Are you an aspiring small-business owner considering opening a cozy restaurant in Ajman? Or perhaps you're an established business owner looking to expand across different emirates? To engage in any business activity, you must first obtain an economic license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Ajman. The number of new licenses issued in the emirate rose by 5 percent in the first half of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, totaling 3,000 new licenses, according to an Ajman DED report. The leading sectors for these licenses included ready-made women's clothing, restaurants, and building maintenance.

You can apply for an Ajman trade license through the DED's website, smart application, or by visiting a service center. The application process involves several steps, required documents, and associated costs. Necessary documents include a trade name reservation certificate, a license application, copies of passports and ID cards for the owner or partners, and security clearances for residents. If the license is for an existing business, copies of valid passports and ID cards for all partners are required.

To apply, visit the Ajman DED website and select 'issue trade license' from the service directory. Log in with your website account or UAE pass, or apply through the smart app or a customer happiness center. Complete the required information and pay the fees. A memorandum of association must be created for companies, followed by authentication of the lease contract from the Municipality and Planning department. Foreign nationals must obtain approval from the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICP), and certain high-risk activities may require additional government approvals.

Fees for the economic license include Dh600 for issuance, Dh50 for administrative application services, Dh350 for a banner advertising commercial name permit, and various other registration and documentation fees. The trade name reservation certificate is a crucial document for issuing a trade license. Apply for it by visiting the Ajman DED website, selecting 'trade name reservation', and following the steps to pay the fees and receive the certificate.

The service duration for both license issuance and trade name reservation is 24 minutes each. Ajman has seen significant business growth, with 37,755 active licenses in the first half of 2024, a 15 percent increase from the first half of 2023. Over 15,000 licenses were renewed, showing a 9 percent growth rate. Abdullah Ahmed Al Hamrani, Director-General of the Ajman DED, highlighted the improved business environment in Ajman, positioning it as a preferred investment destination for local and international investors.