Initial Approval for Business Setup in Dubai.

Business Setup in Dubai - Obtaining initial approval is one of the most important preliminary steps to setup your business in Dubai.

Initial approval means DED's approval for the business activity (activities) selected for your business.

By issuing an initial approval certificate, DED is indicating that it has no objection for you starting a business in Dubai with the selected activity.

It also means that you can proceed to the next legal steps to obtain license for your proposed business in Dubai.

The initial approval certificate and application form are essential for obtaining your license.

How to apply for initial approval certificate ?

You may apply for initial approval certificate through the following channels:

+ Online

+ Authorised document clearing offices

+ Authorised law firms

+ DED counters

The application channels that you can use depends on the legal form of your business.You must have an online user account to submit application through that channel. 

What are the procedures involved for getting initial approval certificate ?

Step 1. Duly filled Form BR 1. This is the registration and licensing application form of DED. This form is both in English and Arabic and DED recognizes Arabic. 

Following information and documents are required to apply for initial approval certificate :

+ Business activity and code.

+ Duly filled in BR 1 Form signed by owner(s) or partner(s).

+ Passport copy of all owners or partners or share holders.

+ Copy of visa page (residence visa), entry page (visa on arrival) in passport or copy of tourist or visit visa in the case of foreign partners.

+ NOC from sponsor in the case of expatriate partners who hold Employment/ Residence visa.

+ NOC is not required in the case of Investor/ Partner visa holders.

+ Copy of attested educational certificates wherever applicable.

+ CV or Profile of Partner(s) or Manager wherever applicable.

+ Passport copy of the UAE National owner or partner or share holder or local service agent.

+ Khulasat Al Qaid (Jinsia - family book) of UAE National partner, if they don't have existing licenses.

+ Emirates ID of UAE National partner.

+ For certain legal forms or activities, external approval may be required.

Step 2. Proceed to DED service centre for submitting the application.

+ You may book an appointment with DED, if you have an online user account.

+ You can also walk in and collect token from DED reception counter.

+ The official at the counter will verify your application. If finds everything in order, your application will be approved.

+ The official will give you back the application after affixing the signature and DED stamp.

+ A payment voucher will also be issued for making payment for initial approval.

Step 3. Make the payment and Obtain Initial Approval Certificate

+ You can make payment by cash or credit card at the counter or in designated banks or by transferring money from your account in specified banks.

+ After making the payment, you can obtain the Initial Approval Certificate.

+ The Initial Approval Certificate contains information about Licence Type, Legal Form, Name and nationality of partners, Activity etc.

+ The validity of Initial Approval Certificate is six months from the date of approval.

Mr. Baiju Masoodu is a Free Zone Business Setup Consultant. Our ‘corporate service firm’ can advise and assist you to set-up a business in Dubai and UAE Free Zones. For a free consultation & cost estimate, call me on: +971 50 214 1476 or mail me at:

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