How Much Does a Business License Cost in Dubai?

Establishing companies in Dubai South,How to establish business in Dubai?

Dubai, with its soaring skyscrapers, bustling markets, and vibrant economy, has emerged as a global hub for businesses seeking new opportunities. If you’re considering establishing your enterprise in this dynamic city, you may be wondering, “How much does a business license cost in Dubai?” This article will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the various aspects of business licensing, including associated fees, application procedures, and essential insights to navigate the process successfully.

How Much Does a Business License Cost in Dubai?

Setting up a business in Dubai involves several key steps, one of which is obtaining a business license. The cost of a business license in Dubai can vary significantly depending on various factors. These factors include the type of business activity, the legal structure of the company, and the location of the business. Generally, business licenses fall under three main categories: commercial, industrial, and professional licenses.

Commercial License:

A commercial license is required for businesses engaged in trading activities, such as retail shops, restaurants, and general trading companies. The cost of a commercial license can range from AED 10,000 to AED 50,000, depending on the specific business activity and the scope of operations.

Industrial License:

Businesses involved in manufacturing or industrial activities, such as factories and production facilities, require an industrial license. The cost of obtaining an industrial license varies based on the scale of production and the nature of the industry. It typically ranges from AED 15,000 to AED 50,000.

Professional License:

For individuals offering professional services, such as consultants, freelancers, and service providers, a professional license is mandatory. The cost of a professional license can range from AED 5,000 to AED 20,000, depending on the nature of the services offered.

Understanding the Cost Factors of Business License in Dubai

The cost of a business license in Dubai is influenced by several factors beyond the type of license. These factors include:

  • Business Activity: Different business activities have varying levels of associated costs. High-growth industries may have higher licensing fees due to increased demand.
  • Company Structure: The legal structure of your company, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, can impact the license cost.
  • Location: The location of your business within Dubai can also affect the cost. Prime locations may have higher fees due to greater visibility and accessibility.
  • Number of Visas: The number of visas required for your employees can influence the overall cost. Each visa comes with its own fee.

Application Process and Additional Fees:

Obtaining a business license in Dubai involves a series of steps, each accompanied by its own set of fees. Here’s an overview of the typical application process and associated costs:

  • Initial Approval: Before applying for a license, you’ll need to obtain initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED). This involves a fee of approximately AED 300.
  • Trade Name Registration: Registering your trade name is essential. The cost for this can range from AED 500 to AED 2,000.
  • External Approvals: Depending on your business activity, you may need approvals from external entities such as the Dubai Municipality or the Dubai Health Authority. Fees for external approvals can vary.
  • License Issuance: Once all approvals are in place, you can proceed to obtain your business license. The issuance fee ranges from AED 1,000 to AED 3,000.
  • Office Space: Renting office space is often a requirement for obtaining a business license. Costs vary based on location and size.

Insider Tips for a Smooth License Application:

Navigating the process of obtaining a business license in Dubai can be complex, but these insider tips will help streamline the application process:

  • Engage a Local Agent: Working with a local business setup consultant can simplify the process and ensure compliance with local regulations.
  • Choose the Right Location: Opt for a strategic business location that aligns with your target audience and industry.
  • Understand Visa Costs: Factor in visa costs for yourself and your employees, as they can significantly contribute to the overall expenses.


Can I apply for multiple business activities under a single license?

Yes, Dubai offers a “general trading” license that allows a wide range of business activities to operate under one license.

Are there any renewable fees for business licenses?

Yes, business licenses typically require annual renewal, which incurs additional fees.

Is it possible to obtain a business license without renting physical office space?

While some licenses may require office space, certain activities permit “flexi-desk” arrangements or virtual offices.

Are there any specific requirements for a sole proprietorship license?

Yes, a sole proprietorship requires a local service agent who is a UAE national. This agent does not have ownership rights but is compensated for their role.

Can I transfer my existing foreign company to Dubai and retain my original trade name?

It is possible to register a foreign company branch in Dubai, but the trade name may need to be adjusted to comply with local regulations.

Are there any restrictions on foreign ownership of businesses in Dubai?

Depending on the business activity, you may need a local partner or sponsor with a majority ownership stake.


Embarking on the journey of establishing a business in Dubai requires careful consideration of licensing costs and requirements. By understanding the nuances of business licenses and their associated fees, you can navigate the process with confidence. Whether you’re entering the realm of commerce for the first time or expanding your existing enterprise, Dubai’s vibrant economy offers a wealth of opportunities for success.

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ITQAN offers license renewal services and packages in collaboration with a team of consultants and professionals who will take care of renewing your trade license and changing your business without any hassle.
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