How to Start Trade License Dubai – Complete Guide
Dubai is among the very most populous regions from the UAE. There are many ventures and business opportunities in Dubai that attract foreign businessmen and investors each year. Dubai offers a huge market for foreign investors seeking investment and business set up possibilities. Understanding and identifying the need of the market, the Instant Trade License in Dubai was introduced by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.
What is the Instant License in Dubai?
Through the instant license initiative, you can get a commercial or professional license in Dubai in just 5 minutes. Introduced with the aim to boost the UAE’s economy, the instant license makes it easier and quicker for entrepreneurs to acquire a trade license and start their business in UAE mainland.
It is a one-step process that does not need either the Memorandum of Association (MOA) or the rent contract for the first year. You submit these only upon renewal of the business license.
Depending on the nature of your company and the documentation and approval requirements specific to your business, obtaining a commercial or professional license could take about two days or more. But with the Dubai instant license, you can get your trade license within a few minutes and with fewer requirements.
Here’s a quick look at the benefits of instant license in Dubai:
- Issued in 5-10 minutes
- Same day issuance
- Start conducting business immediately
- Trade name registration not required for the first year
- MOA not required for the first year
- No rent contract required for the first year
- Online or in-person application
Who can apply for an Instant Trade License in Dubai?
Companies with the following business structures can apply for an instant license in Dubai:
- Limited Liability Company
- One Person L.L.C.
- Sole Proprietorship
- Civil Company
Note: Instant licenses in Dubai can only be issued to activities that do not need any external approvals.
External approvals are additional approvals required from other government authorities or government-approved agencies.
Documents Required for an Instant License in Dubai
Document requirements differ depending on the channel through which you apply for the instant license.
If applying through DED’s e-Services platform:
- No additional documents required
- Original ID required to create an account and get a UAE Pass ID (for those not having an existing account)
If applying through Service Centres, Happiness Lounges, or Smart Lounge:
- Passport copies of all partners and managers – all partners or at least one of them must be present at the service centre to apply for the license
- UAE residence visa copy and Emirates ID of foreign partner(s)
- UAE visit visa copy of foreign partner(s) [if not holding a residence visa]
- NOC from the current sponsor of residence visa-holding partner(s)
- Passport copy and Emirates ID of local sponsor
Note: NOC from a sponsor is not required in the case of General Trading.
Cost of Instant License
You will be issued a single payment voucher which includes the fees for initial approval, trade name reservation, and issuance of the license. The cost of the instant license will vary depending on the activity of your company. However, a fixed Market Fee of AED 3,000* applies to all types of business activities.
*To support and encourage entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai Economy has reduced the Market Fee to AED 250. This amount is applicable for the first year. From the second year onwards, the renewal fee will be 2.5% of the rent of your commercial space.
It is mandatory for any UAE mainland business to have a local sponsor. The sponsorship fee amount is based on mutual agreement between you and your local sponsor.
Following are the basic steps to apply for an instant license in Dubai on the DED e-Services platform:
- Select the Legal Type (business structure) – LLC, LLC-SO, Civil Company, or Sole Establishment
- Choose your business activity from the list of available activities
- Select the shareholding structure of your company
- Choose three trade name options
- Decide the share capital of your company
- Complete the necessary application forms
- Submit the required documents
- A payment voucher will be issued
- Make the payment
- Receive the Instant Licence
Once the trade license is issued, you
- Instantly become a member of the Dubai Chamber, if your business engages in commercial activity
- Receive an establishment card of the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), for an additional fee
- Receive three work permits for employees from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE)
The global Novel Coronavirus pandemic has caused several countries to either shut their borders or restrict air travel. This, in turn, has affected businesses, both locally and internationally.
Given the current situation where travelling remains limited, Instant License has become more relevant than ever. It is the best option for entrepreneurs around the world wanting to register their business in Dubai and the UAE. You can apply for it remotely and from the safety of your home. It also does not require you to travel to the UAE.
- Apply online for the Dubai instant license through DED’s e-Services platform.
- Apply in-person at Service Centres, Happiness Lounges, and Smart Lounge.
- Alternatively, if you are not familiar or comfortable with online applications, you can engage the services of business setup consultants in Dubai to help you get an Instant License.