Acquiring a commercial license in Dubai doesn’t need to be a challenge — but it certainly can be, if you aren’t aware of all the steps and procedures involved. It can turn out to be more expensive than you might expect, too.
Cost of commercial license in Dubai
While many businesses factor this amount into their set-up budget, there are other costs to cover beyond the initial license. While the license itself costs AED 10,000, additional fees (such as registrations, visas and more) can take your total up to AED 30,000 or more.
To make sure you’re prepared with all the information you’ll need, in this article we’ll cover: what a commercial license in Dubai is for — and the benefits of having one — plus what you’ll need to do to acquire one.
What is a commercial license in Dubai, UAE?
Essentially, a commercial license allows you to sell a vast range of goods and services — importing and exporting into, out of and within the UAE. In fact, it permits you to trade in almost all goods; whether that’s food and drink or appliances, clothes or toys. The services this license covers include areas like brokering and real estate, among others.
Commercial license activities
When it comes to the services your business can offer once you have a commercial license, the list is extensive; the license covers trading in everything from advertising, banking and car rental to stationary, transport and waste. For an exhaustive list of activities approved by the Department of Economic Development, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.
Benefits of a commercial license in Dubai
This is a very popular choice of license in Dubai, for good reason. Once you’re set up with a commercial license, you’re free to trade in a huge range of items and services — plus, thanks to the international airports in the UAE, Dubai is known as an excellent strategic location for global trading.
Below, we’ll work through the steps you need to complete to get up and running — and to be compliant with all UAE business laws.
Steps to get your commercial license in Dubai
For a personalised quote and tailored guidance on this, get in touch with us at Worldwide Formations; we’re experts in supporting businesses through the steps needed to be able to sell legally. With our help, you could be up and running within a couple of weeks.
As a top-level guide to getting started, we’ve created the following checklist:
1. Apply for a commercial license in Dubai
There are three main types of license in the UEA: commercial, industrial and professional — though the government also issues a range of other licenses that are specific to certain activities. Today we’re looking at what’s needed to apply for a commercial license.
This is a multi-step process — and, while none of these individual steps is particularly complicated, they all require knowledge of how the business incorporation process works in the UAE. This is why we recommend you seek out expert advice to help you navigate the steps.
2. Be specific about your business activity
In order to successfully apply for a business license in Dubai, every business must list their business activity — or activities. You will be able to choose the most appropriate option from a predetermined list, with over 2000 to choose from — so whatever your industry or line of work, there will be options that apply to your business. It’s essential that you list every activity your business undertakes; failing to cover all activities can result in fines, or even your business losing its license.
3. Choose your company’s name
As well as your name needing to be snappy and memorable, you’ll also need to choose a name that fits the UAE’s strict naming conventions. The key information to note on this front is that UAE company names should not contain any language that’s considered blasphemous or offensive. It should also not feature the names of any well-known institutions, or any abbreviations of your own name. Using your own full name is permitted, however. It’s also important that your business name has a legal entity — such as FZE or LLC. These are just some of the criteria to consider; please do get in touch with us for a more comprehensive list.
4. Documents required for a commercial license in Dubai
You will need to choose between free zone and mainland setup. Both come with distinct advantages and limitations — it’s best to seek expert advice on which is best for you. Once this is complete, you’ll be able to apply for your commercial license. You will need to submit:
- A completed application form
- Passport copy of the proposed owner, or owners
- Two colour passport-size photos
5. Apply for your visa
This final step contains four stages, including a medical — but it shouldn’t take more than a week. And once it’s done, you and your business are ready to get selling in the UAE and beyond.
Are you ready to set up your commercial license and get trading?
While navigating the latest regulations can be complicated, we’re here to help. At Worldwide Formations, we’re highly experienced in supporting businesses through the process; we’ll get you all set up within a few weeks, managing applications and communicating with authorities, so you can start showcasing — and selling — your products in no time.