In addition to a business operating license from the Dubai Department of Economic Development or a Dubai free zone, your business startup in Dubai might require external approvals.

As a new business setup in Dubai, your company may need to apply for approvals from other government departments in order for your license to be issued and remain valid. It’s important to know what regulations you need to follow to meet the requirements to start a business in Dubai and how to fulfill them so that you don’t run the risk of getting shut down or paying costly fines – and so that your business is set up for success right from the start.

What kinds of business activities require external approvals?

Usually, any kind of business that may impact human life or the environment requires additional approvals.

Key examples include work in the oil and gas industry, defense and firearms, medicine, finances or food business.

In order to conduct business related to these sectors and to successfully get a business license in the UAE, your business startup in Dubai must first acquire a no objections certificate, or NOC. In such cases, the government department in charge of regulating the sector you want to work in will issue your certificate.  

What’s the first step?

The first thing you need to figure out your business activity category. There are numerous business activities, and the DED and free zone areas in Dubai have classified into broader categories, from which you can choose. And if it’s the case that your business activities don’t fall into any provided categories, business setup consultants in Dubai can help you select an approach that will work for you.

Then what?

In order to find out if the activities of your business startup in Dubai require external approval, you need to contact the related government department to find out its particular regulations. This is how the government ensures that companies adhere to compliance regulations required for specific industries interested in business registration in the UAE.

Visit the websites for the DED or free zone areas in Dubai, and search for your business activity. Once you find it, the site will also tell you whether your business requires external approval. To get your external approval, you might be required to provide additional documentation, undergo a separate application process, as well as pay additional fees.

Once you’ve received external approvals, you’re ready for the pre-approval process during which you have to provide your business license application form, identification, and a business feasibility study, among other requirements.

Whilst all of this paperwork can seem like a complicated process, it’s important to understand and complete it correctly so that your business formation in Dubai begins on a firm legal footing. The good news is that experienced business setup consultants in Dubai and PRO services are available in Dubai for entrepreneurs to contract out their business licensing work.

Get in touch with Decisive Zone at or call +971 4 584 7332 to apply for your business’ external approvals.

Decisive Zone is a business setup company helping you find the best-suited solution when establishing a company in UAE. Decisive Zone will advise you on the corporate structure and jurisdiction to choose from, while covering all technical, administrative and financial aspects of UAE business setup.

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