5 Questions to Ask Yourself before Obtaining Professional License in Dubai

Acquiring a license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) is the mandatory step to start a new business in Dubai. A business license is classified into different categories based on business activity.

For instance:

  • Commercial license for trading activities, such as auto spare parts trading, building maintenance, filling stations, jewelry trading, and contracting and building works.
  • Industrial license for manufacturing activities, such as bread manufacturing, appliance and machinery manufacturing, glass manufacturing, and waste collection and treatment.
  • Professional license for professional services, such as accounting, event organizing, legal services, and salon services.


In this blog, we will focus on the professional license to help you get familiar with things you should know about this license.

What is a Professional License?

In Dubai, any service-oriented company or skilled craftsmen/professionals need to obtain a professional license in order to provide their services and earn income from that.

Most often, entrepreneurs get confused about whether they should apply for a commercial license or professional license. Certain business activities may be considered under both licenses – commercial license as well as a professional license in Dubai.

Thus, it is best to seek consultation from a  before applying for the professional license.

Who should apply for a professional license?

A wide variety of business activities fall under the professional license category. Generally, the professional license is issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) to those individuals and companies that practice any profession that relies on talent or intellectual abilities.

Some of the business activities are:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping services
  • Financial advisors
  • Lawyers and legal advisors
  • Technical support services
  • Printing and publishing
  • Internet and web designing services
  • Teaching and educational profession
  • Carpentry and artisans activities
  • Beauty salons
  • Auditing services
  • Management consultancy
  • Business consultancy
  • Healthcare and medical services
  • Information technology services
  • Medical representatives
  • Architectural consultants
  • Advertising and entertainment activities
  • Repair services
  • Graphic designing services
  • Document clearing and translation services
  • Security services

Connect with us to know if your business falls under a professional license.

Do businesses that fall under the professional license category enjoy 100% ownership?

Yes, any foreign business owner with a professional license enjoys full ownership of the company.

However, all licenses granted for professional business activities, whether for sole establishments or companies that are not owned or sponsored by a UAE national, require a Local Service Agent (LSA) except for the following three activities

1) Engineering Consultancy

2) Legal Consultancy

3) Bank Representative Office

What are the duties and obligations of an LSA?

The duties of a local service agent are limited to:

  • Facilitating the practice of business activity in Dubai, UAE
  • Obtaining and renewing of necessary work permits issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and other government authorities
Can my business with a professional license have more than one owner?

In case there is more than one owner of a company that fall under a professional license, then that company is referred to as the Civil Company. They need to prepare one more agreement, known as the Civil Company Partnership Agreement and get it attested from the Notary Public.

Since a professional license in Dubai is issued for skill and talent-based activities or services, you need to submit a proof or an external certification to acquire it. Besides, you are also required to submit a BR1 application form, the trade name reservation certificate, rental contract, initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED), and Ejari registration. Thus, if you are planning to open a service-based business, a business setup expert can assist you right from getting registered and acquiring license to making your business fully-operational.

Do you need assistance in acquiring a professional license or setting up your business? Contact us to get the best business set-up services in Dubai