Types of business licences
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Dubai: The UAE is a hub for businesses around the world and entrepreneurs or established businesses have several options in terms of licences, locations and facilities.

However, before you actually start your business operations, you are required to obtain a licence, which allows you to carry out your chosen economic activity.

It is important to know, however, about the type of licence you would need for your business set up. So, here is a breakdown of the type of business licences offered in the UAE.

Who should I approach?

Each emirate has a department for economic development which issues these licences. These are the authorities for each emirate.

Abu Dhabi Deparment of Economic Development

Dubai Department for Economic Development

Sharjah Department for Economic Development

Ajman Department for economic development

Fujairah Department for Economic Development

Ras Al Khaimah Department for Economic Development

Umm Al Quwain Department of Economic Development

Need for additional approvals

You might, however, need additional approvals from other authorities if your business activity falls under the purview of another ministry. For example, if you are planning to start a pharmacy, clinic or hospital, you may need to get approvals from the Ministry of Health.

There are six types of licences

1. Commercial

Types of business licences
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Commercial licences are issued to the owners of businesses practising activities such as general trading, contracting, real estate, transportation or healthcare.

2. Agricultural

Types of business licences

Agricultural licences are issued to the owners of arable and livestock farms, and fisheries

3. Craftsmanship (or occupational)

Types of business licences
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Craftsmanship licenses are issued to workers like carpenters, blacksmiths etc. or any person who independently practices a craft for profit, and is dependent on their physical effort, or use of tools and equipment.

4. Professional

Types of business licences
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Professional licenses are issued to individuals whose work depends on their mental skills, intellectual abilities, academic achievement and scientific talents, such as:

• consultants

• lawyers

• auditors

5. Industrial

Types of business licences
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Industrial licenses are issued to owners of factories, of whatever type, which manufacture products for the purpose of selling them for profit.

6. Tourism

Types of business licences
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A tourism license is issued to owners of facilities that specialise in tourist activities, such as:

• hotels

• travel agencies

• restaurants

• cruise boat rental

• tourist camps

• floating restaurants