Dubai Mainland Ded Trade License

Step by Step Dubai Department of Economic Development – DED Company Registration

 

Foreign investors, entrepreneurs, expatriates, or entities need to obtain a license to start a Dubai mainland business. These licenses are issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), which is a government body. The main duties of Dubai DED are to:

  1. Devise economic plans and strategies.
  2. Aiding strategic sectors.
  3. Offering services to domestic/international corporations and investors.
  4. Facilitating the establishment of a business in Dubai.
  5. Helping entrepreneurs to launch and expand their business activities.

 

Starting a business in Dubai consists of eight steps:

1.Defining the business activity

This is necessary for picking the legal form and type of license that fit into one of the six types of business licenses issued by DED: industrial, commercial, professional, tourism, agricultural, and occupational. It is noteworthy that an investment/business can include more than one specific sort of business activity. In this case, a small amount of fee should be paid for extending a license to cover these side activities. 

2. Choosing an appropriate legal form 

The legal form mainly depends on business requirements, activities, and form, and its main usage is determining applicable laws and regulations. Legal forms in the UAE are as follows: 

  • Limited partnership
  • General partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Public joint-stock company (PJSC)
  • Private joint-stock company (PrJSC)
  • Civil company
  • Local company branch
  • GCC company branch
  • Foreign company branch
  • Free zone company branch
  • Sole establishment
  • Holding companies

 

3. Registering the business name

The trade name must represent the business activities and nature conducted under it. The business name is issued by the economic department in each emirate (through its website or mobile application) and is renewable. This should not be mistaken with registering a trademark, which is issued by the Ministry of Economy. The basic requirements for picking a name are as follows: 

  • Represent the legal form of the business structure (such as LLC, EST, PJSC, PrJSC)
  • Must not violate the public morals or the public order of the country
  • Reflect the type of business activity 
  • Must not contain names of any religions, governing authorities, names or logos of any external bodies
  • Must be available and not have been registered before.

 

4. Applying for the initial approval

As a first step for establishing a business, the UAE government should approve that a business can be conducted in this country. However, it does not approve of running a business, which will follow in the next steps. This approval is issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs. Specific activities related to legal affairs, security affairs, and financial securities and commodities need to acquire some other approvals from other government bodies. 

 

5. Drafting a Memorandum of Association and local service agent agreement 

A completed and signed Memorandum of association (MoA) or a local service agent agreement (LSA) should be prepared depending on the type of business. For example, an MoA is necessary for the following business legal forms: 

  • Limited partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Public joint-stock company (PJSC)
  • Private joint-stock company (PrJSC).

 

6. Choosing a business location

A physical address should be associated with all business operations in the UAE, determining the location of the office and warehouse renthouse of the business. The local municipalities’ land planning regulations and the respective emirate’s Department of Economic Development requirements should comply with the business premises and location. It is noteworthy that in Dubai, the office and warehouse rental agreement must be registered with Ejari

 

7. Acquiring additional government approvals

As we mentioned above, some specific business activities need additional approvals issued by the government. The example of some of the government bodies issuing these approvals based on the type of the business activities/affairs related to them is the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Local municipal department, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Executive Council, Ministry of Economy, Local health departments, Supreme Petroleum Council. 

 

8. Obtaining the business license

After completing the above steps, the business license will be issued by DED. it is noteworthy that the payment for the trade license should be made within 30 days of receiving the payment voucher; otherwise, the license will be canceled. The required documents for collecting the issued license from service centers of the economic departments or their websites are as follows: 

  • Initial approval receipt plus all the previously-submitted documents
  • Copy of the rental agreement contract attested by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) in Dubai
  • The pre-prepared MoA or LSA (for all types of companies)
  • If applicable, approvals from other government entities 
  • If applicable (recommended) service agent contract (for civil establishments and companies that are 100% owned by non-GCC nationals)

 

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