Why To Apply

The electronic Basher platform

Basher – a unified platform that allows establishing your company within 15 minutes. The local and federal government agencies concerned with licensing economic activities in various emirates have been brought together into a unified platform to facilitate doing business.

The electronic Basher platform

Department of Economic Development in Dubai
Department of Economic Development in Sharjah
Department of Economic Development in Ajman
Department of Economic Development in Umm Al Quwain
Department of Economic Development in Ras Al Khaimah Fujairah Municipality

You can apply to establish your company by visiting one of the following offices:

Government sevice centres
Tasheel offices
OnTime offices for government services
Legal services offices
Customer happiness centres affiliated to the departments of economic development in all emirates of the country

01 Identify the Nature of Your Business Activity

The UAE offers 6 main types of economic licenses

There are more than 2,000 economic activities in the UAE

Economic licenses can include several economic activities. The nature of the company's activity determines the type of license that will be issued.

02 Determine Your Company's Legal Structure

A business structure is primarily based on the needs of the business and will determine the laws and regulations the company must adhere to.

| The UAE offers 6 main types of economic licenses
Sole establishment
Branch of a GCC company
Civil company
Branch of a local company
Limited liability company
Holding company
Public joint stock company
Representative office of a foreign company
Private joint stock company

| Important links

To learn more about the legal forms of companies, please refer to the websites of the UAE's economic departments in each emirate, and other authorities concerned.

03 Register the Trade Name

The trade name is the name of the company, which must be unique and not be similar to the name of any other registered company. You can apply for a trade name through the chosen emirate's Department of Economic Development either on its website or smart application, or in person.

| Terms and conditions
01 The trade name must have an abbreviation of the legal structure of the company as its suffix (ex: LLC, PJSC, etc)
02The trade name must not contain inappropriate words, and should not be offensive to the general public
03 The trade name must be compatible with the chosen economic activities
04 The trade name must not contain the names of rulers, government agencies, or the names and logos of government bodies
05 The trade name must not be registered by any other company
06 The trade name and trademark must be approved by the Department of Economic Development and the Ministry of Economy
07Trade name certificates are subject to renewal

04 Apply for Initial Approval

An initial approval is the UAE Government's 'no objection' towards a particular business being established in the country. This approval also allows the investor to proceed with the next steps to set up a business and for the authorities to issue the license. It does not, however, grant the investor permission to run the business or practice the business activity.

05 Create LSA or MOA

A Memorandum of Association (MOA) is required if the legal form of the company is a civil company, limited liability company, public shareholding company, or private shareholding company. A local service agent agreement (LSA) is required if it is a sole proprietorship.

06 Choose Your Business Location

All businesses in the UAE must have a physical address to operate from. The company premises and location must comply with requirements specified by the emirate's Department of Economic Development, as well as zoning policies and regulations of local municipalities or other competent authorities. In Dubai, the tenancy contract for office or warehouse space has to be registered through the Dubai Land Department's Ejari portal.

07 Apply for Additional Government Approvals

In some cases, additional approvals from government entities governing certain business activities are required.

| Learn about economic activities that require additional approvals
Ministry of Interior

General transport-driving schools, fire equipment, alarm and safety systems, used-car dealers, used auto-parts, car rental.

Ministry of justice

Legal activities and legal consultancy

Local Municipal department

Architectural and engineering affairs

Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA)

Telecommunication activities

Executive Council

Travel and tourism, general services, charter trading, ship and maritime agencies, car clubs, charter air transport and foreign company branches

Ministry of Economy

Insurance activities and insurance consultancy

Local health departments

Health-related activities

08 Submit Required Documents

Receipt of initial approval and copies of all previously submitted documents

Copy of lease contract, duly attested

Memorandum/s of Association, as required

Approvals from other government entities, as required

09 Pay Fees and Collect License

Customers can collect the business license from service centres of the economic department or through their website.

10 Register Your Company with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Registration of the company must be in the same emirate where it has been incorporated.

Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry

Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry

RAK Chamber of Commerce & Industry

UAQ Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Fujairah Chamber of Commerce and Industry