Different Types of Mainland Trade License Explained

Dubai is a destination that is known for the business. The reasons that make UAE an ideal place to trade include direct links to the world via air or sea and links to surrounding countries by road. Moreover, the easy process of incorporating a company, 0% personal and corporate tax rate as well as a welcoming business environment attracts the investors.

Trading License

UAE welcomes foreign investment and the company formation in Dubai is also easy. Moreover, the cost of registration of the company is also favourable. The major requirement to conduct business in the mainland as well as free zone jurisdictions of the country is a trade license. Acquiring a trade license is essential to ensure the company is formed properly for the long-term.

Types of Trading License

Having a license ascertains the customers that your business is genuine and you follow local laws as well as regulations. For acquiring a trade license in Dubai, there is a process. You need to reserve a trading name for the company and apply for initial permission for conducting business. After trade name registration and getting initial approval, you would need to conduct notarization of the MOA of the company.

After notarization, you need to file a trade license application and submit the necessary documents to the commercial registry at DED Dubai. Along with the trade license, submitting the required documents would also help for membership registration with Dubai Chamber for councils. However, before you apply for a trade license for mainland business setup, it is essential to know about the types of trade license.

Professional Trade License
The businesses as well as entrepreneurs need to obtain professional licenses from the DED before providing their professional services. The purpose of professional licensing is to ensure that the business or the individual is qualified for providing services in a specific profession. For acquiring a professional trading license, the applicant needs to present specific skills or training.

Be it-craftsmen, artisans, professionals, or specialists, everyone needs to obtain the license to set up the business. The list of company structures that can be formed with the help of a professional license includes

  • Limited liability company (hold of local sponsor 51% of the company)
  • Sole Establishment and Civil Company (100% ownership of foreign investor in the company)

For setting up Sole Establishment or Civil Company, you would need to appoint a UAE national as a local service agent (LSA) who can complete legal formalities.

Industrial Trade License
Businesses that wish to conduct manufacturing or industrial-based activities in UAE need to obtain an industrial trade license. The license would allow them to engage in the activities that are related to incorporating or converting natural materials/ resources into end products. DED would issue the license. However, depending on the activities involved, you might need to obtain a few additional approvals from the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of finance, and others.

Commercial Trade License
Any company dealing with the buying and selling of goods, or any type of trade activities, need a commercial trade license for operating in Dubai. You can use the license to set up a sole establishment or limited liability company. You can use the license for both general trading activities as well as specialised trading activities.

In UAE there are different kinds of trade licenses. To carry out the activities related to your business, ensure you apply for the correct kind of commercial trade license. Real estate businesses, rental transportation services, construction companies, healthcare businesses, etc need to obtain a commercial trade license.

Apart from these, there is one more license i.e., a tourism license. Businesses related to tourism activities like vacation homes rental, travel agencies, marine tour operation, hotel apartments rental, etc require a tourism trade license. Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of tourists in Dubai that makes travel and tourism a fast-growing sector in the UAE.