Transferring a Trade License within Dubai Mainland

Transferring a trade license within Dubai Mainland is a significant step for business owners, whether it's for selling the business or changing ownership. While the process may appear daunting, understanding the steps involved and fulfilling the requirements can streamline the transfer process. In this guide, we'll walk you through the necessary steps, documents, and considerations for a smooth transfer of your trade license.

Perform Due Diligence:

Before initiating the transfer process, conduct thorough due diligence on both the buyer and seller. Verify the financial capability of the buyer and ensure there are no legal or financial obligations associated with the trade license.

Obtain Approval from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED):

The first step is to obtain approval from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED). Submit an application along with essential documents, including:

  • Application form for transfer of trade license.
  • Copies of buyer's and seller's passport and Emirates ID.
  • Copy of a valid tenancy contract.
  • Copy of the existing trade license.
  • Copy of the Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement.
  • Clearance certificates from the Ministry of Labour and General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
  • Good Conduct Certificate from the Dubai Police.

Draft a Sale and Purchase Agreement:

Once DED approval is secured, draft a Sale and Purchase Agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the transfer. Seek legal assistance to ensure the agreement covers all necessary aspects and protects both parties' interests.

Obtain No Objection Certificates (NOCs):

Both buyer and seller need to obtain No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from relevant government departments, including DEWA, Dubai Municipality, FTA, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, and others based on the business nature.

Transfer Ownership in the Tenancy Contract:

If the buyer intends to operate the business at the existing premises, transfer the ownership of the tenancy contract. Notify the landlord and update the tenancy contract reflecting the new ownership, duly attested by relevant authorities.

Pay the Transfer Fee:

Pay the transfer fee calculated based on a percentage of the trade license value at the DED offices and obtain the payment receipt for record purposes.

Obtain the New Trade License:

Upon submission of all required documents, approvals, and fees, the DED will issue a new trade license in the buyer's name. This process may take a few days or weeks, depending on the complexity and workload.


Transferring a trade license within Dubai Mainland demands meticulous planning and adherence to regulations. By following these steps and ensuring all necessary documents and approvals are obtained, business owners can navigate the transfer process successfully. If you're considering a trade license transfer, ensure you have the right support and guidance to facilitate a seamless transition.

Considering selling your business?

At UNIFY Commercial, we have the expertise to guide you every step of the way. Connect with one of our consultants today to embark on your business sales journey with confidence.