Business Support

Trade License in Dubai

KWS-ME streamlines Dubai business setup, from optimal structures to efficient incorporation, ensuring a seamless path to success.

Trade License in Dubai, UAE

Trade License in Dubai

The city has been the hub of international trade in the region. It has attracted investors from all around the world & the authorities have made sure their regulations and processes are streamlined and ready to take on the challenge of dealing with the influx of investments in to different industries from all over the world.

The authorities have a way of handling things and the business environment that Dubai has was possible only due to the way the country has organized itself to handle everything through due process. In order to run your own business setup in Dubai, you must have a valid trade license issued by the Department of Economic Development. The Department for Economic Development also deals with local and foreign investors.

Entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate or own business setup in Dubai face certain hurdles. KWS-ME provides with required and viable solutions to these entrepreneurs and investors.

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How to get Trade License in Dubai

Follow the steps below in order to obtain a trade license so that you can operate your business setup.

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Trade License in Dubai

Choose & Reserve a name for your company and apply for registration

For your company to incorporated or registered, you are required to submit a company registration in Dubai application in which you have to obtain initial approvals from the License Issuing Section of the Department of Economic Development.

The department will sanction your business activities, the name of your business, and verify the identity of the people holding a legitimate stake in the company. At DED, company name must be available to be chosen and reserved. A payment is required, which can be made online on the official website of the Department of Economic Development.

Notarize the company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA)

You have to complete notarization of the Memorandum of Association from the Department of Economic Development for obtaining a trade license. The process does not take too long and might even be completed in a day.

The lawyer for the applicant takes the initial approval from the notary earlier so as to save the applicant’s time when he arrives to get his documents notarized on time.

File company documents

The investor or the entrepreneur needs to submit company’s documents to the Department of Economic Development and obtain a trade license. After this step is complete, he must apply for membership of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). For a Trade License and Commercial Registration Certificate to be issued, the applying investor has to make submission of the following original documents at the Commercial Registry section of DED. Applicants can also make this submission of original documents online as well. After the submission of required documents, the Commercial Registry decides whether or not the documents are valid, sans legal or other discrepancies, and in proper order. Then the name of the company is formally entered into the Commercial Register.

Business setup as a representative or branch office

Foreign companies which want to setup a branch office in Dubai is now 100% owned by the foreigner. In such a case, the company has to be 100% owned by a UAE national or a local UAE national is appointed as an agent of the company.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Business activities fall into following categories of licenses:


    • Commercial licenses.
    • Professional licenses.
    • Industrial licenses.
    • Tourism.


    DED issues the Trade License and Commercial Registration Certificate to the company after the due processes are complete. Business consultants in Dubai can help you through the whole process.

    • A financial institute or bank has to obtain approval from the UAE Central Bank before applying for a Trade License to start operations in Dubai.
    • Manufacturing companies have to get the approvals of Ministry of Finance and Industry before a license can be issued to them.
    • An Insurance company must have the approval of the Economy and Commerce Ministry before a License can be issued to it.
    • For a medical and pharmaceutical company healthy ministry’s approval is required.
      Companies engaged in oil & gas business must get approvals from a number of government agencies.

    The UAE Commercial Companies Law requires, companies holding a professional license must have a local partner in ownership with 51% shares. Companies involved with Oil & Gas business are exempt from the 51% requirement and are given certain concessions.

    The registration process consists of these steps:


    Step 1

    • Decide who will partner with the company or a local sponsor.
    • Decide the role played by the local partner in business matters.
    • Decide on fee the company is prepared to pay each year.

    Step 2

    • Reserve a name for the company and get required approval for the name and business activities from DED.


    Step 3

    • Decide a place for office premises and get a tenancy contract.
    • This contract is necessary for getting the company registered.


    Step 4

    • Creation of Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the sponsor and its submission to the DED.
    • A legal firm or business consultants in Dubai may be hired for the development of MOA which is going to highlight business activities, special arrangements, and share of the partners in the company


    Step 5

    • The MOA and the license application has to be submitted to the DED with other required legal documents and the tenancy contract.
    • Applicable fees and charges will have to be paid and a trade license can be obtained a week or two after the submission of application.