Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, has become the hot spot for creative industries with its central location between major continents and easy access to international markets.
However, one needs to compliantly acquire a valid license to conduct business in this city. Hence, this article will cover all the vital information you need to know about the Abu Dhabi business setup and license, including the general trading license cost in Abu Dhabi, the benefits, and the procedure to set up this permit.
Abu Dhabi trade license
A trade license in Abu Dhabi is a legal document issued by the Department of Economic Development(DED) to allow companies and individuals to carry out commercial activities in the city as well as across the UAE. It allows them to engage in the following activities –
- Importing and exporting of goods
- Involve in several commercial-related activities
- Permits advertising and promotion of products and services
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur new to the Emirates looking for a dais to launch your business, we recommend getting assistance from an expert business setup consultant in UAE. They will help streamline the process, avoiding any cultural barriers or legal complications, thereby providing a successful business setup in Dubai and UAE.
Types of trade licenses in Abu Dhabi
Trouble finding the right license for your business? Here’s the list of licenses you can apply for in Abu Dhabi depending on the nature of your business –
Professional licenses are issued to service-oriented companies or individuals like craftsmen, artisans, consultants, auditors, and lawyers. In simple terms, people who earn their living on the basis of their intellectual prowess, physical efforts, academic achievements, and aptitude are entitled to receive a professional license in Abu Dhabi.
Companies carrying out general business activities are issued a commercial license in Abu Dhabi. For example, public trading companies, transportation services, export and import firms, clinics and pharmacies, real estate, and construction.
Entities involved in manufacturing activities including producing, assembling, or any other special activity in Abu Dhabi have to apply for an Industrial license. These businesses mostly manufacture their products for sale and distribution.
Steps to getting an Abu Dhabi trade license
Before setting up a business in Abu Dhabi, you need to be well aware of certain facts, guidelines, and steps associated with this process. The business setup consultants in Abu Dhabi can guide you about the same and help you complete the procedure without any errors and delays.
1. Select your business activities as per the nature of the business
The Department of Economic Development has laid out a list of business activities that investors can choose from while deciding the activities they wish to conduct in Abu Dhabi. Nonetheless, it is important to be thoughtful while making this decision as the further legal proceedings and the applicable fee will be determined on the basis of the activities you choose.
2. Determine the legal form of the business
There are different rules and regulations for different business establishments. Hence, you must decide on a legal corporate structure that you wish to form in Abu Dhabi and do business in compliance with the said rules.
3. Select a suitable trade name for the business
The name you choose for your company should be easy to pronounce and does not include any controversial words. Additionally, you must also abide by the naming conventions of the UAE government, about which you can learn from the business advisors of UAE Expansion. Once you confirm a business name, get it registered with the relevant department.
4. Get a Membership at ADCCI
According to the Law No. (7) of 1998, all nationals and expatriates within Abu Dhabi, whether individuals or corporations, must mandatorily become a member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry(ADCCI) in order to secure a business in the Emirate.
Acquire the Abu Dhabi trade license
The Abu Dhabi government offers different types of licenses to companies based on their activities. Once your license application is approved by the authorities, pay the fee and get your license. Expert consultants at UAE Expansion can assist you throughout this process, to get you a permit for your business in Abu Dhabi.
Required Documents for the general trading license in Abu Dhabi:-
- Trade name certificate
- License form signed by all shareholders
- Passport copies of all shareholders
- Naturalization certificate copy
- Approval letter from the Ministry of Economy and Planning for company formation
- Clearance /No Objection letter from the local sponsor
- Approval letter for the proposed business activities
- Memorandum of Association
- A letter from the bank validating the claimed finances of the company
- Tenancy contract
Renewal of Abu Dhabi trade license
The renewal process for a business license in Abu Dhabi goes as below –
- Submit all the required documents to the concerned officials – tenancy contract, an attestation letter from the Dubai Land Department(DLD), a copy of the original trade license, etc.
- Wait for authorities’ approval.
- Receive a fee voucher and pay the required license renewal fee
- Get the renewed license in printed form from the authorities.
Cost of trading license in Abu Dhabi
The Abu Dhabi trade license cost in Abu Dhabi varies according to the nature of the business. However, you can expect the below expenses in your overall cost –
- License fee
- Administration fee
- Office space rent
- Local sponsor MOA fee
Apart from the above, there are several other costs that you might have to bear at the initial time. However, the expenses go down significantly in the further years. For instance, you can switch to a virtual office and cut down your cost of the tenancy. UAE Expansion agents can help you minimize your business setup and general trading license cost in Abu Dhabi and suggest ways to maximize your profits.
Different jurisdictions for business setup in Abu Dhabi
1. Abu Dhabi Mainland
The capital city of UAE is well-known for its luxurious lifestyle. Besides, it is one of the richest cities in the country. hence, there is no doubt that business people from all over the world would be willing to set up their companies in Abu Dhabi Mainland.
Businesses operating in the Mainland can benefit from the liberal laws, access to UAE markets, tax exemption, and most importantly, an inexpensive workforce. Moreover, the government itself imposes several initiatives to attract both local and foreign investors.
2. Abu Dhabi Free Zone
The Free Zone in Abu Dhabi is an independent jurisdiction that allows investors to own their respective business projects 100%. In addition, the business setup in these free zones is comparatively easy and eliminates the requirement of a local sponsor. Free zones offer trading opportunities, foreign ownership, tax benefits, and the necessary infrastructure and services for a smooth company formation.
Benefits of Abu Dhabi trade license
- Innovative infrastructure
- 24/7 ongoing support
- Upto 65% contribution to the UAE’s economy
- Investor friendly environment
- Diverse and sustainable economy
- Facilitates both short- and long-term success for innovative businesses
- Offers supreme connectivity to the business world
- Boasts proximity to one of the world’s busiest ports
- Investment opportunities across diverse sectors
- Offers customized Investor Care services and incentives
- Improves credibility and boosts trade
- Enjoys tax benefits
Build your business in Abu Dhabi with UAE Expansion!
UAE Expansion offers the best business setup services all over the UAE. Their expert professionals will guide you through the entire process and ensure a smooth and successful business setup in no time.
So, are you ready to embark on your business journey to Abu Dhabi? Get in touch with the team of UAE Expansion to find out more about the business license and general trading license cost in Abu Dhabi, and corporate laws and procedures pertaining to Abu Dhabi company formation.