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Commercial licenses comprise the majority of licenses issued by Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED). Commercial licenses enable a company to engage in a business related to trading in goods or offering services like retail.
Applying for commercial licenses to operate from mainland Dubai (non-free zones) include registering the trade name, obtaining the Initial Approval Certificate, drafting the Memorandum of Association (MOA), and getting permission from the Dubai Municipality’s Planning Section to operate the business. While DED issues the license, in certain business activities, permissions from other agencies may be required. For example, a tour and travel agency also requires permission from the Department of Tourism.
While opting for a trade name, there is a long list of guidelines that needs to be adhered to. For example, if the business includes the name of a person, that person must be a partner/owner in the business.
The Initial Approval Certificate is essentially a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Dubai Government. Depending on the ownership pattern of your company, the MOA needs to be drafted and notarized. In general, hiring a UAE national Local Service Agent is mandatory as he will facilitate licensing requirements for the company. Once you have identified a location for your business, you will need to visit the Dubai Municipality Planning Section. They will confirm the location’s suitability for your business.
Free zones would have their own licensing criteria.
* Commercial license needed to conduct business
* Registering a trade name is the first important step
* Permissions from various authorities may be needed
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer