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Renowned for its remarkable diversity, Dubai emerges as a prime destination within the UAE, consistently luring foreign businessmen and investors with its myriad ventures and abundant business opportunities. Recognising the dynamic landscape and the ever-growing demand for seamless market entry, Dubai’s Department of Economic Development introduced the DED Instant License. This innovative approach aims to facilitate and expedite the process for foreign investors seeking to establish their businesses in Dubai

In this comprehensive blog, Shuraa Business Setup takes you through the intricacies of the Instant Trade License in Dubai, offering valuable insights and guidance on navigating the procedures efficiently. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an investor looking to tap into Dubai’s expansive market, our detailed exploration will assist you in acquiring the essential knowledge and steps to obtain an instant license. Prepare to undertake an easy expedition towards business success in Dubai’s vibrant and lucrative landscape. 

What does the Instant License in Dubai entail?

The Instant License in Dubai is perfect for newcomers eager to launch their ventures swiftly. This license allows entrepreneurs and expats to spend their first 12 months adapting to Dubai’s culture and lifestyle. During this time, you can fine-tune your trading name, handle essential documentation, and later, in the second year, focus on business expansion. Holding an instant license enables you to explore Dubai, assess growth prospects, build networks, and refine operations efficiently. 

Advantages of an Instant License in Dubai

While the free zone in Dubai offers enticing benefits such as 100% repatriation of capital and profits, no currency restrictions, and complete import/export tax exemption, opting for a mainland setup comes with its perks. 

Key benefits of an instant license include:

1. Same-day approval 

2. The entire process was completed in just 10 minutes 

3. Application can be made in person or online 

4. Immediate commencement of business operations 

5. Option to work from a virtual space for the first year 

6. Reduced startup costs for new businesses 

7. Flexibility to start small, work from home, and expand at your own pace 

8. There is no obligation to register your trading name in the first year 

9. No MOA requirements or rental contracts for the initial business year 

Which Businesses Qualify for an Instant License in Dubai?

The following business structures are eligible for obtaining an instant license in Dubai: 

1. One Person L.L.C.

2. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

3. Sole Proprietorship

4. Civil Company

If your company and business activities do not require external government approvals, you can apply for an instant license in Dubai. For further details regarding the eligibility criteria for your specific business, feel free to contact Shuraa Business Setup today.

How to Apply for a Dubai Instant License

Securing a Dubai instant license is a straightforward process using the online e-service of the Dubai Economic Development Department. Follow these steps: 

1. Use your Emirates ID to create a Dubai Smartpass ID and log in.

2. Choose your business’s legal structure (LLC, civil company, etc.).

3. Select your business activity from the available list.

4. Define the shareholding structure of your company.

5. Choose three trade name options and determine the share capital.

6. Complete the instant trade license application form.

7. Submit the required documents with your application.

8. Receive a payment voucher and make the payment.

9. Your instant license will be issued.

Documents Needed for Dubai Instant License

When applying through the DED’s service platform, only your original Emirates ID is required to initiate the application process. However, if you choose to apply through a Service Centre, Happiness Lounge, or Smart Lounge, additional documents are necessary, including: 

1. Passport copies of all relevant partners and the business owner 

2. Copy of the UAE residence visa or UAE visit visa for foreign partner/s 

3. Emirates ID of foreign partner/s 

4. NOC from the current sponsor of residence visa-holding partner/s 

5. Copy of passport and Emirates ID of the local sponsor 

Additionally, at least one of all partners must be at the service centre during the application, and NOC is optional for general trading. 

Drawbacks of a DED E-Trader License in Dubai

Before committing to an instant business license, assessing whether it aligns with your company’s goals is crucial. Here are some limitations of the e-trader instant approval that merit attention: 

1. Restricted Eligibility

The license is exclusively available to UAE and GCC nationals in Dubai. Non-UAE or GCC nationals are not eligible to apply. 

2. Limited Business Activities

The e-trader license is suitable only for entrepreneurs selling handmade products via social media. It does not accommodate selling products from other suppliers, opening physical shops, or engaging in broader business activities. 

