Different Types Of Trade Licenses In Dubai: A Guide

A Dubai trade license is mandatory if you are considering setting up a UAE business. Dubai is famous for its booming business, and perhaps why many business owners are interested in starting a business in the UAE. 

If you are interested in starting a business in Dubai, you have to know the types of licenses available and the ones you need for the nature of your business. This guide will help you learn the different types of trade licenses in Dubai and all their legal requirements. Here are the different types of trade licenses in Dubai:

Commercial License

Also known as a business license or a general trading license, a commercial license is one of the most applied license types in Dubai Free Zones. The license applies to businesses involved in trade and commercial activities in Dubai. These activities include exporting and importing products and goods and commodity trading.

The commercial business license also doubles as protection and regulation for companies operating in Dubai Free Zones. It qualifies a company for various business structures specific to industries, such as banking support, startup incubators and business-specific trade incentives.

Here is a list of business operations that will require you to get a commercial trade license:

  • Trading in safety gear
  • Trading in automobiles
  • Trading in used furniture
  • Trading in publishing and media materials
  • Trading in chemical
  • Trading in precious metals such as gold

H2: Professional License

Professional licenses are issued to those individuals that meet the necessary academic standards, technical proficiency and intellectual requirements. Such individuals include artists, IT service professionals, artisans and others. The company entity can also be registered as a Civil Works Company if there are multiple owners.

People wishing to work in the following fields should ensure they apply for a professional license in Dubai:

  • Tax consultancy.
  • Information technology network services.
  • Commercial brokerage.
  • Information technology consultancies.
  • Marketing management.
  • Human resource consultancy.
  • Marketing and research consultancy.

Tourism License

People and businesses that offer tourist and travel-related services in Dubai must have a tourism license. This is one of the most utilized licenses in Dubai since it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Tourism licenses are made available to establishments that offer a wide range of services, including campgrounds for tourists, hotel rentals, cruise ship rentals, travel agencies, and bed and breakfasts, among others.

Here is a list of the commercial activities that warrant you to undertake a tourism license:

  • Outbound tour operator
  • Travel agent
  • Inbound tour operator
  • Bound Tour Operator
  • Provide accommodation and stay options.
  • Provide supporting services related to visas.
  • Issue travel insurance.
  • Provide car rental services.
  • Sell flight, railway & bus tickets.
  • Sell adventure tour packages.

Industrial License

Individuals and businesses engaged in producing goods for the industrial sector in Dubai are required to have an industrial trade license to start operations. An industrial license requires you to have a physical address in the UAE.

Some of the industrial licenses available in Dubai include:

  • Furniture manufacturing
  • Appliance and machinery factory
  • Animal and birds feed manufacturing
  • Dairy product manufacturing
  • Carpet production
  • Meat product manufacturing

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

H3: Can I Change the Business Activity for My Existing Trade License?

Here is the process to follow to have your business activity changed:

  • Please send your application to the appropriate government agency to review the business since it is under its jurisdiction.
  • Process the necessary paperwork
  • Pay all the fees required for altering the activities covered by the trade license
  • Obtain the new license

How Do I Renew the Existing Trade License?

The DED (Department of Economic Development) in Dubai requires that the license holder receive all the authorizations and permits from the concerned government and local bodies. This step is vital to renew the trade license annually and keep your business operating without any hitches.

The necessary paperwork includes tenancy contract, renewal form, authorization and approvals, identifications and photocopies of the directors and shareholders.

H2: Closing

Operating a business in Dubai without a trade license is against the law and can often result in a ban or a steep fine. It is also essential to ensure that you renew the license in advance to avoid further fines. If you find applying for a trade license or renewing it difficult, contact our business consultants to ensure a hassle-free application process.


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