External Approvals Required for Business Setup in UAE

by Zaara 12, Oct 2020

External approval is validation or approval from a third party governmental establishment, allowing a businessperson to officiate the business activity. Individual businesses require external approvals which in most cases should be obtained before the final issuance of business license irrelevant of the Emirate. Therefore, it is highly suggested to do preliminary research before starting the registration process of the business or consult with a business consulting company in case you don’t have time to research on your own.

External Approvals in the UAE

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the governing authority that issues licenses for new business setup. Generally, the DED offers the initial approvals and trade name approvals to a business. But there are certain business activities in the UAE which need external approval apart from the initial approval to start the business operation. The external approvals are regulated by different government authorities.

Which Activities Need External Approval?

There are specific factors which create an impact on the economic cycle or the day-to-day lives; such business activities need external approval. The list of activities needing external approval from the UAE authorities is as under –

  1. Cargo packaging, Cargo Clearing, Canal dredging contracting and Fishing cages manufacturing activities require approval from Dubai Maritime City
  2. Travel and tourism activities require approval from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
  3. Gym and Fitness Centers require approval from the Dubai Sports Council
  4. Social Club registration and licensing are obtained from the Community Development Authority
  5. Tents, awnings and Tarpaulin manufacturing need approval from Environment Protection Section of Dubai Municipality
  6. Banks and financial institutions must receive clearance from the Central Bank of the UAE
  7. Training Institutes and Educational Establishments need approval from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority
  8. Manufacturing amenities must obtain permission from the Ministry of Finance and Industry;
  9. Pharmaceutical and medical products trading approval can be obtained from the Ministry of Health;
  10. Contracting and Building Maintenance and related activities need approval from the Dubai Municipality
  11. Transportation and vehicle rental activities require approval from the Road and Transport Authority
  12. Printing, publishing and advertising activities must have permission from the National Media Council
  13. Travel agents dealing with flight tickets need approval from General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
  14. For oilfield and natural gas-related activities, external approval is obtained from the Ruler’s Court
  15. Jewellery trading and related activities need external approval from Department of Protective Systems
  16. Telephone and Telecommunication activities need approval from Telecommunication Regulator Authority (TRA)
  17. External approval for tents or tarpaulin manufacturing etc. is obtained from Environment Protection Section of Dubai Municipality

What is the Cost of Obtaining External Approval from the UAE Authorities?

The external approval comes with some times one time charges or in some cases with a repeated charge. As the business activities are different and as they come with different variety of business opportunities hence there are no fixed charges, and it differs from one activity to another activity. The fees to take a travel agent activity cannot be matched with the charge while taking activity for education support activities. Hence, kindly contact a business advisor to check the detailing about the cost required for obtaining external approval.

The Procedure for Obtaining External Approvals in Dubai

Generally, the procedure starts with a business name approval and initial approval from the DED Dubai and then according to the business activity the authority related to the external approval will provide the procedure and the conditions to get the approval from themselves. Sometimes it may take more than a month to complete the process to get the external approval. Once the external approval is obtained, then the DED provides the license to start the business operations.

How can we help?

Obtaining external approvals can take a lot of time if you are not aware of the laws and policies followed in the UAE. Hence, we at Commitbiz can take care of the whole procedure of business setup while you can concentrate on the operational activities. Right from business incorporation to office space in the UAE, we cover it all. Contact us for more information.