How to Get a Trader License in Dubai for Start-Ups and Home Businesses |

How to Get a Trader License in Dubai for Start-Ups and Home Businesses

If you're an entrepreneur looking to jumpstart your home-grown business or start-up, here is how you can get a Trader License in Dubai

Posted on

5 January 2020

Last updated on 8 January 2020
How to Get a Trader's License in Dubai for Start-Ups and Home Businesses

Your step by step guide on what is a Trader License, what are the requirements, and how you can get one in Dubai

Do you want to start up your own business in Dubai? The emirate is an attractive place to do so. On top of a growing economy and the changes that will come with Expo 2020, Dubai is a multicultural environment and is a popular tourist destination that sees thousands of visitors each year.

While you do need a business plan, funding, the right audience, and a can-do entrepreneurial attitude, you will also need a trader license if you wish to start up a business or company.

Not be confused with a freelance permit or freelance license, where you acquire a permit if you want to work as a sole practitioner, the Trader License applies for those who want to start a company.

The Trader License is a mandatory requirement for any home-grown businesses, website or social media shop, or start-up companies in Dubai.

Here's how you can get your business going in Dubai with a Trader License.

What does a Trader License do?

Owning a Trader License in Dubai means that your business activity has been registered in the emirate and is operating legally.

The Dubai Economic Department's (DED) Trader License integrates Dubai-based start-ups and online or social media businesses within the economic department's records.

Is a trader license mandatory in Dubai

Once the DED Trader License has been received, your business' activity becomes completely legal in Dubai, gives the business owner intellectual and economic rights, and helps in building customer trust as your business has been approved by the government.

This electronic license can also guide entrepreneurs on how to thrive in the local business and economic environment.

The business, project, or start-up owner is allowed to own more than one license as well as up to 10 business activities per license within the same group description.

The DED Trader License is valid for one year and must be renewed. If the owner would like to make any changes to their business activity, business name, and social media accounts, these must be amended through a request.

What are the benefits of a Trader License

Other than proving that your start-up is operating legally in Dubai, the DED Trader License also features some great benefits, including...

  • Professional consultations to kick start your own business
  • You can open a corporate bank account
  • You can get access as Dubai Chamber member for commercial activities
  • You get a "Customs Client Code", provided by Dubai Customs for your import and export activities
  • You can participate and represent your business in exhibitions, workshops, and conferences
  • Temporary employment services
  • You can hire up to three employees as your business grows
  • Dubai Economy will help you establish your workspace
  • More brand and business credibility in the Dubai market
  • Improved business activities as most corporations in Dubai prefer to work with legal companies instead of freelancers
  • You can sponsor dependents
Dubai trader license requirements

Criteria for DED Trader License

  • Business owner must be at least 21 years old or above
  • The business, project, or start-up must exist and operate in Dubai only
  • The owner must have a valid Emirates ID to register for the Trader License

How much does a DED Trader License cost?

The registration fees are AED 1,070 and the Trader License needs to be renewed annually.

What are the limits of a DED Trader License

The DED Trader License comes with its own set of limitations, of which are...

  • The trade name must not include a person's first name, however, it can be used when it also contains a family name (for example, Robert Drury Bakery, not Drury Bakery). The business owner and partner's name can only be included in the Trader License
  • The trade name must not have any profane or discriminatory words
  • The trade name must not allude to religion, such as including the words "God", "Allah", or "Lord"
  • You are not allowed to translate your business or project name. For example, if your start-up is called "Jamila Weddings", of which the Arabic word "Jamila" would translate into English as "Beautiful", you are not permitted to have the Arabic trade name as "Jamila Weddings" and the English trade name as "Beautiful Weddings". When registering for your DED Trader License, it must be written as it is in two languages. Thus "جميلة حفلات الزفاف" must be written in English as "Jamila Weddings"
  • You are not permitted to include the name of any countries, governments, global political organisations, and religious groups or affiliation in your trade name
  • The trade name must not be similar nor identical to an existing local or international brand, nor a trademark that is already registered with the Ministry of Economy (MoE). For example, Carrefour, McDonald's, etc.
How to get a trader license Dubai
  • Your trade name must reflect your business activities. For example, if your start-up is for flowers and plants, the trade name must not be "ABC", but "ABC Flowers"
  • Do not use any icons, spacers, points, commas, or slashes in the trade name
  • Do not use a business name that begins with the words "Middle East", "International", or "Universal" or its equivalent in Arabic
  • You can only register trademarks with the Trademarks Department of the Ministry of Economy
  • Dubai Economy has the right to cancel or change your business name if they find that it does not follow the terms and conditions, or if it is similar to an existing trade name

How to apply for a DED Trader License in Dubai

Here's how to register for a DED Trader License in Dubai:

  • Visit the official DED website here:
  • Create your username and password
  • Enter the details of your current address and social media accounts for your start-up or project
  • Choose the type of business activity and input your trade name
  • Pay the DED Trader License fee
  • Receive the electronic DED Trader License

For more information, visit the official Dubai government portal: