Process on How to Get a Business License in Dubai?

If you’re considering starting a business in Dubai, acquiring a business license is an essential step. This comprehensive guide will provide you with a step-by-step walkthrough of the process, ensuring that you have all the necessary information to navigate it successfully.

Familiarize Yourself with License Types:

Dubai offers various business license types, each tailored to specific industries and activities. Key license types include:

  • Commercial License: It is designed for trading businesses.
  •  Professional License: Suitable for service providers and professionals.
  •  Industrial License: This license is required for manufacturing and industrial activities.
  •  Tourism License: Specifically for businesses in the tourism sector.

Determine Your Business Structure:

Determine the right legal structure for your business, considering the options given below:

  • Sole Proprietorship: Individual ownership.
  •  Partnership: Business ownership shared between two or more partners.
  •  Limited Liability Company (LLC): Company with multiple shareholders.
  •  Branch Office: A branch of a foreign or parent company.

Select Your Business Activity:

Identify the specific activity your business will engage in. Review the extensive list of activities provided by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai to ensure alignment with your business goals.

Choose a Unique Business Name:

Select a distinctive and meaningful name for your business, adhering to the guidelines set by the DED.

Engage a Local Sponsor:

Most business structures require a local sponsor, typically a UAE national, who will hold a 51% share in the company. Free zone companies, however, allow 100% foreign ownership without a local sponsor.

Prepare Required Documentation:

Gather the necessary documents for your business license application, including:

  • Complete application form.
  •  Passport copies of shareholders and sponsors.
  •  No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the sponsor.
  •  Memorandum of Association for LLC (or partnership).
  •  Lease agreement for the office.
  •  Additional documents are specific to your business activity.

Submit Your License Application:

Provide the completed application and necessary supporting documents to the relevant authority.

Pay the Applicable Fees:

Settle the required fees, which vary based on license type, business activity, and jurisdiction.

Approval and License Issuance:

Upon successful application review, the relevant authority will issue your business license. The processing time may vary, typically several days to a few weeks, depending on the license type and jurisdiction.

Post-License Procedures:

Following the issuance of your business license, you may need to complete additional steps such as VAT registration, employee visa applications, and opening a corporate bank account.

Who Issues Business Licenses in Dubai?

In Dubai, the issuance of business licenses is overseen by different authorities depending on the location and type of business. Here are the main entities responsible for providing licenses in Dubai:

  1. Department of Economic Development (DED): The DED is the primary authority for issuing business licenses in mainland Dubai. It regulates and promotes economic activity in the emirate.
  2.  Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA): The DCCA issues licenses to businesses operating in various creative sectors, including media, design, and technology, within Dubai’s free zones, such as Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, and Dubai Design District (d3).
  3.  Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC): The DMCC serves as the licensing authority for businesses located in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) free zone, specializing in activities such as commodities trading, as well as the trading and manufacturing of jewelry and precious metals.
  4.  Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA): The DSOA oversees the licensing process for businesses operating within the Dubai Silicon Oasis free zone, which is dedicated to technology, research, and development.
  5.  Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC): The DIFC is an independent free zone that provides a platform for businesses operating in the financial and professional services sectors. It has its regulatory authority responsible for issuing licenses within the DIFC.
  6.  Various other Free Zone Authorities: Dubai has several free zones, each with its licensing authority. Some notable examples include Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA), Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), and Dubai South (formerly Dubai World Central).

Obtain your business license in Dubai with the assistance of Business Diaries. Our experts will guide you through the process, ensuring a seamless experience. Contact us today to begin obtaining your business license in Dubai.
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