Trade License Renewal

Trade License Renewal in Dubai

It is common knowledge for everyone running a business in the UAE that it requires a license. These licenses differ in type depending on your business activities and several other factors, along with authority bodies that issue them. The licensing process and the required steps are mostly the same for different license types apart from the desired company formation options and other business-specific aspects.

However, licenses are not permanent, so acquiring one is not the end-all solution. Trade licenses need to be renewed – typically on an annual basis. As such, failure to renew a license may result in very undesirable consequences, including fines, blacklisting, or even termination of your business.

Being properly informed on this issue is vital for business owners who want to ensure continuous and smooth operation of their company in the UAE in the long run.


In Dubai, the process of renewing your trade license will require you to collect the following list of documents:

  • Photocopies of passports of all business partners
  • Photocopy of your trade license
  • Valid tenancy agreement
  • BR/1 form

Note that having a valid tenancy contract requires you to have Ejari registration, as it will be checked by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority for validity.

Companies registered in Dubai’s free zones have additional paperwork requirements, such as:

  • No Objection Certificate (if applicable)
  • Original or notarized copy of Certificate of Continuity of Existence or Good Standing or Current Trade License in case of Branch of Onshore UAE Company (if applicable)


To renew a trade license in Dubai, you will need to follow the necessary procedures set by the relevant authorities. Here is a general overview of the process:

  1. Documentation. Gather all the paperwork required for trade license renewal and ensure its compliance with the corresponding regulations.
  2. Application submission. Complete the application and submit it along with the necessary papers to the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the pertinent authority of the free zone where your business is registered.
  3. Fee payment. Pay the applicable trade license renewal fees. The fee size may significantly vary depending on what business activities you engage in under your trade licemse and the operation jurisdiction of your business.
  4. Inspection (if applicable). Some businesses may require an inspection by the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with regulations. If an inspection is required, schedule it accordingly.
  5. Approval and issuance. Once the application is reviewed and all requirements are met, the authorities will approve the renewal, after which you will receive your renewed trade license.


Not renewing your trade license in Dubai can have several consequences. Firstly and foremost, having a valid trade license is a legal requirement for operating a business in Dubai. Failing to renew your license means you are operating your business illegally, which can result in penalties, fines, or even legal action.

Additionally, not renewing your trade license can negatively impact your business operations. Without a valid license, you may face difficulties in conducting business transactions, such as opening bank accounts, signing contracts, or obtaining necessary permits. This can hinder your ability to operate smoothly and can cause you to lose credibility and trust among customers and business partners.

Furthermore, the government authorities in Dubai actively monitor businesses to ensure compliance with licensing regulations. If you are found to be operating without a valid license, you may face inspections, audits, or investigations, which can disrupt your business operations and potentially lead to further penalties or sanctions, including:

  • Financial penalties. In Dubai, failing to renew your trade license and operating under an expired one can result in you being fined by the Department of Economic Development. The DED can inflict a fine of AED 5,000 on companies running without a trade license and AED 250 for every month of not having one.
  • Company blacklisting. Running a company with an expired license can get you blacklisted by business partners and the authorities, which in turn can lead to your business being terminated.
  • Company termination. If you fail to comply with the trade license renewal requirements and operate a business illegally, your enterprise can be subject to termination by the DED at any point. Moreover, in this case you may never be able to reopen your company in Dubai.

Note that it is always benificial to consult with legal experts or relevant government agencies to understand the specific implications of not renewing your trade license in Dubai.

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