Every business in Dubai needs to have a Licence issued by the government to be able to operate legally. You need a trade licence to have an office, to operate as a business, to issue residence visas and work permits for employees, to open bank accounts and to be able to accept payments.
There are two main licences in Dubai, a Freezone Licence and a Mainland or DED Licence.
Freezones are defined zones within Dubai that can issues Trade Licences, and the DED Licence is also known as a mainland licence and is issued by the Dubai Economic Department.
We help you decide which licence is best for you based on your individual needs, but here are the main things you need to know about both types of licences.
|DED Licence||Freezone Licence|
|Local sponsor is partners with you||No local sponsor|
|Less paperwork meaning less headaches||Paperwork is more time consuming|
|Quick approvals for various activities due to the presence of a local sponsor||Approvals may take more time|
|No limit activities on the trade licence||Limited activities|
|You can locate anywhere in Dubai||Limited locations – you can only locate in the zone you get your licence from|
|Bank transactions are easier because of a presence of a local sponsor||Transactions may be slower|
|More security and stability|
|You own your company 100%|
Sponsor owns 51% of your company, but you get 100% profits with an MOA (for LLC companies); if your licence is a professional one, you can still own 100% but you have a local ‘agent’.