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A trade license is a legal document that allows individuals or businesses to engage in commercial activities in Abu Dhabi. It is a crucial requirement for conducting business in the emirate and ensures that all operations are carried out in compliance with local laws and regulations. Without a valid trade license, individuals or businesses risk facing penalties, fines, or even closure of their operations.

Trade license renewal in Abu Dhabi is essential to ensure the smooth continuation of your business activities. Failure to renew your license on time can result in legal consequences, such as fines or the suspension of your business operations. It is essential to understand the renewal process and adhere to the deadlines set by the relevant authorities to avoid any disruptions to your business.

If you’re not sure how to renew your trade license, we’ve got you covered. Here we will guide you through the necessary steps, documents required, and any fees associated with the renewal process.

What is a Trade License in Abu Dhabi?

A trade license in Abu Dhabi is basically a permit that allows you to legally operate a business within the emirate. It’s issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). There are different types of licenses depending on your business activity, like general trading, industrial, service, or even e-commerce.

How to Obtain a Trade License in Abu Dhabi?

To get a trade license in Abu Dhabi, there’s a process to follow:

  1. Choose your business activities and legal structure. This will determine the type of license you need.
  2. Pick a trade name and get it approved by the DED.
  3. Apply for initial approval.
  4. Depending on your situation or business activity, you might need a local sponsor and sign a Memorandum of Association (MOA).
  5. Find a location for your business and secure a tenancy contract.
  6. Prepare and submit all the required documents to the DED. This typically includes copies of passports and visas for shareholders, your residency permit, a bank letter, and the tenancy contract with Ejari attestation (which is a verification process). There might be additional documents depending on your specific case.
  7. Once approved, you’ll receive your trade license.

Read more: How To Get A Trade License In Abu Dhabi

Why Renew Your Trade License?

Trade license renewal in Abu Dhabi is crucial for any business operating in the Emirates. Here’s why it’s so important to renew on time:

1. Stay Legal and Avoid Penalties

A trade license is mandatory to operate a business legally. Failing to renew it can result in hefty fines and even business closure.

2. Maintain Business Continuity

A valid license ensures your business operations can run smoothly without interruption. You can avoid any potential delays or restrictions due to an expired license.

3. Benefit from Long-Term Renewals

The Abu Dhabi DED now offers trade license renewals for up to 3 years instead of just 1 year. This saves you time, reduces renewal hassle, and potentially lowers overall procedural costs.

4. Uphold Business Reputation

A renewed license signifies your commitment to compliance and professionalism, which can strengthen your reputation with clients, partners, and investors.

In short, renewing your trade license on time is essential to avoid legal issues, maintain business continuity, and project a positive image.

Requirements for Abu Dhabi Trade License Renewal (Mainland & Freezone)

The requirements for renewing your trade license in Abu Dhabi depend on whether your business operates in the mainland or a free zone: 

1. Abu Dhabi Mainland

  • Ejari Registration Certificate and a photocopy of the Tenancy Contract
  • Photocopy of the Existing Trade License
  • Passport Photocopies of All Business Partners & Relevant Individuals
  • Copies of Valid Emirates IDs
  • Family Member IDs (if applicable)
  • No Objection Letter (if applicable)
  • Typed BR/1 Form (Standard renewal application form)

2. Abu Dhabi Freezone

  • Original and Copy of Business Trade License
  • PO Box Renewal Confirmation
  • Shareholder’s Passport Copy
  • Audit Report (for specific free zones)
  • Additional Documents (depending on the free zone)

Remember, these are general requirements. It’s always best to consult with the business setup expert in Abu Dhabi at Shuraa for the latest and most accurate information on trade license renewal requirements.

How to Renew Trade License in Abu Dhabi? Step-by-Step Process

Here’s a step-by-step process for trade license renewal in Abu Dhabi, combining the best aspects of both mainland and free zone procedures:

1. Check License Validity

First things first, verify your trade license expiry date. Don’t wait until the last minute to initiate the renewal process.

2. Review Tenancy Contract

Ensure your tenancy agreement for your business premises is valid for at least one more month from the intended application date. Renew it if necessary.

3. Prepare Required Documents

Ensure you have all necessary documents ready, depending on your business jurisdiction i.e. Mainland or Freezone.

4. Choose Your Renewal Method

You can renew your trade license online through the TAMM platform or in person at a DED service center.

