Trade License in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates in terms of area and economy. Abu Dhabi is also the epicentre of the UAE’s majority of energy production and reserves. According to the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi, the economy of this emirate expanded at a rate of 32.3% in 2011.

How to Form a Company in Abu Dhabi

Setting up a company in Abu Dhabi has several stages. The following are the key steps that are mandatory for you to obtain a trade license in Abu Dhabi. However, there are few terms and conditions one needs to follow depending upon the sector he or she is looking forward to penetrating in.

  • Find out every legal formality
  • Register your trade name to secure the initial license approval
  • Get a physical office space
  • Apply for your trade license in Abu Dhabi
  • Obtain your Trade Licence in Abu Dhabi
  • Register your company with the Ministry of Labour
  • Get approval from Immigrations
  • Open Business Bank Account

Types of Companies in Abu Dhabi

You can choose from Abu Dhabi Free Zone or Abu Dhabi Mainland to start your company.

There are two regions in Abu Dhabi where you can set up your Business. Abu Dhabi Free Zone and Abu Dhabi mainland.

Abu Dhabi Free zone Companies

At present, there are eight Free Zones in Abu Dhabi to choose from. Every free zone is dedicated to a specific industry type. The most famous free zone of Abu Dhabi is Abu Dhabi Global Market Square right in the heart of the city. Following are the Free Zones you can choose from in Abu Dhabi -

  1. Abu Dhabi Airport Freezone
  2. TwoFour54
  3. Abu Dhabi Ports Company Free Zone
  4. Abu Dhabi Global Market Square
  5. Industrial City of Abu Dhabi
  6. Higher Corporation of Specialised Economic Zones
  7. Masdar Free City Zone
  8. Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Main Land Companies

Abu Dhabi being the capital city is well-known for business-friendly laws and crime-free environment attracts a considerable number of investors. The mainland is the marked economic areas which fall under the government of the UAE and authorities. If you start your Business in Mainland in Abu Dhabi, you will be allowed to carry out your Business across the UAE; however, the most significant amount of equity you can own is 49%.

Why choose Abu Dhabi for starting your Business

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and the largest emirates of all with the most prominent and ever-growing economy; hence it is one of the most desirable business destinations. Moreover, the government of the UAE encourages foreign and local investors. The government of the USE is known for its flexible and straightforward norms of company registration and formation. Abu Dhabi is the most sought after location for business among entrepreneurs because of its geographical location. It falls between Europe, Africa and Asia, with one of the busiest airport serving 20 million passengers annually to every possible destination in the world.

The government of the UAE doesn’t levy any tax. The only charge that has been recently introduced in Abu Dhabi is a nominal 5 % VAT. Apart from these economic perks, the living standards in Abu Dhabi is quite high with world-class facilities being available in healthcare, real estate, education etc. Abu Dhabi is a very lucrative destination for both startups and corporates.

The government of the UAE is currently aiming to make the UAE more economical and touristic for more than two billion people, to achieve this target the government is focusing on the following -

  • No oil growth
  • Gross National Income
  • Ease of Doing Business Index
  • Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index
  • Global Innovation Index

Four Things You Should Know Before Applying for a Trade License in Abu Dhabi

Local Sponsorship

A Local sponsor is an Emirati Service Agent or shareholders of a mainland company with foreign investment. It is mandatory to have a local partner if you wish to obtain a trade licence in mainland Abu Dhabi. Moreover, your Emirati Local Sponsor will own a minimum of 51 % of company shares.

Documents required for Trade name Registration

To obtain a trade licence, you are required to have a valid passport, trade name application with signature on it, a valid Emirates ID and a copy of concerned people’s signature which is attested by a local notary.

PRO Services

To start a business in Abu Dhabi, it is mandatory to have the services of a Public Relations Officer. Hence, PRO services are activities that are related to government attestations and documents such as visa applications, trade licence, labour licenses etc.

Business Setup Fees

There are very nominal charges applicable when it comes to setting up a business in Abu Dhabi.

a)Free Zone Fees

  • Registration Fees
  • Name Reservation Fees
  • Annual Licence Fee
  • Share Capital
  • Visa Fees

b)Mainland Fees

  • Incorporation Fees
  • Local Sponsor Fees
  • Legal Fees
  • Third-party taxes (notary charges or legal translation fees)
  • Visa Fees

If you want to be a part of Abu Dhabi’s ever-growing economy, look no more, this is the golden time to dive into this pool of endless opportunities. The process of setting up a business in Abu Dhabi is quite smooth. Yet, it might be time taking and cumbersome if you don’t have the appropriate pieces of information but our expert consultants present round the clock to help you set up your business in Abu Dhabi. Contact us without any delay to kick start your business in Abu Dhabi. We at Business Setup help entrepreneurs to establish Business across the UAE.


What are the different types of licenses in Abu Dhabi?

The different types of licenses in Abu Dhabi are commercial license, agricultural license, crafts license, professional license, industrial license, and tourism license.

How much does a company license cost in Abu Dhabi?

You can secure a business license in Abu Dhabi for around AED 25,000 based on your business activities.

What is a commercial license in Abu Dhabi?

A commercial license is a certification issued to business owners that permits them to trade in Abu Dhabi.

How many various types of business licenses are there in Abu Dhabi?

There are six types of business licenses in Abu Dhabi.

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