Renewing licenses within the UAE - YB Case 2024

Renewing licenses within the UAE

Renewing licenses within the UAE
A wise tactical approach for businesses seeking to solidify a durable presence in the Middle East market is to establish their business entity in the United Arab Emirates. With a welcoming business atmosphere and swift progress, the Emirates boast an abundance of thrilling opportunities.

First off, the UAE functions as a trade center for the MENA zone, which has two billion customers. Second, the Emirates are strategically promising for entering fresh markets because they're situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Enterprises may possess confidence in their sustained growth when there exists stability across the political and economic domains.

Prospects for sustained growth across diverse sectors, encompassing monetary affairs, land assets, travel industry, logistics, IT, healthcare, etc., may be found by registering a business entity in the Emirates. Well-developed infrastructure, such as modern docks, aerodromes, and telecommunication systems, supports businesses in running smoothly.

Extra gains of launching a startup in the UAE are a visible governance framework and official backing for innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors, and business tax advantages.

To do legitimate business in the UAE, acquiring a license that is granted for a set amount of time is essential. When it expires, you have to renew it for a business to continue operating in the country.

This article aims to explain the updating licenses process in the UAE, comprising the needed documentation and administrative steps involved.

The importance of obtaining a business permit in the UAE

Global commerce is thriving in the Emirates, attracting business owners worldwide. If you're pondering initiating a venture in the UAE, then you'll need an official license for legitimate business operations.

A business license, as a formal documentation issued by the pertinent state institution, gives an individual or organization permission to engage in specific activities within a designated area. In Dubai and various other emirates, securing a business permit is a mandatory regulation aimed at ensuring businesses comply with local ordinances, regulations, and zoning stipulations.

The meaning of business licensing:
  1. To meet legal conditions, obtaining a license in the UAE is vital as it ensures conformity with prescribed regulatory benchmarks.
  2. Business licenses provide the government the ability to regulate and manage a range of company activity. By ensuring that businesses abide by national rules, this oversight safeguards the rights of both customers and staff.
  3. In many situations, attaining a general business license can serve as a basis for procuring more specialized licenses within specific industries, such as healthcare, education, and others.

Obtaining a corporate permit might prove crucial for tapping into various prospects in both public and private sectors, like government contracts and grant initiatives.

Operating without permits can lead to lawsuits for your company. In the UAE, starting and running a business entails meeting legal requirements, including obtaining permits, and ensuring successful operation. Holding the correct license can significantly enhance your position and protect your interests during conflicts or legal matters.

Types of business licenses in the Emirates

The nation enforces Federal Regulation No. 2 of 2015, outlining fundamental criteria concerning the enrollment and administration of corporations within its borders, including regulations on business licensing. In turn, Free Economic Zones (FEZ) have crafted specific regulations to supervise and authorize trade activities.

Key bodies responsible for granting business permits in the Emirates include:

  • For enterprises positioned on the mainland, it is the Department of Economic Development (DED) inside every separate emirate.
  • For businesses founded within FEZ, it is the UAE's FEZ authorities granting permits for businesses
If you intend to establish an offshore company, you don't need a license, but a registration certificate instead. But the point here is that such enterprises are forbidden to function in the UAE, only in these three offshore jurisdictions inside the nation: RAK, JAZFA, Ajman.

In the United Arab Emirates, securing a business permit varies according to both the area and the kind of business. Furthermore, particular kinds of companies might need supplementary permits, such as environmental or building permits, to operate legally.

Types of SEZ licenses


A UAE trade license offers two main types:

  • General. For trading companies in various areas without restrictions on product categories.
  • Specialized. Restricts the company's operations to particular product/service categories. Obtaining such a license typically necessitates submitting a thorough business strategy and documentation of expertise.


Pro service providers (consulting, legal, medical, engineering, etc.) in the UAE receive this license upon the relevant ministry approval.


In the UAE, industrial activities, like establishing factories and other production facilities necessitate an industrial permit.


UAE-based businesses like travel agencies, tour operators, and hotels need a tourism license.

There exist 6 types of licenses accessible to local enterprises on the UAE mainland:

  • Industrial (for enterprises producing goods or other items).
  • Commercial (for companies importing, exporting, distributing, storing goods).
  • Craft (for companies in handicraft production, as the manufacture of goods on a small scale).
  • Tourist (for the tourism sector, such as trip arrangers, adventure planners, etc.).
  • Agricultural (for companies in crop and livestock farming, etc.).
  • Professional (for various types of pro services, like accounting or financial consulting).

The license must be renewed, usually every one to two years, to avoid legal repercussions like bank account delays, suspension of investor visas, and non-renewals of staff visas. The company's engagement in the relevant type of activity will be hindered by an expired license.

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Renewal of the UAE licenses

It's critical for the advancement of your business to renew your UAE business license. Adherence to regional statutes is crucial, as neglecting to renew may lead to penalties or legal ramifications. Delays may also result in fines from the DED or the FEZ Administration.

