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A trade license in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, or anywhere else in the UAE requires annual renewal for a company established in any of these Emirates. A trade license in Dubai is a legal document that allows a company to trade or provide services. The company can engage in activities specified in the company documentation. Also, the activities need to be in accordance with the UAE regulatory requirements.

ACT PRO and Business Services is here to help you through the process of trade license renewal in Dubai and UAE. So that you can concentrate on your business instead of getting into the hassle of renewing your trade license. See also other ACT Services.

A company can choose between several online and offline portals of the DED to renew its trade license. The renewal process can get fairly complicated on the basis of your legal form and type of activities on the license. Hence, we at ACT PRO and Business Services can help you with a hassle-free and timely trade license renewal.


1. Check your tenancy contract

It is vital that your tenancy contract is valid for not less than three months from its expiry date. Hence, make sure that you check your tenancy contract and then apply for its renewal. Also, if the date of expiry is less than that stated above, it’s recommended to renew your tenancy contract prior to the license renewal. Do ensure that you have an Ejari. In the case of a Flexi Desk with a business center, you may not have an Ejari. Highlight this to the authorities as you will only be able to produce a tenancy contract and no Ejari.

2. Third-party approvals

Specific activities on the license will need prior approval from third-party authorities before renewal. For instance, certain activities of a professional license require its manager to clear the examinations with the American Institute of Dubai. Another example is, if you have a license with Interior Decoration. You will need to ensure that an SOE registered architect has a link to your Dubai Municipality account. Or else, there are chances for rejection of your license application or issuing the license with comments. Thus, preventing you from trading or providing services. Also note, there are fees applicable to third parties to get the required NOCs for presentation to the Economics Department.

3. Submitting the application

Next, you need to put together the tenancy contract / Ejari and the third-party approval (if required for your license). Also, carry a copy of your current trade license in Dubai or any other Emirate and proceed to the closest DED or Tasheel center to submit the documents. Additionally, if you have an online DED account, you can apply for the renewal online. As long as, all documents in the system are valid, the authorities will approve the renewal. However, in case of third-party approval requirements or if the Ejari is not updated, they may request a manual renewal through a DED center.

4. Get the DED payment voucher

Once approved, the Department of Economic Development will provide you with a Payment voucher. There will be fees applicable to the issuance of this payment voucher. The payment voucher has multiple sections which one needs to pay attention to. As, you can apply for a reduction of these fees through various departments prior to making the final payment. For instance, linked to your rent value are sections such as market fees. It is, generally a percentage of the rent value. You need to ensure that the calculation is accurate. Furthermore, there are sections linked to the partner’s accommodation and employee accommodation. There can also, be a reduction on this by presenting the required documentation to the Municipality Department. This is where the experience of ACT PRO and Business Services comes into play. We ensure you are aware of what you are paying for.

4. Provision of installments, if required

You can avail of installments and discounts services by sending an e-mail to Or by calling DED Helpline on 04-4455499. This service is available in cooperation with Aafaq Islamic Finance and many more local banks.

5. Make a payment

Take the above-mentioned payment voucher to the DED counter or any Tas’heel Centre. You can then, make payment at the cashier and get the license at the same time. However, when you make the payment at the DED or Tasheel Center, there is a service fee applicable on the transaction. You also, have the option of making the payment online using your bank account or credit card. Once the payment clears, you will receive your renewed Trade license.

The above-mentioned procedure is for a simple trade license renewal in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or any other Emirate. If you are looking at renewing your license under a new sponsor or new tenancy, the process is different. Head to our Free Sponsorship page to learn how you can change sponsors and save on sponsorship fees by outsourcing your PRO to us.

Impacts of an expired business license

  1. When a business license expires, the Department of Economic Development can impose a business with several forfeits. A business practicing without a license can be penalized with AED 5000. While failure to renew a license within the specified time limit could cost AED 250 per month.
  2. An expired trade license in Dubai will not permit you to hire new staff if required. It can cause a lot of hiccups when working with the Ministry of Labour and The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (Immigration).
  3. Third-party departments such as Dubai Municipality, Dubai Aviation, Insurance Authorities are also in a position to impose a ban on trading on a license. Or a ban on providing services if their license or the DED license is not renewed on time.

While the procedure is common for all Emirates in the UAE, there may be some additional steps that one has to follow based on the license type, ownership, activities, and the Emirate. We can help you with trade license renewal in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE as well.