Starting a business can be a daunting task as it requires hard work and diligence. Right from office setup to after-sales services, everything has to be mapped out before starting a venture. The most important aspect, however, is getting the requisite permissions and related licences to conduct business legally in the country. Having the appropriate business licences in Dubai is a prerequisite for all business operations in the emirate.
TYPES OF BUSINESS LICENCES IN DUBAI
From global conglomerates to small businesses, Dubai is a top destination for most companies. Having a base in Dubai not only gives companies the opportunity to establish a strong presence in the UAE, it can also be an effective launchpad to move into different markets in the MENA region. However, before starting operations, companies need to first apply for business licences in the emirate.
Please note that this post highlights the various types of business licensing offered by DLD. The licences offered by free zones can vary based on the processes followed by the specific authorities.
Interested companies can apply for business licences in Dubai under these six main categories.
COMMERCIAL BUSINESS LICENCE IN DUBAI
Commercial licences are required for businesses involved in general trading and contracting. This licence allows UAE-based companies to conduct business within the UAE as well as outside the country. Companies that need commercial business licences in Dubai include those dealing in real estate, healthcare, transportation, publishing, media, oil and gas, spare parts, gold and precious metals, chemicals, automobiles, safety equipment and more.
AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS LICENCE IN DUBAI
If your company uses land for cultivating crops, keeping livestock, running fish farms, installing greenhouses or trading pesticides, you will have to apply for an agricultural business licence in Dubai.
CRAFTSMANSHIP BUSINESS LICENCE IN DUBAI
Any individual who works independently and practices a particular craft for profit has to apply for this type of business licence in Dubai. This typically includes carpenters, blacksmiths, electricians and plumbers etc.
PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS LICENCE IN DUBAI
Any company or individual which aims to make a profit by using the intellectual capacities of individuals requires a professional business licence in Dubai to start operations. If the company is owned by more than one individual, the company is registered as a Civil Works Company. Typically businesses that require a professional licence in Dubai include those involved in insurance, consultancy services, IT and IT infrastructure, computers, environmental activities, tax, management or marketing.
INDUSTRIAL BUSINESS LICENCE IN DUBAI
Industrial business licences are required for operating manufacturing outfits. Companies applying for this licence need to have a physical or brick-and-mortar office in the UAE. Large scale manufacturers of items such as dairy products, animal and bird feed, meat products, carpets and other similar businesses generally apply for an industrial business licence in Dubai.
TOURISM BUSINESS LICENCE IN DUBAI
Companies specialising in tourist activities apply for this type of business licence in Dubai. Travel agencies, hotels, cruise boats, floating restaurants, tourist camps and other similar enterprises fall under this category.
WHERE TO APPLY FOR A BUSINESS LICENCE IN DUBAI?
Business licences in Dubai for mainland companies typically come under the domain of Department of Economic Development (DED Dubai). This department regulates the economic agenda of the emirate. Besides issuing licences, DED proposes strategic policies and plans to push for sustainable growth in Dubai.
However, if a company is being opened in a free zone, the respective free zone authority will issue the business licence.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR ISSUANCE OF BUSINESS LICENCES IN DUBAI
To apply for a business licence, the following documents are usually required. These can however vary depending on the entity that regulates the licensing procedure.
- Trade name certificate
- Initial approval certificate
- Dubai Municipality and RERA attested Tenancy Agreement using Ejari online feature
- Memorandum of Association (Applicable for LLCs, One Person Company, Private and Public Shareholding Companies, Simple Limited Partnership, Partnership or Civil Company)
- Local Service Agent Agreement (Applicable when a UAE national represents your business with regards to licensing and compliance.)
- Government bodies approvals (Applicable on certain business types).
Visit the DED’s official website for further details on business licensing.
Setting up a business in Dubai is a dream for many. However, one needs to put in a lot of effort before expecting any rewards. You can also read up on how to start a business in Dubai. If you are unsure about your business idea, seek help from business setup consultants in Dubai, to start your business with a solid foundation.
People who run businesses or make money on social media platforms can apply for the e-trader’s licence or Dubai influencer licence. While the government of Dubai focuses on empowering businesses, strict regulations are enforced to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected.
In addition to these business operations, you can also offer your services as a freelancer, as long as you have a freelance visa in Dubai.