Commercial License in Dubai

Investors need to apply for a mandatory license to start a business in Dubai. The licenses vary with the type of Business and the region of operation. These Licenses are issued by the government agency named Department of Economic Development or DED. The major licenses issued are listed below.

Professional License

Commercial License

Industrial License

Tourism License

Individuals planning to set up a trading business in Dubai need to acquire a commercial license in Dubai, which allows one to buy and sell goods and services.

  • What is meant by Commercial License?
    In order to buy and sell any commodities or goods or involve in a trading activity, companies in Dubai, UAE have to possess a valid Commercial License. Therefore, if you are planning to set up a business activity connected with trading in Dubai – apply for a Commercial License – it is as simple as that. Commercial License in UAE is issued from 3 jurisdictions. The investor may select from any of the 3. The investor should opt for the most feasible location prior to applying for the Commercial License.
  • The strategic location of Dubai
    The “strategic location of Dubai” is one of the biggest advantages as far as any business establishment or trading firm is concerned. Dubai is one of the most happening trading hubs in Asia. It is well connected by international air and sea routes. Dubai has the 3rd busiest airport in the world – Dubai International Airport – serves as an international gateway to both Asia and Africa. Dubai has well-equipped and world-class seaports like Port Rashid, Jebel Ali and Al Hamriya that handle both passenger and cargo operations. A well-planned and business-friendly transport infrastructure make Dubai – a trader’s paradise.
  • Business Activities that come under Commercial License

    Prior to the application for a commercial license in Dubai, one needs to decide on the trading activities that are going to be conducted under the same. Have a clear understanding of the type or category of your business activity before you set up a business in Dubai. Business activities related to buying and selling and certain service-oriented endeavours come under Commercial License. The major activities that come under the commercial license in Dubai, UAE are listed below.

    • Logistics
    • Import and export
    • Tourism and Travel
    • Import and Export
    • Brokerage
    • Product-oriented sales (electronics, construction, shops, stores etc)
    • Real Estate
    • Rental business
    • After deciding on the business trading activities, choose your business trade name and register it. Following this, submit all the relevant documents to the Department of Economic Development and the UAE Federal Ministry of Economy to get your commercial license in the country.

  • Documents needed to apply for a Commercial Licence in Dubai

    The DED will issue a commercial for your business in Dubai based on the documents you submit. The commercial license in Dubai will be valid for one year; after expiry, you need to renew it. Here are the documents needed to apply for a Commercial License in Dubai.

    Fill the name of the company in an application form. The name should be specified in both English and Arabic.

    Lease contract form connected with the registered address of the company.

    Sponsor/partner MOA

    Dubai Municipality Department permit sanctioning the business address

    License Fee proof.

    DED issues the Commercial License after verifying the above-mentioned documents.

  • Commercial License Renewal in Dubai – Documents needed

    The validity of the license is 1 year and therefore it is mandatory to renew the same when it reaches the expiry. The documents needed to obtain the Commercial license and the ones needed for license renewal are not identical. You have a different group of Documents for License renewal. And they are listed below.

    Copy/original of license

    Registered address lease contract (copy)

    Concerned authority approvals (if needed)

    Information regarding staff’s accommodation, applicable to foreign shareholder firms.

    After you have accomplished the license renewal, the renewed trade license has an extended validity of 5 years.

  • Instant License in Dubai

    “Instant License” was launched in Dubai in 2017 as a measure to cut down the time involved in the process of issuance of Commercial license. The initiative was launched by DED’s BRL sector. Instant License scheme drastically reduced the time by bypassing the lease contract formalities (which is otherwise mandatory), thereby cutting down the registration and license issuance time by ninety per cent. After the launch in 2017, 6,100 Instant licenses have been issued till date. Excluding public and private shareholding firms, any business activity can take advantage of the scheme.

  • How to get Commercial License in Dubai via Instant License

    Select the legal form followed by the Business activity. Based on the selected legal form, add the partners. Identify the aspects like partner’s capital share and profit and loss distribution. Trade name reservation – you may either reserve a new trade name or select an automatically generated one.

    Select the commercial register data of the company and specify the Capital value. Select or skip the electronic MOU.

    Wait for the payment voucher and when the voucher has been issued, remit the fees. The total cost involved in attaining Commercial License in Dubai is AED 10,000. If you have plans to set up an Import/ Export company or any buying or selling endeavor in Dubai/UAE, Kiltons can guide you through all the official formalities regarding licensing services in Dubai.

    Have doubts regarding Commercial Business License or renewal of your existing License, feel free to contact Kiltons business consultants.

