Trade license in Dubai

The city has been the hub of international trade in the region. It has attracted investors from all around the world & the authorities have made sure their regulations and processes are streamlined and ready to take on the challenge of dealing with the influx of investments in to different industries from all over the world.

The authorities have a way of handling things and the business environment that Dubai has was possible only due to the way the country has organized itself to handle everything through due process. In order to run your own business setup in Dubai, you must have a valid trade license issued by the Department of Economic Development. The Department for Economic Development also deals with local and foreign investors.

Entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate or own business setup in Dubai face certain hurdles. KWS-ME provides with required and viable solutions to these entrepreneurs and investors.

How to get trade license in Dubai

Follow the steps below in order to obtain a trade license so that you can operate your business setup.

  1. Name your company
  2. Apply for business registration in Dubai of your company
  3. You will have to get the company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA) notarized by DED
  4. All relevant company documents will have to be filed.
  5. You should have an establishment card from the Ministry of Labour
  6. Native workers have to get registered with Ministry of Labour
  7. Native workers will have to be registered with the General Authority for Pension and Social Security

Choose & Reserve a name for your company and apply for registration

For your company to incorporated or registered, you are required to submit a business registration in Dubai application in which you have to obtain initial approvals from the License Issuing Section of the Department of Economic Development. The department will sanction your business activities, the name of your business, and verify the identity of the people holding a legitimate stake in the company. At DED, company name must be available to be chosen and reserved. A payment is required, which can be made online on the official website of the Department of Economic Development.

Notarize the company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA)

You have to complete notarization of the Memorandum of Association from the Department of Economic Development for obtaining a trade license. The process does not take too long and might even be completed in a day. The lawyer for the applicant takes the initial approval from the notary earlier so as to save the applicant’s time when he arrives to get his documents notarized on time.

File company documents

The investor or the entrepreneur needs to submit company’s documents to the Department of Economic Development and obtain a trade license. After this step is complete, he must apply for membership of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). For a Trade License and Commercial Registration Certificate to be issued, the applying investor has to make submission of the following original documents at the Commercial Registry section of DED. Applicants can also make this submission of original documents online as well.

  1. Approved application form with the signature of company’s manager or company’s legal representatives on it.
  2. Original Memorandum of Association.
  3. Letter by DED’s approval for the name of the company
  4. Original company approval letter by DED’s Committee of Limited Liability Companies.
  5. Copies of partners’ passports.

After the submission of required documents, the Commercial Registry decides whether or not the documents are valid, sans legal or other discrepancies, and in proper order. Then the name of the company is formally entered into the Commercial Register.

Business activities fall into following categories of licenses

  1. Commercial licenses
  2. Professional licenses
  3. Industrial licenses
  4. Tourism

DED issues the Trade License and Commercial Registration Certificate to the company after the due processes are complete. Business consultants in Dubai can help you through the whole process.

Dubai Business license registration and approval process

  1. A financial institute or bank has to obtain approval from the UAE Central Bank before applying for a Trade License to start operations in Dubai.
  2. Manufacturing companies have to get the approvals of Ministry of Finance and Industry before a license can be issued to them.
  3. An Insurance company must have the approval of the Economy and Commerce Ministry before a License can be issued to it.
  4. For a medical and pharmaceutical company healthy ministry’s approval is required.
  5. Companies engaged in oil & gas business must get approvals from a number of government agencies.

Requirements for business ownership

The UAE Commercial Companies Law requires, companies holding a professional license must have a local partner in ownership with 51% shares. Companies involved with Oil & Gas business are exempt from the 51% requirement and are given certain concessions.

Business setup as a representative or branch office

Foreign companies which want to establish a branch office in Dubai or UAE are exempt from the 51% ownership requirement as opposed to most businesses. In such a case, the company has to be 100% owned by a UAE national or a local UAE national is appointed as an agent of the company.

Dubai company registration process

The registration process consists of these steps:

Step 1

  1. Decide who will partner with the company or a local sponsor.
  2. Decide the role played by the local partner in business matters.
  3. Decide on fee the company is prepared to pay each year.

Step 2

Reserve a name for the company and get required approval for the name and business activities from DED.

Step 3

  1. Decide a place for office premises and get a tenancy contract.
  2. This contract is necessary for getting the company registered

Step 4

  1. Creation of Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the sponsor and its submission to the DED.
  2. A legal firm or business consultants in Dubai may be hired for the development of MOA which is going to highlight business activities, special arrangements, and share of the partners in the company

Step 5

  1. The MOA and the license application has to be submitted to the DED with other required legal documents and the tenancy contract.
  2. Applicable fees and charges will have to be paid and a trade license can be obtained a week or two after the submission of application.
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