The business-friendly policies and ease of setting up a company are some of the main reasons why every aspiring entrepreneur wants to start a business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
As a business hub connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, the UAE provides limitless growth opportunities for companies of all sizes.
As an investor or entrepreneur who wants to benefit from what the UAE offers, understanding the different types of business licenses in the UAE is crucial to navigating the business landscape effectively.
This guide covers the main types of business licenses in the UAE and the activities they cover.
Overview of a Business License in UAE
A business license in the UAE is a legal document issued by the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) to companies or individuals that permits them to undertake specific business activities within the country’s borders.
A business license legitimizes a company’s operations in the UAE’s local jurisdictions, ensures that businesses meet specific standards and regulations, and facilitates the collection of taxes.
Types of Business Licenses in UAE
No business is allowed to operate in the UAE without a valid trade license appropriate for its type of business activity.
Therefore, every company in the UAE is required to have a business license based on the nature of their business.
Below are the main types of business licenses in the UAE.
- Commercial License: A commercial license is granted to companies involved in buying, selling, importing, and exporting goods and other commodities in the UAE. Examples of business activities under a commercial license include car rentals, real estate brokerage, logistics, and oil and gas trading.
Read more on How to get a commercial license in Dubai, UAE.
- Professional License: A professional license in the UAE is granted to businesses and individual to offer service-related activities based on their educational background or skills.
Examples of business activities under a professional license in UAE include Consultancy, Beauty salon, Security services, Repair services, Medical Services, Design and architectural services, etc.
Read more on the related article on how to obtain a professional service license in Dubai, UAE.
- Industrial License: An industrial license in the UAE is a permit granted to companies offering industrial activities such as manufacturing, processing, packaging, warehousing, etc.
- Tourism License: A tourism license is for businesses that provide tourist-related activities such as hotel management, boat rentals, travel agencies, flight reservations, outdoor and indoor tourist activities, etc.
- Agriculture License: An agriculture license is for companies providing agricultural-related activities such as crop cultivation and harvesting, pesticide trading, greenhouse installation services, and agricultural consultancy services.
- Craftmanship License: This type of business license is issued to businesses providing services related to carpentry, plumbing, electrical works or any manual works.
How to apply for a business license in UAE
The application process to obtain a trade license in UAE is simply straightforward, though it requires careful planning and consideration.
- Decide on the type of business activity you would like to engage in, as this will determine the type of business license you will need to apply for.
- Select a legal structure for your business, such as LLC, Sole proprietorship, Partnership, etc.
- Submit your application to a relevant freezone authority or DET.
- Choose a unique business name and obtain a trade name certificate.
- Get initial approval from relevant authorities.
- Pay the license fee and receive your business license in UAE.
Get expert support from The Corporate Group (TCG)
TCG offers premium business setup and consultancy services in the UAE.
Our team of expert business advisors in Dubai, UAE, is ready to support you every step of the way. You can book a free consultation with us now.