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The UAE is seeing a consistent surge in new business applications from entrepreneurs across the world. However, to start their company in Dubai, investors need to mandatorily obtain a license. Depending on the business activity, the type of company, the region, there are numerous license types to choose from. Additionally, the most popular license type is the commercial license in Dubai.

The additional types of licenses include Professional, Industrial, Technical, Manufacturing and more. The commercial license in the UAE is even more effective because of the emirate’s strategic trading position with markets like MENA (Middle East North Africa), Asia, and Europe.

Here is a simple walkthrough on how to get a Dubai commercial license including advantages, documents, list of activities and more.

What is a commercial license in Dubai, UAE?

Any entrepreneur who has a commercial license in Dubai can trade in goods and sell specific services. This includes goods that you can import and sell in UAE, export for sale out of UAE as well as trade exclusively within UAE. This is one of the most popular business licenses in Dubai because it allows the owner to trade in almost any type of goods, ranging from electronics, food, furniture, toys, jewellery, etc. 

The commercial license includes selling of services such as general contracting or real estate services. 

A commercial license is mandatory for any business to buy and/or sell commodities or goods or involve themselves in any kind of trading activity in the Emirates. However, some contracting activities (construction, transportation, etc.) fall under commercial type category.

List of activities under the UAE commercial license

Before applying for a commercial license, business owners need to finalise the trade activities they want to engage in. It is important to clearly outline your list of activities and all the categories are clear as well. This is where company formation experts like Shuraa Business Setup can help you with their expertise on UAE regulations. These are the major activities that fall under the UAE commercial license:

  • Import/export
  • Real estate
  • Logistics
  • Tourism & travel
  • Product-oriented sales (shops, electronics, construction, etc.)
  • Rentals

Submit all the relevant documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED) as well as the UAE Federal Ministry of Economy. Post which you will receive your UAE commercial trade license

Steps to get your commercial license in Dubai

Since the process for obtaining a UAE commercial license is straight-forward, corporate consultancies like Shuraa Business Setup can assist you end-to end company formation process. There are certain steps that need to be followed, such as:

Step 1: Initial Approval

The first step in the process is to 

  • Identify the right business activity
  • Select the appropriate legal structure
  • Apply for initial approval

 The Dubai Economic Department (DED) are the regulatory body that issues the initial approval for the UAE commercial license. Depending on the type of activity you finalise, you will need to get additional approvals

Step 2: Trade Name Approval

After this, you will need to get the approval for the trade name. Trade name selection must be as per the norm outlined by the UAE government. This includes avoiding similar names to pre-existing companies, as well as any religious or political references.

Step 3: Memorandum of Association

The constitution of a business must include the Memorandum of Association (MOA) according to the UAE Company Law because it is essential in outlining the policies and regulations that the business entity, including its management and employees, need to follow. The MOA must be in both English and Arabic.

Step 4: Register Commercial Address

To get a commercial license in Dubai, businesses should have one registered address in the emirate. You can rent an office, shop or warehouse for this purpose. It should be a commercial space and not a residential one. The DED also issues instant licenses for certain activities without needing office space. Shuraa helps you with successful registering for Ejari as well as providing office space for rent.

Step 5 DED Submission

The final step is to ensure you get all additional approvals from all relevant ministries and departments. It is often dependent on the specific nature of your business. Finally, all documents need to be submitted to the DED after which the license is issued.

UAE Commercial license – Documents required

Entrepreneurs need to submit certain documents to the DED to get their commercial license in Dubai, UAE. The validity of the commercial license is for one year after which you need to apply for renewal. Given below are the documents you will need:

  • Original lease contract with registered address for the company
  • All shareholders and mangers’ passport copy, visa and emirates ID, if available
  • Passport sized color photos
  • Shared capital details
  • Contact information (mobile number, email id)
  • Notarised MOA
  • External government department NOCs (if required)

 The DED issues the commercial trade license once the documents are verified.

Cost of Dubai commercial license

The standard commercial license cost is anywhere between AED 10,000-AED 12,000. There are other variable cost factors such as name of the company, number of shareholders, share capital, rent and other external approvals that affect the additional fees for the UAE commercial license. Contact the experts of Shuraa Business Setup and get a custom cost structure for your company.

Benefits of a commercial license in Dubai

A commercial trade license in Dubai can bring many benefits to your business.

Choosing multiple activities

In UAE, you can engage in up to ten business activities with one commercial license. You can choose among the entire list of activities that DED offers and select the ones that will help your business the best. There is an option to combine activities that are similar to each other under a single license. Example: types of business activities like warehousing, shipping and storage can be put in combination to run an import/export company.

Affordable business setup

Dubai offers company formation options in both the mainland as well as over 40 free zones present in the emirate. The business setup process is not only streamlined but is quite cost comprehensive allowing entrepreneurs to engage in the business of their choice.

Secure registration and banking

With experts such as Shuraa Business Setup, the process of registering your company is safe and secure. Our corporate advisors have a clear understanding of UAE’s laws and regulations that allow for a seamless transition of enterprise. Additionally, Shuraa also offers numerous services such as corporate banking assistance, investor visa, sponsorship services and more ensuring that you don’t have to worry about starting your business in the UAE.

Not only that, but a UAE commercial license has several other advantages as well:

  • You can trade in any region in the UAE as well as globally with a commercial license
  • During the commercial license renewal, it is not mandatory to conduct an audit
  • Companies are eligible to apply for employment visas for expat hiring
  • All commercial companies are Limited Liability Companies

Get your business rolling with Shuraa

Dubai is an ideal location for kick-starting your global conglomerate. The city boasts an unparalleled infrastructure, local and government support for upcoming businesses, constant innovations, stringent regulations and anything else an entrepreneur might need to successfully run their business.

Therefore, company formation experts like Shuraa Business Setup are your trusted guide to navigating through the complicated waters of the UAE corporate legalities. Their corporate advisors are eager to extend their business expertise to entrepreneurs willing to establish their presence in the Emirates.

Their commercial license packages are not only affordable but come with benefits such as banking assistance, UAE investor visa, PRO services, local sponsorship and more. Call us today at +971 4 4081900. We are also available on WhatsApp: +971 50 7775554 and Email: [email protected].

Visit our website, www.shuraa.com for more details.

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