Mainland Trade Licenses

The UAE is a place that attracts businesses around the world, and if this is your case and you’re planning on opening an office in this country, you should know the Types of Mainland Trade Licenses so you can get the proper one for your company.

In this article, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about all the trading licenses available in the UAE. Since they are a major requirement to operate a business in the mainland jurisdiction, it’s important to understand more about them. Let’s observe:

  • A complete guide on the types of Mainland Trade Licenses in the UAE
  • What is a Mainland Trade License?
  • Why are there several types of Mainland Trade Licenses?
  • Commercial Trade License
  • Professional Trade License
  • Industrial Trade License
  • Tourism Trade License
  • How can Connect Free Zone help you get your Mainland Trade License?

1. A complete guide on the types of Mainland Trade Licenses in the UAE

Starting a business in the UAE could be the perfect way of expanding your company to new horizons and obtaining excellent revenue.

However, if you plan on establish your business in Dubai you must get a license since it’s one of the requirements set by the government. In this case, you need to know about the Types of Mainland Trade Licenses available and how you can apply to get the right one for your company.

1.1 Why do businesses need a trade license?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner, you must have a license to offer your services or products in the UAE. The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) is in charge of processing these licenses for companies that want to work in this city.

But, why do you need to have a mainland trade license in the first place? Let’s observe:

  • It proves that you follow local laws and regulations
  • To get clients, customers or work for an employer offering your services or products
  • It’s a legal formality essential to stay in compliance with the authorities
  • Getting the license is part of the stages of setting up a business
  • It shows to your clients that your business is legal

When you’re planning on opening a company in the UAE you should take the cost into consideration. For this reason, you should know how much you need to invest when you want to have a new business in this place.

Learn more about the cost of setting up a business in the UAE.

2. What is a Mainland Trade License?

What is a Mainland Trade License?

One of the most important documents a business needs to operate in the UAE is the Trade License. It ensures that your company is formed properly, and it’s an essential document you must submit to the DED when you’re following the process.

Basically, the trade license gives you permission for conducting business in the UAE. For this reason, there are several Types of Mainland Trade Licenses so the business owner can get the necessary approval based on their area of expertise.

One of the advantages of opening an office in one of the Free Zones is that you get preferential taxes, which can be highly beneficial for your business. Since in the UAE there are several free trade zones, you should consider which one of them could be the best for your new location.

Learn more about company formation in Ras Al Khaimah and the benefits you can get.

3. Why are there several types of Mainland Trade Licenses?

Currently there are several Types of Mainland Trade Licenses, but there are four that are very common since they’re the most requested by businesses that want to come to the UAE, and these are the following:

  • Commercial Trade License
  • Industrial Trade License
  • Professional Trade License
  • Tourism Trade License

Perhaps you’re wondering why the UAE’s government needs to have several types of licenses, and it’s because the following reasons:

  • To have a better classification of businesses
  • Because depending on the type of business, it may be necessary to obtain additional permits by government bodies. By dividing the activities in different types of licenses, then it’s easy for the business to get the permits its needs.
  • The different types of licenses give freedom to investors and entrepreneurs to choose the business activity that suits them best.

3.1 Why do you need to know the several types of trade licenses?

Before starting the process for setting up your business, first you should identify your business activity because this will determine the license you should apply for.

Once you have determined the activities or services you’re going to provide, you have to select the proper license that allows you to work in Dubai Mainland legally.

Setting up a business in a Free Zone could be an excellent way of expanding your operations in the UAE. As you may know, there are several trade zones in this country, and you should know how you can carry out this process in each one of them so you can get success.

Learn more about how you can set up your business in Umm Al Quwain.

4. Commercial Trade License

Commercial Trade License

The Commercial Trade License is one of the Types of Mainland Trade Licenses and is one of the most wide-used in Dubai Mainland. If you’re going to set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) you should have this license.

If you apply for this license, you can use it for general or specialized trading. It means that you have the possibility of diversifying your operations or to keep it general.

Whether you’re involved in trades related with commodities, goods and services, you can get this license. So it’s important to know if your business belongs to this category to know which steps you should follow.

4.1 What business should apply for the Commercial Trade License?

When it comes to Mainland company formation in Dubai, it’s essential to get this license if you’re going to get involved in commercial activities such as the following:

  • General and specialized trading activities
  • Buying and selling of goods
  • Trading within the UAE or outside the country
  • Importing and re-exporting
  • Rental services
  • Real estate
  • Logistic firms

If you’re still considering the free trade zone where you’d like to open your office you should know that there is a special location to set up your business. The Sharjah Airport International Free Zone could be the perfect location for your expanding business, so you should consider it.

