Licenses in the UAE

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Licenses in the UAE must be obtained by all companies, regardless of where they are registered – in free zones or in the “main territory” (mainland). Obtaining a license in the UAE is an extremely important, necessary process. Licenses in the UAE actually demonstrate the legality of business in the UAE, and therefore are necessary. 

The license is issued as a separate document and given to the company after its registration together with the constituent documents. As a rule, the company’s activity codes are also indicated on the license, which describe in detail what the company plans to do.

Each license corresponds to the type of activity that the company plans to conduct. Therefore, it is extremely important to clearly formulate the type of activity of the future company so that the license corresponds to it as much as possible.

Types of licenses in the UAE

The list and names of licenses depend on the territory where the company is planned to be registered, whether it is a free zone or a mainland.

The most popular licenses in the UAE are:

  1. Trading license. It can be both general and specialized, which meets the goals of buying and selling specific goods.
  2. Service license. In another way, it is called a license for the provision of services. The exact name of the license will depend on what kind of services the company plans to provide: legal, consulting, medicalб etc.
  3. Production license. Suitable for companies that are engaged in the manufacturing or industrial sector. For example, they plan to create a factory in the UAE and manufacture products.

It is important:

If it is planned to create a plant and operate throughout the UAE, a company in the free zone will not be enough, it will be necessary to obtain a local license and open a local company.

Procedure for obtaining a license in the UAE

The requirements for obtaining a license in the UAE are dictated by each Emirate separately, and therefore, first of all, it is necessary to determine exactly where the future company will be registered.

The conditions for obtaining a license in the UAE are determined by both the UAE Government and the governments and departments of economic development of each emirate and free zone separately.

However, in general, the stages of obtaining and renewing a license in the UAE can be described as follows:

  1. A detailed description of the future company’s activities. To determine a suitable license, it is very important to describe as accurately as possible what the company will do.
  2. Registration of the company and obtaining a license. The average period for obtaining a license for a company is 5 days, but a lot depends on both the activity itself and the licensing authority.
  3. Renewal of the license after its expiration. Licenses in the UAE are not issued indefinitely, and therefore each license must be renewed in advance.

Every company registered in the UAE is required to have a license, regardless of the type of activity. This is one of the main features of the UAE as a jurisdiction for business. In the UAE, all companies receive a license and, accordingly, all activities in the UAE are “licensed”.

ARAVANA Multifamily Office provides a full range of corporate and accounting services in the UAE, and we will be happy to help you with any request. 

Leave a request in the form below to calculate the cost and to get a free consultation on doing business in the UAE.


    Lana Avetisyan

    Managing Director for Business Development

    +7 (977) 298-27-05

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