  • Advantages of UAE Commercial License

    Obtaining a commercial license in Dubai is comparatively easier than many of the other types of business license. Moreover, the commercial license possesses several advantages. The business firm issued with a commercial license is permitted to carry out varying activities.

    The advantages of  UAE commercial license are:

    • It allows the company to trade more than one product.
    • The business entity can undertake trading in any region in the UAE. Thus making optimum use of the markets across the country.
    • Auditing is not mandatory for renewal of commercial license.
    • The company can seek for employment visas for recruiting foreign employees.
    • The business organization with commercial license is allowed for foreign commercial activities and trading.
    • Commercial license permits companies to choose their location anywhere in Dubai.
    • The reporting of financial transactions, turnover, profit and losses is easier than  other type of licenses.
    • Opening a corporate bank account is unfussy when the firm has commercial license in Dubai.
    • Companies in the Free Zone, having commercial license, can repatriate 100% profit. Those are exempted from taxes too.
  • Steps for Obtaining a Dubai Commercial License

    The steps for obtaining a Dubai commercial license are elaborated in the subsequent paragraphs. It may be noted that some steps have to be pursued simultaneously. And the sequence may vary depending upon the amendments in procedure from time to time. Meticulous compliance of formalities is vital for the smooth functioning of your business entity. The federal laws of the land are stringent for preventing illegal activities and unauthorized business activities. Follow the procedure judiciously, submit all the documents and get the commercial license without any delay.

    Kiltons will help you to gain a uae commercial license without any complications and will aid you in setting up of business. The official formalities for a commercial license are appended below.

    Step 1. Confirm the Business Activity

    Choose the type and product of business you want to start in the UAE. Additional approvals may be necessary according to the type of business activity.

    Step 2. Obtaining Initial Approval

    The Dubai Economic Department (DED)  issues initial approval for commercial license. Apply for initial approval along with the requisite documents.

    Step 3. Find a Reliable Local Sponsor

    The federal laws stipulate that you must have an Emirati as your local sponsor for establishing a business in Dubai Mainland and obtaining a commercial license. The local sponsor will be holding 51% of the shares in the company. The ex-pats and the shareholders are authorized for the remaining 49%. The legal formalities and commercial approvals will be on the name of the sponsor. Therefore, you must get a reliable sponsor to support your firm. Kiltons can help you get a trustworthy local sponsor. We also provide exclusive Royal sponsorship for premium business set-ups.

    Step 4. Formulation of Legal Structure

    Article of Association (AOA) and Memorandum of Association (MOA) is called the constitution of a business entity. The documents will lay out the rules, regulations and policies to be followed by the company, the management board and employees. The documents have to be prepared both in English and Arabic.  

    Step 5. Application for Approval for Trade Name

    The trade name you select must be according to the specific norms promulgated by the authorities. Else, the name will be rejected. The trade name should neither be similar to any of the existing firms. Neither should it have more stakeholders. Religious and political references are strictly prohibited.

    Step 6. Hire an Office Space

    Rent an office space in Dubai. However, a few types of business firms can have virtual office or flexi-desks. You must complete the registration at Ejari if you are renting or leasing an office space.

    Step 7. Rent or Lease a Commercial Space

    The authorities have stipulated specific dimensions for the commercial space. You must rent a commercial space for the business. The officials will inspect the commercial space for confirming the dimensions and completeness of legal formalities. Ejari formalities also must be completed for the space you are hiring.  

    Step 8. Obtain Approvals from Ministries and Departments

    The additional approval may not be required urgently. You can commence the business and obtain the approvals in due course.

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What Is a Commercial License

A commercial license is a mandatory requirement for starting any commercial activity in the UAE. An Emirati sponsor was necessary for business set-up and company formation in the country earlier. The visionary regime has amended regulations in the last year. Therefore, ex-pat investors and entrepreneurs can start a company or business in the UAE with 100% of their investment.

A commercial license in Dubai or any other emirate of your choice will allow you to enter the trading and commercial activities. Businesses are free to export, import, or enter the local market after obtaining the requisite commercial license. Undoubtedly, commercial license in Dubai has been the most sought-after one, compared to other emirates in the country. The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai is the authority for scrutinizing the documents and issuing the license.

Activities Authorized Under Commercial License in Dubai

The DED in Dubai is the final word regarding approval and authorizing the activities. The commercial license in Dubai would indicate the business operations authorized by the firm. The business setting up process would entail approvals and generating the requisite certificates. Reaching out to a professional business set up services in Dubai is imperative, to comply with the procedure without any hassles.

