A Brief Account of the Trade License of UAE A Brief Account: UAE's Trade License (2023)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is well-known for its business-friendly environment and favorable trading conditions. In order to conduct business activities in the UAE, one must obtain a trade license. A trade license Dubai is a legal document that enables individuals and companies to operate and trade within the UAE. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the trade license system in the UAE as it stands in the year 2023.


Types of Trade Licenses

There are several types of trade licenses available in the UAE, each catering to different business activities. Here are the main types:

Commercial License: Businesses involved in commercial operations, like trading goods, retail, and general trading, typically opt for the Commercial License, which is the most prevalent form of trade license.

Industrial License: This license is issued to companies involved in industrial activities such as manufacturing, industrial services, and logistics.

Professional License: Professionals such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, and consultants require a professional license to operate in the UAE.

Tourism License: This license is necessary for businesses operating in the tourism sector, including travel agencies, hotels, and tour operators.

E-commerce License: With the rise of online businesses, the UAE introduced the e-commerce license for companies engaged in online trading and electronic services.

It’s important to select the appropriate type of license that corresponds to the nature of your business activities.

Licensing Authorities

The licensing authorities responsible for issuing trade licenses in the UAE vary depending on the emirate in which you wish to establish your business. The main authorities are:

Department of Economic Development (DED): The DED is responsible for issuing trade licenses in Dubai. They have streamlined the process over the years, making it easier for businesses to obtain licenses.

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED): In Abu Dhabi, the ADDED is the regulatory body overseeing the issuance of trade licenses. They have implemented several initiatives to improve the business environment and facilitate license procedures.

Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD): SEDD is the authority in charge of issuing trade licenses in the emirate of Sharjah. They offer various services online, reducing the need for physical visits and paperwork.

Other Emirate-Specific Authorities: Each emirate in the UAE has its own licensing authority, such as the Ajman Department of Economic Development (DED), Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), and Fujairah Creative City (FCC).

It is essential to engage with the respective authority that corresponds to the emirate where you plan to setting up a business in Dubai.

Process of Obtaining a Trade License

Obtaining a trade license in the UAE involves a few key steps. These steps generally include:

Business Activity Selection: Determine the nature of your business activities and select the appropriate license type.

Choose a Business Name: Select an appropriate and distinct business name that adheres to legal mandates and naming guidelines established by the licensing body.

Legal Structure:

Determine the legal framework for your enterprise, including options like sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company. The structure will impact the licensing requirements and procedures.

Location Selection: Choose a physical location for your business. It can be a free zone or mainland, depending on your preferences and requirements.

Application Submission: Prepare the necessary documents and submit your application to the respective licensing authority. These documents may include a business plan, passport copies of shareholders, lease agreement, and other relevant paperwork.

Initial Approval: The authority will review your application and provide an initial approval if all requirements are met. At this stage, you may be required to pay the necessary fees.

Trade Name Reservation and External Approvals: Reserve your trade name through the relevant authority and obtain any external approvals required for specific business activities.

Final Approval and License Issuance: Once all the necessary approvals are obtained, the licensing authority will issue the final trade license. This license will enable you to legally conduct your business activities in the UAE.

Renewal and Compliance

Trade licenses in the UAE are typically valid for a period of one year. It is crucial to renew your trade license before it expires to avoid any penalties or legal consequences. Renewal procedures may include submitting updated documents, paying renewal fees, and fulfilling any additional requirements set by the licensing authority.

Additionally, businesses in the UAE must comply with various regulations and laws related to labor, taxation, and commercial practices. It is essential to stay updated and adhere to the legal requirements to ensure seamless operations.


Obtaining a trade license in the UAE is a crucial step for individuals and companies seeking to do business in the country. The UAE offers various types of trade licenses to cater to different business activities, ensuring a favorable environment for entrepreneurship and economic growth. By understanding the types of trade licenses available, the licensing authorities, and the process involved, aspiring entrepreneurs can navigate the UAE’s business landscape with confidence and establish successful ventures.

For further information about company registration in Dubai or trade license Dubai, feel free to contact A&A Associate LLC.

By Dora

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