What is the Cost of Obtaining a Cafeteria License in Dubai? Initial Fees and Application Process

Embarking on the venture to open a cafeteria in Dubai, you will soon find out that the financial aspects, particularly the licensing costs, are crucial to consider. The process begins with selecting a distinctive name for your cafeteria and reserving it with Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED), which incurs a certain fee.

Following this, obtaining preliminary approval from the DED is necessary, and this step also involves a fee. The initial costs include Tasheel charges for name reservation at $169 and for obtaining initial approval at $31.

Additionally, there are various other costs involved, such as notarization charges for the Memorandum of Association (MOA), Ejari fees for verifying the rental contract, and the standard fee for the trade license issuance, approximately $1634. Opting for a specific foreign or trade name license may require an extra $545. Furthermore, even a basic necessity like a company stamp will cost around AED 100.

Yearly License Renewal

Costs After your cafeteria is operational, an annual renewal of the trade license through the DED is mandatory. This ongoing expense, essential for compliance with local regulations, varies depending on factors like your establishment’s size and the services offered.

Extra Expenses to Keep in Mind

Beyond the initial and yearly fees, other expenses also play a part when establishing a cafeteria in Dubai. These include market fees, roughly 2.5% of your yearly office rent, labor file charges, post office box rental, and fees for updating your license with contact details. These additional costs can accumulate substantially.

Ensuring compliance with local health regulations is another financial consideration. This involves obtaining various licenses and permits from the Food Safety Department and Dubai Municipality, such as a food consignment release license, a pork handling permit (if applicable), and a food delivery permit. Your cafeteria’s location must also adhere to strict criteria, including being at a minimum distance from waste disposal sites and maintaining a clean surrounding area.

The cafeteria’s design and layout are subject to specific requirements, such as adequate space for equipment, waste management, smoke control, and the use of non-absorbent, fire-resistant materials. It’s crucial to maintain a pest-free environment with separate washing areas for different items and ensure proper food processing and storage facilities, adequate ventilation, and clean restrooms.

To comply with these regulations, a comprehensive set of documents is required, including:

  • Design plans of the restaurant.
  • Approvals from the Food Safety Department.
  • Food and trade licenses from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
  • Copies of the passports of all business partners.

1- Involvement of Regulatory Authorities

Acquiring a cafeteria license involves coordination with several regulatory authorities, each playing a critical role in the food industry and upholding legal standards for food establishments. Besides the DED, the Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality plays a pivotal role in ensuring food safety and hygiene, conducting inspections to verify proper food handling and the overall cleanliness of the establishment.

2- Steps to Obtain a Cafeteria License

Selecting a Business Name

When choosing a business name,

It’s important to adhere to the cultural norms and naming conventions in the UAE. Make sure the name is unique and respectful, and have alternative options in case your preferred name is already taken.

Determining Your Business Structure

Deciding on the legal structure of your business is critical. This choice affects various aspects such as liability, tax obligations, and future growth possibilities. Options range from sole proprietorship and partnership to limited liability company.

Applying for DED Approval

Once your business structure is in place, the next step involves seeking initial approval from the DED or a free zone authority, depending on your chosen location. You must submit a detailed business plan, highlighting your intended location and a layout that adheres to the local ‘Food Code’.

Choosing a Suitable Location

The choice of location is pivotal. Your chosen site should be easily accessible, have enough space for your operational needs, and comply with health and safety regulations. It should also have proper facilities for washing, waste disposal, and adhere to cleanliness and fire safety norms.

Finalizing Visa and Banking Arrangements

After acquiring your trade license and finalizing your business location, the next steps include applying for visas for your staff and opening a corporate bank account. These administrative tasks are essential for smooth operation and effective financial management of your cafeteria.

By following these steps and considering the various fees and regulations, you can navigate the process of obtaining a cafeteria license in Dubai and set up your business successfully.

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