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Interested to start a business in the UAE? Although there are several trade licenses to choose from, those planning to set up a trading business in Dubai need to obtain a commercial license which allows an individual or entity to buy, trade and sell goods and services.

What is a commercial license?

If you wish to buy, trade, and sell goods and any commodities or undergo any trading activity, then you must obtain a valid commercial license. The Department of Economic Development (DED) will issue a commercial license in Dubai which is valid for a year.

What are the documents required?

  • Application form with company name specified in both Arabic and English.
  • The approval letter from DED of the company name
  • Lease contract form with the registered address of the company
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA) of the sponsor and partners
  • Dubai Municipality Department permits regarding office space used as the company’s business address.
  • The license fees are proof or receipt for the issuance of the license.

The commercial license business activities-

The major activities that come under the commercial license in Dubai are as follows-

  • Import and export
  • Sales and distribution
  • Manpower recruitment agencies
  • Logistics
  • Charter trading
  • Real Estate-related activities
  • General transport services
  • Tourism and Travel
  • Rental business
  • Ship and maritime agencies
  • Electronics sales and products
  • General stores and shops
  • Construction material sales and products
  • Brokerage services
  • Car dealers and auto
  • Event management, exhibition organization, and marketing
  • Fire equipment, safety, and alarm systems

Instant Commercial license-

This was launched by the BRL sector of the DED in 2017 to simplify the process of obtaining a commercial license and to date, more than 6,1000 commercial licenses shave been issued. If you wish to obtain a commercial license quickly, our experts can help you with this. To mention the process all you have to do is-

– Select the nature of the business activity for your business.

– Finalise your activity and then add all partners for your business as per the legal form. Also, make sure to identify each partner’s share of profit and loss distribution.

– Reserve the trade name by either selecting a new trade name or an automatically generated one.

– Specify the Capital value in the commercial register data of the company.

– You can either select or skip the electronic MOU.

– Wait for the payment voucher to be issued and once you get it, pay the fees.


If you have any doubts, we can guide you through all the legal formalities and licensing services.

Steps for obtaining a commercial license:

Choose the nature of the business you wish to start in the UAE (Additional approvals may be required according to the activity).

 The initial approval is issued Dubai Economic Department (DED).

– Depending on the nature of the business activity, you may need to get a local sponsor on the mainland. We can help you with a reliable sponsor.

-Our experts then draft an Article of Association (AOA) and Memorandum of Association (MOA) to lay out the rules, policies, and regulations to be followed in the company which is typed in both Arabic and English.

-Select the trade name for your company and it has to be according to the specific norms by the DED. If not, it will be rejected.

-Rent office space with Flexi desks or virtual offices and complete the Ejari registration process if you are leasing an office space.

-Obtain approvals from the relevant Ministries and Departments.

Advantage of commercial license-

  • Obtaining this license is comparatively easier than many of the other types of business licenses.
  • One can trade more than one product or service.
  • A business owner has the freedom to undertake trading business in any region in the UAE.
  • You can conduct several activities under one license.
  • There are secured business engagements with the DED.
  • Location can be selected anywhere in Dubai as there are no restrictions in this matter.
  • You can apply for employment visas, labor quotas, and more.
  • Exemption from all corporate, personal, and income taxes
  • No auditing required is required for the renewal process.
  • A corporate bank account can be opened easily
  • There are low freight charges
  • There are readymade offices, factories, and commercial spaces available
  • Foreign exchange control is not there

The renewal process for commercial license-

The validity of the license is one year and therefore it is mandatory to renew once it reaches its expiry date. Once you renew it, the license will be extended for a period of five years. The documents needed for this include-

  • Trade license copy
  • Office lease contract copy
  • Concerned approvals from the authority or ministry
  • The information regarding employees’ accommodation with the foreign shareholder.

You can set up a commercial license in any of the Emirates-Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al Khaimah, Umm al Quwain, and Fujairah at affordable rates.


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