Skip to content
professional license in the UAE

How to obtain a professional license in the UAE?

Before starting the process of forming your company, you need to take into account all the procedures and requirements that you must have in order to carry out any commercial activity in the United Arab Emirates. Depending on the type of your company, you can choose between four types of licenses (professional, commercial, industrial and general trading). Today, you will get to understand the professional license in UAE in depth.

In this article, you will find information about what a professional license in the UAE is, how to acquire this type of license, what documents are necessary to acquire it, who needs this license, and also how we can help you obtain one.

  1. What is a professional license in the UAE?
  2. Characteristics of a professional license
  3. What is the process of obtaining it?
  4. Step by step to get a professional license
  5. What are the necessary documents?
  6. How much is the cost of a DED professional license?
  7. The license renewal process
  8. Who needs a professional license?
  9. professional license activities
  10. Benefits of a professional license
  11. How can we help you get your professional license?

1. What is a professional license in the UAE?


Firstly, a Professional License in UAE is an official document issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) for those entrepreneurs who carry out professional activities that depend on their mental and physical abilities to generate income.

These can be, for example, artists, designers, business services providers, auditors, accountants, engineering consultants, among others.

However, the company must belong to a single person to obtain the DED Professional License. If, on the contrary, the company belongs to more than one person, then the organization will be considered a civil corporation.

2. Characteristics of a professional license

This type of license is the only one that allows expatriates to retain 100% ownership of their company in the United Arab Emirates. However, in order to achieve this, you must hire an Emirati citizen to be your local agent.

This agent will not have any direct relationship with your business nor will it interfere, his role will be based on assisting you in the process of applying for your license and will handle the necessary legal procedures. You must keep in mind that this agent will not be responsible for any debt that your company may acquire.

3.  What is the process of obtaining it?

Before starting the application process for your license, you must make a clear description of the productive activities of your company. Then, search for a local service agent to carry out all the legal procedures for your company.

Finally, get the initial approval from the Department of Economic Development, present the name chosen for your company and submit all the required documents to the DED to get the approval.

4.  Step by step to get a professional license

The detailed steps to get your Professional License in UAE are the following:

4.1 Local service agreement

You must make the local service agreement with a UAE National and translate it with an official translator. Once translated, you must certify the agreement in a public notary.

Also, keep in mind that if you make the agreement in Arabic, then the entire translation process is not necessary.

4.2 Memorandum of Association (MoA)

The MoA is an official document that describes the data of the company and the data of the shareholders. You must complete the MoA with your local agent and you must include the sponsor’s early fee in the agreement.

4.3 Civil Company

If you are applying for a civil company license, then you will need to fill out another application form and certify it.

4.4 Public Notary

All partners involved in the creation of the company must go to a public notary and sign the agreement.

4.5 Approvals

To continue the process, you must get approval from Dubai’s Municipality for the Tenancy Contract.

4.6 Submit the documents

The shareholders must submit all the forms (duly certified and with a copy of each one), the passports of each partner, and the No Objection Certificate for an expatriate partner (if any).

4.7 Pay the fees

Make the payment for the entire process and receive your license, the DED will give you a payment voucher at the same time.

5. What are the necessary documents?

The necessary documents for the application of your Professional License in Dubai and  UAE are the following:

  • The application form duly filled out
  • Copy of the local partner’s naturalization book
  • Visitor’s visa of the foreign shareholders
  • A No Objection Certificate from the local agents of the foreign shareholders if the expatriate has an employment visa. If the shareholder has a visitor’s visa, then their ID number is needed.
  • The initial approval of the relevant government authorities depends on the productive activity of your company. For example, Dubai’s Municipality, Road and Transport Authority, National Media Council, among others.

5.1 Necessary documents to submit to Tenancy Contract

  • Rental contract
  • Ejari registration
  • Name reservation certificate
  • Initial approval from the DED
  • A prescribed application form (BR1 form)

6. How much is a DED professional license?

Generally, the Professional License costs AED 10,310 and includes the following:

  • Administrative Services fee
  • Trade Name Fees
  • Professional License Fees
  • Local Agents Feel
  • Market Fees
  • Local fees
  • Government cultural fees

Additionally, it is important to realize that a shareholder in a Professional License (civil) company must pay an amount of AED 20,000 as a security deposit.

If a person decides to apply for the license without a partner, then they must pay the amount of AED 10,000 as a security deposit. Please note that the cost of the Professional License may vary from time to time.

7. The license renewal process

Depending on the productive activity of your company and the economic jurisdiction to which it belongs, you must approach the relevant government authorities and renew your license every year. The shareholders must submit the necessary documents and make the payment of the License Renewal Fee to the authorities.

