How to Start Import-Export Business in Dubai?

Everyone knows about the advantages of the strategic geographical location of Dubai. It plays a vital 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 countries worldwide. Because of its organized location, Dubai builds a natural bridge for importing and exporting 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.

Why Start an Import Export Business in Dubai?

Dubai is strategically located on the world map, which makes it an advantageous place for conducting trade. Since it is well-connected to seaports and airways, the import-export business can easily take off in the Emirate. In Addition, its systematized placement builds a natural bridge for importing and exporting regular goods and commodities from different countries worldwide.

How to start an import-export business in Dubai?

To start an import-export business in Dubai, you just need to follow a few basic steps which include selecting a business activity, a trade name and a location, completing the application formalities, and lastly, opening a corporate account for your business transactions. Additionally, for an import-export business, it is crucial to adhere to the strict guidelines established by the authorities.

Start an import-export business in Dubai, follow these steps:

1. Register Your Business in Dubai

When embarking on an import-export business in Dubai, the first thing you need to do is register your business with the relevant authority. Prior to that, you need to choose a unique business name that complies with UAE regulations and define your activities to determine the correct trade license.

2. Obtain an Import-Export License

To conduct import-export activities in Dubai, you need to acquire an appropriate trade license from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The business setup consultants at Shuraa can help you with the process and the cost involved in this process.

3. Choose an Office Space

You will need an office space to set up a trading company in Dubai. You can either opt for a proper executive office or a Flexi desk, based on your preference. For startups, flexi-desks are a more cost-effective alternative.

4. Obtain a Visa

You have to choose an appropriate visa depending on your activities. For example, a transit visa and an import-export visa is ideal for shorter stays, while a residence visa is valid for a longer duration of stay. You can transport goods within the respective time period of the visa.

5. Navigate Customs and Compliance

The import-export business requires compliance with the customs regulations and specific goods requirements. To avoid any penalties or delays in operations, it is crucial to have knowledge of UAE and destination country regulations.

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

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. 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.

  • Dubai: The cost of an import-export license will be around AED 15,000 to AED 50,000 onwards
  • Sharjah: The cost of the license will be around AED 23,000* onwards
  • Ajman: The cost of the license will be AED 24,000* (approx.)
  • Ras Al Khaimah: The cost of the license will be AED 12,000 to AED 50,000 (approx.)

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 an Import-Export business with shuraa

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.