how to get your UAE trade license

How to get your UAE trade license


There are many reasons why the UAE remains one of the world’s most popular business destinations. Its great global location, stable political and economic environment, and low barriers to entry continue to bring thousands of entrepreneurs to our shores every year.

They come from far and wide to join our largely expatriate population, starting businesses in a wide range of industries from consultancy to healthcare, technology, and trading. But each have one thing in common. To work in the UAE, they require a UAE trade license.

And every year, Worldwide Formations helps many obtain this license, and get up and running in the UAE. If you’re looking to do the same, here’s how we can help.

What are the UAE trade license categories?

There are three common license types on offer in the UAE: commercial, professional, and industrial.

In short, commercial licenses cover all manner of trading activities; professional licenses tend to be for consulting and services business; and industrial licenses are for those wishing to manufacture goods from raw materials.

There are other license types available within these categories, such as the ecommerce license, and the general trading license. Ecommerce licenses are for businesses that wish to operate solely online while general trading licenses are for those wishing to trade in multiple unconnected goods.

How to get your UAE trade license

There are several steps to take before applying for your business license in the UAE. No step is particularly complex but the entire process does require some knowledge of UAE business. For this reason, it is always a good idea to undertake your application with the help of a company formation expert such as Worldwide Formations.

Every business in the UAE must list a business activity, or activities, on its business license. It’s important that you list every activity that applies to your business when making your application as failure to do so can lead to fines or even license revocation.

There are over 2,000 to choose from so no matter your industry or the type of business you undertake, you are sure to find an activity that fits the bill. The type of activity you intend to undertake will decide the type of license and setup that you require.

A step of the business incorporation process that takes on more importance here in the UAE is the choosing of your company name. That’s because as well as the need for a name that’s catchy and captures the essence of your business, you’ll also need to stick to the UAE’s clearly defined naming conventions.

In short, UAE company names must not contain any blasphemous or offensive language, any references to well-known institutions or any abbreviations of your name – though your full name is acceptable.