Dubai’s thriving business environment and favorable tax system make it an ideal location for entrepreneurs to set up their business operations. The city also offers intelligent infrastructure, which enables entrepreneurs the opportunity to diversify their operations. The policies and laws for setting up a business in the city are transparent, pro-business and clearly defined based on factors such as the type of business activity, business structure, investment & partnership requirements, visa regulations, and tax rates. All these benefits have drawn business aspirants from various countries to Dubai.

However, before starting a business in Dubai, one must acquire an appropriate license to legally qualify their business operations as per the UAE regulations. With securing a license from Dubai Economy Department, several possibilities can open up for you.

Which License to Apply for?

The type of license you require is determined based on the nature of your business and the activities you want to undertake. Each license has its own set of unique advantages and key features that set it apart from other licenses. The three main licenses offered in Dubai are:

  • Industrial license, issued to a company involved in manufacturing activities
  • Commercial license, issued to a company involved in trading activities
  • Professional license, issued to service providers, artisans or/and craftsmen

It is important to understand the nature of classification between professional and commercial licenses, as some business activities can be covered by both these licenses. To get a clearer understanding of which license is best suitable for your business, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified business setup consultant.

About Professional License in Dubai

A professional license is issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development in the mainland to ex-pats who seek to legally practice their chosen profession. The company is incorporated as a sole establishment (owned solely) or a civil company (owned jointly by 2 or more owners).

With this type of license, businesses are authorized to offer their services to any client or company within the UAE. These licenses require a UAE national local service agent who can take care of all the legal formalities. The appointed agent does not have any direct involvement in the company. Further, they also do not have any equity participation or liability in the business. Their role essentially involves assisting some of the stages of the application process, and subsequently for all the visa matters with the authorities, for which a fixed annual fee is charged.

In 2021, DED has brought about new changes in the company law, thereby allowing professional licenses to be converted into LLCs.

However, it is important to note that not all activities are eligible for the same, this will need to be reviewed on case to case basis.

Benefits Offered by Professional License

A professional license authorizes ex-pats to establish, sustain and expand their business venture in Dubai while tapping maximum benefits and lucrative opportunities. Listed below are some of them:

  1. Allows foreign investors 100% ownership, enabling them the advantages of a sole proprietorship
  2. Multiple options to select the type of the company to be established
  3. Easy procedures for a visa, family sponsorship, labor quota, and related services
  4. Wide range of professional activities to select from
  5. No additional corporate tax and income tax on profit
  6. Zero tax when business is carried out in free zones
  7. Wide range of customers to engage with
  8. Flexible market
  9. Issuance and renewal did at an affordable cost
  10. Fast and hassle-free provision of corporate bank account

List of Activities Covered Under Professional License

  • Artisanship (Arts, painting, sculpting, and similar skills)
  • Business Services (Business process development, document clearing, and so on)
  • Carpentry
  • Cleaning Services (This activity can be made LLC if it is added with other activities, such as technical services)
  • Computer Graphic Design Services
  • Consultancy Services
  • Digital Marketing (Website management, domain hosting, web-content development, SEO, CMS, online branding, marketing, and selling)
  • Electrical Equipment Repair and Maintenance
  • Engineering Design (Mechanical, manufacturing, electrical, HVAC, chemical, systems, civil, structural, architecture designing including simulation, analysis, rendering and support & testing of the same)
  • Entertainment Artists (Dancers, singers, musicians, and similar artists)
  • Independent Auditing and Accounting Services
  • Information Technology Services (Web designing, networking, cybersecurity, application development, server administration, data storage, and so on)
  • Legal Advisory Services
  • Medical Services (Including therapy, treatment, and aftercare)
  • Printing and Publishing (Content creation, publishing, designing, and advertising)
  • Repair Services (Mobile, watch, and so on)
  • Salons (For women and men)
  • Security Services
  • Training Services
  • Typing and Photocopying

Documents Required for Professional License

  • Passport copies of all shareholders
  • Copy of local partner’s Jinsiya (naturalization book) (if the local agent is required)
  • No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the sponsor for expatriate partners if they are already on an employment visa.
  • Residence visa page copy – for visit/tourist visa holder, their UID number would be required
  • Documents showing proof of initial approval from relevant authorities, depending on the type of activity to be undertaken (such as Dubai Municipality, RTA, National Media Council)

Get your Professional License with Hexagon Advisory

The process of securing a professional license in the UAE is not an easy task. The process involves a thorough understanding of various aspects, from issuance formalities to familiarity with protocols and costs involved. This can be time-consuming for busy entrepreneurs. Hexagon Advisory helps ease this burden by providing a one-stop solution for all your business setup, trade license, and visa requirements.

Hexagon Advisory is a dedicated business setup consultancy in Dubai. With over 30 years of experience, we have enabled numerous entrepreneurs from across the world to successfully set up their businesses in their desired location. Through a team of professional experts and advisors, we guide clients in their professional license application process by managing all their legalities and paperwork, while allowing them to pay undivided attention to growing their business. Moreover, our experts are well familiar with the permitted business activities and can advise you on ones that best align with your business goals.

We make business setup simpler and customized

Hexagon understands that many companies require specialized advice, support, and supervision to enhance their business growth. Banking on this, we aim to serve entrepreneurs across the UAE who look for intelligent ways to achieve business growth based on their specific needs.

If you are looking to apply for a professional license in Dubai, reach out to us today to get in touch with our advisors.