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Professional License Dubai Eligibility: A Comprehensive Guide

Professional License Dubai Eligibility: A Comprehensive Guide

In the bustling city of Dubai, entrepreneurs and professionals from around the world are attracted by the thriving business opportunities and the favorable tax system. To legally operate a business and offer professional services in Dubai, it is essential to obtain a valid professional license. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the eligibility criteria, benefits, requirements, and process of obtaining a professional license in Dubai.

1. What is a Professional License?

A professional license is a legal authorization issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, allowing individuals or companies to offer professional services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This license is suitable for skilled professionals who rely on their talents, skills, and intellectual abilities to provide services in various sectors such as consulting, medical, financial, design, and more.

2. Who Should Apply for a Professional License in Dubai?

Individuals and companies engaged in service-oriented activities or professions should apply for a professional license in Dubai. This includes professionals with specialized degrees, extensive experience, or exceptional skills in their respective fields. Accountants, financial advisors, architects, medical representatives, educational professionals, IT experts, and artisans are among the many professions that require a professional license.

3. Benefits of Having a Professional License

Obtaining a professional license in Dubai offers several advantages for entrepreneurs and professionals:

a. 100% Ownership: Unlike commercial and industrial licenses, a professional license allows for 100% ownership by the licensee, providing the advantages of a sole proprietorship. However, it is mandatory to appoint a local service agent, who is an Emirati national, to complete the necessary legal formalities.

b. Access to Lucrative Market: Dubai is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, attracting people from all walks of life. With a professional license, you can tap into a diverse and affluent market, connecting with potential clients, vendors, and businesses. This presents an excellent opportunity to grow your business and enjoy a luxurious lifestyle.

c. Legal Compliance: Operating with a professional license ensures that your business activities are conducted in compliance with the laws and regulations of Dubai and the UAE. This not only provides peace of mind but also establishes your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of your clients.

4. Requirements for Obtaining a Professional License in Dubai

To obtain a professional license in Dubai, certain requirements must be fulfilled. These include:

a. Local Service Agent: As part of the legal formalities, it is necessary to appoint a local service agent who will act as a representative in Dubai. The local service agent must be an Emirati national and will receive a fixed annual fee for their services. However, they will have no direct involvement or control over the business.

b. Trade Name: Select a unique trade name for your business that complies with the regulations set by the DED. A trade name reservation fee is required to secure the chosen name.

c. Business Plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan detailing the nature of your services, target market, marketing strategies, and financial projections. This plan will help demonstrate the viability and potential success of your business.

d. Application Form: Fill out the application form provided by the DED, providing all the necessary information and supporting documents.

e. Passport Copies: Submit copies of the passports of the business owners/partners as part of the application process.

f. NOC for Foreign Partners: If any of the partners are foreign expatriates residing in Dubai on an employment visa, a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from their sponsors is required. If the shareholder is on a visit visa, their UID number is needed.

g. Initial Approvals: Obtain the necessary approvals from relevant government authorities based on the type of business activity. These may include approvals from the Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), National Media Council, and other relevant agencies.

5. Covered Activities under a Professional License

A professional license in Dubai covers a wide range of activities. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Consultancy services
  • Artisanship
  • Medical services
  • Financial and auditing services
  • Beauty salons
  • Repair and maintenance services
  • Printing and publishing services
  • Security services
  • Carpentry

It is important to consult the extensive list provided by the DED to ensure that your specific activity falls within the scope of a professional license.

6. The Process of Obtaining a Professional License in Dubai

The process of obtaining a professional license in Dubai involves several steps, including:

a. Local Service Agent Agreement: Enter into an agreement with a local service agent who will act as your representative in Dubai. The agreement must be in compliance with the legal requirements and should be translated into Arabic and attested by a public notary.

b. Memorandum of Association (MOA): Prepare a Memorandum of Association with your local service agent, outlining the terms and conditions of your partnership. Specify the annual fee to be paid to the agent.

c. Office Space: Find and lease a suitable office space for your business. The tenancy contract must be registered with Ejari and approved by the Dubai Municipality.

d. Documentation Submission: Submit the completed application form, along with all the required documents, to the DED. This includes passport copies, NOC (if applicable), initial approvals from relevant authorities, and other supporting documents.

e. Payment: Pay the necessary fees and charges for the professional license at the DED counter. A payment voucher will be issued upon successful completion of the payment.

7. Cost of a Professional License in Dubai

The cost of obtaining a professional license in Dubai includes various fees and charges. The approximate cost is AED 15,310, which covers the professional license fees, trade name fees, market fees (based on tenancy amount), administrative service fees, government cultural fees, and local fees. It is important to note that these fees are subject to change, and it is recommended to verify the current fees with the relevant authorities.

8. Common Questions about Professional Licenses

a. Can I have 100% ownership of my business with a professional license? Yes, with a professional license, you can have 100% ownership of your business. Unlike other legal structures in the UAE, a professional license allows full ownership without the requirement of a local partner holding a majority share.

b. How many partners can I have with a professional license? A professional license can be obtained for both single-owner businesses and civil companies with multiple partners. Civil companies require the submission of additional documents and a security deposit.

9. How CIG Can Assist You in Obtaining a Professional License

Navigating the process of obtaining a professional license in Dubai can be complex and time-consuming. That’s where CIG in. As experts in company formation and business setup, CIG can provide comprehensive support and guidance throughout the entire process. From assisting with paperwork and approvals to opening corporate bank accounts and obtaining visas, their team of professionals will ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Contact CIG at or call 800 244 to get started on obtaining professional license in Dubai. Trust their expertise and let them help you establish your business and achieve success in the dynamic business landscape of Dubai.


Obtaining a professional license in Dubai is a crucial step for entrepreneurs and skilled professionals looking to offer their services in the UAE. With its numerous benefits, including 100% ownership, access to a lucrative market, and legal compliance, a professional license opens up a world of opportunities. By understanding the eligibility criteria, requirements, and process outlined in this guide, you can confidently embark on your journey to obtaining a professional license in Dubai and make your mark in this thriving business hub.

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