Dubai is known for its beautiful landscapes and tall skyscrapers, however, it is also known for the many opportunities it offers in the economic field. Therefore getting a Trade License and starting your own business can turn Lucrative for any individual who can come up with a solid Business Plan.

That is the reason why so many entrepreneurs decide to invest in Dubai and start a new chapter in their lives as company owners.

Proof of this is the 55,000 new trade licenses that were issued last year.

If you are interested in forming a company in a Free Zone or Mainland, the first thing you must obtain is a Trade License, a document that will allow you to operate legally in the United Arab Emirates.

What is a Trade License?

A new Trade License is a document that defines what activities can be carried out in the United Arab Emirates.

The Department of Economic Development of the corresponding Emirate is responsible for issuing this type of license.

A General Trading License in Dubai & across UAE is valid for different activities.

Some of the activities are the Exporting and Importing of products and all activities related to the commercial sector.

Companies established in a Dubai Free Zone are eligible to acquire a Trade License.

Those professionals who offer services related to certain industries are also eligible to acquire a Trade License.

Types of Trade License & across UAE

The government of the United Arab Emirates has created a classification of licenses related to the productive activity to which your company is dedicated.

These licenses are the following:

Commercial Trade License Dubai

The Commercial Trade License in Dubai is aimed at those companies that are engaged in activities involving the sale and purchase of products.

Some of these activities are the following:

  • Rental activities
  • Trading products
  • Brokerage Activities
  • Exporting Products
  • Importing Products.

If you plan to do business outside the United Arab Emirates, but your business is established in Dubai, you still need this license to be able to carry out any commercial activity outside the UAE.

Professional License

The professional license in Dubai applies to all companies that carry out activities related to the sale of goods or services to other people or companies.

If you are the holder of a professional license, you can make agreements with the government where the sale of your products takes place

Similarly, you will have the opportunity to take lucrative government contracts.

Some activities that can be carried out with an Ajman Trade License are the following:

  • Digital Marketing Services
  • Auditing
  • Consultancy services
  • Healthcare Services

Industrial Trade License

The Industrial Trade License in Dubai is aimed at those companies that carry out activities related to the manufacturing sector within the country.

One of the requirements to be able to acquire this license is that you need to have a physical office space in the place where you are going to establish your company.

Some of the activities that can be carried out with this license are the following:

  • Importing raw material
  • Packaging the final product
  • Processing raw material
  • Selling the final product
  • Exporting the final product

Tourism License

The Tourism License in Dubai applies to those companies that carry out activities related to the organization and planning of tours.

This is a relatively new license in the United Arab Emirates compared to the licenses already mentioned.

The government presented this license as part of its initiative to activate and regulate the tourism sector again.

Those companies such as travel agencies, tour operators, businesses in the hospitality industry, among others, need to obtain a Tourism License in order to operate legally in the UAE.

How to get a Trade License and the UAE?

You can get a Trade License in Dubai or Trade license very easily if you have already had experience with company formation.

However, if you are a new entrepreneur, it is recommended that you seek the guidance of professionals, such as Connect Zone, to guarantee the success of the process.

If you still want to do it on your own, the steps to get a Trade License are the following:

Select Jurisdiction

The first decision you must make is the place where you will establish your company since this is a determining factor when requesting your Trade License.

The economic jurisdictions in Dubai are the following:

Select Company Structure

The next thing you need to do is define the structure of your company.

The legal structure of your company will determine the regulations and rules by which it will be governed in the future, so choose carefully.

Define Business Activity

The productive activity to which you are going to dedicate yourself will define the type of license for which you must apply.

Make sure you select all the activities that you are going to do because later, you will not be able to do activities that you did not choose before.

Initial Approval

Once you have made the three big decisions, it is time for you to acquire the Initial Approval from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai.

There you must fill out a form that they will deliver.

Get an office space for rent in Dubai

To continue your process in the Department of Economic Development you need to have an office space since the tenancy contract and EJARI are requirements to obtain the license.

You can also opt for a virtual office if you do not need to acquire a physical one.

Preparate the Memorandum of Association (MoA)

The MoA is a fundamental document when applying for the Trade License, it describes the name of the shareholders, company name, registered office and the distribution of shares.

Please note that the MoA is only required for companies established in the Mainlands.

Get the external approval

Depending on the activities that your company carries out, officials in the Department of Economic Development may mention certain extra approvals from some government bodies.

Submit the documents

To complete the process, you must submit the following documents to the Department of Economic Development:

  • Memorandum of Association
  • Tenancy contract and EJARI
  • Copies of all the shareholders’ passports
  • The DED form
  • Initial Approval letter from the DED

These are the most common documents, if you need any other document, the corresponding government entity will let you know.

Complete the application

After you complete all the steps shown above, you need to submit the documents and complete the final application at the Department of Economic Development in Dubai.

Pay the fees

Once you complete all the procedures and deliver all the documents, you must pay the fees and receive the Trade License for which you applied, 

Trade License Cost in Dubai

Before rushing to start the process of requesting your license, it is important that you know the Trade License fees in Dubai that you will have to pay.

