Steps to register a trade license in the UAE

Entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage of the unique opportunity to register a trade license in the UAE. The procedures at present are simpler by decision of the government of this country. This initiative will allow you to do business directly from your place of residence and work outside the free zones. Such advantages will be a great help for entrepreneurs.

In this article, we are going to point out in detail what are the steps to register a trade license in the UAE or any other Emirate.

  1. What is a trade license?
  2. What is the purpose of the new trade license?
  3. Benefits of having a trade license
  4. Types of trade licenses?
  5. What are the fees for obtaining a trade license in UAE or a trade license in Dubai?
  6. Steps to register a trade license
  7. How can we help you process your company’s trade license?

1. What is a trade license?

Trade license

A trade license is a mandatory certificate approval that allows people to set up a company to operate within a specific jurisdiction. Therefore, competent bodies can fine or close a business if it does not operate with a license. In general, all entrepreneurs need licenses and permits to open a business. This, regardless of your income stream, demonstrates the legal operation and compliance with government regulations.

Also, the trade license is a document that certifies that a company can carry out the activities for which it was created in the UAE. These licenses are granted by the Department of Economic Development. Normally, one of the main purposes of having a trade license is to show that the company is responsible for its actions and that it takes the appropriate measures to protect public health and safety.

This measure by the UAE government is very attractive due to the following aspects:

First, the trade licenses to be issued will not, within two years, require a physical office or place of work. Previously this was mandatory, but now it will be possible for people to formally work from home.

Moreover, there will be dual licenses for companies in the Abu Dhabi free zones. In this way, these companies will be able to work outside the free zones and participate in government tenders. This will greatly facilitate the creation of new companies.

The third important point is that this new company registry, together with this type of license, must be requested through a single system. This system will work for almost all types of business licenses and government services.

2. What is the purpose of the new trade license?

For its part, the government offers many programs and incentives for entrepreneurs to increase economic growth and optimize existing businesses.

This initiative aims to facilitate business, support new sectors, develop small and medium-sized enterprises, stimulate tourism, develop the local economy and create jobs. All this is to generate a unique investment environment that increases the country’s competitiveness.

Undoubtedly, the doors will be opened to many businesses that previously worked illegally, selling products from home or under license from another company.

We can see this with the following practical example:

Suppose an entrepreneur is interested in promoting literacy development in children. Under the previous legislation, he would have been forced to rent an office. Which was too expensive. For this reason, this entrepreneur would certainly have chosen to work under the license of another company. Which could represent significant restrictions.

Likewise, there are certain types of activities that do not need offices, and they can have access to these offices since their business requires them to travel to different areas of the city. Currently, and thanks to this initiative, the entrepreneur in this practical example will be able to open their own business and at the same time work from home.

In this way, you will not incur unnecessary rental expenses, you will have the freedom of movement that your business requires, and at the same time, you will have the trade license to operate without difficulty.

3. Benefits of having a trade license

You can get different benefits at the business level in the United Arab Emirates. This is one of the main reasons why so many entrepreneurs decide to internationalize in this country. That is why below we present some of the main benefits of obtaining a trade license:

3.1 Promote local and international trade

Having the corresponding trade license offers you a great possibility to manufacture or import goods. You can send your products within the country or export them. This means the generation of economic gains for other countries.

Another benefit is that companies are allowed to re-export the goods with which they trade. Which would help to generate better conditions for the export of its products throughout the planet.

3.2 Increased credibility and reputation of the company

This license increases the company’s exposure in the places where it operates. This generates greater credibility and trust in your clients and potential clients.

3.3 Fiscal benefits

One of the most important reasons why almost a million people moved to the UAE in 2021 was for the benefit of tax incentives. On the one hand, many of the world’s countries provide that new national or international investors pay significant taxes on sales and manufacturing, and the UAE offers attractive tax incentives that attract the attention of many investors.

3.4 Almost no trade restrictions

There are very few business restrictions in the UAE. Which is considered a very profitable country for national and international investments. in. As long as you have a properly registered business license, you do not have to worry about almost any kind of business restriction.

4. Types of trade licenses

Trade license

It is important that before requesting the trade license, you determine which one is correct for your company. For this reason, the first thing to do in the process of setting up a company in the UAE or Dubai is to determine in great detail what its business purpose is going to be. For example, if you are a manufacturing business, you should detail as much as possible what products you will manufacture.

The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has a list that allows almost any commercial activity. Therefore, you must select the correct trade licenses according to the commercial activity that your company will develop.

