Dubai is one of the most prominent business hubs for consulting firms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Recognised globally for its various characteristics, Dubai is today one of the most preferred destinations for business enterprises worldwide. The role of consulting firms is to provide consultation and guidance to enterprises and individuals looking for professional services of expert consultants. In the last few years, the consultation industry has flourished exponentially due to the rising demand for business consultancy and support in various sectors in the UAE. However, when you plan to start a consulting business, you first need to obtain a business license in Dubai.

Here, we will look at all the small steps a consultancy firm must take to obtain a consulting license in Dubai.

Steps to Obtain a Consulting License in Dubai:

  • Determine your business activity.
  • Register a company name.
  • Select a company structure – Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Branch of a Foreign Company.
  • Decide your business location – Mainland or Free Zone.
  • Find office space for business.
  • Submit all necessary documents for a consultancy licence
  • Pay the licence fees.
  • Obtain the consultancy licence.
  • Apply for a UAE residence visa.
  • Open a corporate bank account.

Types of Consultancy Licenses:

Apply for the right consultancy licence based on the nature of the business activity you plan to run. Below listed are different types of consultancy licenses in the UAE based on various business activities:

  • Accounting and Finance Consulting
  • Business Setup Consulting
  • Engineering Consultancy
  • Financial Advisory
  • HR Services and Manpower Consulting
  • Industrial Consulting
  • IT Consulting
  • Investment Consulting
  • Logistics and Shipping Consulting
  • Legal Consulting
  • Market Research Consulting
  • Project Management Consulting
  • Process and Operations Management Consulting
  • Risk Management and Compliances Consulting
  • Strategy Building Consultancy
  • Sales and Marketing Consultancy
  • Strategic Marketing Consulting

Applying for a Consultancy License in Dubai:

Apply for a consultancy license (commercial or professional license) to the Dubai free zone or directly to the Department of Economic Development (DED). You will need to submit the following documents while applying for a consulting license:

  • Completed application form along with the necessary documentation
  • Copies of passport and visa of the business owner(s)
  • Two coloured passport-size photographs
  • Copies of approvals obtained from the relevant government authorities, depending on the type of consultancy firm you want.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the sponsors
  • Unified Number, in case the shareholder holds a visit visa.
  • The licence gets issued within a few days. Once you receive a copy of the licence, you can start operating your business.

Final Thought

The process of obtaining a consulting license in Dubai is simple and straightforward. Yet, it is recommended that foreign investors and business owners understand every step of the process before applying to avoid any problems later, that is what documents are necessary, whom to contact for the licence, how to approach the authorities and how much time it takes. And, a basic understanding of the whole process can make it easier for you later.

However, you can hire expert business setup consultants and licence consultants in Dubai to submit your application to relevant authorities and government bodies. Experts are aware of every step in the process and all other requirements.  However, they are also familiar with legal business activities and can suggest those that best suit your business. Therefore, if you have already decided to set up a consultancy firm in Dubai, you can contact professional business setup agencies for smooth services.


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