The steps you must follow to renew your Professional License in UAE are the following:

  • Keep your tenancy contract up to date, it must be valid for at least 3 months from the date of the renewal application (It is recommended that you renew the tenancy contract before carrying out the renewal process for your license)
  • Get the approval of the relevant authorities to receive the renewal.
  • For a Professionals License, it is not necessary to get extra approvals from additional authorities.
  • Submit the Ejari certificate, the valid tenancy contract, the renewal form duly filled out, and also any other documentation requested by the Department of Economic Development.
  • Make the payment through the relevant channels and receive your renewed trade license.
  • Receive the payment voucher and the transaction number.

8.  Who needs a professional license?

Those interested in offering professional services such as Tourism guidance, auditing, designing, consulting, accounting, research, or any other activity related to skills, talent, or experiences, must acquire a Professional License if they want to work in the UAE.

By holding a Professional License, you are legally authorized to work and offer your services to any client, employer, or customer in the United Arab Emirates. Also, you have the right to carry out activities according to your area of ​​expertise and qualifications.

Offering professional services requires experience, skills, and talent to carry out certain activities that meet the quality standards established by the government entities of the United Arab Emirates and by your own company.

Although the Professional License in UAE covers a large number of activities, certain activities require additional approval or authorization from certain government agencies.

These agencies are established with the objective of managing and regulating industry standards, maintaining health and safety, and also ensuring that services are only offered by authorized professionals who adhere to the compliances and regulations of the respective ministry.

9. Professional license activities

Any person who decides to start a commercial or business activity will need a Professional License. The Department of Economic Development has created an administrative system that separates licenses into categories. Consequently, this allows a better opportunity at regulatory and constructive facilities.

Some of the activities that you can do with a professional license are the following:

  • Teachers and educational professors
  • Lawyers and legal advisors
  • Accountants, financial advisors, and auditors
  • Technical services
  • Medical representatives
  • Business consultants
  • Printing and publishing
  • Consultancy services
  • Carpentry and artisan activities
  • Management consultancy
  • Architectural consultants
  • Entertainment artists
  • Advertising professionals
  • Technology services
  • Beauty salons
  • Repair services
  • Educational training services

Only the most common activities that need a DED Professional License appear in this list. If you are interested in seeing the complete list of activities that require this type of license, you can always go in person to the offices of the Department of Economic Development or you can check their website.

However, it will always be a better option to hire a business setup company or a business consultant, such as Connect Zone, to gather all the information you need and help you choose which license best suits your business needs.

10. Benefits of a professional license

Possessing one of these licenses brings with it multiple benefits, some of which are the following:

10.1 Cost-effectiveness

Possessing one of these licenses will allow you to save money in the long term since you will be able to establish the offices of your company in any part of Dubai, which neutralizes the ties with any lease contract or with any authority. In this way, you can enjoy the freedoms of a Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Most startups decide to use serviced offices or co-working offices to have enough time to get their licenses. This will allow new businesses to have easy access to the workplace while reducing the high costs of forming a company.

The current market fee is 2.5 percent, which makes this option the cheapest.

10.2 A large number of activities

This type of license is not aimed at a select group of activities or businesses, on the contrary, it covers various sectors. Day by day, the list of activities under the DED Professional License increases, which greatly facilitates obtaining this license.

If you are interested in starting a company, there is a high probability that the business idea you have is already supported by the government entity that is in charge of delivering the Professional Licenses.

10.3 Foreign companies involvement and an adaptable market

As mentioned above, this type of license allows shareholders to maintain 100% ownership of their companies in Dubai. Another key point is that you can maintain the daily operations of your company without the need to use a local shareholding party, which is sponsored and made up of mostly UAE citizens.

In addition, with the help of this license, you will have the opportunity to meet, invest and trade in different places and with different clients. You will also be able to offer services to your clients and achieve important contracts with other companies.

Note that this includes those agencies that have ties to the UAE government and other educational institutions.

11. How can we help you get your professional license?

Going from being a novice entrepreneur to a successful businessman is the dream of every person who decides to invest in Dubai.

Over the last few years, the United Arab Emirates has become the quintessential region for job opportunities, and every month hundreds of people take the risk of starting a business. However, they do not go through this process alone, investors often hire specialized company formation agencies, such as Connect Zone, to guide them through the process.

At Connect Zone, we will be your trusted link with government entities. We will take care of being your local agent to carry out all the necessary paperwork and we can even help you find a list of business centers in Dubai for your offices.


Request a Quote