more straightforward compared to other UAE business licenses. If you have the necessary documentation, you can typically establish your business in a Dubai free zone or mainland within a few weeks. Additionally, there’s no requirement for ongoing auditing reports, reducing paperwork.
  6. Sponsorship Opportunities: Having a trade license in Dubai makes it easy to sponsor dependents, such as family members or employees, and assist them with the visa process. This simplifies the process of relocating to Dubai for personal or business purposes.

What Documents Do I Need to Get a Trade License?

To obtain a trade license in Dubai, you’ll need to prepare and submit specific documents as part of your application. Ensuring these documents are well-organized and complete is essential to prevent any delays. Here’s a simplified list of the required documents:

  1. Trade License Application: Complete the trade license application form, with all company managers signing it.
  2. Memorandum of Association (MOA): Prepare a Memorandum of Association in consultation with a legal representative. This document outlines the company’s objectives, structure, and operating procedures.
  3. Company Name Approval: Attach the company name approval letter issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) after they’ve approved your chosen business name.
  4. Passport Copies: Provide copies of the passports of all managing partners or stakeholders involved in the business.

Read More: How to Get Ecommerce license in Dubai

How to Get a Trade License In Dubai, UAE?

Step.1 Choose a Business Name

Start by selecting a suitable and unique trade name for your business. Ensure it complies with UAE naming guidelines and is not already in use by another active entity.

Step. 2 Define Legal Structure

Determine the legal structure of your business, which will outline how it operates and who is responsible for its management and liabilities.

Step. 3 Specify Business Activities

Clearly define the business activities you intend to engage in. Remember that each trade license permits a maximum of ten activities.

Step. 4 Complete Application Form

Fill out the trade license application form accurately and completely. Submit this form to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) for initial approval.

Step. 5 Obtain Necessary Approvals

Depending on your chosen business activities, you may need to obtain external approvals. Conduct thorough research to identify any additional approvals required to prevent any delays in the application process.

Step. 6 Gather Required Documents

Collect all the necessary documents required for your application, ensuring that they are properly completed and signed.

Step. 7 Select Business Location

Decide on your business location based on the type of trade license you are applying for. If it’s a mainland trade license, you’ll need a physical business location. Obtain a tenancy contract for your chosen location, and ensure it is attested by Ejari.

Step. 8 Submit Your Application

Compile all your application materials and submit them to the DED. This marks the official submission of your trade license application.

Step. 9 Pay Licensing Fees

Be prepared to pay the necessary fees for your trade license application. This typically includes an issuance fee and the license fee itself.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Trade License in Dubai?

Obtaining a trade license in Dubai comes with varying costs that you should be aware of to plan your budget effectively. The total expense depends on factors like the type of products you intend to sell, necessary approvals, your business partners, where you establish your business, the structure of your business, partnerships with local sponsors, and the specific business activities you’ll undertake.

Generally, a Dubai trade license will cost you somewhere between 15,000 and 50,000 AED. Keep in mind that the cost can differ significantly if you opt for a trade license in a Dubai free zone compared to one in mainland Dubai.

How Long Will It Take to Get Approved for a Trade License?

Once you’ve submitted your trade license application in Dubai, you can expect a relatively short waiting period for approval. The processing time typically ranges from three days to four weeks. However, the exact duration depends on the necessary approvals and the nature of your business activities.

If you’ve prepared all the required documentation correctly, you should experience a smooth and timely approval process. To expedite the issuance of your trade license, be sure to review your application materials thoroughly before submission.

Read More: How to Start Ecommerce Business in Dubai

How Do I Renew a Trade License?

If you’ve obtained a Dubai trade license, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t remain valid indefinitely. To legally continue your business operations in the UAE, you must renew your trade license every year. Here’s a simplified process for trade license renewal:

  1. Approvals: Begin by obtaining the necessary approvals, which vary depending on your business type. For instance, transportation companies will need approval from Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority. It’s advisable to secure these approvals before proceeding with the renewal process to expedite it.
  2. Documentation: Gather the required documentation for the trade license renewal, including:
    • The completed renewal form
    • An attested EJARI document
    • Authorization and approval letters
    • A valid tenancy contract
    • Photographs of all business partners
    • The payment number for renewal fees
  3. Tenancy Contract: Before initiating the renewal process, ensure that your tenancy contract remains valid for at least three months from the date you apply for license renewal.
  4. Submission: The business owner should submit these documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED) to obtain the necessary approvals and complete the trade license renewal process.

By following these steps and ensuring all required documents are in order, you can smoothly renew your Dubai trade license to continue operating your business legally.

What is the cheapest trade license in Dubai?

The cheapest trade license in Dubai is offered by IFZA Free Zone. They provide a cost-effective business license without visas, priced at AED 11,900. This budget-friendly option allows entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in Dubai without the additional expense of visas.

Which is the cheapest trade license in UAE without visa?

The cheapest trade license in the UAE without visa sponsorship can be found in Meydan Free Zone. The cost of this license can fluctuate depending on individual circumstances, but typically falls within the range of AED 10,000 to AED 13,000. Additionally, there is an option for monthly installment payments, ranging from AED 800 to AED 1,100, which makes it more accessible for businesses.

Get Your Dubai Trade License Today

Obtaining a trade license in Dubai unlocks numerous business advantages within the UAE. It serves as a crucial step in enhancing your company’s revenue and facilitating valuable investments in a thriving economy.

If you’re eager to initiate the process of setting up a business in Dubai, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We are here to provide expert guidance and support throughout the entire procedure.

If You want to get trade license in Dubai, UAE? Look no further! contact us our expert consultants.  Feel free to drop by or call us at +971 43827700. Send a WhatsApp Message for Chat Query on +971 557012754 or email us at

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