Home > Entrepreneurship > How to Get a Home Business Licence in Dubai

How to Get a Home Business Licence in Dubai

Dec 9, 2022 | Entrepreneurship

Interested in starting a business right from the comfort of your home? You’ll need to get a home business licence in Dubai. This licence is necessary if you want to operate a business from home. The process of acquiring this licence is relatively simple, so you can be up and running in no time. For everything on home business licences in Dubai and which business activities this licence applies to, keep reading!

An image of Dubai city.

What is a Home Business Licence in Dubai?

Entrepreneurship is celebrated here in Dubai. In fact, due to government incentives that have been rolled out over recent years, many small business sectors have experienced huge growth. This has also caused many people to consider the option of starting a home-based business in Dubai.

First-time business owners, entrepreneurs and indeed those wanting to start a side hustle can now easily do so thanks to the robust support from UAE authorities. A home business licence allows you to run a business completely from home, in a legal and compliant manner according to UAE regulations. Prospective business owners can easily obtain their home business licence from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

An image of a podcaster's setup requiring a home business licence.

How to Obtain a Home Business License in Dubai

Applying for a home business licence in Dubai is simple. There’s a few steps to follow.

  • First, you need to fill out an application form and gather the relevant supporting documents. The submission process depends on whether you’re establishing your business in a free zone authority or in the mainland.
  • For the mainland, you’ll submit your application and necessary documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED). If you’re setting up a home business in a free zone, you can make your submission directly to that free zone authority.
  • Once your application has been accepted, you will need to pay the required fees. Once these are paid, your home business licence will be ready for issuance.

Documents Required to obtain a home business license in Dubai

  • Completed application form
  • Company and investor information
  • Copy of Emirates ID for the business owners, partners etc.
  • Proof of residency

An important note – if you’re an ex-pat in Dubai looking to start a home-based business, you must change your residency status to an investor residency to comply with United Arab Emirates regulations.

How to Start a Home Business in Dubai?

It’s incredibly easy to start a home business in Dubai. To set yourself up for success, the best way forward is to book a consultation with a business formation specialist.

Getting help from professionals who can take care of licensing, visas, permits and the necessary paperwork will allow you to focus on getting your business up and running.

There’s a few steps to follow to start a home business in Dubai, which are:

  1. Identify and refine the business activities you wish to pursue. This is possibly the most important aspect of starting a business. It’s important to consider the industry, and what you can offer as well as having a deep understanding of the market you wish to be involved.
  2. Decide on a free zone or mainland jurisdiction. It’s possible to start a home based business in either jurisdiction, so much will depend on the type of business you wish to operate.
  3. Choose a company name. In the UAE, there are strict rules that dictate what’s allowable in terms of a business name. For instance, there should be no government or religious associations, along with some other naming guidelines to follow.

After you’ve established these basic steps of starting a business, you can then proceed with the home business licence application process.

An image of a woman working from home with a home business licence in Dubai.

Home Based Business Activities in Dubai

Plenty of opportunities are available to those seeking to start a home business. Freelancing, IT consultancy and vlogging are all viable ways to earn a living at home. In fact, there are several industries currently booming in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

A few of the business activities permitted in a home-based business in Dubai include:


Whichever way you look at it, starting an e-commerce business in Dubai is a surefire way to earn a living from the convenience of home. Sell your products or services online and cultivate the work-life balance you’ve always imagined.

Graphic Design

If you’re a graphic designer, starting a home business is a great way to show off your skills and make a name for yourself in Dubai. What’s more, as a small business owner, you’ll have the power to help other businesses actualise their branding goals from the comfort of your home.

Web Design & Development

For those with IT, software and web development skills, web design is another great idea for a home based business. The simple fact is, when you have a website, your business appears more reputable. Therefore, there is a growing and strong demand for professional and skilled web designers. It’s certainly a potentially profitable enterprise for home business owners.

An image of a young man doing web development using a home business licence in Dubai.

Social Media Consultant

Having a social media presence to market your brand and business is more important than ever. Becoming a social media consultant is a great way to work from home while helping other local or international businesses make their mark on social platforms.

If you’re a savvy social media expert and understand how these platforms work, the business opportunities for growth are huge. Establishing a social media consultancy business that helps clients convert their social content into sales is in huge demand in the UAE. With a home business licence in Dubai, you can put these skills to use and enjoy building brands and making bank for yourself too.

Marketing & PR Consultant

Most consultancy businesses can be conducted directly from home, and the marketing/public relations sector is no different. Along with a home business licence, you’ll need a management consultancy license from the DED.

Create & Sell Handmade Items

If you have a creative flair for artisan jewellery, crafts, artwork, pottery or other wares you wish to sell, this could be a great business opportunity for you. Promoting and selling handmade items from the comfort of your home is now easy with a home-based business licence.

