Entrepreneurs with a business in the Dubai mainland know that they have to renew their trade license, issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), every year. In the UAE, the timely renewal of your business licenses is crucial to avoid hefty penalties and other negative repercussions, such as blacklisting of a company, or obstacles in expansion of an existing business set up.
Fortunately, the renewal of a business license in Dubai is straightforward with basic document requirements and can take place, both online and in person, for the convenience of all businesses set up in the UAE.
Below is a breakdown of the three-step DED license renewal process:
Step 1: Make sure the tenancy contract is valid
Many entrepreneurs who open a business in Dubai start out with rented commercial property as their company premises. When renewing DED license, business owners must first ensure that the tenancy contracts for their rented properties have not expired. If this is the case, the tenancy and corresponding Ejari contracts must first be renewed and attested by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority.
- Paperwork required: In order to renew the contracts, the following documents are needed: tenant’s passport, visa and Emirates ID, the tenancy contracts and title deeds of the rented property, a recent utility bill or connection receipt, the landlord’s passport and the trade license issued to the business owner.
Step 2: Submit licensing approvals, where required
For certain types of activities, entrepreneurs must seek licensing approvals from the relevant authorities before they can start a company in Dubai. These licensing approvals must be submitted at the time of the renewal of the DED license.
- Example: In the case of transport-related businesses, license approvals are handled by the Roads and Transport Authority. The policy specifically applies to businesses that provide one or more of the following services: Taxi Services, Luxury Motor Vehicles Services, Car Rental, Non-emergency transport services, Out-Bound Tour Operators and In-Bound Tour Operators.
- Other businesses that may need license approvals include healthcare companies, who would need approval from the Dubai Health Authority, and telecom firms, who would get approval from the Telecommunications Regulations Authority, among others.
Step 3: Apply for license renewal
After renewing the tenancy contract and acquiring the necessary approvals for a business license in Dubai, the final step involves the submission of the required documents.
- the passport,
- visa and Emirates ID copies of all business partners,
- a NOC from the local service agent (if applicable), and
- a signed memorandum of association (MOA).
It is also recommended that a business owner submit all required documents for each of the previous steps, as well as a copy of the trade license of the parent company, in the case of branch companies.
This submission can take place by using either DED’s eServices online portal or the Business In Dubai app. Alternatively, a number of physical locations accept license renewal applications. These include more than 30 authorised service centres, certain law firms and the DED Happiness Lounge located at Business Village.
After the documents have been submitted, the business owner is issued a payment voucher or a transaction number, which is used at the time of paying renewal fees.