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Commercial trade license

Commercial trade license

If you want to set up a business in UAE or want to trade goods and services in UAE or internationally, you need a commercial license. Dubai is an excellent location to set up a business in Dubai.

Dubai has a favourable business environment for new business and world-class infrastructure. However, before starting a company, you need to meet some requirements stipulated by the government and follow the regulations.

A common requirement for starting a business in Dubai is getting a business license to run the business legally. Dubai Visa and Investment Centre can help you get a business license and set up the business.

What is a commercial license?

A commercial license allows trading goods and services. You can conduct several business activities with a commercial license, including buying and selling inside and outside the UAE.

With a commercial license, you can trade most products, from toys to jewellery, automobiles, furniture, packaging, readymade garment, software, virtual goods, foodstuffs and computer systems. You can also perform services such as real estate or brokerage services with a commercial license.

Business activities under commercial license

You can conduct several business activities with a commercial license and expand your business to other sectors. Some business activities you can perform with a commercial trade license in Dubai include

  • Aircraft and train space parts trading
  • Medical commodities
  • Animal skin trading
  • Plants and flowers trading
  • Bags and packaging material trading
  • Home appliances trading
  • Beauty and baby care essentials
  • Medical commodities
  • Cleaning services
  • Foodstuff
  • Software
  • Surgical equipment
  • Furniture
  • Computer systems
  • Readymade garments
  • Software
  • Advertising services
  • Logistics
  • Automobiles
  • Communication equipment
  • Rental business
  • Real estate
  • Product-oriented sales (construction, shops stores, electronics)
  • Brokerage

Steps to get a commercial trade license in Dubai

A business setup process and getting a commercial trade license in Dubai is straightforward. The simplified process, amongst other factors, makes Dubai a good choice for many entrepreneurs.

The steps for getting a commercial license include the following.

  • Select a business name and legal structure

The first step to getting a commercial trade license in Dubai is choosing a company name. You need to follow specific rules and regulations from the government when choosing a business name, and the name must be unique in the UAE.

The business name must not contain profanity, and you will check to ensure the name is available for registration. Once you secure a name, you will choose a legal structure for the business. The options available include freezone company, holding company, Limited Liability Company (LLC), partnerships, corporations and sole proprietorships.

  • Choose the business activity

The next step is finalising your business activity. When choosing the business activity, ensure the activity is within your skillset and you have the resources, manpower and capability to run the business.

A commercial license allows you to choose from several options. You can choose different activities if you are capable of running them. After finalising your business activity, you can proceed to the next step.

  • Choose the business operation location

You need to choose the location of the business operation. Two options are available. You can operate the business in the freezones or the mainland. Both options have unique advantages.

The rules and requirements may vary based on the location. If you want to run your business in a freezone, you can have 100% ownership of the business, quick company incorporation, no money restriction, and tax benefits.

However, for a mainland business, you need a local sponsor who will own 51% of the company. With a mainland company, you can enjoy more business traffic and trade directly with the UAE market.

  • Apply for the commercial trade license

If you apply for a mainland business, you can directly apply to the Dubai Department of Economic Development, but for the freezone, you will apply to one of the local offices or online.

  • Submit the relevant documents

The authority will request some documents to verify and approve the application. The documents for the application will vary, depending on the type of business activity you want to conduct with the commercial trade license.

Ensure you provide the updated and correct information when submitting the document. You may need to restart the process if you provide old or wrong information. Our consultants can help you avoid this.

  • Pay the fees and get your license

When your application is approved, you need to pay the fees to collect the commercial trade license. When the payment gets confirmed, you can collect your commercial trade license from the local office.

Documents for a commercial trade license in Dubai

The following documents are vital for getting a commercial trade license.

  • Registered lease contract
  • A completed application form with the registered company name
  • Two passport-size colour photos
  • Copy of the shareholders’ passport

Cost of a commercial trade license in Dubai

The cost of a commercial trade license in Dubai is one part of the financial requirement of setting up a business. You will pay about AED 10000 – AED 30000 for a commercial trade license in Dubai. Factors like company size, type of business activity and location will determine the cost of the commercial license. You may need additional approvals, which incur extra costs. Starting a company in a freezone may be the most cost-effective option for a start-up company.

Benefits of a commercial trade license

The commercial trade license is among the most popular business trade licenses in Dubai for several reasons, such as

  • Register a wide range of company structures
  • Trading companies can operate under a commercial license that does not need auditing to renew the license
  • The procedure for getting a commercial trade license is easy
  • You can conduct a maximum of ten businesses under a commercial trade license
  • No personal tax and corporate taxes are minimal
  • 100% profit and capital repatriation
  • If you have the required office space, you can hire foreign workers and handle their visa process
  • The trade license allows the importation of foreign products and the exportation of your products overseas.

Documents for commercial trade license renewal

  • A copy of the registered address lease contract
  • The original or copy of the license
  • Information on the staff’s accommodation for foreign shareholder firms
  • Concerned authority approvals
  • After renewing the license, you can extend its validity to five years

Our consultants at Dubai Visa and Investment Centre can assist you with getting a commercial trade license if you intend to conduct commercial business activities in Dubai. We are available at office No. 4108, 41st floor, Churchill Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. You can also call us on 971544563095.


A commercial trade license in Dubai is a business trade license that allows you to conduct selected businesses. You will need a commercial license, if you want to conduct certain commercial activities in Dubai.

A commercial license allows you to perform business activities like exporting, importing, and trading goods such as foodstuff, software, virtual goods, readymade garments, computer systems, and furniture.

A simple process is necessary to get a commercial trade license in Dubai. If you want to get the license for the first time, you may need professional help. The process includes

  • Choose a business name and legal structure
  • Select your business activity
  • Choose your business jurisdiction
  • Apply for the commercial trade license
  • Submit the necessary document
  • Pay the fees and collect the license

The primary difference between a trade and commercial license is the type of business activities they permit. A trade license allows you to perform one business activity, while a commercial license allows you to perform several business activities. You can perform ten business activities with a commercial license.

A commercial license in Dubai costs about AED10,000 – AED 30,000. Different factors determine the cost of a commercial license. The cost may increase from additional approvals.

A commercial license permits you to trade many services and products inside and outside Dubai. However, you need a professional license if you have special skills and knowledge.

The commercial license requires a local sponsor who will own 51% of the company, but the freezones have exceptions. However, you can maintain full ownership of the business and be a sole owner with a professional license.