Aside from deciding on whether to start your company in the Mainland or Free Zone or Offshore area, you are also required to obtain appropriate trade license(s) for your company to operate in the selected trade zone.
A trade license is a must when it comes to conducting businesses in the UAE. The Department of Economic Development (DED) issues the licenses and the procedures for obtaining the license vary from one Emirate to another.
6 Types of Business Licenses in UAE
In the UAE, there are three major types of licenses: Commercial, Industrial and Professional. However, you may note that the Government also issues various other licenses that cater to specific activities.
1- Commercial Licences
A Commercial License is granted to businesses that plan to engage in any sort of commercial activity, including trading goods, commodities, and services. One must decide which type of activity to engage in before applying for a Commercial License.
Commercial activity encompasses logistics, car rental, real estate brokerage, etc. The number of tertiary activities in addition to the main activity should be limited to 10.
2- Industrial Licences
Industrial Licenses are required for setting up an industrial or manufacturing business in the UAE. The license allows businessmen to assemble and process goods using local or imported raw materials.
Industrial Licenses are provided for various businesses including:
- Equipment and engines
- Petroleum products
3- Professional Licences
A Professional License allows individuals and companies to practice a profession they are talented in, based on their education or training. Some of the activities under this license are artisanship, carpentry, consultancy services, printing and publishing, medical services, repair services, security services, document clearing, beauty salons, computer graphic design services, etc.
4- Tourism Licences
Tourism-related businesses, such as hotels, tourist camps, cruise boat rentals, restaurants, guest houses, travel agencies, etc. must obtain a Tourism Trade License.
5- Agricultural Licences
Those who engage in activities such as planting and harvesting crops, trading pesticides, installing greenhouses, and providing agricultural consultancy should possess an Agriculture License.
6- Craftsmanship Licenses
Licenses are required for an individual who is individually practicing a craft for profit earning like plumbing, carpentry, electrical work, etc. Each person applying for a Craft
It is important to note that in the UAE, conducting business without a license will result in a hefty fine and even a ban on the activity. A license must also be renewed annually to avoid penalties.
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Over the past years, we have assisted more than 12,000 entrepreneurs from 110 countries in setting up their businesses and obtaining the required licenses to operate their business in Dubai.
We are recognised as one of the most experienced and best Business Setup Consultants in Dubai and all over the UAE. Are you planning to establish a business in Dubai anytime soon? Contact us and we will be happy to guide you through the right and fastest way.