How much you spend on a trade license depends on the type of activities that your company is registered to conduct business for. For example, businesses that require special approval such as those trading in pharmaceutical products, guns, cars and alcohol are charged 50% more. Generally, UAE trade licenses range from AED3, 900 to AED183, 000.
Most companies that register businesses in Dubai prefer to apply for the General Trade License it offers the flexibility of doing trade in a wider variety of commodities. One does not need to apply for a new license for instance when venturing into a technology business that involves selling computer gadgets and products when they were previously selling garments. The other advantage is that most Free Zones offer this license. Each Free Zone charges their own rates for the license though. You can also get a general trading license for your branch office from the local departments of economic development.
Exactly how much a license costs in UAE is not easy to tell since each emirate has its rate and so does each Free Zone. However the following are the general rates for applying for the general license in Dubai as well as additional costs such as renewals, initial approval, trade name renewals and fines among others.
If a company adds a foreign partner, they may be required to pay an additional fee of between AED500 and AED1, 000 depending on the type of license that they are operating on.
Different initials and wordings attract different fees. Name reservations are only possible before the license is processed and a company should therefore apply for the service when applying for the license. It generally costs an annual fee of AED200 to reserve a company name for one year and between AED100 and AED320 to register a trade name.
For additional name features such as the inclusion of words such as ‘Middle East’ ‘International’, or ‘Global’ a fees or AED 1000 is charged whereas a fee of AED 2000 applies for the inclusion of words such as ‘Gulf’ and ‘UAE’.
Memorandum of Association
With the exception of Free Zone companies, all foreign companies transacting business in Dubai are required to have a Memorandum of Association if they will not agree to the local partnership deal that requires 51% local ownership of property. They are therefore supposed to be notarized at a fee which ranges from AED750 to AED7, 500 but not exceeding AED10, 000.