Investors who wish to start a Dubai mainland company for providing various services must obtain a professional license. A professional license in Dubai mainland is intended for professionals who practice any profession in which they possess the requisite talent or skill. A Dubai mainland professional license mainly authorises activities undertaken by service providers, artisans or craftsmen. Accounting services, beauty salons, consultancy services etc are some of the top activities permitted under a professional license in Dubai mainland.

A Brief Glimpse into Professional License in Dubai Mainland

A professional license in Dubai Mainland is being issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), which is a government entity regulating mainland companies. The DED also decides the activities that can be carried out under a professional license. DED issues a professional license to individuals who meet the required professional qualifications. Since it’s a mainland license, a professional company can provide services anywhere in the UAE without restrictions.

Most activities under a professional license require the applicants to clear certain tests or examinations. For instance, business owners or directors should clear a Management Skills Placement Test conducted by the American University of Dubai (AUD) to start a management consultancy company in the Dubai mainland. Business setup consultants in Dubai can provide more insights on the qualifications required to conduct each activity.

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    Major Activities Permitted under a Professional License 

    A holder of a professional license in Dubai is permitted to carry out activities permitted by the DED. The activities must be consistent with the license holder’s qualifications and expertise. Carrying out activities that are not stated in the trade license without DED’s consent is a punishable offence. Therefore, foreign investors need to understand the major professional activities before initiating the process of business setup in Dubai. The following activities are permitted under a professional license in Dubai mainland:

    • Accountants, Auditors, and Financial Advisors
    • Advertising Professionals
    • Entertainment Artists
    • Architectural Consultants
    • Teachers and Educational Professionals
    • Business Consultants
    • Lawyers and Legal Advisors
    • Medical Representatives
    • Carpentry and Artisanal Activities
    • Technical Services
    • Consultancy services
    • Printing and Publishing
    • Internet and Web Design Services
    • Beauty Salons
    • Accounting and Auditing Companies
    • Information Technology Services
    • Management Consultancies
    • Healthcare and Medical Services

    Local Service Agent Requirement & 100% Ownership 

    Foreign investors who obtain a professional license in Dubai mainland are entitled to 100% ownership in their companies. However, they are required to appoint a UAE national as a Local Service Agent (LSA) to get DED approval. An LSA doesn’t have any legal interest in the company’s profits, shares, administration and assets. Consult with business setup consultants in Dubai to identify an LSA for the proposed company.

    Process of Getting a Professional License in Dubai

    The DED defines 8 steps in the process of establishing a business in Dubai. The following procedures can be followed for setting up a company with a professional License:

    1. Choosing a Business Activity 

    The first step in the process of issuing a license is determining the activity type which identifies legal form options and parties associated with that activity. There are over 2,000 business activities listed on the DED Dubai website, which fall into different classes and groups: industrial, commercial, professional and tourism activities. Applicants can choose the activity that falls under the professional category.

    2. Selecting a Legal Form 

    A ‘legal form’ is a description of the kind of business that is being set up in Dubai and the legal form is not something that is required to be filled up. Business type, business activities, and the nationality of the owner should be considered while choosing the legal form. Each business activity corresponds with an appropriate legal form, based on which the selection has to be made.

    3. Deciding on a Trade name 

    The trade name for the business should be related to the business activity that has been selected. The application for the trade name can be submitted through business setup consultants in Dubai. DED will issue a transaction number. The trade name reservation fees need to be paid within 72 hours of receiving the transaction number.

    4. Application for Initial Approval Certificate 

    Businesses need to apply for Initial Approval Certificate, which is an official confirmation from DED that it has no objection to the applicant starting a business in Dubai mainland.

    5. Sign the LSA Agreement  

    Depending on the legal form of the company, the business owners and partners may need to draft and sign a Memorandum of Association (MOA). For a professional License, the owners need to sign a Local Service Agent (LSA) / Corporate Agent agreement with a UAE national, who will represent the business for licensing and compliance.

    6. Establish a Business Location 

    DED demands a physical address for companies to set up a business in Dubai. The business owners can sign the tenancy contract with the landlord and register the contract with Ejari for attestation.

    7. Get Licensing Approvals 

    Business owners need to check if their activity falls under the categories defined by DED that require approvals from government bodies. Business activities and external approvals lists are updated regularly by the Business Registration and Licensing Sector in DED.

    8. Issuance of License 

    After all the above-mentioned procedures are completed the necessary documents can be submitted online or to authorised service centres. Companies need to ensure that the following documents are submitted:

    • Initial approval receipt
    • Copy of the lease contract duly attested by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) in Dubai
    • Duly attested memorandum of association
    • Approval from government bodies (if applicable)
    • A duly attested service agent contract

    Avail the Best Business Setup Services in Dubai

    Obtaining a mainland profession license is no easy task for foreign investors with little knowledge about the UAE laws. However, availing of business setup services offered by consultants such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC) can wedge or squeeze that knowledge gap. JBC is one of the most reputed business setup consultants in Dubai, UAE. JBC’s team of qualified business setup consultants assist the professionals in setting up their businesses with a professional license in Dubai Mainland.  JBC helps professionals get approvals from relevant authorities, find local service agents and handle all the documentation procedures required by DED to apply for the professional license in Dubai Mainland.

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