Easy Steps to Obtain an Instant Trade License in Dubai #UAE – Your Comprehensive Guide

Author: Avish Shah | Last Updated: June 30, 2024

Are you ready to launch your business in Dubai but daunted by the licensing process? Securing your trade license from the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) in mere minutes, not months. Welcome to the world of instant trade licenses in Dubai – a game-changer by the Dubai government for entrepreneurs and SMEs alike.

In this comprehensive guide, know how to get your instant license through DED’s e-services bypass all the paperwork, and get your business into Dubai’s free zones and mainland. Whether you’re a local Emirati entrepreneur or an international investor.

Explore Dubai’s strategic sectors – from e-commerce to fintech – to establish an LLC or free zone entity.

Get ready to discover how you can be operational in the UAE’s commercial hub faster than you ever thought possible!

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  1. Available for various entities: LLCs, free zone companies, and local and international entrepreneurs.
  2. Covers strategic sectors: e-commerce, fintech, general trading, consolting, and professional services.
  3. Easy process: digital application, minimal paperwork, often approved within minutes via DED's e-services.
  4. Cost-effective start: virtual office option, lower initial fees, but consider potential upgrade costs later.

What is an Instant License in Dubai?

The Dubai Instant License, offered by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), is a simplified trade license designed to expedite business setup. It allows entrepreneurs to obtain a license electronically within minutes, significantly faster than the traditional business license application process.

How Does an Instant License Differ from a Regular Trade License?

The main difference between an instant trade license and a normal license lies in the processing time and initial requirements. While a regular trade license can take weeks or even months to process, an instant license can be obtained much more quickly, sometimes in just a few hours.

What are the benefits of an Instant License in Dubai?

  • Cost-effective license acquisition
  • We offer same-day approval and quick processing (within 10-15 minutes).
  • Option to work from a virtual space for the first year
  • In the first year, there is no need for a physical office
  • No requirement to draft a Memorandum of Association (MOA) in the first year
  • During the first year, no trade name registration is required

How does a Dubai Instant License differ from a regular trade license in Dubai?

While the Instant Trade License offers a fast track, it’s important to understand the differences compared to the Regular Trade License to choose the best fit for your business. Here’s a breakdown:

Feature Instant Trade License Regular Trade License
Processing Time Minutes Days or Weeks
Application Complexity Simpler, often online More complex, and may require visits
Virtual Office Option Yes, for the initial year No
Business Activity Types Limited list Wider range available
Long-Term Cost May require an upgrade later May be more cost-effective long-term

Choosing the Right License:

  • Instant Trade License: Ideal for startups, freelancers, consultants, or those testing the market.
  • Regular Trade License: Better suited for established businesses with a physical presence, a wider range of activities, or long-term plans.

Remember, you can always upgrade from an Instant License to a Regular License later. It’s crucial to consider your business goals and long-term needs when making your decision.

IV. Eligibility and Activities: Is the Instant License Right for You?

Am I eligible to apply for an Instant License in Dubai?

Eligibility for an instant license is relatively broad but typically includes:

  • UAE nationals
  • GCC nationals
  • Foreign investors (with certain restrictions)
  • Existing business owners looking to expand

Not all businesses automatically qualify for the Instant Trade License. The Department of Economic Development (Dubai) sets specific criteria to ensure this option aligns with your business model. Here’s a breakdown of the eligibility factors:

  • Business Type: The Instant License is typically available for limited liability companies (LLCs) and sole proprietorships.
  • Business Activity: The license covers a specific list of pre-approved business activities, often focused on commercial or professional services.
  • Visa Status: You’ll need a valid Emirates ID and either a residency visa or a visit visa with a pre-arranged local sponsor.

Who Benefits Most?

This streamlined licensing option is particularly attractive for:

  • Startups: Ideal for launching a new venture and testing the market viability.
  • Freelancers and Consultants: The virtual office option allows for a cost-effective setup without a physical workspace.
  • Entrepreneurs with Limited Resources: The faster processing and potentially lower initial costs are beneficial for businesses with limited resources.

Remember: It’s always advisable to check with the Department of Economic Development (Dubai) for the latest eligibility requirements and the most up-to-date list of approved business activities for the Instant Trade License.

What types of trade activities are covered by the Dubai Instant License?

The DET publishes a list of approved activities for the Instant License. These activities typically fall under general trading, e-commerce, commercial or professional services, such as consulting, marketing, or IT services. It’s crucial to confirm if your desired activity is included before applying.

V. How to apply for a Dubai instant business license

  1. Choose Your Business Structure:
  2. Select Your Business Activity:
  3. Gather Required Documents:
  4. Apply Online:
  5. Make the Payment:
  6. Receive Your License:

How long does it take to get an Instant License in Dubai?

One of the most significant advantages of the Instant License is its speed. Unlike a regular license application process that can take days or even weeks, the Instant License boasts a remarkably fast turnaround time.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Application Submission: The online application process for the Instant License is designed for ease and efficiency.
  • Processing and Approval: Once you submit your application and all required documents are in order, the approval process is swift. You can expect to receive your Instant License electronically within minutes.

VI. How much does it cost to get an Instant License in Dubai?

Understanding the cost implications of each license type helps you make an informed decision.

  • Instant Trade License: While the application fee itself might be lower compared to a Regular License, there are additional factors to consider:
    • Limited Validity: The initial license typically has a shorter validity period (often one year) and may require renewal with associated fees.
    • Upgrade Potential: If your business grows beyond the scope of the Instant License, upgrading to a Regular License might incur additional costs.
    • Virtual Office: While the virtual office option is convenient initially, transitioning to a physical space later might involve additional setup expenses.

Here are the 6 most important FAQs for Instant Trade License in Dubai

  1. What is an instant trade license in Dubai?

An instant trade license is a fast-track business license issued by the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) in Dubai, allowing entrepreneurs to quickly start a business in the UAE.


  1. How long does it take to get an instant license in Dubai?

You can get your instant license within minutes through the DED’s e-services platform.


  1. What types of businesses can I start with an instant license?

Instant licenses cover various activities including general trading, e-commerce, and professional services. You can form a limited liability company (LLC) or operate as a sole proprietorship.


  1. How much does an instant license cost in Dubai?

The cost of an instant license in Dubai typically ranges from AED 3,000 to AED 10,000, depending on the business activity and other factors. This often includes trade name registration.


  1. What are the benefits of an instant trade license?

Benefits include faster processing, lower initial costs, a virtual office option for the first year, and the ability to quickly start operations and test the market.


  1. Do I need a physical office space for an instant license?

Initially, you can use a virtual office, but you may need to lease a physical space later depending on your business activities and growth.