Professional License in Dubai: All You Need to Know

The Department of Economic Development (DED) provides different types of licenses for different businesses in Dubai. For trading activities, it is commercial license; for manufacturing activities, it is industrial license; and for professional activities, a professional license is issued to the companies. However, in this article, we will concentrate on everything that you need to know about DED professional license in Dubai.

What is a DED professional license?

A DED professional license in Dubai is issued to businesses wanting to engage in service-oriented activities. It is also issued to skilled individuals holding a professional degree and having significant experience in a particular profession.

Many a times, entrepreneurs are confused whether to apply for a commercial license or a professional license in Dubai. There are certain business activities that may be considered for both commercial as well as professional licenses in Dubai. Which is why it is always advisable to consult a business setup expert before applying for a trade license.

Who needs a DED professional license in Dubai?

Every commercial or business activity requires a trade license in Dubai to operate. The Department of Economic Development has designed an administrative system that segregates the diverse sectors into different licensing options, providing better regulatory and constructive facilitates. But it is important that you choose the right trade license for your company setup in Dubai.

Any company or individual with trained skills can be termed as a professional. Individuals and companies that require a DED professional license in Dubai include the following:

  • Accountants, Auditors, and Financial Advisors
  • Advertising Professionals
  • Entertainment Artists
  • Architectural Consultants
  • Teachers and Educational Professionals
  • Business Consultants
  • Lawyers and Legal Advisors
  • Medical Representatives
  • Carpentry and Artisanal Activities
  • Technical Services
  • Consultancies
  • Printing and Publishing
  • Internet and Web Design Services
  • Beauty Salons
  • Accounting and Auditing Companies
  • Information Technology Services
  • Management Consultancies
  • Healthcare and Medical Services

This is the most common list describing the activities for which a professional license is required. The long list of activities under a professional license can be picked up from any Department of Economic Development website or office. To make things easier, it is best to consult a business setup company that helps you decide accurately which business license in Dubai would best suit the nature of your business.

How to get a DED professional license in Dubai?


To get a DED professional license in Dubai, the first step involves paperwork. Gathering the right documents and having them ready beforehand is advisable. The paperwork requirement is dependent on the nature of the business.

Below is a list of documents commonly required to apply for a professional license in Dubai:

  • Application form
  • Passport copy(s) of the expatriate business owner(s)
  • Emirates ID copy(s) of the expatriate business owner(s), if a resident of the UAE
  • Visit visa copy(s), if the expatriate business owner(s) is not a resident of the UAE
  • Passport and Emirates ID copies of the local partner
  • NOC from the expatriate business owner’s sponsor
  • Additional approvals listed by the DED
  • Approvals from the Municipality and Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) (if applicable)

Department of Economic Development (DED)

The Department of Economic Development issues the professional licenses in Dubai. Hence, dealing with the Dubai DED on a regular basis is essential. Though getting a professional license in Dubai with the DED is easy, there is a process that needs to be followed. The DED will charge a fee and a security deposit may be required under certain circumstances. Also, the BR1 form, name reservation certificate, tenancy contract, and EJARI registration certificate need to be submitted to the DED. A more efficient way to handle the paperwork and DED formalities is to get them done by professionals or a business setup company. This speeds the licensing process and works out to be more cost-effective.

Professional License Cost in Dubai

Dubai professional license costs around AED 15,310 includes the following:

  • Professional license fees
  • Trade name fees
  • Service agent fees
  • Market fees (depending upon the tenancy amount)
  • Government cultural fees
  • Administrative service fees
  • Local fees, etc.
Can a professional company have 100% ownership?

The most advantageous aspect of a DED professional license is that it allows you 100% ownership of your business in Dubai. Companies with trade licenses other than a professional license are mandated to partner with a UAE national. As per UAE law, the UAE national will hold 51% shares in the business while the foreign partner will hold the remaining 49%.

With a professional license, you will only need an agreement with a local service agent who is paid an agreed fee annually. But the ownership remains with you alone. Companies holding a professional license in Dubai need a local agent for all government-related proceedings. With Shuraa Business Setup, we will act as your local service agent, creating an agreement that will safeguard your investment and ownership.

If you want to know how to ensure the security of your business in Dubai so that you can operate with complete autonomy, contact Shuraa Business Setup. You can also book your free business setup consultation today! Call us on +97144081900 or WhatsApp us on +971507775554. You may also email us at info@shuraa.com or visit https://www.shuraa.com/ to learn more about our product portfolio.

  • Sheikh Sadiq Ali
    Posted at 12:50h, 17 January

    Hey thanks, very useful information. In-depth knowledge of what documents are required and what process are there. Dubai is such a wonderful place to start your business.

    • shuraabusinesssetup
      Posted at 05:39h, 22 January

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and appreciate the blog articles. Please keep following our Blog section https://www.shuraa.com/blog to stay updated on the business set up in Dubai and various other types of company formation in the UAE.

  • Nazir Rasheed
    Posted at 01:12h, 11 October

    We are an Australia based company that provides online education services (coaching for certification). we would like to offer services in UAE, where all our services will be delivered online or onsite at the customer location. i donot intent to register an office in UAE for this purpose. Do i need a professional services license to provide these online or onsite services? also do i need an registered office if i plan to hire someone locally and will work from a home based office? Please provide your valuable views on, what would be most cost effective and simple solution here.

    • shuraabusinesssetup
      Posted at 07:33h, 13 October

      On the basis of your enquiry , the business activity that you have mentioned requires a professional license and a KHDA approval. These documentations mandate you to register a company in Dubai, which will also allow you to hire employees as well. Home based office is not allowed for expatriates, however, you can opt for a small office space which is an affordable option. We would request you to reach out to us for more cost effective solutions. Book a free consultation with our experts. +97144081900 request a callback or Whats App us on +971507775554.