This will keep your budget in order in relation to your Licensing Process and avoid future confusion.

The Trade license fees in Dubai will vary depending on the type of products or services you want to offer and the approvals you need to obtain.

However, other factors that can affect the cost are the following:

  • Region of establishment
  • Type of business activity
  • Business Structures
  • Numbers of business partners
  • Partnerships with local sponsors

Generally, the Trade License fees in Dubai usually go from AED 15,000 to AED 50,000. There is no such thing as the cheapest Trade License in UAE.

Important to realize: The cost of a Trade License in a Dubai Free Zone will have a different cost than a Trade License of a company located in Mainland Dubai.

Also, the Trade License Cost in Dubai will depend on the area in which the company is located. For example, the Abu Dhabi trade license fees will be considerably different from the Ras Al Khaimah Trade License Cost.

When will you receive your Trade


Once the documents have been delivered and the fees paid, it is time to wait for the Department of Economic Development to deliver your license.

This process can last from three days to four weeks.

The exact time will depend on the approvals required and the productive activities that your company is dedicated to.

As long as you have all your documents in order, the waiting time should be relatively short.

Be sure to double-check your application to reduce the risk of a longer wait.

How to renew a Trade License in Dubai and the UAE?

A Trade License renewal SharjahAbu Dhabi Trade License Renewal or Dubai is not eternally valid.

You must renew them every year if you want to continue operating legally in the United Arab Emirates.


To begin the process of your Abu Dhabi Trade License renewal, you must obtain the necessary approvals.

The type of authorizations and approvals will depend on the services offered by your company.

For example, transport companies will need approval from Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority to renew their license.

To speed up the process, it is recommended that you obtain approval before proceeding with the rest of the Trade License renewal Dubai process.


In addition to the written approval for your trade license renewal, companies need to collect certain documentation.

The documentation required to renew a Trade License in Dubai is the following:

  • Attested EJARI
  • A tenancy contract
  • The completed renewal form
  • Approval and authorization letters
  • Photograph of all business partners
  • The Payment numbers for renewal fees

The owner of the company must submit these documents to the Department of Economic Development if they want to receive approval.

Tenancy contract

Before applying for a Trade License renewal Sharjah, you must check your Tenancy Contract.

This must be valid for at least three months from the date you applied for renewal.

Advantages of obtaining a Trade License 

International and Local Trade

A Sharjah Trade License or a Dubai Trade License cost allows entrepreneurs to manufacture or import all the goods mentioned in the license.

The entrepreneur can distribute these products in the local Dubai market or you can export (manufactured goods) or re-export (Imported goods) in the country of preference.

Investors who decide to form a new company in the United Arab Emirates can enjoy great profits thanks to the cheap labor, tax-free economy, and other incentives provided by the UAE government.

A Large number of products

Except for certain products that are restricted because they are made from sensitive materials, most goods are registered under the Trade License.

By having this license, you will be able to trade a large number of products under a single license.

You only have to pay high fees once, then you can enjoy the benefits for many years.


Most countries have tax policies on the sale, import, and manufacturing of various products.

In Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, one of the best incentives is their almost free from all types of taxes policy.

Many of the products that are traded in the United Arab Emirates have a fairly low tax, which facilitates their manufacture and import.

Simple Process

The process of acquiring a Trade License, in addition to being profitable, is incredibly easy.

Compared to other processes, which can be long and tedious, you can obtain your license in just one week after submitting the documents.

After that, you can start your business in some Free Zone, Mainland or some other part of the United Arab Emirates.

Also, this license will make many things easier for you in the future.

For example, you don’t have to submit an auditing report in Dubai (and UAE) with a Trade License.

This will save entrepreneurs an annual auditing nuisance.

Easy sponsor to dependents

One of the great advantages of this license is that it makes it easier for investors to apply for Visas for their employees, as well as their dependents.

Investors can sponsor their dependents, which makes it easier for them to acquire their Visas.

What is an Instant Trade License Dubai?

The Government of the United Arab Emirates introduced this license as an initiative to boost the economy of the UAE.

This initiative allows investors to obtain a commercial or professional license in five minutes.

Some of the benefits of acquiring this type of license are the following:

  • Does not require a physical office

You can complete it in five minutes

  • You do not need a Memorandum of Association
  • Trade name registration is not necessary for the first year
  • You do not need to present any documents during the first year, you can present them during the renewal of the license.

How to get an Instant Trade License Dubai?

The application process for this license is quite simple and quick.

You can carry this process through the online portal or you can do it by visiting one of their service centers.

The steps to follow to obtain this type of license are the following:

  • Choose the activity of your business, make sure the Department of Economic Development allow this productive activity.
  • Choose the name of your company (the name must also follow the regulations of the DED)
  • Submit your application, you can do this through the online page or by visiting one of their service centers.

Government Departments

We can help you with the processes in the following government departments.

Government Department


Hello! We’ve Been Expecting You.

We are here to answer any question you may have.



    804, City Tower 2, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

    Other Locations :

    AB701, 7th Floor, JAFZA ONE Building , Gate 5 , Jebel Ali Freezone, Dubai, UAE