How to Get a General Trading License in Dubai, UAE

Dubai is known for being a global trading hub, attracting businesses from all over the world. To engage in trading activities within the city, companies are required to obtain a General Trading License. This license allows businesses to import, export, distribute, and trade a wide range of goods. In this blog, we will learn in detail about the General Trading License in Dubai. 

Moreover, obtaining a General Trading License requires businesses to meet specific legal requirements, including registration with the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and compliance with local laws and regulations. In addition, businesses may also need to provide proof of their financial capability to conduct trading activities. 

What is a General Trading License? 

A Trade License in Dubai, UAE is a legal document that authorizes a company to carry out specific business activities within the UAE. Furthermore, a General Trade License outlines the scope of business activities that a company can undertake in the UAE 

Depending on the type of license obtained, a company may be authorized to conduct one or more business activities, such as manufacturing, trading, or services. Businesses need to obtain the correct type of Trade License that matches their intended business activities. 

With a Dubai General Trading License, companies can engage in a wide range of commercial activities, including importing, exporting, and distribution of goods. This license allows companies to conduct business locally and internationally, providing them with greater opportunities to expand their operations and increase their revenue. 

How to get a general trading license in Dubai?

Getting a UAE trade license involves completing five essential steps. These steps are necessary for any business or individual who intends to operate in the UAE market legally. Furthermore, by following these steps, applicants can obtain the appropriate trade license type.  

The following are the steps to get a Trade License in the UAE: 

1. Select Your Business Activity 

To select the appropriate business activity, applicants should research the market demand and consider their resources. It is worth noting that the selected business activity can determine the type of license required and the associated fees. Therefore, applicants should choose wisely based on their intended trading activities. 

2. Choosing a Trade Name  

An appropriate trade name that accurately reflects the nature of the business. It is crucial to avoid using any offensive or blasphemous terms that may lead to the rejection of the trade name application. Additionally, including acronyms with the applicant’s name is not allowed. The chosen trade name should be unique and not registered by any other business in the UAE. 

3. Choosing Business Location 

When choosing a business location, applicants should consider factors such as accessibility, market demand, and competition. Depending on the chosen location, applicants may be required to obtain specific licenses or permits. For instance, a mainland license is necessary for businesses located in mainland Dubai, while free zone licenses are issued to companies located in free zone areas.  

4. Complete Your Application and Pay the Fees 

Applicants must ensure they provide all necessary documents and meet the requirements for their chosen license type. After applying, applicants must pay the associated fees, which may vary depending on the license type and location. Furthermore, the licensing authority will review the application, and upon approval, issue the trade license. 

5. Receive the License and Open a Business Bank Account 

Upon approval of the trade license application, the licensing authority will issue the license. Once the license is received, business owners can proceed to open a business bank account in Dubai. Furthermore, having a business bank account is necessary for financial transactions and to meet the requirements for the renewal of the trade license. 

Why Start a General Trading Company in Dubai?

Starting a General Trading Company in Dubai can be a smart business decision that comes with a host of benefits. For example,

1. Local and international trade

With a General Trading license, you can import and manufacture all the listed goods and distribute these goods in the local market or export them to other countries.

2. Low tax-rate

The United Arab Emirates has one of the lowest tax rates in the world which makes it beneficial to start a business in Dubai and manufacture products at lower costs.

3. Wide range of products

A general trading license allows you to deal in a wide range of products, except for a few that are restricted by the law.

4. Easy process

The process of General Trading Company setup and license acquisition is easy as well as profitable. All you have to do is submit the required documents and credentials to the respective authorities.

5. Easy to sponsor dependants

The owners of a general trading company in Dubai can sponsor their dependants and employees and apply for their visas with the help of their licenses.

6. Center of Global Trade

The geographical position of Dubai is at the center of the global map which means there are a plethora of opportunities for businesses to achieve success in the Emirate.

