About UAE

Type of licenses available

The basic requirement for all business activity in the UAE is to secure one of the following three categories of licenses:

These licenses are issued by the Department of Economic Development with the exception of licenses for hotels and other tourism related businesses which are issued by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. However, licenses for some categories of business require prior approval from certain ministries and other authorities.

1. Commercial License

2. Industrial License

3. Professional License

1. Commercial licenses covering all kinds of trading activity:

A Trading License allows the holder to import, export, distribute and store items specified on the license. In addition to this, there is a General Trading License which allows the holder access to a wider range of activities and a broader range of items on the license.

2. Industrial licenses for establishing industrial or manufacturing activity:

An Industrial License allows the holder to import raw materials, carry out the manufacture of specified products and export the finished product. In addition, there is also the National Industrial License, issued for manufacturing companies with at least 51% Arabian Gulf Co-operation Council (AGCC) ownership. This license allows the holder the same status as a local or AGCC inside the UAE.

3. Professional licenses covering professions, services, craftsmen and artisans:

A Service License allows the holder to carry out the services specified on the license within the Free Zone. A Logistics License allows firms to engage in logistic services such as Cargo (sea, land, and air), warehousing, storage, packing, transshipment and distribution.

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