Professional License in Dubai

Dubai is an excellent place to start a business as an entrepreneur, or business leader who has the drive to selling products, services beyond borders, the Emirate of Dubai is very keen on attracting international investments in the region by allowing foreign individuals to set up their business operations in the United Arab Emirates. The laws and policies in Dubai regarding foreigners operating company in the Emirate are pro-business, transparent and clearly defined as per the type of business activity, investment and partnership requirements, visa regulations, tax rates, type of the business structure and its location which is defined as (i.e., The Dubai Free Zones, Dubai Mainland and Offshore).

Before starting a business in Dubai you might need approvals, certain types of licenses, permits and visas to qualify your business operations according to the UAE regulations legally. Dubai offers three different categories of licenses for individuals and businesses; they are segregated according to the type of activity. Besides the three categories, there are numerous licenses for specific business purpose depending on the nature of business or operation or service offered. The list of licenses is given below on this page.

  • Commercial license (issued for performing trade activities such as general trading, import-export and other commercial activities)
  • Industrial License (issued for manufacturing, assembly and processing)
  • Professional License (issued for individuals interested in offering professional services such as designing, security service and other non-commercial activities)

What is a Professional License?

A professional license is an authorized license issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) for individuals who wish to practice any profession legally in Dubai, where they rely upon their physical, and mental skills to earn profits. Earning of capital through professional efforts is accomplished by individuals by working in industries such as engineering consultancy, independent auditing & accounting, other consultancy services, studies, designing & crafting products such as furniture or decorative items, business set up, company formation, educational & medicinal services and other similar services.

Who needs a Professional License in Dubai?

Individuals interested in offering professional services such as consulting, auditing & accounting, designing, tourism guidance, research and other professional service based on skill or talent or experience in Dubai must obtain the professional license from the DED. As a professional license holder, you are legally authorized to work or offers your services to any customer, client or employer in the United Arab Emirates, and you are entitled to undertake the activities as per your qualifications/area of expertise.

Performing professional services in Dubai requires talent, skills, intellectual abilities and experience to execute the tasks or projects independently while maintaining quality and adherence to standards which are set by the government agencies and authorities in Dubai. Although the professional license allows you to undertake most of the tasks under the category, certain special tasks require approval or permit or authorization from the respective governmental agencies. The governmental agencies in Dubai are established to manage the industry standards according to the sector, enforce regulations, maintain health & safety and ensure that business is carried out only by authorized professionals who adhere to the rules, regulations and compliances set by the respective Ministry.

How to Get a Professional License in Dubai?

If you want to acquire a professional license in Dubai, then you need a local sponsor or national service agent who can sponsor your professional license application to the DED. Nevertheless, the local sponsor has no equity participation or liability in business nor can the local individual can represent the office or participate in the management of the professional license holder’s profitable activities.

First thing you need to do before applying for a professional license is to prepare the list of activities that you or your business is planning to undertake. Then appoint a local sponsor who can support your professional license application as per the judicial requirements, next complete all the legal formalities in order to acquire the license. As the final step, you need to prepare all the documentation and submit it to the Dubai DED by paying the processing fee.

About Professional License

The professional license can be obtained by an individual or a registered firm or company in UAE. Further, the license allows the holding company to perform the professional activities mentioned in the license. In the case of the company acquiring the license there is no requirement for the local sponsor if the business entity is registered in UAE.

However, not all the companies can carry out professional services without a local partner as the law requires specific important business sectors to have a UAE partner or a major investor who's share capital is no less than 51 per cent, this is according to the UAE investment laws which prevent foreigners from owning core business sectors. (i.e., before getting a professional license for civil construction consulting your company must have a UAE local business partner with a share of a minimum of 51 percentage and must have experience in the same civil construction industry.)

Documents Necessary to Get a Professional License in Dubai

  • Copies of the passport of owners or investors
  • Copy of the local partner’s naturalization book (Jinsiya)
  • Filled the professional license application form
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the local sponsors if the owner is a foreign expat who is residing in Dubai with an employment pass. If the shareholder or investor is on a visitor visa, then the individual's UID number is needed
  • Copy of visitor transit visa for the foreign partners
  • Documents showing the proof of initial approval from the relevant government authorities based upon the type of business activity (i.e., Government agencies such as RTA, Dubai Municipality, National Media Council)

Procedure to Obtain a Professional License in Dubai

  • Complete the local service agreement form with the UAE national with help from a local translator
  • Get the local service agreement form attested from a public notary service
  • Seal of the legal translator has not required if the agreement is in Arabic
  • Draft the Memorandum of Association (MOA) with the local sponsor
  • Mention the sponsor's yearly fee in the agreement
  • If you are getting a license for a civil company, then you need to fill one more application form and get it attested
  • All the partners/owners have to attend the notary to sign the court agreement
  • Get approval from the municipality for the tenancy contract
  • Submit all the forms with attestation (one original copy each)
  • Submit passport copies of owner/partners and NOC for expatriate owner/partners (if any), at any branch of the DED
  • Make payment at the counter and get the license; a payment voucher would be issued at the same time

The professional license cost in Dubai includes; the professional license fees, service agent fees, trade name fees, market fees (depending upon the tenancy amount).

Moreover, you need to know that the professional license has an expiry after which the license is considered null or void to avoid going through all the procedures again you can renew your professional license from the respective authorities allowing you to continue your business. In terms of profit, professional licensing can help your business in undertaking high-paying projects which require specialized skills and talent or offer services and do business activity in Dubai as per your area of expertise. Contact us for acquiring a professional license. We shall help you in obtaining the professional license by handling all the legal and judicial requirements according to the Dubai laws.

List of Activities covered under Professional License in UAE

The professional license in Dubai include all the below mentioned activities but not limited to it;

  • Artisanship (i.e., arts, painting, sculpting and similar skills)
  • Business services (i.e., business process development, document clearing services)
  • Carpentry
  • Cleaning services (All types)
  • Consulting services (All types of consulting)
  • Computer Graphics Design services
  • Digital Marketing (i.e., Website management, domain hosting, web-content development, CMS, SEO, online branding, marketing and selling)
  • Educational training services (All types)
  • Entertainment artists (i.e., dancers, singers, musicians and similar artists)
  • Engineering design (i.e., The engineering design services include mechanical, manufacturing, electrical, HVAC, chemical, systems, civil, structural, architecture designing including simulation, analysis, rendering, testing and support of the same)
  • Electronics repair services (i.e., watch, digital camera, smartphones, laptops and computer devices)
  • Electrical equipment repair and maintenance
  • Printing and Publishing (i.e., content creation, publishing, designing and advertising)
  • Information Technology services (i.e., Web designing, networking, cybersecurity, application development, server administration, Tech support; Data storage, management, processing, and analysis, Maintaining IT infrastructure, API, Information security, and Internet of Things)
  • Repair services (i.e., vehicles, appliances and other household or industrial equipment)
  • Legal advisory services
  • Independent auditing and accounting services
  • Medical Services (i.e., including therapy, treatment and aftercare)
  • Hairdressing, Saloon and Spa