Your business's standing is reflected in the license, cultivating trust among clients. Failure to renew your Emirate license promptly may lead clients to doubt the legitimacy of your company dealings once it expires.

Before authorizing a company to establish, manage, or terminate an account, UAE banks necessitate proof demonstrating that a corporation has extended its permits. You're ineligible for work visas or maintaining valid visas sans a valid license.

If the license is not renewed, the FEZ Administration or DED may cancel it without cause or prior notice. This would mean that you would have to pay substantial cancellation fees before you reapply for a new license in the UAE. The renewal procedure has to start many months before the existing license expires.

Basically, all that has to be done is pay the renewal fee and produce the necessary documentation, which entails filling out forms, amending the lease, submitting an audit report, and following other procedures. Following that, the license will be prolonged for a duration of one or more years. All the same, it's crucial to remember that a company's license renewal period may be extended if additional permissions from various national bodies are required.

Renewal company's license in the UAE involves the following stages:

Stage 1

Reviewing the lease agreement for business premises.

Ensure the validity of your lease before renewing your UAE license. Online verification of the rental agreement's filing status is available.

Stage 2

Assembling the required paperwork.

Prior to submitting the license renewal application in the UAE, confirm the validity and accessibility of all required paperwork.

Stage 3

Sending the application and full documentation to the regulator.

Kindly note that DED provides email services for business clients, facilitating online renewal of your company license.

Stage 4

License renewal fee payment.

Upon submission of the extension application, the review and verification of all documents commence. Once approved, the relevant authority will furnish an electronic payment voucher for the applicable fees.

Upon acceptance of the application and payment of the renewal fee, updated documentation with revised license expiration dates will be provided. Required paperwork for license renewal in the UAE includes:

  • Valid lease agreement.
Note. Register in the Ejari system. It requires firms to register their leases with the Dubai Land Department before using them for official reasons such as license renewal in the UAE.
  • Finished form.
  • Copies of each founder's or shareholder's Emirates ID and passport with a valid UAE residency visa are required.
  • Copy of existing license.
  • Financial status reports from the prior period (if needed).
  • Foreign authorities may require a No Objection Certificate (NOC). Depending on the type of business, approvals from entities like KHDA, Ministry of Health, etc., may be necessary and must be periodically renewed.
  • Payment records (receipt for renewal fee).

License renewal processes for companies registered in UAE free zones are the same as those on the mainland. For offices located in free zones, Ejari registration is not required.

The lease must be renewed, with rent payable annually or in installments based on office size. Additionally, licensing fees tied to visa quantities are required for license renewal each year.

For FEZ enterprises, additional paperwork may be needed alongside the usual requirements for business license renewal, such as:

  • NOC
  • A Certificate of Good Standing, which confirms that your business complies with national regulations and is in active status.
  • Parent company's existing license (for UAE onshore branch).

Business owners can alter their licenses in addition to renewing them. This is necessary in the following situations and can be completed at the time of renewal.

  • Add/remove a business partner;
  • Adjustments in governance particulars;
  • Name change;
  • Changes in the authorized capital;
  • Service transfer to another UAE agent;
  • Changes in business operations.

Expenses for licensing in the UAE

A business license renewal's price in the UAE can vary greatly for a number of reasons:

  1. Different types of licenses, such as those for free zones versus mainland, come with varying fee structures.
  2. The type of business and its related industry.
  3. Commission rates vary depending on the business location.
  4. Certain enterprises might need extra permits from particular government departments, which could raise the total expenses.

In general, renewing a license costs less than obtaining one initially. However, it's important to note that delays in the renewal process may incur penalties ranging from 10% to 50% of the renewal fee.


A business license is a kind of corporate passport that is issued by the government of the United Arab Emirates and is valid for a predetermined period of time. It is crucial for monitoring business conduct and completing tax obligations for the good of the public. Acquiring a business license offers the following primary benefits:

  • Boosting the integrity and reliability of your company.
  • Entry to a vibrant market with substantial purchasing capacity.
  • Tax benefits and incentives.
  • Compliance with both national regulations and international standards for juridical protection.
  • Flexibility and ease of doing business.
  • Access to an investor-friendly climate with attractive investment opportunities.

The United Arab Emirates requires extensive documentation and meticulous attention to detail when updating and renewing licenses, resulting in a lengthy procedure. Our firm assures continuous support for both local and FEZ businesses by specializing in this service, possessing the necessary expertise, and providing skilled assistance for annual license renewals in the UAE.

License renewal in the UAE aligns with prevailing legislation and client preferences, with specialists offering supplementary solutions such as:

  • Advocating for clients with regulatory agencies overseeing licensing.
  • Help with gathering and preparing required documents.
  • International document validation services.

Our company, with connections in the UAE, offers comprehensive business solutions, encompassing PRO services within the UAE and expert legal advice for company establishment.

Tags: license UAE
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