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Get trade license in UAE

How to Get Trade License in UAE

With over 1 trillion of trade, 300 billion dirhams of re-exports, and major reforms and opportunities for entrepreneurs in various trade regions—UAE is an excellent place to start your business. The height of modern architecture and incomparable nightlife are not the only things UAE boasts, but also a booming economy—rife with unlimited business prospects for any trader. And if you want to conduct trade in any of the local regions, start with knowing how to get trade license in UAE.

How To Get Trade License In UAE In A Seamless Way

For individuals who want to engage in business in the United Arab Emirates, the trade license is a significant factor. This license is a formal document that specifies the permissible activities that a company can engage in. The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the authority that can grant any kind of trade license.

The most common kind of trade license you’ll discover is a general trading license. This is applicable for a range of activities in the UAE—including the import/export of goods. Additionally, it applies to as well as the conduct of commercial operations. Each trade license corresponds to a single region in the UAE.

For instance, companies that operate within Dubai Free Zones (we’ll discuss these below) are eligible to obtain a trade license Dubai. Also, the trade license is not specific to people who want to start a company in Dubai; professionals who provide industry-specific services are also eligible to apply for a trade license.

In a nutshell, if you intend to operate lawfully in a trading business in the UAE, it is imperative that you acquire a trade license beforehand. This guide on how to get trade license in UAE will help you understand the basic requirements of applying for a trade license. Also, you’ll know additional factors that affect your license. Plus you can acknowledge the benefits of operating your company in the UAE with proper licensing.

How to get trade license in UAE  – Types of Trade Licenses

Knowing what kind of trade license applies to your business or service is necessary, as this will help streamline your application. You have four main classes of UAE trade licenses to consider.

Professional License

The service industry in the UAE is rife with opportunities—and if you intend to work in this industry, apply for a professional trade license. Businesses that offer services to other people or companies are qualified for this license. If you want a professional trade license you’re eligible if involved in business activities such as auditing, consultancy, digital marketing, healthcare, etc.

Commercial Trade License

Do you have a small business idea in the UAE buying and selling goods? Then, you’ll need a commercial trade license. This license covers like importing and exporting goods, as well as trading products, rental activities. You can also get a commercial license if you want to act as a broker. Even if you conduct trade activities outside of the UAE—but your business is based in a region such as Dubai—you still need the UAE commercial trade license to operate legally.

Industrial License

Another kind of trade license is the industrial license, applicable to people in the UAE who want to start a business of manufacturing products. What’s more, if you want to proceed with an industrial license, acquire an office space—as it is one of the mandatory requirements. Once you get your license, you’ll be able to import and process raw materials, package and sell the finished products, and even re-export them!

Tourism License

A business in the tourism industry in the UAE is one of the most profitable and successful business ideas in Dubai, given the constant flow of people (visiting for both business and leisure). Step one is that you need a tourist trade license. It’s vital for any company looking to operate hotels, organize tourist trips, run cruise boats, or engage in any other travel and tourism activities. The government introduced this license a fairly short while back to improve regulation of the tourism industry.

Documents For Acquiring Your UAE Trade License

How to get trade license in UAE? Start with the proper paperwork. If you are applying online via the e-channel portal, you need an Emirate ID to create an account before completing the license process. If you are applying via a service center, you need following documents

  • Passport copies of all the license parties (partners and managers)
  • A copy of your UAE visa (if relevant).
  • A copy of the residence visa and No Objection Certificate (if relevant).

It is imperative to ensure that all necessary documentation is in order prior to submitting an application for any trade license. If you fail to provide the relevant authorities with mandatory paperwork or supplemental documents, then there may be a delay in the issuance of the license.

How To Get Trade License In UAE – A Step By Step Guide

Here are the steps to obtain your UAE trade license:

  1. Choose a Business Name: The first step in how to get trade license in UAE is to choose a business name. This title was to be unique (not the same as any other registered business) and appropriate to the customs of the UAE.
  2. Define Business & Legal Structure: What activities does your intended business involve? Specify these, as well as the legal structure of the trade (sole ownership, partnership, limited liability, and so on).
  3. Process Documents & Application Form: gather all the necessary documents (listed above) and fill out the license application form. Make sure all your documents are authenticated by proper regulatory bodies.
  4. Gain Additional Approvals: for conducting business activities in the UAE, you may require external approvals such as permits, so make sure to acquire these to proceed without any roadblocks.
  5. Choose a Business Location: While not all general trading licenses mandate a present office space, you need to have one in your sight. A physical address is a necessity for a mainland license, where free zone license requirements are comparatively lenient (read 5 Best Free Zones In UAE To Start Business).
  6. Open A Business Bank Account: Next, open a business bank account so you can process payments. You can choose a digital banking solution for businesses from your free zone (if selected), through which you will receive your IBAN number and digital wallet.
  7. Submit Your Application: once you’ve sorted all your documents, make the license payments via your local bank account. License fee differs from region to region; for instance, the Dubai trade license cost will be higher than that of Sharjah. Submit your application alongside all necessary documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED).


Frequently Asked Questions About UAE Trade License

What are the benefits of a UAE trade license?

In addition to fulfilling the basic legal requirements, you also get benefits such as the ability to manufacture and sell, as well as export goods all around the world. Since Dubai offers the ease of minimal to no taxes on sales and manufacturing, business owners are able to gain a higher revenue than they would if trading in many other parts of the world.

How much is a trading license in the UAE?

Each region in the UAE has its own trade license cost. Going further, you’ll find that the cost to operate your trade in one of the Free Zones or the Mainland also differs. In Dubai, the trade license fee starts from AED 12,000. Business activity fees start from AED 150 to 500, depending on the activity type(s).

How long does it take to get a trade license in the UAE?

In the United Arab Emirates—Dubai in particular—with the mandatory documentation in place for avoiding delays, you can obtain a trade license faster than other kinds of business licenses. The efficient processing time makes this possible, and you may receive your license in just a few weeks.


There you have it; to live up to your vision of trading in the UAE, you need to acquire a trade license to get started. One of the most prominent economic hubs around the globe awaits your talents and economic contributions.

Reach out to Alriyadi Corporate Services today for sound advice and assistance in completing your trade license application!


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