Dubai trade license activities list

One of the first decisions facing entrepreneurs starting up in the UAE concerns business activities. Out here, all businesses are required to align their business activities with those published by the Department of Economic Development or equivalent Municipality.

There are over 2,000 activities to choose from, so finding one or more that reflects the nature of your business should not be too much of a challenge.

That said, it is always advisable to choose your activities with the help of a local expert. Failure to stipulate on your license any activities that you subsequently carry out can lead to fines and, in some cases, revocation.

The nature of your business will also dictate the type of license that you require. Some activities fall under a commercial license, while others require an industrial or professional license. Below is a rundown of each license and the types of activities they permit you to undertake.

What is a commercial license in Dubai, UAE?

A commercial license allows businesses to import and export goods and trade them within the UAE. The commercial license is one of the most popular in the UAE, thanks mainly to its location between the vast markets of East and West.

Commercial license activity list

Activities covered by the commercial license include:

DMCC Meydan Fujairah Creative City RAKEZ UAQFTZ
License cost without visa AED 20,285 AED 12,500 AED 6,000 AED 5,499 AED 8,000
License cost with one visa AED 24,741 AED 14,350 AED 16,000 AED 11,200 AED 11,507
License processing time 3 to 5 days 1 to 3 days 1 to 3 days 1 to 3 days 1 to 2 days

What is an industrial license in Dubai, UAE?

As the name suggests, an industrial license is required to carry out any business activities of an industrial nature. This includes most, but not all, manufacturing tasks.

As a general guide, if your business requires heavy or specialised plant equipment, you will most likely require an industrial license to trade.

Industrial license activity list

The following activities require an industrial license:

wpDataTable with provided ID not found!

What is a professional license in Dubai, UAE?

A professional license covers all manner of professional services. In other words, it permits the holder to trade in services relating to professional artistic or intellectual talent.

This could be in the form of consultancy, in creative and hands-on fields, or more corporate areas such as accounting and translation.

Professional license activity list

wpDataTable with provided ID not found!

Starting your business with BIZ

A good knowledge of the permitted business activities in Dubai, UAE, can help to speed up the company formation process.

While this process is not overly complex, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that obtaining a UAE trade license is only straightforward if your application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

To help you ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a Dubai company formation specialist such as Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) when establishing a new company in the UAE.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling your license application, BIZ can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visa applications that are required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.


Contact us for more information