3. Visa Limitations

This license does not allow the application for residence visas. Expatriates requiring UAE visas must apply separately for themselves, their family, and their dependents. 

The sole responsibility for legal disputes rests with the licensee. Unlike other company setups where liabilities can be shared with a partner, individuals with an e-trader license are solely accountable for their company. 

5. Banking Challenges

Opening a business bank account may need help with this license. 

6. Limited Scalability

The e-trader license cannot be converted into a Limited Liability Company (LLC). A new LLC setup will be required to scale up or expand your online business.

These drawbacks will help you decide whether the DED e-trader license aligns with your business objectives.

Dubai Instant License Expenses

While the DED instant license offers an economical alternative to traditional processes, investors should know the associated costs to determine its viability. The overall cost for instant support in Dubai typically ranges from AED 12,500* to AED 28,500*. This encompasses fees for trade name registration, initial approval, visa application, virtual office rent, and the license itself. 

For a more detailed understanding of the considerations involved in obtaining an instant license in Dubai Mainland, Shuraa professionals can assist and ensure a cost-effective license acquisition. 

Why Start a Business in Dubai?

If you want more incentives to start a business in Dubai, there are plenty of reasons to do so. The city is one of the most exciting cities in the world and is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to do business. This is primarily thanks to the bustling economy, strategic geographic location, and wide range of government incentives and support. 

One critical advantage that draws many people to set up a business here is the city’s tax-free policy, allowing companies to keep more profits. Moreover, investors can benefit from free trade agreements with other countries and the UAE’s advanced roads, ports, and airport infrastructure that make international transportation easy. With its vibrant culture, safe environment and world-class business facilities, Dubai will surely make your business successful. 

6 Steps to Launching Your Dubai Business

Here are 6 steps to getting your Dubai business off the ground: 

Choose a Business Activity

Determine your business activities to identify suitable locations for setup. The Dubai Department of Economic Development offers a wide range of permissible activities. 

Select Mainland or Free Zone

Decide between setting up in a free zone for complete ownership and tax benefits or the mainland for broader market access. Recent regulations allow 100% foreign ownership for specific activities. 

Choose a Company Name

Adhere to UAE’s strict naming conventions for businesses. A company formation specialist can guide you to ensure compliance. 

Apply for a License

Obtain the necessary licenses and permits for your chosen setup. Requirements vary for free zones and the mainland. A company formation consultant can assist with the application process. 

Open a Corporate Bank Account

With your license, open a corporate bank account in the UAE. Choose from various financial institutions, including international, local, and Islamic banks. 

Apply for Your Visa

Complete immigration and visa processing to finalise your business setup. Seek assistance from a company formation specialist for a streamlined process. 

Obtain Your Instant License in Dubai Now!

In conclusion, the UAE fosters a business-friendly culture for those initiating projects in the Arab region. In the rapidly evolving industry, instant licenses are gaining prominence, attracting a growing number of entrepreneurs. If you’re new to this landscape, you’ll require comprehensive support to navigate successfully.

The team of experts at Shuraa Business Setup is poised to assist you throughout the process, ensuring a swift license acquisition. They will also address any inquiries or concerns about business setup in Dubai, UAE. Schedule a FREE consultation today by contacting Shuraa at +971 4 4081900, WhatsApp at +971 50 7775554, or email us at [email protected].


Q1. Which entities can apply for an instant license in Dubai?

Limited Liability Company
One Person LLC
Sole Proprietorship
Civil Company

Q2. How long will it take to get an instant license in Dubai?

It typically takes around 5 to 10 minutes.

Q3. What is the cost of a Dubai instant license?

The cost depends on the specific business activity you choose.

Q4. Which government department issues the instant license?

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is responsible for issuing an instant business license.

Q5. What is the difference between instant license and normal license in Dubai?

An instant license applicant in Dubai does not have to go through the procedures of registering their trade name, establishing a Memorandum of Association (MOA), or acquiring a lease agreement. This is the main difference between an instant license and a normal license.

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