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

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

Before you setup business in Dubai, it is necessary to go through the complete process, which starts from trade name registration in Dubai and ends 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. Let’s get started by knowing what exactly trade license in Dubai is.


While setting up a company in Dubai, UAE, you need to have specific permissions for conducting business activities. 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 DED Trade License.

It is also known as general trade license, and 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, respectively.
  • A license in Dubai will allow you to sell goods and services in the various parts of 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. We will make you familiar with each type now.

Commercial License

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

Industrial License

This license allows the company to conduct the manufacturing of products, importing the raw material required for the product, and exporting 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 and 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. The rules, regulations, taxes, compliance, and permissions are different for this sector.

Step by Step Procedure

Business Setup in Dubai


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

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

1. Trade name registration in Dubai and obtaining initial approval

You first need to reserve a trade name for your company by applying to DED Dubai. 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 are going to 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 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. For submission of the required original document, the applicant needs to visit the commercial registry present at the DED Dubai. 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 is 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 possible to obtain Dubai economic department trade license instantly. If your business activities require a commercial trade license or professional trade license, you can 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, and smart lounges with minimal documents.

Getting E-Trader License in Dubai

License for home-based businesses

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

As only a single owner can own a DED Trader License, 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

Trade License Renewal in Dubai


Trade License is only valid for one year, and thus, its Renewal is required. In case if you do not perform renewal under the valid period, your license will get expired, and a ban on business activities will be imposed. For renewal of an expired trade license penalty may be charged.  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 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. In case if your tenancy contract is not having 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 a minimal number of 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 international trading

Trade License Dubai Fee

DED Trade License Fee

The trade license in Dubai’s cost varies 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 and not the complete company formation in Dubai.


Company Formation in Dubai

1. What are the duties a company needs to 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 it required to own separate trade licenses in Dubai for different product categories?

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 for your business activities, you need to take permission from other government authorities. For more information, you can check the official website of DED Dubai.

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Register a Company in Dubai

Dubai is the hub where businesses build professional connections and help each other to flourish. N R Doshi and Partners know the inimitability and importance of this emirate. Besides, the Dubai trade license, we will also guide you through the complete process for business setup in Dubai.

The team is blessed by experts who have completed a considerable number of projects related to mainland company formation, offshore company formation, and free zone company formation in Dubai as well as other parts of the UAE.

Let us take care of your company formation in UAE and getting a DED trade license. You focus on core business activities, and we handle the business setup activities.

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