Are you a business owner in Dubai looking to ensure your business remains legally compliant and avoids legal or financial risks? Then you need to renew your trade licence. Trade licence renewal is essential for all businesses in Dubai and the UAE, but it can be daunting.
Don’t worry, though—we’ll guide you through the critical steps of how to renew with confidence. From understanding how to submit the required documents to learning about online and offline options available, we have everything covered so that you can ensure your business remains compliant and successful.
If you’re ready to learn more about the essential process of trade licence renewal in Dubai, keep reading!
Understanding Trade Licence Renewal in Dubai
One of the most critical steps to business success in Dubai is renewing your trade licence. Also referred to as a commercial licence, it’s essential for all companies operating in the area and must be renewed yearly.
The Department of Economic Development (DED) issues and renews trade licences in Dubai. As per the DED, all companies must renew their licence before it expires or face legal consequences or financial penalties.
Various Licence Types in Dubai for Renewal
Depending on your business type and operation you may need to apply for different licences, which also apply to the renewal process.
The most common types of licences in Dubai are:
- Professional Licences: These licences allow you to practise a profession or consultation, such as medicine or law or provide services in any field of business.
- Commercial Licences: Possibly the most frequent type of licence, these are issued for companies that intend to sell goods imported from abroad or manufacture locally.
- Industrial Licences: This is a specific licence required for any establishments involved in industrial activities, such as manufacturing and mining.
Why Must You Always Keep Your Dubai Trade Licence Up-to-date?
The importance of renewing your trade licence in Dubai cannot be overstated. There are several reasons for this:
- Ensuring legal compliance: The primary reason for renewing your trade licence is to ensure that your business remains compliant with local laws and regulations. By not keeping your licence up-to-date, you may face legal consequences or financial penalties of AED 5,000 to AED 50,000 as per Dubai’s commercial law. In addition, DED may also require you to pay a monthly fee of AED 250 as a delay fine.
- Maintaining business credibility: A valid trade licence reflects your company’s reputation positively and helps maintain customer confidence in its services. A lapsed trade licence can lead to customers having doubts about the legitimacy of your business operations in Dubai.
- Keeping banking smooth: All banks require companies operating in Dubai to submit proof of their updated licences before allowing them to open, manage or close accounts.
- Fulfilling visa requirements: Without a valid trade licence, you may be unable to apply for employee visas or even keep your visa current.
- Keeping up with regulatory changes: Staying abreast of the latest local regulations is vital to meet new requirements and maintain your business operations smoothly.
- Avoiding hidden cancellation charges: If your trade licence is not renewed, the DED may cancel it without giving any prior notice or warning. This could lead to expensive cancellation fees you must pay before applying for a new trade licence in Dubai.
Eligibility and Required Documents for Dubai Trade Licence Renewal
Before you can submit your renewal application, a few eligibility criteria and documents are required. The first step is to check and confirm that the business and the business owners or partners are eligible for the trade licence renewal. The DED has outlined specific requirements that the business entity must comply with before applying to renew their licence:
- The company must have been established and registered in Dubai.
- The company must not have any outstanding fines or dues payable to the government.
- If applicable, all taxes must be paid up-to-date.
Once you know you are eligible, the next step is to go through the required document checklist for trade licence renewal and gather those accordingly. These documents include the following:
Valid Tenancy Contract
You must provide a valid tenancy contract if your business requires physical space. This document must be in the company’s name and should have been registered with Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
Source: Dubai Land
The UAE government introduced the Ejari system to regulate the real estate market. This system requires businesses to register their tenancy contracts with the Dubai Land Department (DLD) before they can be used for official purposes like trade licence renewal.
Filled-up BR/1 Form
The BR/1 form is a standard application template that all businesses must fill out when applying for trade licence renewal. If you submit a paper application, you can find this form at any DED customer service centre.
Documents from All Partners
You must provide a copy of the documents for each partner and shareholder. These documents include the following:
- Copy of passport with valid UAE residence visa
- Copy of Emirates ID card (both front and back)
Copy of Existing Licence
Including a copy of your existing licence when submitting your application for trade licence renewal is essential. This document will help the DED verify that you are eligible for renewal.
NOC from External Authorities
Depending on your business activity, you may also have to obtain and renew permission from certain government bodies, like the Knowledge, Human Resources and Development Authority (KHDA), the Ministry of Health and Prevention or the Dubai Municipality. Different government bodies may have other renewal processes and requirements. Occasionally, they’ll conduct inspection visits to your business premises.
Finally, you must provide proof of payment for the renewal fee. DED-approved banking channels accept cash, direct debit, and cheques and provide you with proof of payment. For online applications, the payment record is generated automatically.
Typically the authorised business manager can carry out the licensing process. However, suppose you want someone else to manage the application process on behalf of your business. In that case, you must also arrange a valid power of attorney document that must be officially attested.
Renewal of Trade Licence in Dubai: Step-by-step Process
Renewing your trade licence in Dubai is a straightforward process that can be done online or offline. Now we’ll go over the required steps so that you can get started with your renewal.
