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Professional License in Dubai: 2022 Guide

Thursday May 26, 2022

Before starting a business in Dubai, you might need approvals, certain types of licences, permits, and visas to make sure your business operations are legal according to UAE rules.

To help guide you with your business setup in Dubai, we looked at the different types of licences available in Dubai and one in particular – the professional licence. By the end of this post, you will have a thorough understanding of the professional licence in Dubai.

In this article, we will cover the following:

    • Different types of licences in Dubai
    • Professional licence in Dubai, UAE – what is it?
    • Professional licence in Dubai – the activities allowed
    • Steps to get a professional licence in Dubai, UAE
    • Documents needed to obtain a professional licence in Dubai
    • Cost of a professional licence in Dubai, UAE
    • Working with Creative Zone

Different types of licences in Dubai


Dubai provides three types of licences for people and organisations, each categorised according to the kind of activity.

Commercial licence (issued for performing trade activities such as import-export, general trading, and other commercial activities)
Industrial licence (issued for manufacturing, assembly and processing)
Professional licence (issued for individuals interested in offering professional services such as design, security services and other non-commercial activities)

In addition to these three types, there are many other licences for specific business purposes that depend on the business, operation, or services offered.

Professional licence in Dubai, UAE – what is it?

A professional licence in Dubai refers to a specific business licence required to operate a company in the country. The Department of Economic Development (DED) issues the licence. It allows a person or a single-ownership firm to practice any profession that provides services based on intellectual or creative skills. This licence allows the bearer to do business in certain areas, such as consultancy, beauty salons, printing and publishing, repair services, and carpentry and artisanship.

A professional licence lets foreign investors own 100% of a business, giving them all the benefits of a sole proprietorship. However, the company must appoint a UAE citizen as a local service agent to satisfy the legal requirements. Except for collecting a predetermined yearly fee for the service provided, the agent has no further direct involvement with the company. They will not have any ownership of the company and will not have to pay for any of its debts.

The professional licence is both a regulatory and a protective tool for trade enterprises in Dubai. If there are many owners, the business registers as a civil company.

Professional licence in Dubai – the activities allowed

The professional licence in Dubai includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

    • Artisanship including arts, painting, sculpting and similar skills
    • Business services such as business process development, document clearing services
    • Carpentry
    • Cleaning services
    • Consulting services
    • Computer graphics
    • Design services
    • Digital marketing, i.e., domain hosting, website management, online branding
    • Educational training services
    • Entertainment artists, including singers, musicians, and similar artists
    • Engineering design services including mechanical, chemical, civil, manufacturing, electrical, structural, and architectural
    • Electronics repair services for digital cameras, laptops, smartphones and watches
    • Electrical equipment repair and maintenance
    • Hairdressing, salon and spa
    • Independent auditing and accounting services
    • Information technology services include networking, web designing, tech support, server administration and data storage
    • Legal advisory services
    • Medical services
    • Printing and publishing
    • Repair services of appliances, vehicles and other equipment (household or industrial)

Steps to get a professional licence in Dubai, UAE

Professional trade licences in Dubai are the most straightforward to get. Here are the steps you need to follow to get your licence:

    • With the help of a local translator, fill out the local service agreement form with the UAE national
    • Get the local service agreement paperwork notarised
    • A legal translator’s seal is unnecessary if the agreement is in Arabic
    • Together with the local sponsor, draught the Memorandum of Association
    • Include the annual sponsorship price in the contract
    • If you are getting a licence for a civil company, you need to fill out one more application form and have it attested
    • All the partners or owners must sign the court agreement before a notary public
    • Obtain municipal clearance for the tenancy contract
    • Submit all attested forms along with one original copy
    • Submit passport copies of the owners or partners to any DED branch
    • Pay at the counter to get the licence along with a payment voucher

Documents needed to obtain a professional licence in Dubai

With your application to the Department of Economic Development, you will need to prove your education and work experience (if any). Before issuing your professional licence, the DED authorities will review your credentials. Along with this, you must submit the following documentation:

    • Duly filled application form
    • An attested copy of the owner’s or partners’ passports
    • A copy of the Jinsiya, the local partner’s naturalisation book
    • A No Objection Certificate (NOC) if you or any other shareholder is working in a UAE company
    • A copy of the foreign partners’ visit, tourist, or transit visa
    • Depending on the nature of the business activities, you may require additional authorisation from the appropriate authorities

It’s worth getting in touch with one of the business setup managers at Creative Zone if you have any doubts. They can direct you through the detailed requirements and help you ensure your paperwork is entirely mistake-free.

Cost of a professional licence in Dubai, UAE

The cost of starting a professional licence depends on multiple factors. They include licensing charges and administrative expenses, trademark registration costs, agent fees, government cultural fees, etc. Hence, a professional licence in Dubai can cost between AED 10,000 and AED 18,000.

To get an exact price quote, contact Creative Zone. We can give you an up-to-date price tailored to your unique requirements.

Working with Creative Zone

Hopefully, you now understand what a professional licence is, and the process and documentation needed to obtain one. If you still have any questions, contact one of our business setup advisors, and they would be happy to help.

Creative Zone is the UAE’s oldest and most trusted business setup expert. Since 2010, we have helped over 44,000 entrepreneurs successfully establish their businesses.

We specialise in delivering solutions that best fit your needs when starting a business by providing quick, dependable, hassle-free, and experienced assistance.

Assisting you with your company formation in Dubai is only the start. We also provide a range of services, including tax preparation, legal advice, and HR management.

When you become our client, you get access to our community of fellow entrepreneurs. You can interact and network with the region’s larger business community through CZ Connect, our networking tool.

Take advantage of our FREE consultations today and get solutions to help with your free zone or mainland company formation in Dubai.


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