Next, for a better understanding and knowledge, the 3 types of trade licenses that exist in the UAE will be mentioned:

  • Commercial trade license: This allows a business to operate in the buying and selling of goods and services.
  • Industrial trade license: This allows the company to develop manufacturing, processing, and related activities.
  • Professional trade license: With this type of license, the company may provide services such as consulting, professional services, and other activities that are not commercial.

Due to the above definitions, it is very important that you correctly choose the correct type of trade license for your company. If you do not make a correct choice, it may happen that, even though you have this license, your company cannot still carry out the activities for which it was created.

To avoid errors that may cause delays and additional costs, you should consult with experts in this market such as EOR Middle East, who have a high number of trade license obtainments for national and international companies in the UAE and Dubai.

5. What are the fees for obtaining a trade license in UAE or a trade license in Dubai?

Establishing in a free zone or not is one of the decisive factors to know what the cost of the trade license in UAE or trade license in Dubai will be. In many cases, the free zone is cheaper. This also grants certain benefits that include exemption from customs taxes, and the possibility of repatriating assets and economic gains.

Many free zones also offer license packages that include the payment of the visa, as well as the provision of workspaces and the use of commercial real estate in a special way. This generally helps keep costs down.

Thus, a trade license for professional activities in the free zone ranges from AED 9,600 without a visa application, up to AED 19,700, which includes the cost of three visas. On the other hand, for commercial activities, the licenses in license packages range from AED 11,500 without a visa application, and up to AED 19,700, which includes the cost of three visas.

It is important to note that these costs are referential. And that can vary according to factors such as the size of the property where your company develops its business activity, in addition to the number of workers it has.

6. Steps to register a trade license

6.1 Reservation of company name and first approvals

As a first step, you must reserve a name for your company in the. Subsequently, you can aspire to the initial approval to carry out your commercial activity.

6.2 Notarize the Memorandum of Association of the business

The owner of the company must go before the notary public to certify the Memorandum of Association. This process can take less than a day and for this, it is mandatory to request a trade license.

6.3 Sending documents

This is a fundamental step to verifying its authenticity and gaining the trust of the competent authorities. The sending and presentation of documents are necessary for the registration of membership in the Council Chamber.

These are the documents to send:

  • The approval of the application form with the signature of the legal representatives of the company or its manager.
  • An original Memorandum of Association
  • Authentic document approving the name of the company.
  • An original copy of the business approval for Limited Liability Companies.
  • Copy of the passport of each of the partners of the company.

These documents will subsequently be sent to the Federal Ministry of Economy.

6.4 Apply for an establishment card at the Ministry of Labor

Likewise, the owner of the company or his representative must apply for an establishment card at the Ministry of Labor. And, in the same way, can be held on the same day if the corresponding fees are paid.

6.5 Register of national workers

It is very important to register all national workers of the company with the Ministry of Labor. This is necessary to be able to carry out other legal procedures, in addition to avoiding other types of legal consequences.

Among the documents to be able to register the national workers of your company are: A copy of the employees’ passport, their employment contract, and the Emirates ID card to prove that they are UAE citizens.

On the other hand, it is important to note that a trade license is valid for one year. In case of non-compliance with the renewal of this license, this results in the prohibition of carrying out the commercial activity of your company in the country. Therefore, it is important to renew your license annually to avoid this situation.

7. How can we help you process your company’s trade license?

An innumerable number of entrepreneurs come to this country to apply for a trade license. Since this will allow them to acquire the benefits of UAE, such as its strategic location, the 0% rate on the company’s income, in addition to the impressive world-class infrastructure to be able to operate with their respective company.

These are enough reasons to want to expand your business beyond the borders of your country and what better place to do it than in the UAE. Does it seem like a somewhat complex procedure? At EOR Middle East we offer comprehensive consulting services and corporate procedures. Surely, you can take advantage of our services, such as:

If you want to hire our services for the processing of a trade license in the UAE or a trade license in Dubai, to operate and in turn grow your business in new horizons, EOR Middle East will be your best choice. In the same way, you can reach us through our email: [email protected] or call us at +971 43 316 688. Do not think that this will take a long time. Our agents are attentive to answer any request or doubt you have about our organization, the hiring of our services, or any other information you may need.

Also, if you dream of working with a great company in the Middle East, such as EOR Middle East, do not hesitate to submit your resume to Also, send us your CV at: [email protected]. To follow up on your proposal and find a job for you.

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