The activities authorized under commercial license in Dubai include:

  • Import and export of permitted items
  • General stores and trading
  • Automobile showrooms and trading
  • Handyman service firms
  • General warehousing
  • Trading of shoes, bags and other items
  • Cold storage
  • Rental services
  • Advertising frim
  • Beauty and baby care trading
  • Flower and plant nursery
  • Surveillance system trading

You are not permitted to perform activities that are not mentioned in your commercial license in Dubai.

How to Go for a Commercial License in Dubai?

The DED has established a straightforward procedure for a commercial license in Dubai. You can go ahead with it if you are aware of the exact process. The approvals and additional certification requirements would differ depending on the business. A lack of idea about those may land you in confusion, which may cause the rejection of the license application.

It is definitely cost-effective and comfortable to get assistance from professional business setup services in Dubai. Besides undertaking all the processes on your behalf of you, the professional team would offer exclusive guidance and support. Thereby, renting the office space at the right location, finding the commercial space depending on the budget and business objective, and establishing the showroom at an ideal spot would become easy.

We request you to reach out to us for formalities for a commercial license in Dubai and for company setup in Dubai. Our skilled and experienced professionals would offer you comprehensive services. We are at your service always.

Documents Required for Commercial License in Dubai

The documents required for the commercial license process in Dubai include:

  • A duly filled application form (the company name should be in both English and Arabic)
  • Copy of the passport of the business owner (s)
  • Colour passport-size photographs
  • Registered Ejari
  • Proof of payment for trade license
  • A comprehensive business plan

Procedure for Commercial License in Dubai

The commercial license application process can be simple if you are aware of the subtle elements and aspects related to it. The procedure for a commercial license in Dubai is elaborated here.

  • Determine the Jurisdiction

You can start the business in Dubai Mainland or any of the free zones. Both have pros and cons. Therefore, the decision regarding the jurisdiction would primarily depend on your business objective and plans. A capable business setup service can guide you in decision-making accordingly. As a newbie in the business arena of Dubai, it would be too intricate for you to decide the right jurisdiction.

The commercial license application procedure in Dubai would differ depending on the jurisdiction chosen. The DED is the authority for issuing a commercial license in Dubai Mainland. In the case of any of the free zone, the relevant free zone authority will have to be approached as per the procedure. You will have to get initial approval for starting a business or company formation from the DED or the free zone authority.

  • Finalize the Business Name

Naming the business is another important thing. All the correspondence would be in the trading name. Hence, it has to be registered with the DED. Unlike most other countries, naming regulations exist in the UAE. You are not supposed to use politically or religiously inclined names. Blasphemous names are a strict no. You are allowed to use your name as the business or trading name. However, only an expanded version is allowed, without abbreviations. The business name that does not meet the laid down criteria would be rejected.

  • Apply for a Commercial License in Dubai

Once you have concluded the previous steps, you may prepare all the requisite documents for the commercial license. The commercial license application can be forwarded along with all those documents to the DED or the free zone authority. The authority will issue a commercial license within a few days if all the documents are correct and there are no anomalies in the application. You can start full-fledged business activities once you receive the commercial license.

Benefits of Commercial License in Dubai

Undoubtedly, a commercial license in Dubai is one of the most preferable business options. A large market, full of opportunities. That is what Dubai is. You can reap a fortune if you invest in the correct field and work towards the objective with a focused approach. We are at your side always, ready to help you with optimal business setup services in Dubai. Furthermore, the Dubai authorities offer extensive help to investors and entrepreneurs.

Some of the benefits of a commercial license in Dubai are:

  • Supportive political regime and authority are the first and foremost benefits of a commercial license in Dubai. The leadership understands the role of entrepreneurs in the economic progress of the country. They extend wholehearted support consistently.
  • Cost-effective business set-up process in Dubai would aid you in starting a business or forming a company at minimal costs.
  • Enter a large market that has abundant options for business growth. The growth prospects for a company in Dubai are phenomenal.
  • Export, import, or trade domestically with a commercial license in Dubai. You may not find this flexibility in many other regions.
  • A large populace with high per capita income elevates the possibility of business more.

Why Kiltons Business Setup Services?

Kiltons is proud to be the strong support behind the growth of several successful in entrepreneurs in Dubai and other emirates. We have been giving committed support to entrepreneurs for company formation since 1999. Growing winning the hearts of ex-pat and resident business persons, we have become the leading professionals in the business setup arena in the country.

We assure you of the best support for a commercial license in Dubai. For discussing the business setup in Dubai, company formation in Dubai, and other related aspects, do give us a call right away.

Dial now at 971 522 407 111+ and get expert advice.