In the world of business, obtaining a trade license is an essential step towards establishing a successful venture. Dubai, known for its thriving economy and favorable business environment, offers a streamlined and efficient process for acquiring a trade license. DBS Business Setup, a prominent consultancy firm based in Dubai, specializes in business setup, company formation, and business incorporation services across the UAE and GCC. Whether you seek to register your business in the mainland, free zones, or offshore areas, DBS Business Setup provides comprehensive support, including pro services, securing government approvals, opening corporate bank accounts, VAT registration, and UAE corporate tax filing. With expertise in various aspects of business setup, DBS Business Setup is your trusted partner for navigating the complexity of obtaining a trade license in Dubai and ensuring your business thrives in this dynamic market.

Dubai Business Trade License Process

Dubai Business Trade License Process


The process of obtaining a trade license in Dubai is essential for establishing and legally operating a business in the city. This comprehensive article will guide you through the step-by-step process of obtaining a trade license, from determining the business activity to collecting the finalized license.

Determine Business Activity

Before initiating the trade license process, it is crucial to determine the type of business activity you wish to engage in. Dubai has a comprehensive classification system for business activities, and it is necessary to identify the relevant activity for your business. This step ensures that you comply with the specific regulations and requirements associated with your chosen activity.

Dubai Business Trade License Process

Choose the Business Legal Structure

Dubai offers various options for business legal structures, including Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each structure has its advantages and considerations, and it is essential to understand the implications of each option. By comparing the available legal structures, you can select the one that best suits your business goals and objectives.

Select the Trade Name

Choosing an appropriate and distinctive trade name is an important aspect of the trade license process. There are guidelines provided by the Dubai government regarding the selection of trade names. These guidelines ensure that the chosen name complies with legal requirements and does not infringe upon any existing trademarks or copyrights. Before finalizing your trade name, it is essential to check its availability and reserve it to prevent others from using it.

Dubai Business Trade License Process

Submit Application to DED

Once you have determined the business activity, selected the legal structure, and chosen the trade name, the next step is to submit the trade license application to the Department of Economic Development (DED). This application includes the necessary information and documents required to process your trade license. You can choose to submit the application online or physically, depending on your preference.

Obtain Initial Approval

After submitting the application, the DED will review and evaluate it to ensure compliance with all regulations. This review process aims to assess the feasibility and viability of your business. The DED will either grant initial approval for your trade license or provide feedback requesting modifications or additional information. It is important to address any issues or modifications promptly to progress to the next stage.

Lease Office Space

As part of the trade license process, you are required to lease suitable office space that complies with Dubai’s regulations. The specific requirements for office space depend on the nature of your business activity. Finding and leasing appropriate office space entails identifying a location that aligns with your business needs and budget, negotiating lease terms, and documenting the tenancy agreement.

Prepare Legal Documents

During the trade license process, you will need to prepare essential legal documents. These documents include the Memorandum of Association (MOA), Shareholder Agreements, and the Article of Association. The MOA outlines the business objectives, shareholding structure, and operational guidelines. Shareholder agreements define the rights and responsibilities of each shareholder, and the Article of Association serves as the company’s governing document.

Submit Documents for Final Approval

Once you have prepared all the necessary legal documents, you must submit them to the DED for final approval. The DED will review the documents to ensure compliance with legal requirements and regulations. It is crucial to ensure accuracy and completeness when submitting these documents to expedite the final approval process.

Make Trade License Payment

After obtaining the DED’s final approval, the next step is to make the trade license payment. The payment includes the prescribed fees and charges associated with issuing the trade license. It is important to ensure timely payment to avoid any delays in receiving the finalized trade license.

Collect Trade License

Upon payment, you will receive a notification stating the issuance of your trade license. This notification will provide details regarding the collection process and location. It is important to follow the instructions provided to collect your trade license within the designated timeframe. The trade license serves as evidence of your business’s legality and permits you to commence operations in Dubai. It is important to note the validity period of the trade license and plan for its renewal accordingly.


Obtaining a trade license in Dubai is a critical step in establishing and operating a business in the city. The process involves determining the business activity, selecting the legal structure, choosing a trade name, submitting the application to the DED, obtaining initial approval, leasing office space, preparing legal documents, making the trade license payment, and finally collecting the trade license. By following this comprehensive process, you can successfully obtain a trade license and legally conduct business in Dubai, contributing to the city’s vibrant and dynamic economy.

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