Business Setup in Dubai - Selecting an appropriate trade name is one of the most important preliminary steps to setup a business in Dubai.
Trade name means the name used by a business to identify or distinguish itself from others. A good trade name helps customers, general public, regulators and other stake holders to distinctly identify your business. Most of the communications and transactions related to the company are processed through trade name. That is why, selecting an apt and unique trade name is considered as an important step to setup a business.
Once a trade name is selected, it should be reserved in the name of one of the partners of the proposed business. Let’s try to understand the important aspects related to trade name reservation.
Procedures to be followed for reserving a trade name
When choosing a name for the proposed business or company, you should follow the general trade name guidelines.
You can apply for a trade name online or through an authorized document clearing office or authorized law firm.
In order to submit online application for a trade name, you must have an online user account (e services) with DED.
After processing the application, you will be issued a payment voucher or a transaction number for making payment.
Payment options: Online Payment. Cash, Cheque or Credit Card at the authorized document clearing offices, banks. Transferring money from your bank account.
Applicable Fee: AED 610 is the government fee for trade name reservation.
If the application is processed through authorized document clearing offices, their service charge will also be applicable.
Documents required for trade name reservation:
Passport copy of one of the partners.
A list of proposed names.
A trade name certificate is valid for six (6) months.
A trade name can be renewed three times within one week before its expiry date.
The same fee for reserving a trade name applies for renewal also.
If a trade name certificate is expired, it can't be renewed. It should be reserved again.
Payment through Bank.
You can pay by cash, credit card or by Cheque through the designated banks.
Designated banks are: Dubai Bank (PJSC), Noor Islamic Bank, Aafaq and Islamic Finance Company.
Use your payment voucher to complete the bank payment.
Payment through online.
In order to make online payment through ePay gateway, you must have a UAE credit card.
If the fees are more than AED 50,000, you will not be able to use your credit card to make the payment.
But, you can still pay through direct debit through Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, and Dubai Islamic Bank.
Use your payment voucher to complete the online payment.
If your payment fails for any reason, visit the 'Development and Follow Up' section in the DED Business Village branch or contact DED by email through firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your payment fails but the amount is deducted from your account, contact the finance department in DED Business Village branch. Payment by transferring from bank account.
You can transfer money from your account if you bank with Mashreq Bank or Commercial Bank of Dubai. Use your payment voucher to complete the bank payment.
Trade Name Guidelines
While selecting a trade name, you must follow the general trade name guidelines. Following are the important guidelines:
The name should not have obscene or indecent words, and should not be offending to the general public even if it is a personal name.
The name should not include Allah’s name nor "God" or His divine attributes, for example (al wader, al alee, al razzes, etc.).
If the business includes the name of a person, that person must be a partner/owner in the license. (For example, a license issued for Mohammed Al Ghamdi, cannot include name Mohammed Al Zaheri).
Family names should not be used as a trade name unless it includes the first name. (For example, Ahmed al Ghandi cannot have "Al Ghandi Contracting", he must change it to "Ahmed al Ghandi Contracting".
Names should be written literally and not translated. (For example, if the Arabic name is (الصقر للمقاولات) it must be written as "al Saqer contracting".
The name should not include the name of a country or government.
The business name must strictly reflect the business activity. For example, if you own a flower shop it cannot be called "Special Occasions", it needs to be more direct such as Florists Sales and Trading.
The name cannot include any restricted names such as global political organizations, religious sectarian organization etc. (For example, FBI, Mafia.).
The name should not include any of the punctuation marks, such as (.,!?/) .
DED reserves the right to levy fines for name violations in previous years.
DED has the right to cancel or change a business name if an existing trade name has been found similar to another name.
The name should not be the same name in one of the brands active in the Emirate of Dubai or government projects or brand names.
The trade name cannot start with "International", "Middle east", "Global" etc.
Please note that if your name contains special features, you will have to pay -an additional fee of AED 1000-2000 at the time of getting your license. The total amount of special features fee should not exceed AED 3000.
Trade name includes foreign words that cannot be translated into Arabic, for example, "Platinum" – Fee: AED 1000
Trade Name includes regional references, for example "East", "West", "International", "American", "European" – Fee: AED 1000
Part of the trade name is a trade mark – Fee: AED 1000
Trade name includes numerical digits, for example "China 2000 Trading". Writing numbers in letters is excluded, for example "China One" – Fee: AED 2000
Trade name includes foreign words – Fee: AED 2000
Trade name includes the word "Gulf" – Fee: AED 2000
Trade name includes an abbreviation, for example A.L. Trading – Fee: AED 2000
Procedure for online trade name registration
Complete the Online Trade Name Reservation Form with correct personal and business information.
When selecting a trade name, please make sure that your trade name follows the naming guidelines, or you could risk losing your selected name at the final stages of registering your business.
The trade name you have chosen cannot be checked automatically by the online system to see if it is acceptable under DED’s terms, conditions and business rules. So you have to do it yourself.
You will be given an online payment voucher that must be paid within the time limit.
After paying the required fee, you will then be able to print your Trade Name Certificate.
The BRL online user account gives you access to all business registration and licensing related services.
You will be able to manage the necessary documentation from your office or home, pay fees online and book appointments with DED staff.
You can create an account for yourself to manage your business license, or you can authorize someone else to represent you in managing your business license.
The BRL user account has to be created and then verified by DED staff to ensure that you are the person named on the account, or that you are being represented by the right person.
Procedure for trade name registration through authorized document clearing services
Reserving your trade name through an authorized document clearing office is fast and easy.
However, the document clearing office will not give you an online account and the fee will include additional service charge of the document clearing office.
At the document clearing office they will fill out your Trade Name Reservation form with you.
You must provide all your personal and business information and you need to make sure that your trade name is not the same as an existing business.
Even if it is similar enough that it could be confused with another company, your license might be withdrawn at a later stage.
If your trade name passes the terms-and-conditions review, the document clearing office will collect your payment and issue you with a Trade Name Certificate.
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: email@example.com