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How to Get a Professional License in Dubai

All commercial or business activities in UAE require the appropriate trade licenses to be performed in the UAE. The Dept. of Economic Development or DED in UAE has designed a system that integrates diverse economic sectors into several different licensing options for businesses, providing better regulatory facilities. An individual or company with trained skills may apply for a professional license in Dubai.

The most common individuals and firms in need of a professional license in Dubai are as follows: 

  • Medical and healthcare specialists 
  • Management consultants
  • IT service providers 
  • Accounting and auditing firms 
  • Beauty salons 
  • Printing and publishing 
  • Carpentry and artisans 
  • Medical representatives 
  • Business consultancy 
  • Teachers
  • Entertainment artists
  • Advertising professionals
  • Financial advisors

Follow these steps to acquire a professional license in Dubai and start operating in the emirate: 

Step 1: Prepare the requirements for a professional license in Dubai 

The requirements for acquiring a business license in Dubai will depend on the types of activities that will be practiced. Apart from the requirements, fees and conditions for establishing a business will also differ. For professional licenses in Dubai, here are the documents to prepare: 

  • Application form 
  • Copies of the passports of the business owners 
  • Copies of the Emirates IDs of the business owners 
  • Copies of the visit visa of the business owners if not residents in UAE
  • Emirates ID and passport copies of a UAE national as local partner, if established in UAE mainland 
  • NOC from the sponsor of the expat business owner, if applicable

Step 2: Select a legal form for the business 

There’s a range of business legal forms which commensurate with business activities in Dubai. The laws, conditions, and requirements of legal forms greatly differ, depending on the nature of the company to be established. The most common legal forms that require a professional license in Dubai to operate are as follows: 

  • Establishment – an establishment has only one owner and the facility is licensed in practicing a certain economic activity. An establishment’s financial liability lies with its registered owner. It’s the most common legal form of business in all of the UAE. 
  • Company – a company is a facility that’s owned by at least two parties. The two parties may be legal entities or natural persons. A company in UAE can take any of these legal forms: general partnership, limited liability company or LLC, private/public joint-stock company, and Commandite company. 
  • Branch – a branch takes any of the following legal forms: a branch of a specific GCC company, a branch of a specific GCC company with a foreign national as an investor, a branch of a specific local company in the free zone, a branch of a specific foreign company, a branch of a specific local company that is from another Emirate, and a branch of a specific local sole proprietorship business or establishment.

Step 3: Register the tradename or trademark of the business

Following the determination of your business’ legal form, you should then have a trademark or trade name approved for your business. A trade name will distinguish your services or goods from all other facilities in the country. The trade name of your business must be in relation to the nature of your business’ economic activities, as well as its legal form.  

The rules and guidelines for company name reservation are as follows: 

  • Trade name must not carry restricted terminologies 
  • The name of the company must not be in contradiction to the set rules and guidelines for company names 
  • The trade name must not belong to any other business 
  • Name must not have any indication of an international political organization or religious sectarian like Vatican or FBI 
  • Name must not have abbreviations the same as organizations of the government 
  • Name of the company shouldn’t have any indecent or obscene words and shouldn’t be offensive to the public even when it’s the name of a person 
  • Trade name can’t start with Global or International

What are the trade licenses in Dubai?

Step 4: Get the Initial Approval

Following the issuance of a trade name certificate, the next thing to secure is the Initial Approval of local authorities. The Initial Approval will entitle your business to proceed in acquiring the other necessary approvals of relevant government regulatory bodies. The authorities to seek approval will depend on the economic activities you intend to perform in the emirate of Dubai and the jurisdiction in which you register your company with. 

Step 5: Obtain the approvals of relevant authorities

Upon getting the Initial Approval, you’ll be entitled to approaching all concerned authorities in getting the final required approvals for establishing your business in Dubai. It’s worth seeking the advice and guidance of business setup specialists in Dubai as there is a high chance you will have to deal with red tape to complete this step. 

LAST STEP: Pay the fees and collect the professional license

When you’ve secured the approval of relevant authorities in UAE for your business setup in Dubai, then pay the prescribed fees and get the professional license in Dubai. 

To know more about professional licenses in Dubai, call us here in FAR Consulting Middle East today!