The Expert Guide to Dubai Trade License

Dubai trade license is required for all local and foreign business entities in Dubai if they want to do any kind of commercial activity in the emirate. The most important aspects of this license are explained below:

There are many types of companies, but most businesses find it suitable to use the LLC (Limited Liability Company) or Joint Stock Companies. In general, a local company needs to have at least one UAE citizen among its directors while a foreign company should have at the very least two UAE partners to hold 49% of total capital share.

If you also have 50% Emirati employees from your company, then you can reduce the minimum partner shareholding percentage to 25%. There are other conditions that include incorporation documents and internal procedures.

Steps to follow for getting a trade license in Dubai.

  1. Pre-filing requirements:

The main pre-filing requirement is the name of your company. In order to avoid mistakes and delays, it’s better to get a lawyer who should go through all documents from the beginning. The Emirati partner will have to sign certain documents while you can make an oral declaration before a Notary Public which should be translated into Arabic and certified by two witnesses. This translation must include the signature because otherwise the document will be rejected automatically. It’s also important that you replace any mention of limited liability with joint stock immediately because this could reduce your chances later on when applying for a joint stock license, but this is only applicable if you’re planning to transform your firm’s status.

The primary documents needed are the Memorandum and Articles of Association which must be translated into Arabic as well. This translation should be certified by two witnesses, but notarization is not necessary. Another important document is the designations of directors and managers because this could also lead to delays later on since it will need to include all nationals (Emiratis or foreigners) who hold at least 10% share in your company. The remaining shareholders should be listed next, followed by their nationality and percentage stakeholdings in the business enterprise.

  1. Post-filing requirements:

After filing paperwork for Dubai trade license, there are many documents that you will need for the Trade License Application, such as:

  • Trade License Terms and Conditions
  • Commercial Registration Certificate (issued by the appropriate authority of the business owner’s home country)
  • Passport copy of all foreign partner(s) or director(s)
  • Passport copy and Emirates ID for all UAE partners and directors
  • Passport photocopy and Emirates ID for any persons who will occupy a senior position in your company. This is part of the “fit and proper test” which you must pass to be granted a trade license.
  • Partnership contract if this applies to your business model
  • Notarized powers of attorney from appointing managers, administrators or new shareholders as needed. These should include their passport details, ID card numbers, full address, home landlines and cell phone numbers.

Other important documents are the following:

  • Emirates ID of all partners, directors and managers
  • Passport copy of everyone who owns more than 10% stake in your company
  • Notarized authorization to appoint new shareholders
  • Photocopy of the lease contract or property ownership document if you want to operate a business from your office
  • Certificate issued by Dubai Municipality about food trading licenses if you want to sell imported foods. This is only applicable once every five years since inspectors would be checking for expired or incorrect product labels later on after getting their trade license.

The most important application form is the Trade Licenses Application Form. This needs to be signed by all partners and directors along with the corporate stamp affixed on it. Also, if you’re dealing with an existing company that’s already registered under another trade license then you need to submit documents that prove this ownership transfer.

  1. Post-filing requirements – medical checkups:

After filing for a trade license in Dubai, you will need to undergo health examinations just like every other foreign employee does before they start working for a company in Dubai. The same applies if your country doesn’t have a reciprocal visa exemption agreement with the UAE government, but this is only applicable if your business involves handling food or alcohol products even indirectly because any insect or rodent infestation could lead to fines up to Dhs 10,000.

Once the trade license application for Dubai gets approved by all concerned government authorities, your company will undergo an inspection within 90 days. If you are issued a temporary business license during this period, there are other post-filing requirements that you must comply with to avoid penalties or fines.

You should have your Trade License renewed every two years

Trade licenses only cover Main Trading activities, so it’s important to apply for additional licenses if you’re planning on doing other activities such as recruitment or IT support.

These post-filing requirements usually take between 15 to 30 working days before they get approved because of stricter procedures required in terms of fire safety and construction materials used for interior design.

Anyways, you can complete these requeriments faster partnering with a Global PEO able to help you in Dubai. They can streamline the processes without an Entity required from your side.

Dubai is a thriving city in the United Arab Emirates and offers many opportunities for Businesses and people wishing to live and work there. With so much on offer you are sure to find something that suits your needs, but before you move there are some important things you need to know about living in Dubai, these include finding somewhere to live, education options for children, how taxes work, healthcare issues etc.

if you are running a business then it’s also important to understand in which part of Dubai would suit your company best? what licenses do I need in order to operate in Dubai? The list below will provide links into our guides that will help answer all your questions.

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