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Trade Name Guidelines In the UAE

trade name guidelines uae

When establishing a business in the United Arab Emirates, entrepreneurs and investors must ensure they have the proper legal structure, jurisdiction, and trade name before establishing their businesses in the UAE. The trade name registration process can be a hassle for new companies, but one needs to be aware of specific trade name requirements and issues to perform the registration right.

Get guided by our Company Formation Specialists to ensure that you adhere to the guidelines of securing a trade name for your business; they are equipped to provide factual and up-to-date information regarding trade name registration in the UAE. 

Trade Name Guidelines In the UAE

What Is A Trade Name and Why Is It Needed? 

An organization’s or company’s trade name refers to its official name. The company’s trade name registration comprises the first step of its establishment process in the UAE. The requirement is for all entities to set aside their trade name through its registration before proceeding with issuing a trade license.

 A company acquires a unique identity by registering its name in the UAE. Nevertheless, commercial law in UAE outlines specific considerations that businesses should consider in the registration process.

Trade Name Approval in the Mainland and Free Zone

Guidelines differ depending on the jurisdiction. Free Zones provide almost the same rules to get a trade name approved. One should keep in mind the following general guidelines for selecting a trade name in the UAE Free Zones: 


  • The trade name may be a combination of direct or phonetic Arabic translations. If the trade name includes the name of a business activity, it should also be translated accordingly per the client’s needs.


  • The trade name must not be similar to companies known locally and internationally (e.g., Google, Twitter, Instagram, etc.),


  • The trade name must take into consideration the company’s business activity,


  • In the case of foreign or GCC company branches, the trade name should be the same as that of the parent company,


  • Trade names that violate public standards and morals are not allowed,


  • The trade name should not bear the name of a ruler, country, emirate, city, or government. In the case of a personal name, it must not be offensive to the public or contain vulgar and obscene words.


  •  The trade name can include the alphabet and numbers but must not have special characters (e.g., &/?#!).


  • Restricted names of sectarian religious organizations, global political organizations, and famous family names, among others, must not be included in the trade name (e.g., Mafia, FBI, etc.)


Whereas Mainland has stricter and more specific guidelines in approving the trade name, including the following:


  •  The trade name should be followed by the abbreviations of the company structure (Firm’s legal form) like LLC and must align with the business or company’s legal status and expected type of activity.


  • A trade name can include the owner’s name as long as the name is stated in first and last name; it may also comprise of initials like FGH or RR etc.


  • Trade names with words such as Universe, World, International, and Global, among others, are not allowed.


  • The trade name may include words like Gulf, abbreviations, and foreign words but will be considered a premium trade name.


  • The trade name database is based on pronunciation, so one should identify duplicates of the name entered in both English and Arabic by matching keyword search.


  • The primary activity name will be added to the trade name, but the trade name cannot be the same as the activity name.


In general, it is noteworthy that the trade name must be authentic, one that has not been registered before. It will also be canceled if the payment is not made during the reservation period.



Trade Name Registration in the UAE

There is an automatic termination of the trade name under the circumstances that the trademark proprietor had not presented the trade license before the completion of the reservation period, and failure to pay the fees within the given time results in the expiry of the reservation as well. Once the payment is secured, the respective authorities shall notify the trade name approval. 

After trade name approval, you can proceed to initial license approval and continue with the business setup process. The trade name registration process lasts for six months and can be renewed. In case of trade name registration expiration, the consumer should renew and cater to the required payments. 

Registering your company’s trade name is a legal way to conduct your business operations. Following through with the processes and conditions for the trade name approval will help you avoid running unprofitable and challenging business establishments for operating against the law.

How Can Choose UAE Help

If you’re looking to start a business in the UAE, trade name registration is necessary for new and existing businesses. Our Company Formation Specialists are well knowledgeable and always on the lookout for the latest updates regarding trade name guidelines to take your business through the whole process efficiently. 

We also provide the lowest prices in the market with our Dubai Mainland or UAE Free Zone Setup to give you a boost in building your business. We attentively cater to your business needs to ensure that you get a positive entrepreneurial experience with Choose UAE. Contact us and get started today.

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