A Comprehensive Guide to Acquiring a Professional License in Dubai, UAE

Dubai, with its attractive tax system, is a haven for entrepreneurs looking to establish their businesses. However, a valid license is a prerequisite for any business setup in this bustling city. Dubai offers three distinct types of licenses for various businesses: Commercial, Industrial, and Professional. This article will focus on the Professional License, which is issued to service providers, artisans, and craftsmen.

Understanding the Professional License in Dubai

A Professional License in Dubai is granted to individuals or companies practicing professions that rely on talent and intellectual abilities. If a business with such a license has more than one owner, it is referred to as a civil company.

Activities Covered Under a Professional License

The activities encompassed under a professional business setup in Dubai include:

  • Artisanship
  • Carpentry
  • Consultancy services
  • Medical services
  • Printing and publishing
  • Beauty salons
  • Computer graphic design service
  • Repair services
  • Security services
  • Document clearing, and more.

Steps to Obtain a DED Professional License in Dubai

Unlike industrial and commercial licenses, a professional license allows 100% ownership for foreign investors, thus offering the benefits of a sole proprietorship. However, it is mandatory to appoint a UAE national as a local service agent to complete the judicial formalities.

Decide on the Activity

The first step in applying for a professional license involves defining the activities your business will undertake. The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the authority to approach for a professional permit, as it oversees all license-related activities in Dubai.

Appoint a Local Service Agent

The subsequent step is to appoint a local service agent to handle all the legal formalities required to obtain a professional license in the Emirate. After the appointment, secure initial approval from the Dubai Department of Economic Development. The agent's role is limited to charging a fixed annual fee for the service provided, with no direct involvement in the company, equity, or liability for the company's liabilities.

Reserve a Trade Name

You must also reserve a name for your business and pay the associated fee. Following this, submit all the necessary documents to the DED for approval.

Draft a Memorandum of Association

Create a Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the sponsor, clearly stating the sponsor’s annual fee in the agreement.

Fulfill Other Requirements

If you are applying for a license for a civil company, an additional application form must be filled out and attested. Submit all forms with attestation (one original copy each). Fill out the local service agreement form with the UAE national from a local translator and get the form attested by a public notary service. If the agreement is in Arabic, a legal translator seal is not required.

Documents Required for a Professional License in Dubai

The following documents are required to obtain a professional license in Dubai:

  • Filled application form
  • Copies of the passports of owners or partners
  • Copy of local partner’s naturalization book (Jinsiya)
  • A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from sponsors for foreign partners if the ex-pat is already on an employment visa. If the shareholder is on a visit visa, then their UID number is required
  • The foreign partners have to submit a copy of the visit, tourist, or transit visa
  • Initial approval from the relevant authorities, depending on the type of activity to be undertaken (e.g., the Municipality, RTA, National Media Council, etc.).
Professional License Documents Required

Documents Required to Submit Tenancy Contract with Dubai Municipality

  • A prescribed application form (BR1 form)
  • The name reservation certificate
  • Initial approval from the DED
  • Rental contract
  • Ejari registration.

Paying for the Professional License in Dubai

Once all the documents are submitted and approved, you can proceed to make the payment for your professional company formation in Dubai and receive your license. A payment voucher will be issued simultaneously. The professional license in Dubai costs approximately AED 10,310*, which includes:

  • Professional license fees
  • Service agent fees
  • Trade name fees
  • Market fees (depending on the tenancy amount)
  • Administrative service fees
  • Government cultural fees
  • Local fees, etc.

For a professional license (civil) company partner, a security deposit of AED 20,000* is required. An individual applying for a professional license without a partner has to pay AED 10,310* as a deposit.

Please note that the professional license cost in Dubai may vary over time. The total price includes various service charges.

Need Assistance?

Securing an Professional License in the UAE can be a complex process. It involves navigating through an array of paperwork and securing permissions from various Government agencies. Professional assistance from company formation specialists can be invaluable in this process. These experts can help entrepreneurs establish businesses in the UAE, guiding them through every step of the process, ensuring all financials are in order, and helping turn dreams into reality.

Umair Ahmad

Company Formation Specialist

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