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How to Get Professional License in Dubai?

The UAE government has made its regulations and protocols significantly flexible to encourage young entrepreneurs and foreign investors to set up their businesses in UAE. In this regard, Dubai has experienced growing prominence by attracting more overseas investments in its specifically designed Free Zone and Mainland business jurisdictions.

The process of setting up an overseas business in the UAE requires a trade license in the UAE. After getting your trade license, you can start your business activities in the UAE. In this blog post, we discuss the following vital agendas.

  • What is a professional license in Dubai?
  • What differs professional licenses in Dubai from other license categories
  • How to apply for a professional license in Dubai

Let’s discuss this in detail.

Professional license in Dubai

Different types of licenses in Dubai

To start your business activities in UAE, you need to secure a trade license, the mandatory prerequisite to conducting business in Dubai and other Emirates of the UAE. The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) is the sole authority that approves and grants all types of licenses in the UAE.

Dubai DED recognizes three main types of licenses in the UAE:

  1. Commercial License
  2. Industrial License
  3. Professional License

Note: Some other license categories offered by the DEDs of the concerned Emirates are intended to facilitate specific business activities.

1. Commercial License

Commercial licenses in Dubai are issued to businesses involved in commercial activities like trading goods and commodities. To become eligible for a commercial license, your business activity must be associated with commercial activities like car rental, retail, and real estate. You can integrate up to 10 business activities per commercial license in Dubai.

2. Industrial License

Industrial licenses in UAE or Dubai are intended to facilitate businesses linked with industrial and manufacturing activities. By acquiring an industrial license, you can start your manufacturing or industrial business to manufacture, assemble, or process different products. The raw materials you will use to manufacture or produce products can be purchased locally or imported. You can apply for an industrial license if you are linked with:

  • Food Industry
  • Textile Industry
  • Metals Extraction or Purification
  • Engines, Gears, and Tools Manufacturing
  • Petroleum products
  • Paper Industry

3. Professional license

What is a professional license in Dubai, you ask? 

A professional license in Dubai allows your business to deliver professional services based on your talent, skillset, experience, and academic qualification. The most profitable business activities for professional license holders in the UAE include IT services, repair services, lifestyle, healthcare services, security services, etc.

Why choose Professional License in Dubai?

Suppose you want to offer professional services in Dubai, like consultation, interior designing, healthcare, outsourcing, auditing & accounting, tourism, education, or other professional services. In that case, you need to get a professional license from the Dubai Department of Economic Development.

As a professional license holder, you are legally eligible to offer your services to customers, businesses, clients, etc., in the Emirate governed by your concerned DED. To get your professional license, you need to prove your expertise and academic qualification for your services.

Professional License in Dubai – Activities allowed

You can apply for a single professional license in Dubai for up to 10 business activities. The business activities allowed under the Dubai professional license are:

  • Craftsmanship
  • Carpentry
  • Consultancy services (Businesses, digital, marketing, Psychological, etc.)
  • IT services
  • Cleaning services
  • Healthcare services
  • Printing and Publishing of books and Newspapers
  • Lifestyle (Salons and Spa)
  • Repairing services
  • Security services
  • Engineering design services – to facilitate engineering domains like mechanical, manufacturing, HVAC, chemical, electrical, systems, AEC, etc.
Professional license in Dubai

How to Get a Professional License in Dubai?

Getting a professional license is a primary aspect of creating a business setup in Dubai. Let’s discuss how you can secure your professional license in Dubai:

Step 01–Choose the suitable business activities for a professional license

The initial and most vital step to applying for a professional license in UAE is to finalize the business activities you will offer under your company’s umbrella. Your business activities must fall under the professional services category for professional license approval in UAE. For instance, you cannot apply for a professional license in Dubai for manufacturing business.

Step 02–Partner with an experienced business formation service provider

The next step is to onboard the local business formation service provider, who will complete all your documents and fulfill all the legal liabilities mandatory to acquire a professional license in Dubai. If you don’t know where to find an authentic business formation consultant, feel free to connect with Airzone. Airzone has a rich portfolio of experienced and trustworthy business formation partners who can help you throughout the process.

Step 03–Get Initial approval from the DED

The next step is to apply for initial approval of your business registration from the DED. To get your initial approval, you must reserve a trading name for the business before submitting all the required documents to the DED for initial approval.

The entire process of getting your Dubai professional license involves the following key steps.

  • Fill out the Local Service Agreement (LSA) form and get it attested by a public notary service (You also need a legal translator’s stamp if the language of the agreement is other than Arabic)
  • Get your Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the local sponsor or shareholder (In case of a shared partnership which is not mandatory after the recent amendment to the UAE legal framework in 2020)
  • All the shareholders and business partners need to appear before the notary to sign the contract
  • Get approval from the concerned municipality for your office space rental or purchase agreement
  • Complete all the original and attested documents required for the application
  • Pay your license fee and wait for your license issuance

Documents needed to obtain a professional license in Dubai

The following documents are required to get a Dubai professional license from DED:

  • Complete the application form with the relevant details
  • Passport copy of businesses owner with a valid visa
  • Passport copy of business partners with valid visa (Incase of shared partnership)
  • A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the employer (If the applicant arrived in UAE on an employment visa). Whereas applicants with visit visas or other residence visas in the UAE can provide their UID or Emirates ID.
  • Additional approvals from concerned authorities for some specific business activities.

Once you get your professional license, you can open your corporate bank account in the UAE.

Cost of a professional license in Dubai

The professional license cost in Dubai is around AED 15,000. The cost includes the following charges:

  • Professional license fees
  • Fees of the business formation service provider
  • Trade name registration fees
  • Fees charged by administrative services
  • Fees charged by UAE Government and concerned authorities, etc


Applying for a professional license in Dubai is pretty simple. You can apply for the issuance or renewal of your Dubai professional license via DED’s online portal. You must follow all the necessary steps and submit your application with complete documents. 

Opting for a professional business formation service provider in UAE is recommended to get help with choosing suitable business activities, reservation of trade name, and applying for a trade license. Connect with Airzone to access the right business formation service providers with rich experience to serve various businesses in the UAE.

Before applying for a trade license, don’t forget to compare the free zone vs. the Mainland to find the right avenue for your business.If you need more clarity regarding how the company formation process works in the UAE, read our separate blog about how to set up a business in Dubai.