Step-by-Step Guide to Get a Trade License in the UAE

In order to carry out numerous activities in the UAE, it is paramount for you to acquire a trade license which is a legal document that provides the specific type of operations a firm is allowed to engage in freely in the UAE. The trade license is available to businesses in Dubai free zone while professionals that offer services unique to their business can apply for a Dubai trade license.

It is a document that is issued and authorized by the Department of Economic Development (DED) which is also referred to as DED Dubai. Different trading licenses in the UAE are valid for several pursuits which include engaging in commercial activities including importing and exporting goods.

Types of Trade Licenses in the UAE

There are different trade license meant for different purposes which depends on the business activity, type of company, and region and they are explained below;

  1. Commercial License: This license is mandatory for all business participants who want to buy and sell goods or any trading activity in the UAE.
  2. Professional License: if you intend to carry out a service-related operation you must acquire a professional license. The only individuals who are allowed to acquire this license are professionals who have a degree and a lot of experience in a certain field.
  3. Industrial License: As a manufacturing and industrial company, it is mandated that it gets an industrial license. This license is valid for a definite period subject to compliance provided during the issuance.

Required Documents Needed to Acquire a Trade License

As part of the application process to obtain a trade license in the UAE, there are certain documents you must provide to obtain the license. These documents are;

  1. Fill out the application for a trade license, and the manager should sign the contract in the company
  2. Draft a memorandum of agreement
  3. The organization name approval should be submitted
  4. Copies of each managing partner’s passports

Step-by-Step Guide to Get a License

  1. Decide on a Company Name

The initial process to get a trade license is to obtain an acceptable name trade name in accordance with the laws of the UAE. You must ensure that such a trade name is not used by another existing company.

  1. Set up the Company’s Legal Framework

The next step is to decide on the legal structure of the company. This will provide how the firm will operate and who is in charge of the company’s day-to-day operations.

  1. State your Commercial Activities

Specifying the exact commercial activities in which the company will be engaged in is the next step in obtaining a trade license. It is advised that you ensure to provide all your activities as the license only allows a maximum of ten activities.

  1. Fill out the Application Form

This is the next step to follow, which requires you to visit the DED, fill out the form, and send the application for the first approval

  1. Obtain Further Approvals

There are other necessary approvals that need to be obtained before you can obtain a trade license. In order not to have your application rejected it is best you seek the assistance of an expert Lawyer and Attorney in the UAE to guide you further.

  1. Make Available Necessary Documents

Several documents need to be provided which will be submitted along with your application. Ensure all documents are readily available and duly authorized

  1. Decide Business Location

This is important in the process of obtaining a trade license in the UAE. There is a need to choose an actual business location in order to submit the application.

  1. Obtain a Tenancy Agreement

After getting a business location, the next thing is to obtain a tenancy agreement. The rest of the application must include an Ejari’s attestation

  1. Submit The Application

After all the above processes, the trade license application can now be submitted. Also, ensure to submit along with your application all required documents to obtain the trade license swiftly.

  1. License Fees Payment

It should be had at the back of the mind that acquiring a trade license is not free from payment. It is required that the license fee and issuance fee must be paid.


The waiting period for a UAE trade License is not that long as the normal duration for the processing of a trade license is three days to four weeks. In order to get a quick turnaround of the license, it is best to have all important paperwork readily available. The UAE government also stipulates that in a bid to continue carrying out business legally in the UAE, a trade license must be renewed each year.

You can contact us for a free consultation in order to provide you with more information about how you can go about obtaining a trade license in the UAE in the easiest and fastest way possible.

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We at eLegal Consultants look forward to meeting you and are ready to journey with you to actualize your dreams. Contact us today.

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