Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Dubai Registration & Professional Licensing in Dubai

From my experience this are the most Frequently Question Asked by Client, in Dubai registration of a
1. Is it required to register a trade name in order to apply for an initial approval?

     No, a trade name may be booked for one year renewable period, against payment of due fees.
2. How long can a trade name be maintained?

    It can be maintained for a period of one year, which is renewable.

3. In the case where there is a trade name registered in another Emirate, is it possible to

    maintain or use the same name in the Emirate of Dubai? If the trade name is not registered

    with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, it can be used in the Emirate of Dubai.

 4. Can a trade name be maintained after a license's cancellation? Yes, but that shall be

    against payment of a Dhs. 200 (two hundred Dirhams) fee to keep the name for one year.

Licensing & Registration Issuing

1. It is possible to establish a limited liability company for several professional activities?

    No, limited liability companies are restricted to trading and industrial activities, and civil business

    companies are established for practicing professional activities.

2. What are the requirements for issuing a trade license ?

Prior to operating any business in Dubai, the steps outlines below must be taken in order to meet

the legal requirements of all concerned government authorities and to guarantee maximum

commercial benefit for the business owner:

·         Determine the category/categories (commercial, industrial and/or professional) and type of

            business activity/activities to be practiced.

·         Determine all the related business activities that can be included within each business

           license, subject to a maximum of ten activities per license.

·         Determine your business' appropriate legal form taking into consideration the desired

            business activity/activities and the number and nationalities of the business' owners.

·         Determine all the requirements and conditions of the desired license.

·         Determine the business' trade name.

 A certificate is required to be issued on a bank's official letterhead by one of the banks operating in

the Emirate, in the name of the establishment or company which is in the process of being


9. What are the requirements of appointing an auditor for a limited liability company?

   An auditor shall be a holder of a valid license in the Emirate of Dubai, and a valid certificate      issued by the Ministry of Economy & Commerce.

10. After obtaining an initial approval, do I have the right to proceed in the activity?

No, the purpose of such an approval is to ensure that the Department does not object to the

carrying on of the activity, and to permit completion of other documents required for issuing a final


11. Can my minor son, who is under 21 years of age, become my partner in a limited liability company?


12. Is it required to lease a premise to operate an activity, or is it possible to carry on such activity from a living accommodation? Are there any specific requirements or conditions governing the premises such as space or location?

Yes, leasing an office/shop is one of the most important requirements for obtaining a license for any activity. There are some special conditions governing the space. For some activities, such as a supermarket or department store. A location should be suitable for an activity, and this can be arranged in co-ordination with the Planning Department of Dubai Municipality.

13. What are the duties and obligations of a local services agent of a professional license, or a local

sponsor of a foreign company's branch? An agent's duties and obligations towards the other party are limited to facilitating the practice of an activity in the Emirate, such as assisting in obtaining and renewing of a license, and obtaining and renewing of necessary work permits issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and other government authorities.

14. What are the professional licenses which do not require a local services agent or local sponsor in

respect of licenses held by individuals who / companies which are not from Gulf Cooperation

Council Countries (GCCC)?

·         Engineering consultancy

·         Legal consultancy

·         Bank representation office

15. As a physician who is not a GCCC national, do I have the right to apply for a license for a sole

establishment to operate as a "clinic", and to appoint a local services agent, or to establish a civil

business company in partnership with a United Arab Emirates national?

Only a GCCC national can obtain a license for a sole establishment to operate as a clinic, and only a

GCCC national can establish a civil business company to operate such an activity. As a physician of

another nationality, your legal status in the license shall only be as a physician in charge.

16. Can a Jebel Ali free zone establishment open a branch in the Emirate of Dubai?

A free zone establishment can only open a representation office in the Emirate. Functions of such

an office shall be restricted to promoting a company's products, services or business, or to

facilitating trading contracts between a company and its clients. Such an office shall not be allowed

to operate any commercial business or to conclude any commercial deals by itself.

17. Can a foreign company's branch existing in Jebel Ali Free Zone open a branch in the Emirate of

Dubai? A branch existing in the Free Zone can only obtain a license for a representation office in the

Emirate of Dubai. In order to open a new branch it is required that the main company in the

country of origin submits an application for a license. Hence a new branch shall directly belong to

the main company and not to the branch existing in the Free Zone.

18. What is the minimum number of partners in a private shareholding company?

Pursuant to Article (215) of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1984, founders of a private shareholding

company shall not be less than three persons.

19. What is the maximum number of activities which can be included in one single license?

A license can include a maximum number of ten activities, provided however that they are all

homogenous. For example: trading in readymade garments, footwear, children's toys, cosmetics

and imitation jewellery, etc.

20. What is the minimum capital required for establishing a limited liability company, and how can the existence of the required capital be evidenced?

Among the main requirements for establishing a limited liability company is to submit a certificate

issued by one of the banks operating in the Emirate evidencing the deposit of the capital specified

for the activity wished to be operated. The minimum capital required Dhs. 300,000 (three hundred


21. What is the minimum capital required for establishing an individual establishment?

Most activities do not require a minimum amount of a capital, a certificate issued by one of the

banks operating in Emirate shall be submitted evidencing deposit of required capital.

22. Is it required to be a resident of the United Arab Emirates in case of being an owner of a sole

establishment or a partner in a license?

An owner of a trading individual establishment, who is GCCC national, or a partner in a commercial

company, who holds any other nationality, shall not be required to be a resident of the United Arab

Emirates. However an owner of a professional sole establishment shall be required to carry on the

activity in person, and this can only be achieved by residing in the United Arab Emirates.

23. What are the requirements for opening a branch of a limited liability company existing in another

emirate with a capital of Dhs. 150,000 (one hundred & fifty thousand Dirhams).

A company shall first increase its capital of its main office in order to conform at least to the

minimum capital required in the Emirate of Dubai (please vide Question No. 20 above). It shall

submit a copy of the Commercial Register as proof, as well as submit the following documents:

- board of directors decision of opening a branch and authorizing a manager-in- charge.

- A copy of the main company's license.

- Copies of all partners' passports, and of national registration cards of partners who are United

  Arab Emirates nationals.

- Approval by the respective government authorities concerning the required activities.

- A copy of a lease of premises at which the activity will be operated.

24. Is it possible to open a branch for an establishment existing in another Emirate?

A branch cannot be open for an establishment, but only for other commercial companies.

25. Can a non-UAE national obtain a license without a partner or local services agent who is a UAE


No, all trade licenses require a UAE national partner whose shareholding shall not be less than 51% of the company's capital. However, in the case of professional licenses a UAE national can either be a partner or a local service agent.

26. How many licenses can be issued for the same premises?

More than one license can be issued for the same premises, provided that the requirements of the

Department's commercial Inspection Section and of Dubai Municipality's Planning Department are

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

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