A. Online Renewal:

  • Access TAMM Platform: Abu Dhabi has a convenient online portal called TAMM (TAMM – Department of Economic Development). Check if your business is eligible for online trade license renewal through TAMM.
  • Log in with UAE Pass: You’ll need to log in using your UAE Pass, which is the digital identity system for the United Arab Emirates.
  • Submit Application & Documents: Follow the on-screen instructions to submit your renewal application and upload the required documents electronically.
  • Review and Make Payment: The system will guide you through reviewing the application details and making the necessary fee payment.
  • Download Renewed License: Upon successful payment, you can download your renewed trade license directly from the TAMM platform.

B. Offline Renewal:

  • Visit DED or Free Zone Authority: If online renewal isn’t available or preferred, head over to the Department of Economic Development (DED) for mainland businesses or your specific free zone authority.
  • Submit Application & Documents: Present the completed application form (BR/1 form for mainland) and all the required documents in person.
  • Payment and Processing: Clear any outstanding dues and pay the renewal fees as directed by the authorities.
  • Collect Renewed License: Once approved, you’ll be able to collect your renewed trade license.

For complex business activities or if you’re unsure about any aspect of the renewal process, consider consulting with a business setup expert at Shuraa Business Setup in Abu Dhabi for guidance.

What Happens if You Don’t Renew Your Trade License

Failing to renew your trade license in Abu Dhabi can lead to a series of complications for your business. This may include:

1. Financial Penalties

The most immediate impact is financial. You’ll likely face fines for operating without a valid license. These can vary depending on the duration of the lapse and the type of license but can be substantial.

In some cases, there might be a base fine for non-renewal and additional monthly penalties for every month you operate without a renewed license.

2. Business Disruption

An expired license can put your business operations on hold. You might not be able to legally sign contracts, open bank accounts, or secure permits necessary for your business activities.

3. Blacklisting

In severe cases, the authorities could blacklist your company. This can have serious repercussions, potentially limiting your ability to conduct business transactions, invalidating visas sponsored by your company, and even leading to deportation for business owners or managers.

4. Negative Image

An expired license can reflect poorly on your business and damage your reputation with clients and partners.

How Much is the License Renewal Fee in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi trade license renewal fees in Abu Dhabi generally range from AED 100 to AED 300, depending on whether your business is in the mainland or a free zone, and the duration of the renewal period you choose (One- or three-year renewal period).

The fee structure for free zone trade license renewals can vary depending on the specific free zone authority. It’s generally recommended to check with your relevant free zone authority for their current renewal fees. However, it typically involves a base fee and might also depend on factors like your business activity and visa requirements.

Get Expert Help for Your Abu Dhabi Trade License

Renewing your trade license in Abu Dhabi is super important to keep your business running smoothly and legally. If you don’t renew it on time, you might face fines or other issues that could disrupt your business.

But don’t worry—you don’t have to handle this all by yourself. Shuraa Business Setup is here to help! Our team of experts will make sure your trade license is renewed on time without any hassle.

Beyond trade license renewal in Abu Dhabi, Shuraa Business Setup offers a comprehensive range of services including company formation, paperwork management, licensing, visa assistance, PRO services, and much more.

So, why stress about the renewal process? Contact Shuraa Business Setup today at +971 44081900 or WhatsApp at +971 507775554 or drop an email at [email protected] and let us take care of all your business needs so you can focus on growing your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I check my trade license online in Abu Dhabi?

While you can’t view the full details of your trade license online, you can verify its validity through the TAMM platform (https://www.tamm.abudhabi/).

Here’s how:

  • Log in to TAMM using your UAE PASS.
  • Navigate to the “My Businesses” section.
  • Locate your business and check the expiry date listed for your trade license.

2. What are the conditions for Abu Dhabi Trade License Renewal?

The main conditions for renewing your trade license in Abu Dhabi are:

  • A valid tenancy contract registered with the Ejari system (for mainland businesses).
  • No outstanding fees or fines related to your trade license.
  • Possession of all required documents, which may include copies of passports, visas, and your current trade license

3. How long does it take to renew a trade license in Abu Dhabi?

The processing time for trade license renewal can vary depending on the complexity of your business activity and any additional approvals needed. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

4. Can I renew my Abu Dhabi Trade License after it expires?

There might be a grace period of up to 30 days after expiry where you can still renew your license. However, late fees will likely apply. It’s best to avoid this situation and initiate the renewal process well before the expiry date.

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