7. World-class infrastructure

A general trading company in Dubai can enjoy world-class infrastructure facilities including warehouses, logistics, seaports, airports, and a smooth customs process.

8. Business support services

General trading companies can avail of support services like logistics, warehousing, legal, marketing, finance, and much more in Dubai.

9. Business-friendly

The government of Dubai is business-friendly, which is why it fosters an environment that is favorable for smooth and transparent trading.  

Documents required for general trading license in Dubai

The government has carefully drafted the paperwork requirements for establishing a general trading company in Dubai. Here’s a list of documents you’ll need to obtain a general trading license in Dubai: 

The following are the documents required for a new trade license in Dubai: – 

  • Passport copies of the shareholders. 
  • Entry stamp or Visa page. 
  • Passport size photograph 

Cost of general trading license in Dubai

When starting a business in the UAE, one of the crucial steps is obtaining a trade license. Moreover, understanding the cost of a general trading license is essential for businesses to plan their finances and budget effectively. 

The cost of a general trading license in Dubai will be anywhere between AED 15,000 to AED 50,000 (approx.) or even more. The location of your business, the size of your warehouse, the size of your office space, any additional approvals, the business jurisdiction, and any visa applications will all affect the overall cost of your license.

Activities Under General Trading License in Dubai

The following are some of the popular Dubai general trading license activities: 

1. Import and Export of Goods and Commodities 

Because of the efficient system and first-rate transportation options for trading goods and commodities in the UAE, you can sell foods, decorations, electronics, accessories, beauty products, and other items if you have a general trading license. 

However, keep in mind that prescription medications, alcohol, automobiles, and other items are not covered by this license and will require additional approvals. To benefit from risk-free company operations in the Emirates, obtain customs clearance in addition to your trading license. 

2. Grocery Store 

With this license, you can open a grocery store in Dubai and sell a wide range of food, trinkets, and other consumables. It is advisable to design the business structure to prevent last-minute glitches, including the investment plan, reserve funds, inventory, and so on. 

The following step is to reserve a trading name for your supermarket and obtain the preliminary approval required to apply for a general trading license. A general trade license in Dubai allows this store to engage in operations such as buying, selling, and trading various grocery-related goods. 

3. Retail Establishments 

There are numerous retail establishments in Dubai and the UAE. High-end goods and services are sold in breweries, jewelry stores, general accessory stores, and more. All you need to do to participate in the UAE’s retail sector is obtain a general trading license. 

Buy a rental shop in Dubai, stock it with the necessary merchandise, obtain the required licenses, and voila! You are good to go. 

What’s The Difference Between a Trade License and A General Trading License in Dubai? 

  • General Trading License – A general trading license is usually issued to those who intend to export, import, or trade goods or products like clothes, accessories, furniture, electronics, etc. in Dubai. This particular license covers multiple trading activities that are in the same or different industry. However, certain regulated products like guns, cars, alcohol and medical cannot be traded under this license as they require special approval from higher authorities or clearances from UAE municipalities.
  • Trade License – A trade license, issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), allows business owners to carry out their business activities legally in the UAE. However, certain categories like banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, manufacturing businesses, pharmaceutical and medical products, etc. require approval from concerned ministries and other relevant authorities to operate in the region. Furthermore, all companies with a trade license must register with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in their respective Emirate. 

Get Your General Trading License in Dubai with Shuraa

You made the right decision in obtaining a general trading license in Dubai because it is one of the best business sectors in the UAE and will continue to grow in this fast-paced world. It’s essential to keep in mind, though, that the process is only straightforward if your general trade license application is complete and free of errors when it’s submitted. 

Furthermore, the cost of a General Trading License can vary based on your specific business needs and requirements. With the right preparation and understanding of the process, you can successfully start trading in Dubai and take advantage of its thriving economy and business opportunities. 

Working with Shuraa Business Setup is the best way to obtain this license. Our business specialists will handle all paperwork, licensing, banking, and other details for you. Connect with us and let us handle the rest!