How to get a Commercial License in Dubai?

All Dubai-based businesses must have a license. You need a commercial license to purchase and sell products and services in Dubai.

In the most basic terms, a commercial license permits you to deal in products and provide specified services. You can import and sell items in the UAE, export them outside the country, or trade within the local market. The commercial license allows you to sell everything from toys and food to packaging and electronics as long as you meet the requirements. A commercial license also covers services such as brokerage and real estate.

Types of Company Licenses in Dubai, UAE

Let’s take a look at the other types of trade licenses available under the DED:

  • Professional License: The DED issues a professional license to service-oriented businesses that generate revenue from their services. Among the many companies in this category are consultancies, management services, educational and training services, and technical services such as hair salons and spas.
  • Industrial License: Industrial activities include developing and manufacturing new items from natural or artificial raw materials. A few examples are the production of fiberglass items, food industries, textiles, and the fabrication of equipment and engines, to name a few. This license also stipulates that organizations applying for it must have a locally based physical warehouse.
  • Tourism License: Tourism-related enterprises require a tourist trade license. This sector includes hotel apartment rentals, vacation home rentals, travel agencies, outward and inbound tour operators, and maritime excursions.

Activities under commercial license 

The Department of Economic Development (DED) approves various business activities under a commercial license. You can get the complete list of business activities allowed from the DED or Meydan Free Zone. Below are a few examples of commercial activities authorized in Dubai:

  • Advertising services

  • Automobile trading

  • Beauty and baby care essentials

  • Building maintenance services

  • Cleaning services

  • Cold storage

  • Exchange and financial services

  • Filling stations

  • Flowers and plants trading

  • General store

  • General warehousing

  • Home appliances trading

  • Import and export

  • Plumbing and sanitary contracting

  • Radio, TV station, cinema theater equipment installation, and maintenance

  • Rental services

  • Restaurant management

  • Self-storage services

  • Surveillance services

Steps to Get Your Commercial License in Dubai

Getting a commercial license in Dubai is straightforward if you work with an experienced company formation establishment like Meydan Free Zone. Here are the four most important steps you need to take to get a commercial license for your company.

Step 1: Determine the business activity

To start a business and get a license, you must first decide what you want to do. You may choose from over 2,000 business activities, including those in the industrial, commercial, professional, and tourist sectors. You can view the complete list on the DED website. Additionally, Meydan Free Zone can help you decide what kind of business you should start for your new company. Depending on the nature of your business, you may require additional permits.

Step 2: Select a location  free zone or mainland

If you want to start a company in the UAE, one of the most crucial decisions you will have to make is where you want to locate it ­– in a free zone or the mainland. Both have several benefits.

Some free zones, like the Meydan Free Zone, offer benefits like quick and easy incorporation, financial incentives such as tax exemptions and no currency limits, and ongoing business support. There are several kinds of free zone licenses available.

On the mainland, you can also get a variety of licenses. Businesses on the mainland may deal directly with the UAE market and win lucrative government contracts. The appropriate jurisdiction for you will depend on the nature of your business.

Step 3: Choose your company name

Choosing a name for your business is critical in setting up a business in Dubai. In most cases, a business’s name should represent what it does unless it is a subsidiary of another firm.

The UAE has stringent name regulations, and you must abide by them. Avoid using any words that might be disrespectful or profane. Avoid well-known corporate names and abbreviations when naming your firm after yourself. You also need to ensure that the name you want to use is available for registration.

Step 4: File your license application

After deciding on the name, activity, and site of operation, submit all the papers to DED for review. Company formation and licenses happen at the same time. The nature of your company and its activities dictates whether you can receive all the approvals you need from DED.

Once the relevant authorities have authorized your company’s activity, you can apply for a Memorandum of Association, an Incorporation Certificate, and other legal papers. After approval, you may also apply for visas, tenancy agreements, and labor cards.

Documents Required for a Commercial Licence in Dubai

The documentation process of applying for a commercial licence in Dubai requires an articulate way of handling deadlines and paperwork. Here’s a list of the necessary documents for registration of a commercial licence in Dubai.

  • Application form with the company name in English and Arabic

  • Original leasing contract for registered office

  • Permission from Dubai Municipality’s Building Department to use the office as a business address

  • DED’s letter of approval for the company name

  • Proof of payment for a trade licence

  • Passport-sized colour pictures of the applicant

  • A No Objection certificate

  • Letter of intent

  • Comprehensive business plan

  • Details of shared capital

  • Reference certificates of financial statements

  • Notarized copy of Registry Identification form

Cost of Commercial Licence In Dubai

Based on a set of criteria, the approximate cost of a commercial licence in Dubai can vary. Costs can range from visa fees, residence fees, transport fees, trademark registration fees, and fees that are incurred when handling documentation and government authorities. Generally, a commercial licence in Dubai costs from AED 10,000 to AED 50,000. With Meydan’s business setup calculator, you can expect a more accurate estimate of the cost of registering your business using a cost effective commercial licence.


Our team at Meydan Free Zone can guide you through the entire process and ensure that all legal requirements are met seamlessly.

Get in touch today!

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