The trade name registration process can also be termed as the business name registration with the Economic Department of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All the commercial entities which are looking to run their business in the region are supposed to go through this process and register their business name for Department of Economic Development approvals. There are a number of things that need to be taken into consideration prior to registration the trade name and in this article, we will discuss all the prerequisites, the documents requirement, and an in-depth overview of the entire process.
The first and foremost thing is to understand the difference between three common terminologies; Trade Name, Trademark, and Legal Name. All three are different in their own regard and understand the difference is a very good place to begin.
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Trade Name, Trademark, Legal Name: What’s the Difference?
The Trade Name is essentially the name that is issued to a company to carry out its operations. It can also be termed as the pseudonym used by the companies that do not operate under their registered company name. The purpose of doing so is because the “company typically uses a trade name to conduct business using a simpler name rather than using their formal and often lengthier name. Trade names are also used when a preferred name cannot be registered, often because it may already be registered or is too similar to a name that is already registered.” In order to register the trade name, you will firstly need to select a commercial activity, choose the legal type and then apply for approval. Once you have done that, you should look to start preparing MOA and LSA agreement. This process will also require you to disclose the company address as well. Once all of this process has been successfully completed, you may receive the commercial license.
Legal Name, however, is the name that is officially allocated to an agency or the person processing the undertaking. Similar to other things, the legal name also has to be registered with the state authority, must be unique, and have a correct ending after the term such as an LLC or LLP. All the official communication is done through this name; this name will appear on invoices amongst other things. The government will also use this name as a point of interaction.
Lastly, the Trademark can be simply defined as the brand’s name. The trademark has different aspects to it such as the registration of the logo, the tagline, badges, hallmarks, illustrations, and any other thing which identifies as the brand’s core identity. The Ministry of Economy is responsible for the registration of the trademark within the UAE. Although trademark registration is not necessary at all times it can prove helpful if someone decides to steal your concept or the brand idea; the trademark registration can actually prove extremely helpful in winning such types of lawsuits.
Authorities Involved in Trade Name Registration Process
This type of registration process always involves government authorities as you have to present them with documents, pay the desired fee, and abide by all the rules to get your certificates. In regards to the trade name registration process, there are primarily two authorities that will need to be contacted for the process to be completed.
Department of Economic Development (DED)
The DED is Dubai’s governing body which drive’s the city’s economic agenda within the UAE. The organization was set up in 1992 and in 2008, the ruler of Dubai gave DED the responsibility to plan and regulate the overall economic performance of Dubai. This was done so there was a dedicated governing body that would supervise and support the economic development of the city and ensure that all Dubai’s strategic plans are carried out with the intent of completion. There are a number of services DED offers, some of which include:
- Instant License
- Reserve Trade Name
- Renew Trade Name
- Renew License
- Issue Initial Approval
- Issue Branch Initial Approval
- Print License
- License Activities’ Terms And Conditions
- Manage License Contact
- Pay Inspection Fines
- Update Mobile Number
In addition to that, the DED also offers legal contract-related services as well; from issuance of legal contracts for a license to legal contract printing. Furthermore, you can also make inquiries regarding your transaction payments and their status, you can browse for business activities, and search trade names, and more.
Department in the Ministry of Economy
The Department in the Ministry of Economy is tasked with the role of assisting in the overall growth of national enterprises and their imports/exports. This department is also responsible for regulating the market of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and also promoting various things such as entrepreneurship. This department ensures that all consumer rights are protected alongside intellectual rights as well, and if there is a problem then government-appointed people will undergo a rigorous process to ensure that all parties are satisfied towards the end by presenting such a solution. The trademarks are also supposed to be registered with this department otherwise you will not be protected in the eyes of the law.
Trade Name Registration Process in UAE
Almost all businesses tend to register a trade name, which makes it a common procedure. However, not many people in the UAE still have the clarity when it comes to the details of it. This guide is created to help you through the rigorous process and explain all the steps with all their meticulous details.
The trade name registration process in the UAE can be conducted both online and in-person as well; the government has done this so that people who own offshore companies can all dig into the process without having a hold-up. There are various steps that lead you to successfully achieving this and are as following:
Trade Name Selection Process
Typically, it is preferred that you select the trade name which is based on the identity of the brand but it is not mandatory to do so. The selection of the trade name must abide by all the rules and regulations and the DED will review the name after its selection. It is to be noted that DED reserves the right to cancel the name if they find it inappropriate. The DED requires you to meet all the criteria before the name has been approved.
Here are some of the requirements that need to be fulfilled beforehand:
- Business operation must represent the name of the business
- Similar businesses operating in Dubai do not claim the company name by copyright
- The name of the trade does not include terms of indignity
- The trademark should not be named after God
- Few terms are not recognized, such as Dubai’s Emirates, City names, Districts and, Airport codes
- Continent and country names cannot be used in trade names, but nationalities may be used as a name
- A company name can’t start either with European, Middle East, Asian, etc. or with the names translated
- A corporate name does not have Government Agencies abbreviations
- A company name can not include any popular global brands such as Apple, Samsung, Kia, and so on in part or as a whole
- The name of the business does not contain any indication of sectarian religious organizations or global political organizations, such as the FBI, Vatican, etc.
- The name of the division cannot be equivalent to the name of the parent company and even if suffix and legal names are not considered part of a name
- For privately-owned businesses, words such as “ME” and “CO” are limited unless they come as part of a word such as “LCME Trading,” “ACTO Services.”
- Family names should only be included in the first name is used, and one of the proposed shareholders must be named
- Titles should be written in a literal manner and should not be translated, for example: if the Arabic name is «العاليــة الســماء» the trade name should be written as ‘’Al Samaa Al Aalya’’
Checking Trade Name Availability
After following all the steps carefully, you must come to an understanding as to what kind of trade names are good for approval and what isn’t. Once you have the basic understanding and you have finalized the name, you can check it online and search for its availability because there are many trade names that are already taken by different companies.
To check the availability of the trade name, you can go to this link and see that there are different links dedicated for trade name search in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and more. Choose the one which you actually need and follow the next steps accordingly. This will tell you whether the trade name you were looking for is available or not. Based on the results, you will have to make your next decision.
Reserve the Trade Name in UAE
Once you have followed all the guidelines and checked for the availability of the name, the next step is reserving the trade name because oftentimes if you don’t reserve the name beforehand, it can be taken by other businesses. Secondly, reserving the trade name is actually the prerequisite of attaining the license in the first place. The reservation of the trade name is done through DED and only after they grant the permission, your name will be reserved. As mentioned before, this entire process can also be done online and foreign investors can actually submit an online application for the reservation of the trade name as well. The alternative process is by contacting the Department of Economic Development in Dubai.
The agents and consultants present in Dubai can also carry out this process on your behalf. That implies that you would hold them accountable for the progress, follow-ups with the departments, and more. It is an ideal way to maximize your efficiency while you work on different aspects of the process.
Payment for Trade Name Registration in UAE
The last step of the process is the payment for the trade name. It is the last step because you cannot receive the certificate if the DED guidelines are not met and they have not reviewed your application. Once you make the payment, within 72 hours you will receive the confirmation of the payment voucher. The trade name will be valid for six months and will need to be reserved again.
What RIZ & MONA Can Do
Riz & Mona Consultancy is specialized in all the legal requirements related to starting a business in the UAE. We can help you get through the tradename registration process correctly due to our years of experience and deep understanding of the legal system. Do not hesitate to contact our experts by phone at +971 54 582 1012 or send an email to Info@rizmona.com.