Step 1: Validating Tenancy Contract
Before starting the trade licence renewal process in Dubai, you must ensure your tenancy contract is valid and up-to-date. You can also check online if your tenancy contract has been registered in Dubai.
Step 2: Gathering Required Documents
The trade licence renewal application process is quick and easy if all the necessary documents are ready. Before filling out the application form and paying the fees, checking the validity and availability of all the required documents is essential.
If your business requires permission from the relevant authorities, ensure that you have provided them with all the necessary paperwork.
Step 3: Submitting Application
Now it’s time to apply for the trade licence renewal. You can do this online or offline, depending on your preference. The available application channels include:
- DED Service Centres located across Dubai
- DED SMS Channel – 6969
- DED online service portal on the Invest in Dubai website.
Filing your renewal application online is considerably faster and easier if you already have an Invest in Dubai service portal account. The online service portal provides a step-by-step and intuitive guide to ease your application filing process. You can conveniently upload and submit the relevant documents.
You can also file your renewal application through the Dubai Development Authority (DDA) website. All you have to do is to log in to the AXS service portal and open a new service request for commercial licence renewal.
Source: DED Website
The portal will automatically guide you through uploading the relevant documents and paying fees online. The renewal process typically takes less than ten minutes.
DED has recently introduced SMS-based renewal services to ease the renewal process even further for business owners and managers. You will receive an official DED notification several days before your licence expiry. Suppose you already have all the valid documents uploaded to the online service portal. In that case, you can simply click the payment link received via SMS and complete the renewal process in minutes.
Alternatively, DED has set up many physical service centres around Dubai for those who prefer to file their renewal application offline. You can find out the location of your nearest service centre by visiting the DED website.
Step 4: Paying the Trade Licence Renewal Fee Dubai
Once you have submitted your renewal application, the DED will review it and issue an electronic payment voucher for the applicable fees. You can clear this payment at any DED service centre or through online banking services.
DED has authorised the following banking channels to accept direct debits:
- Dubai Islamic Bank
- Commercial Bank of Dubai, and
- Emirates Islamic.
If you want to pay the licence renewal fee by cash or cheque, you can use:
- Aafaq Islamic Finance
- Noor Bank
- Commercial Bank of Dubai, and
- Emirates Islamic
The amount you will have to pay will depend on your business type. Typically, the renewal fees are the same as the issuance fees for all licence types.
Tips for Successful Trade License Renewal
If you want to make sure that your trade licence renewal goes off without a hitch, here are some tips:
- Staying up-to-date: Keep up-to-date with all your business activities in Dubai. This will ensure that the DED has accurate information about your company and that it is eligible to renew its trade licence.
- Filing taxes and VATs: As a business owner, you must file taxes and value-added tax (VAT) returns on time. Missed deadlines for filing and payment can lead to hefty penalties or even cancelling your licence renewal application. So make sure everything is filed correctly before you submit your renewal application!
- Keeping documents available: When submitting a trade licence renewal application, ensure you have all the necessary documents readily available. This includes your business documents, trade licence copies, and other documents related to the renewal process.
- Seeking professional help: It is always a good idea to seek professional help when renewing your trade licence in Dubai. Experienced consultants and legal advisors can provide valuable insights into the entire process and ensure everything is done correctly according to regulations.
Final Thoughts: Ensure Your Business Continuity with Trade Licence Renewal Dubai
Setting up a business in Dubai can be daunting, but DUQE’s legal and business setup services make it simple. From accounting to VAT registration and bank account opening, to obtaining medical and Emirates IDs, health insurance and access to a fully-equipped business centre – we provide comprehensive solutions that help entrepreneurs navigate Dubai’s complex regulatory landscape with ease.
At DUQE, we recognize the importance of trade licence renewal in Dubai and its associated complexities. Our team is dedicated to ensuring your business continuity remains uninterrupted so you can focus on achieving success. Contact DUQE today if you’re looking for hassle-free trade licence renewal – our experts are here to guide you every step of the way!
What is the procedure to renew a trade licence?
Renewing your trade licence in Dubai involves submitting the required documents and fees to the Department of Economic Development. You may need approval from other government departments or agencies depending on your trading emirate. Online and offline options are available, so you can choose the best method that suits your needs.
Can you renew your trade licence online?
Yes, you can renew your trade licence online. The Dubai Government has launched an e-services platform through the Invest in Dubai project that allows businesses to complete their trade licence renewal process quickly and conveniently. You can upload the required documents directly, pay fees, and get your renewal certificate.
What happens if I don’t renew my trade licence?
You may face serious consequences if you don’t renew your trade licence. You will be liable for one-time and monthly fines, which can add up quickly. The Dubai Government may also blacklist your business if the renewal is not completed in time, prohibiting it from expansion or operations in the city. Additionally, banking problems such as difficulty opening an account or withdrawing funds can occur if you don’t keep your trade licence current.
How much is the fine for an expired trade licence?
The fine for an expired trade licence in Dubai is AED 5,000 to AED 50,000, depending on your operation type. The monthly penalty for non-renewal of the trade licence within 30 days is AED 250.