How to get a professional trade license in Dubai?

Any company or individual business that is looking to sell its services in Dubai requires a professional trade license. The pro services you mean to sell in Dubai have to be legal business activity in the UAE. The type of trade license you need to get in Dubai depends on the business activities you mean to perform. For any kind of pro service, you need to get a professional trade license to conduct business activities in Dubai. However, do keep in mind that the professional license is given based on the professional’s area of expertise and educational background.

Here are the steps you need to follow to get a professional trade license in Dubai:

  1. Business activity

To get a professional trade license in Dubai, you need to sell a pro service in Dubai. These are the more popular business activities that are covered by a professional trade license:

ServiceDescription
CarpentryAny kind of woodworking like making chairs, tables, and other furniture. Also includes designing wood and repairs of wooden furniture.
BeautyAny kind of service for one’s physical appearance. It could be for skincare, make-up, haircuts, hair colors, etc.
MedicalAny kind of service for one’s physical wellbeing. Private doctors, dentists, chiropractors, gynecologists, etc. require a professional trade license.
PrintingAny kind of service for printing copies of documents for both legal and regular purposes.
PublishingAny kind of service for publishing books and articles. It is required to publish a book through a publishing house if you want copyrights for it.
Graphics designingAny kind of service related to digital media like logo creation, digital ads, animations, digital marketing, etc.
ArtisanshipAny kind of service for crafting things by hand. For example, creating customized jewelry, pottery, art, etc.
SecurityAny kind of service related to the security of an individual or location. For example, setting up a surveillance camera, alarms, smoke sensors, etc.
RepairAny kind of service for fixing, repairing, and mending broken things. It can be a motor vehicle workshop, bicycle workshop, IT hardware services, etc.
ConsultancyAny kind of service for advising other people. Like construction consultancy, business consultancy, financial consultancy, etc.

There are more business activities that are considered professional service. The bottom line is that if you want to sell a specialized service in Dubai, you need a professional trade license.

  1. Legal form

After you have decided on your business activity, you need to decide the legal form of your business. Professional licenses in Dubai allow foreigners to own 100% of a business. That means a sole proprietorship is a popular option for service-oriented companies in Dubai. However, other types of legal structures are also possible for businesses that are pursuing a professional trade license. Here are the types of legal forms you can choose for your business in Dubai:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • General partnership
  • Joint Venture
  • Public Shareholding Company
  • Private Shareholding Company
  • Limited liability company
  • Professional company
  • Civil company

After you have decided on one of these legal structures for your company, you can move on to the next step.

  1. Trade name

You need to register a trading name for your business to get a professional trade license in Dubai. The trade name needs to be unique, which means no other business in the UAE can have that name trademarked. You can use several useful tools that can be found online to check if the trade name is already registered in the UAE.

  1. Rent space

To own a professional license in the UAE, you need to rent a physical place first. Many business activities allow businesses to get an Estidama, which is a virtual office with no physical existence. However, for a professional trade license in Dubai, you need to rent a commercial place and get an EJARI.

  1. Initial approval

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai handles all trade license applications in Dubai. You need initial approval from them before proceeding any further. You need to apply for this initial approval with all the information we have discussed so far. You can reapply for this approval if they reject your application for any reason. However, that will complicate the process and also lengthen it. That is why it is suggested that you seek counseling before undertaking these steps by yourself.

  1. External approval

Depending on the business activities you want to pursue, you need several other approvals from external agencies. These agencies will range from governmental firms like embassies and health ministries to non-governmental institutions like banks. For example, if you are planning to open a salon in Dubai, you need to get your salon location and premises approved by the Planning Section and the Health and Safety Division of the Dubai Municipality.

  1. Memorandum of Association

You need to draft a Memorandum of Association with the sponsor or local service agent. The Memorandum of Association will contain all the important details like the agreement fees, ownership details, etc. That is why this document should be drafted with the help of experienced professionals.

  1. Pay the fees

You need to pay the fees required for the professional trade license and collect the receipt. After that, you need to submit a final application to the Department of Economic Development with the receipt and all the required documents. The fees for a mainland trade license are around AED 15,000 and around AED 12,000 for a free zone trade license depending on the local service agent.

Summary of the documents needed for a professional trade license in Dubai

Here are the documents you need to submit to the Department of Economic Development in Dubai for the professional trade license:

  • Copies of owners’ passports.
  • Copies of the visas.
  • The Memorandum of Association.
  • The EJARI
  • Trade name approval letter.
  • The statutory documents.
  • Attested initial approval certificate.
  • The external approval certificates as required.

The external approvals will require proof that certifies your skill for the pro service you want to sell in Dubai. All these processes will be more complicated if there are errors in the applications and documents. However, the company setup professionals are experienced in these processes and also have the necessary connections in Dubai.

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