Professional Licence in Dubai Explained

Life is no bed of roses! And it’s professionals and experts like doctors, nurses, chartered accountants, drivers, lawyers, engineers, business consultants that make the life of the common public easy and stress-free. Fixing a faulty tap, air conditioner, vehicle, computer, phone, etc., or dealing with their finances by themselves is no less than taking a trip to hell for any person. We can’t master every domain. If not for you, professionals, the world will get back to where it started from. So, here’s to your skills!

A journey from a professional to entrepreneur

You really bent over backwards and spent a fortune to acquire the skills and expertise you possess today. And there is nothing wrong in having a desire to monetise your skills for yourself as an entrepreneur. We have absolutely got you covered if you are planning to start your own company in Dubai to render specialised services in your niche. Whether you are an amazing yoga instructor, miraculous medical professional, outstanding writer, exemplary teacher, extraordinary digital marketer, terrific hair stylist, a mind-blowing chef or great baker, the foremost and mandatory step to start a business in Dubai is the same for everyone and that is – obtaining a professional licence. Working in Dubai, in particular, demands a variety of licences, approvals and permissions for both small and medium-sized enterprises.

Professional licences in Dubai

Issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), a professional licence is for all service-oriented individuals or companies, which enables them to legally serve their target audiences. Professional licences in Dubai are awarded based on the applicant’s educational entitlement and area of expertise, and acquiring the licence includes several factors.

  • A professional licence allows 100% ownership for foreign investors without the need of involving any local sponsor or LSA, allowing them to enjoy the advantages of a sole proprietorship
  • Earlier, it was mandatory to appoint a UAE national as a local service agent to complete the judicial formalities at a fixed annual fee paid in advance once the contract is signed between both the parties. But this obligation has been removed for both branch and a foreign company after the new amendment to the law came into effect. This step will indeed help businesses to lower down their administrative and operations costs
  • The applicant has to approach the Department of Economic Development (DED) with proper documentation to obtain a professional licence as it regulates all the activities related to licences in Dubai

Professional licence activities in the UAE

Intelligent infrastructure, investment-friendly policies, high-quality living standards, tons of business opportunities and an attractive tax system (despite the implementation of 5% VAT in 2020 and introduction of 9% Corporate Tax in 2022) of Dubai can easily lure any entrepreneurial soul to come here and set up their business. Whether service-oriented or products, one needs to have a valid business licence for business formation in Dubai. While a Commercial licence allows one to do trading activities and an Industrial licence permits one to conduct manufacturing activities, a Professional licence is for service providers, artisans and/or craftsmen allowing them to practice their profession and earn from them intellectual abilities. Below-mentioned is a list of some of the activities approved by DED under a professional licence.

  • Artisanship
  • Carpentry
  • Consultancy services
  • Medical services
  • Printing and publishing
  • Beauty & hair salons
  • Computer graphic design service
  • Repair services
  • Security services
  • Document clearing, etc.

The process of getting a Professional Licence in Dubai

The procedure to obtain a professional licence in Dubai, UAE is easier than you think. Just three steps and voilà!

  • Start with segmenting your business activities to be undertaken by your company
  • After the appointment, get initial approval from the DED
  • Register your business name by paying a fee and then submit all the necessary documents to the DED for approval

Cost of professional licence in Dubai

One should steel themselves to cough up around AED 10,310 to obtain the professional licence. The amount includes various fees such as:

  • Professional licence fees
  • Trade name fees
  • Market fees (depending upon the tenancy amount)
  • Administrative service fees
  • Government cultural fees
  • Local fees, etc.

Paperwork for a professional licence in Dubai

  • A duly filled professional licence application form
  • Copies of the passports of owners or partners (if any)
  • A No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from sponsors for foreign partners if the expat is already on an employment visa. If the shareholder is on a visit visa, then their UID number is required
  • The foreign partners have to submit a copy of the visit, tourist or transit visa
  • Initial approval from the relevant authorities, depending on the type of activity to be undertaken (e.g., the Municipality, RTA, National Media Council, etc.)

Elements that vary with the licences


Despite some significant changes in federal Commercial Companies Law, not every commercial activity is on the table for a hundred per cent ownership under the commercial licence, but an entity operating under a professional licence in Dubai, UAE can enjoy the full ownership of their business as the sole owner.

Share Capital

The minimum share capital that is required to set up a service company under a professional licence is almost half (AED 150,000) in comparison to the amount needed to acquire a commercial business licence (AED 300,000).

Government Licence Fees

Dubai licence fees also change with the licence type. Commercial licence fees are higher than Professional licence fees.


Commercial licence in Dubai provides companies limited liabilities. This changes with Professional licences, where the liability of the company is unlimited. A Professional licence holder will have to change their suffix to L.L.C. in case they want to limit their liabilities.

Furthermore, with receiving a professional licence in Dubai, there are myriad possibilities that open up for you. You are legally authorized to work for or give your services to any customer, client or employer in the United Arab Emirates, and you are allowed to participate in activities that are consistent with your credentials and field of competence. A professional licence allows foreign investors to enjoy full ownership of the company, offering them the same rights as a limited company. Also, it is mandatory to renew the licence before it expires, as a licence and permit that is not valid any longer can land you in trouble.

DED is liable to oversee all sort licences and permits services. You can access all the services online or even by visiting their office in Dubai. The process of acquiring a professional licence from DED is remarkably simple; all you have to do is follow a protocol. To get a professional licence in Dubai, you are required to submit a BR1 form, a trade name, an Ejari certificate, and a tenancy contract. You can also reach DED if you don’t have any of the possessions listed. They furnish a wide spectrum of services, including the ones mentioned for attaining a professional licence in Dubai.

Every business needs some sort of licence, and many may require several licences and permissions to operate in Dubai. Whether you need additional licences and permissions or not largely depends on where you live and what is the nature of your business. In Dubai, not maintaining a professional licence might cause reversal of fortune. So, even before you consider starting or expanding your business in Dubai, you should first research and analyse the types and number of licences and approvals that will be required from you for the licence approval.

How Adam Global can help you?

You are an expert in your field, but wet behind the ears when it comes to business incorporation in Dubai from scratch. The best way to set up a company in Dubai or any emirate of the UAE without any trouble is getting in touch with an experienced business setup consultant in Dubai.

Starting a business overseas is not a piece of cake, whether you are a professional or naive in the field of your interest. They say things are pretty simple in Dubai for entrepreneurs. But you’ve got to take the statement with a pinch of salt. From deciding a location for your business to registering your trade name to hiring and managing the employees to running your business efficiently, every phase of your entrepreneurial journey in Dubai brings new challenges for you to deal with. And overcoming those hurdles can be easy if you are equipped with the right knowledge or surrounded by the right people to navigate you through the uncharted waters. Just like you are specialised in your area, we are expert in business-related services – company registration, licence application, visa & residency permit services, financial audits, accounting & bookkeeping, taxation & return filing, VAT training, you name it, we have a team of professionals who are worth their salt in their respective field and happy to bring your dream of owning a company in Dubai to life. Just a call away, we at Adam Global Dubaiare waiting to meet you to help you better understand how we can help you in the process of company formation in Dubai or any emirate of the UAE.

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