how to add new activities to your trade license

How to Add New Activity in Trade License in UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) pushes for a constantly evolving and changing business environment. As your company grows and diversifies, you might find the need to expand your scope of operations. As a result, to ensure legal compliance and proper authorization for these new activities, you’ll need to modify your existing trade license. In this blog, we provide a comprehensive guide on navigating the process of adding new activities to your trade license in the UAE. 

Understanding the Need for Amending Your Trade License

A trade license in UAE is a legal document that provides information on the specific business activities of a company which are authorized to operate in the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, it establishes a regulatory framework for your company and enables you to carry out business with legitimacy. However, it is necessary to update the document if your business ventures into new areas that are not originally covered by the trade license:

1.Compliance with UAE Regulations

Operating without the proper authorization for your activities can lead to legal repercussions. This could include fines and potential business suspension.


2.Transparency and Credibility

An updated trade license reflects the full range of your business offerings, enhancing transparency and fostering trust with potential clients and partners.


3.Access to New Opportunities

Certain business activities might require additional permits from specific government entities. A&A associate could help you identify those. Also, amending your license ensures you possess the necessary legal framework to pursue these opportunities.

The Process of Adding New Activities: A Step-by-Step Guide

By following a clear set of steps, the addition of new activities to your business license in the United Arab Emirates can be simplified. Here is a breakdown of the key stages in question:

2.Application for Trade License Changes

Once you receive the DED’s initial approval, you can proceed with the formal application to amend your trade license. This typically involves completing a designated application form (often referred to as BR1) and submitting it along with the required documents.

3.Required Documents

The specific documents required for the application may vary depending on your Emirate, the nature of your business, and the new activities you wish to add. However, some commonly required documents include:

  • A copy of your valid trade license.
  • A copy of your company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Establishment Card.
  • A copy of your valid office lease agreement.
  • Proof of any required approvals from other government entities relevant to your new activities.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your landlord (if applicable).
  • Any additional documents requested by the DED.

4.Agreement Formalities

Depending on your company structure, you might need to prepare additional documents related to internal agreements. A&A Associate can help you with this. For instance, companies with multiple shareholders might require a board resolution approving the addition of new activities.

5.Payment and Issuance of the Updated License

Once your application and all necessary documents are reviewed and approved by the DED, you’ll be required to pay the prescribed fees for the amendment. You’ll receive your updated trade license reflecting the newly approved activities upon successful payment processing.

6.Seeking Professional Assistance

The process of amending your trade license can involve legalities and specific requirements. Therefore, consider seeking guidance from a business consultant like A&A associate familiar with UAE business regulations. They can help ensure your application is complete and adheres to all legal stipulations.

7.Online Application Option

The convenience of applying for amendments to trade licenses online through dedicated government portals is offered by several Emirates, including Dubai. This will help to streamline the process, which may lead to a quicker turnaround time.

8.Maintaining Updated Records

Following a successful amendment, ensure you maintain updated copies of your trade license and any supporting documents for future reference.


Important Considerations

  • Processing times for amendments can vary depending on the complexity of your request and the specific Emirate. It’s advisable to factor in a reasonable timeframe for the process. 
  • Fees associated with amending your trade license can differ based on the Emirate and the number of activities you’re adding. It’s recommended to inquire about the applicable fees beforehand.

Beyond the Basics: Considerations for Specific Scenarios

While the core process outlined above provides a general framework, there might be additional considerations depending on your specific circumstances. Here are a few examples:

Free Zone vs. Mainland Companies

The process for amending trade licenses might differ slightly for companies operating in Free Zones business license compared to those based in the UAE mainland business license . Free Zone authorities often have their own set of regulations and procedures.

Activities Requiring Additional Permits

Certain business activities may necessitate acquiring additional permits from specific government entities beyond the DED’s approval. For instance, operating a restaurant might require approval from the Department of Food Safety. It’s crucial to research any additional permits needed for your new activities and factor them into your timeline.

Changes to Business Structure

If amending your trade license coincides with changes to your company’s legal structure, such as adding new partners or modifying the shareholding structure, you might need to address these changes concurrently. Consulting with a legal professional can help you navigate these complexities.

You will be able to navigate the process of adding new activities to your trade license in the United Arab Emirates with confidence if you follow the steps listed below and take into account any other points raised. Updating your trade license will ensure that you are operating by the legal framework, promoting transparency and opening up new trade opportunities. In fact, seeking professional guidance from business setup consultants like A&A associate when necessary can streamline the process and ensure a smooth transition as your company expands its horizons in the UAE.

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