Attract customers using your own website, or leverage your social media accounts to turn this work-from-home business idea into a profitable reality. Moreover, making use of e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy and Noon make the whole process streamlined and easy for home-based businesses.


Running a dropshipping business from home is an excellent way to earn some extra cash. Dropshipping is a product fulfilment technique in which a store owner does not keep the items being sold in stock. Instead of holding merchandise, it buys items from third-party vendors who send the products directly to customers. By connecting buyers with manufacturers, dropshippers serve as intermediaries.

This business model is popular in the home-based business arena for many reasons. First of all, it doesn’t require a physical business location and the operational costs are therefore very low. As long as you have a digital platform to promote the products and can convert traffic into sales, you could feasibly participate in a dropshipping business.

Benefits of obtaining a home business license in Dubai

Starting a home-based business has become attractive for many people residing in Dubai. There is a range of benefits to obtaining a home business licence.

An image of a home office in Dubai where a home business licence is required.

Own 100% of your business

When you acquire a home business licence in Dubai, you can take full advantage of the 100% ownership rules. This means you have total control over your company’s operations and financial proceedings.

Enjoy a flexible work life

Essentially, being your own boss has a heap of perks. You’re in control of your hours, you don’t have to commit to the daily 9-5 grind, you’re not operating in a fixed work structure and you can build work around a lifestyle that suits you.

Legitimise Your Home Business

Once you have the legal permits to trade and operate your home-based business, you can rest assured knowing your business is compliant with UAE laws. This takes the stress out of running a business from home, and you can feel confident you’re doing things the right way.

Start small and build big

It’s a great way to establish yourself, build your brand and grow your customer base in a low-cost environment. Then, you’re in a prime position to scale up your business in the future. Starting at home means you can take risks in a way that has a minimal negative impact on your bottom line, and you can gain the necessary experience on what it takes to run a business.

Home Business Licence in Dubai – FAQs

With a bit of research, business owners can easily find the information they need to start a home business in Dubai. Here’s some frequently asked questions relating to starting a home business.

I’m a freelancer, can I set up a home-based business in Dubai?

Yes, just ensure you have the relevant licenses to carry out your business activity, as well as a home business licence. Contact us for more information.

I’m a resident of the UAE, am I eligible to start a home business in Dubai?

Yes, once you have obtained your home business licence from the Department of Economic Development, you can establish your home business. Importantly, you must amend your residency status to an investor status.

An image of a business woman working in Dubai with a home business licence.

What kind of businesses can I operate from home?

You can run a wide range of businesses from home. Some examples include consulting, marketing and public relations, creating and selling handmade items, vlogging, teaching, web development, virtual assistance services, social media management, online coaching, tutoring, counselling, IT consulting, dropshipping and e-commerce businesses. Just make sure you have the right licences in place.

What is the cost of a home business licence in Dubai?

A home business licence costs around AED1000. However, it’s best to contact the DED or relevant free zone authority to get a more precise cost estimate.

Are there restrictions to starting a home business in Dubai?

Yes, there may be certain restrictions that business owners need to be aware of when setting up a home business in Dubai. For example, if your company is in a residential area, you need to make sure there are no noise or odour pollution issues from your business activities.

It’s important to note that a business license does not replace other permits or permissions that may be required for certain activities. For instance, if you plan to serve food or alcohol at your business, you will need a separate permit from the Dubai Municipality and Alcohol Licensing Department.

Are there other licences I need to start a home business in Dubai?

It’s important to understand the licensing requirements for some home businesses. For instance, if you want to start an entirely online business, in the UAE you must hold an e-trader licence to operate. Other licenses may also be required to operate your home business, including a freelance permit or a UAE influencer licence. For help setting up all your necessary licences, it’s best to get help from a business formation specialist.

Get Your Home Business Licence in Dubai Today

The prospect of starting a new business is exciting for any entrepreneur. Moreover, the appeal of operating everything from the convenience of your home is also an enticing addition. In fact, it’s even easier to run a purely online business from home. With a home business licence in hand, your working-from-home dream could quickly become a reality.

Overall, obtaining a home business licence in Dubai is relatively straightforward. Once you have completed the application process, supplied all the documents and paid the necessary fees, you can start your business.

However, if you want to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes when it comes to starting a home-based business, it’s wise to get professional assistance. This means you can ensure your business is in compliance with local laws and regulations.


Virtuzone Are Dubai’s #1 Business Formation Specialists

Having a home business licence in Dubai is an excellent opportunity to jumpstart your business career or take it to the next level. Start small and build big – you won’t regret it!

Virtuzone have experienced consultants ready to answer your questions and help your business get started. Our professional team has a wealth of expertise in company formation in Dubai. Let us take care of all the important steps, we’re here to make the process smooth and efficient.

We’d love to chat about your business dreams and aspirations and help make them a reality. Get in touch with us for more details on the home business licence process in Dubai. We can help you get started on the right path.

For more information on how to get started, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!


Contact Us

Start your business today