How to obtain a consultancy license in Dubai, UAE?

Consultancy business is one of the most renowned professions, which involves immense technical expertise and knowledge base. The rise of consultancy firms around the world is a testament to the rising importance of well qualified and educated professionals in the business world. Dubai being a city of opportunities aplenty, there is no dearth of demand for a consultancy business. If you wish to obtain a consultancy license in Dubai, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Mandatory Requirement

One of the most important factors to keep in mind when seeking to start a consultancy business in Dubai is that the owner of such a business or the Managing Director as employed, should be someone who is professionally qualified in the business. For example, if you plan to start an HR consultancy business in Dubai, you need to have a professional degree/postgraduate qualification in HR and working experience in the field. 

Types of Consultancy Licenses

If you wish to start a consultancy business in the UAE, there are many different types of consultancy licenses to choose from. Some of the most popular types of consultancy licenses available in the UAE are:

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

Documents Required

The following documents are required for applying for a consultancy license in Dubai:

  • Completed application form 
  • Copies of passport and visa of the business owner/partner
  • Two coloured passport-size photos
  • Copies of approvals 
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the sponsors
  • Unified Number, in case the shareholder holds a visit visa


The process for starting a consultancy business in the UAE is as follows:

  • Select trade name - The first step in obtaining a business license for consultancy business in Dubai is to define the business activity and select the trade name of the business. While selecting the trade name, it is important to note various mandatory stipulations such as - the name should not resemble an existing business, the name should not contain any offensive or blasphemous words, there should be no abbreviations, etc. Once the trade name is selected adhering to the stipulations as above, the same may be forwarded to the concerned authority for approval.
  • Location - The next step is to finalise the location of your business. You have the option to set up your consultancy business either in the Mainland or the Freezone. If you wish to choose Mainland, you will have benefits like ability to bid for state contracts as well as trade in the local market without the help of a local agent. On the other hand, if you choose Freezone, you can enjoy 100% exemption from customs tax, deal in forex and currency and repatriate of capital and profits.
  • Trade License - Once your trade name and jurisdiction is finalised, you may forward an application to the authority concerned for obtaining a trade license for a consultancy business. In the case of the Mainland, you would need to apply for a trade license with the Department of Economic Development (DED) and in the case of Freezone, you need to apply for a trade license with the trade license authority concerned.
  • Visa - You would also need to apply for a visa for your employees and any other domestic staff and family members you wish to sponsor.
  • Corporate Bank Account - You will also need to apply for a business bank account in any of the established banks in Dubai.

If you are looking to start a consultancy business in Dubai, make sure you go through the checklist as above to get a better understanding of the various requirements and processes. In case you wish to consult an expert to help obtain consultancy license for your business, feel free to connect with Kiltons Business Setup Services LLC, the #1 business setup consultant in all of Dubai. Our team can identify everything you need to know about obtaining consultancy license and help you get your consultancy business off the ground in no times.

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