Learn more about the best special location for your business in the UAE.

5. Professional Trade License

In the Types of Mainland Trade Licenses we also have the Professional Trade License, which is great for entrepreneurs or skilled professionals. If you’re a person that provides a specific professional service, you can start your business in the UAE. This will allow you to obtain all the excellent benefits that this license provides.

This type of license is required for service-oriented companies and professionals. One of the excellent benefits of this license is that it gives 100% ownership. But it’s required to have a local agent sponsorship.

5.1 Which business requires a Professional Trade License?

The Professional Trade License is granted based on the qualifications and area of expertise of the individual or company that applies for it.

Before selecting the license for your business, you should know if it qualifies for this in particular. Among the business activities that should request this type of license are the following:

  • Consultancy and advisory services
  • Technical services
  • Law firms
  • Teachers and professors
  • Marketing
  • Accounting and auditing services

When you have decided to set up your business in one of the free trade zones in the UAE, you may want to know how to carry out this process. If you have opted for the Ajman Free Zone, you should research about how to settle your company there.

Learn more about the detailed process to set up your company in Ajman.

5.2 What kind of company can you form with a Professional License?

With the Professional Trade License, you can form two types of companies, but you should know which one can be the best for you. It’s important to get this license because it will allow you to set up your business legally. The following two structures are available for your business:

  • Limited Liability Company: you can have a LLC but a local sponsor will hold 51% of the company
  • Civil Company and Sole Establishment: the foreign investor could have 100% ownership of the company.

However, you must take into consideration everything that’s involved in each type of structure. Although 100% proprietorship could look beneficial, it’s important to know that it also means having 100% liability. So, it’s useful to understand what it means and if you’re willing to assume it.

6. Industrial Trade License

Mainland Trade Licenses

The Industrial Trade License belongs to the Types of Mainland Trade Licenses you can get for Dubai Mainland companies. It’s granted to businesses that work with industrial and manufacturing activities.

One of the requirements of this type of license is that the company must have an office or a warehouse in the country for getting it.

When considering the Dubai Mainland company formation cost, you should also include the fees you must pay for getting the right license for your business.

6.1 Who needs an Industrial Trade License?

The Industrial Trade License is aimed for those businesses that work converting or incorporating resources or natural materials into end products. It should be noted that depending on the business activity, it might be necessary to obtain additional permits or approvals by the governing bodies.

If you work in the following activities, you should get an Industrial Trade License for your business:

  • Product manufacturing
  • Packaging of products
  • Food industries
  • Meat products manufacturing
  • Casing and furnishing of products

As a business owner, you’re looking to expand your company to new places. If you’re thinking on opening a branch in the UAE, you should know look for all the information that can help you. This will help you achieve your goals and obtain excellent results.

Learn more about how you can open an office of your business in the UAE.

7. Tourism Trade License

When you’re considering the Mainland company formation in Dubai and your business is involved in the tourist sector, you should get the Tourism Trade License.

Since Dubai is a city that receives tons of tourists every year, this license is aimed to regulate the several companies that offer tourist activities.

Once you have decided that your business requires a Tourism Trade License, you should consider the fees you’re going to pay for it since it’s related with the Dubai Mainland company formation cost.

7.1 Who should apply for a Tourism Trade License?

Every business that belongs to the tourism industry in the UAE should get the tourism trade license if it wants to operate legally in the country. The following activities must have this license:

  • Travel agents
  • Outbound and Inbound Tour operators
  • Hospitality industry
  • Vacation home rentals
  • Hotel apartment rentals

8. How can Connect Free Zone help you get your Mainland Trade License?

How can Connectfz help you set up your company in UAQ Free Trade Zone

Once you know the types of trade licenses available you may be wondering which one could be the best one for your business and how you can get it. Here in Connect Free Zone we can help you obtain the necessary legal documents that you need.

Whether you need a commercial, professional, industrial o tourism trade license, we’re here to assist you during the whole process. You can trust in our team of experts to assist you so you can start working in any place of the UAE. Start getting excellent income with your profession or service.

Would you like to contact Connect Free Zone to help you process the different types of Trade Licenses? You can call at +971 433 166 88 or send an email to  , and you’ll talk to one of their representatives that will gladly answer all of your questions.


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