External Approvals in Dubai Mainland: Top Considerations for Businesses

Obtaining a trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) is your most significant prerequisite to carry out trading activities in the lucrative UAE market. To secure the valuable trade license in your desired business activity, you need to navigate some steps that are mandatory to complete the process of business setup in Dubai. These steps are fairly easy in general, but in some special cases, the foreign investors are required to secure external approvals from the concerned ministries or government departments. The external approvals come into picture when your desired activity, called special activity, is being regulated by the relevant Govt departments.

Business setup consultants in Dubai guide you about the nature of these activities and the concerned departments you should approach to get the approval.

Why an External Approval is Required?

The DED insists on getting external approvals when your business activity is liable enough to create a deep impact on our day to day lives such as financial services. Considering the potential impact of the activity, the DED requests the assistance of Ministries or government authorities if the particular activity abides by the UAE laws to keep a balance in the economic cycle and also to cut the risk it may exert on the daily lives. Foreign investors need to have a clear understanding about such activities even before applying for the license which would save them from potential delays. Experienced business setup consultants in Dubai will provide valuable insights into the activities while setting up the business.

Special Activities & Related Ministries for External Approval

The following is a list of some of the activities and the relevant departments that grant the external approvals for setting up a business in Dubai mainland:

  1. Travel and tourism activities require approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
  2. Gym and Fitness Centres must get approval from the Dubai Sports Council/Emirates Body Building Federation (EBBF).
  3. Social Club registration and licensing approval is granted by the Ministry of Social affairs
  4. Banks and financial institutions activities need clearance of the Central Bank of the UAE
  5. Training Institutes, Educational Establishments should get external; approval from Knowledge and Human Development Authority approval (KHDA)
  6. Printing, publishing and advertising activities must have permission from the National Media Council
  7. Pharmaceutical and medical products trading needs approval from the Ministry of Health
  8. Contracting and Building Maintenance, Architect and Engineering and related activities should get clearance from the Dubai Municipality
  9. Manufacturing facilities need the approval of the Ministry of Finance and Industry
  10. Tents, awnings and Tarpaulin manufacturing need approval from Environment Protection Section of Dubai Municipality.
  11. Transportation and vehicle rental activities require approval from the Road and Transport Authority
  12. Advocates and Legal Consultants must get approval from the Ruler’s Office
  13. Approval from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is needed for real estate activities and Business Centre Activities
  14. All medical-related activities need external approval from Dubai Health Authority
  15. Chartered Accountants, Insurance Companies and Insurance Brokers are required to obtain approval from the Ministry of Economy
  16. Oil and Gas activities are being granted approval from the Dubai Court
  17. Man Power Recruitment Agencies need approval from the Ministry of Labour (MoL)

The Process of Getting External Approvals in Dubai

The process of business setup in Dubai starts with reserving a trade name with the DED and getting the initial approvals. After this stage, if your activity doesn’t come under the special category, you can proceed to the next stage of obtaining a trade license in Dubai mainland. However, if your desired business activity is subject to the requirement of external approvals, then you will be directed to the concerned government authority that regulates the activity in question.

The authority will detail the process of getting the approval and you need to provide the relevant documents to get the approval. Upon getting the approval, the DED will issue the trade license. The process may take up some time and seeking advice from the best business setup consultants in Dubai will help you get prepared for the process.

Professional Qualifications & Local Experience

Certain special activities such as Auditing, Legal and Medicine, Management Consultancy, Engineering etc. require not only a professional degree and experience in the country of origin of the applicants but also requires exams/test by the local regulators to be eligible for the practice in the UAE. For example, it is mandatory for the business owner or a director of a proposed management consultancy company to clear the Management Skills Placement Test conducted by the American University of Dubai (AUD).

Is There Any Cost Involved?

There are some costs involved in obtaining approval from the government authorities. The fee for approvals depends on the activities you choose to start a business in Dubai. All activities are not alike and pose different types of risks or offer different business opportunities. This means the charges for external approvals are not fixed and vary from activities to activities. The approval charges for travel agency related activities will be different from that of education activities. Bearing this in mind, you should consult with established business setup consultants in Dubai while incorporating a company.

How Business Setup Consultants in Dubai Can Help?

Entrepreneurs and investors need to be prepared in advance to have a clear understanding of the regulations of business setup in Dubai. The investors should plan and include external approvals in their budget before proceeding to apply for a trade license with the DED. Failing to do so will leave the investors in a bay after the initial approval stage. The entrepreneurs won’t know which authority to visit or what documents are to be presented. This is where experienced business setup consultants in Dubai such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC) comes into the picture.

JBC has years of experience in assisting the investors in setting up a company in Dubai, UAE. JBC’s team of company formation specialists are well-versed in the UAE laws and are experienced in dealing with the authorities. The consultants would impart their local expertise and legal know-how to equip the investors with adequate information to get the external approvals. JBC assist the entrepreneurs in all stage of company formation in Dubai right from getting the license to incorporation.

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