20 Jun

all about getting a ras al khaimah business licence

Setting up a company to legally carry out any kind of economic activity in the UAE requires you to have a valid business licence. Similarly, you need a Ras Al Khaimah business licence to start your enterprise in the emirate. Licences in Ras Al Khaimah are issued by Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) and Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development (RAKDED), making business set-up in UAE, particularly in Ras Al Khaimah, a streamlined process.

Choosing the right licence for your company

Choosing the right licence for your company involves understanding the various types of RAK licences available. These licences cater to a wide range of business activities and are crucial for business set-up in UAE. Whether you're interested in commercial, professional, or industrial activities, selecting the appropriate Ras Al Khaimah business licence is a key step.

Business activity

Primarily, the business activities allowed in the UAE can be broadly categorised under commercial, professional and industrial.

Below are the 10 types of RAK licences available for business entities:

COMMERCIAL Trade locally, import and re-export goods and commodities Jewellery or automobile trading, security equipment installation & maintenance
E-COMMERCE Virtually trade goods and services E-trading vehicles or media materials, selling event tickets online, portal creation & management
GENERAL TRADING Buy and sell multiple products Foodstuff or building materials or garment trading
INDIVIDUAL / PROFESSIONAL Single company owner with only one activity in a specific area of expertise Providing user interface or visual or manufacturing or logo designs, web-hosting
INDUSTRIAL Manufacture, import, assemble, pack and export goods Producing automotive parts or furniture or ceramics, products coating, steel fabrication
MEDIA Conduct media-related business activities TV/radio sales & marketing, talent management, search engine optimisation
PROFESSIONAL Individuals offering professional services Financial advisory, project management, engineering or company formation services
SERVICE Offer services across any industry Restaurant or hotel management, running a yoga club or a consultancy
FREELANCER PERMIT For media, educational and IT professionals and analysts Fashion designing, photography, translation or calligraphy services
EDUCATIONAL Operate an educational institution or consultancy Running a vocational school, providing college admission services or tutoring/ training

The complete list of more than 3,000 activities licenced by RAKEZ can be viewed here.

Company structure

Selecting the right Ras Al Khaimah business licence also depends on the type of company structure you want to incorporate. Have a clear vision of what activities your business will engage in; how many partners you will have; the number of visas you will require to sponsor your family members, shareholders and employees; and the operational aspects.

Some of the most preferred structures in the UAE include Sole-establishment, Limited Liability Company and Holding Company.

  1. Sole-establishment

    As the name suggests, a sole-establishment is a one person-owned company. This is popular amongst individual owners offering professional services.

  2. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    A limited liability company is owned by minimum two to 50 shareholders whose liability is limited to their shares in the business capital. Furthermore, limited liability companies can conduct multiple activities.

  3. Holding company

    A holding company structure allows secured investments. Therefore, business owners can hold shares in different ventures and own assets as a corporate entity, while managing business risks.

RAKEZ Dual licence

Business owners often want to diversify their products and services under one entity and operate freely across the country. For instance, you may open a health consultancy with a service licence. With time, you want to set up an onshore retail store to sell dietary supplements and also publish a fitness magazine. You will need to obtain commercial and media licences to add these new verticals to your existing business portfolio.

Selecting the right Ras Al Khaimah business licence also depends on your preferred company structure. Options include Sole-establishment, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Holding Company, each catering to different business needs and objectives for business set-up in UAE.

The RAKEZ Dual Licence, in collaboration with RAKDED, offers a versatile solution for businesses aiming to diversify their offerings. It allows for the combination of commercial and professional activities under a single licence, enhancing operational flexibility across the UAE.

Obtaining a business licence in Ras Al Khaimah involves a straightforward process. Applicants must submit the necessary documents, including passport copies, residence visa, and other relevant paperwork based on the business activity, company structure, and location.

Renewing your Ras Al Khaimah business licence annually is essential to maintain compliance and avoid penalties. RAKEZ provides comprehensive support throughout the licence application, modification, and renewal processes, making it easier for entrepreneurs and businesses to navigate the regulatory landscape.

Other aspects of RAK licence


The process of obtaining a business licence in Ras Al Khaimah is fairly simple. Regardless of the company structure or the activity type you must fill in the application and prepare a copy of your passport, residence visa (entry visa stamp for non-residents), passport-sized photographs. Apart from these basic documents, you may require to do additional paperwork depending on your activity, commercial space, company structure, location, etc…


You can amend various details on your licence including name, personal details, addition or removal of partners, activities, company structure, annual financial cycle and more.


Your business licence has to be renewed annually. Fill in the renewal application and submit the required documents on time to avoid penalties and any third-party fines.

Get expert assistance

For assistance with choosing the right RAK licence, applying, or any other queries related to business set-up in UAE, RAKEZ's one-stop service centres are ready to help. Contact our business setup experts for guidance on Ras Al Khaimah business licences and start your entrepreneurial journey in the UAE with confidence.


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Last Updated on 12/29/2019 9:23:05 PM

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