How to Start Import Export Business in Dubai

How to Start Import Export Business in Dubai

How to Start Import Export Business in Dubai

Everyone knows about the advantages of the strategic geographical location of Dubai. It plays a very important role in the import export business in Dubai. Well connected to seaports and airways, it’s merely a five-hour journey to the Emirates from most of the countries around the world. Because of its organized location, Dubai builds a natural bridge for the import and export of regular goods and commodities from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

The important partners of Dubai for imports are India, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and South Korea. Whereas, the important partners for export are the US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy. Being the logistics hub, many entrepreneurs wish to do business in Dubai. If you are one of those, read the blog further to help you streamline and fast-track the registration process of your import export business in Dubai.

What is the Process to Start An Import Export Business in Dubai?

Expats are given the choice to start an import-export business in Dubai in the mainland region or a free zone. You must follow the given steps to start your business activities:

  1. Reserve your trade name.
  2. Submit the required documents for getting initial approval to start the business activities within the UAE.
  3. Draft and sign a Memorandum of Association and submit it with other documents.
  4. Complete the remaining documentation and wait until you get a confirmation message from the DED.
  5. Once all your documents are inspected and approved, the DED will send you a notification with a payment voucher. 
  6. Receive your trade license and make sure to pay the required fee within 24 hours of securing your trade license.
  7. Once the company’s formation is complete you must apply for an import-export permit with Dubai Customs. The export-import permits will enable you to bring from and send or re-export goods outside of UAE.
  8. Get the customs registration before starting any kind of trading activity.
  9. All the imported goods will have to pass through the customs check at all the stations and the airports/seaports of the UAE to get clearance from the UAE customs

Note that you don’t have to pay any customs duty for all the Import/Export to and from the Free Zone. However, the Import/Export companies in the Free zones have to adhere to some strict guidelines established by the free zone authorities.

What are the Documents Required to Start An Import Export Business in Dubai?

In order to import or export goods to and from Dubai, you need to submit the following documents to Dubai Customs:

  1. A declaration form for the import and export of goods.
  2. Acquire a special permit if you have to import or export certain restricted goods.
  3. Keep a record of the delivery order with the details of the shipment every time. 
  4. Present the invoice along with the merchandise details.
  5. Show a detailed packing list.
  6. Certificate of origin for the Shipment.
  7. Submit a copy of the trade license of the importer and exporter. 
  8. DFSA ( Dubai Financial Services Authority) declaration issued by Dubai Customs Services.

What is the Import Export Code in Dubai?

There are certain things to keep in mind before planning to start an import-export company in Dubai:

  1. You need to apply for a trade license from any of the free zones or the mainland regions of Dubai and register the company with the Customs Department of Dubai to start operating your business in the country. 
  2. Along with the trade license, you have to get the customs registration clearance processed.
  3. Get an import-export code from the customs Department.
  4. You are only allowed to trade the goods the same as the ones mentioned in the trade license of the company. 
  5. It is important that the goods must reach their destination within 72 hours of the customs declaration.
  6. All the goods to be imported or exported have to be checked by the Customs/
  7. Submit a customs clearance letter to the concerned free-zone authorities for storing the goods in the warehouses to trade in the UAE market.
  8. Being a free zone company, appoint a local distributor if you want to trade in the local UAE market. 

What is the Cost of an Import-Export Business License in Dubai?

Starting an import-export business in Dubai isn’t very expensive. Not many costs are involved, although, you must consider a few before applying for your import-export license. The first is the cost of your trade license. To give an example: a  trading license with one visa plus the cost of an additional co-working facility would be somewhere near AED 25,500.

If you want to import goods to sell to the local market of Dubai, you need to consider tax. If any of your goods pass for sale from a free zone to any local market in Dubai, you will have to pay a duty of 5% only on certain specific goods. 

Start Planning Now

If you are willing to start an import-export business in Dubai, Shuraa Business Setup can help you. The expert business consultants at Shuraa have experience with various types of business setups in Dubai. They will guide you to prepare a plan for your business, help you decide the business activities, gather all the documents, and get your license at the minimum possible costs. All you need to do is get in touch with us and we will take care of the rest.