How to Get a General Trading License in Dubai, UAE: Everything You Need to Know

How to Get a General Trading License in Dubai, UAE: Everything You Need to Know

Dubai, the thriving commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has established itself as a global center for trade and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs from around the world are drawn to the city’s dynamic business environment and strategic location. If you’re looking to establish a general trading business in Dubai and wondering how to get a general trading license in Dubai, you’ve come to the right place.

Obtaining a general trading license is an essential step that allows you to engage in a broad range of trading activities, including import, export, and distribution of goods. In this blog, we will provide a simplified guide on how to acquire a general trading license in Dubai, outlining the necessary steps and key considerations to help you navigate the process with confidence and clarity.

If you also want to open your general trading company in Dubai, you need to acquire a general trading license for that. Be with us, in this article we will explore all the aspects you need to know about this business license including the cost of a general trading license and process.

What is General Trading in UAE?

General trading is a business activity that involves the exchange of goods or products between two or more parties. It is a form of commerce that involves buying and selling goods, as opposed to specialized trade activities such as manufacturing or agriculture.

In Dubai, General traders usually focus on a wide range of products, such as consumer electronics, apparel, medical supplies, furniture, construction materials, and other items. These traders often specialize in certain areas and may operate within specific countries or regions. General trading can involve imports and exports, as well as domestic sales.

Getting a general trade license in Dubai is an important step for any business looking to do business in the UAE region. The process can be daunting at first, but with the right information and guidance, it doesn’t have to be.
With this general trade license in place, you’ll be ready to start doing business in Dubai!

Then, what is the difference between a trade license and a general trading license?

Weirdly enough, the trading license is different from general trading license in the United Arab Emirates. A trade license allows you to do the trade in one specific industry and only one product category. On the other hand, Dubai general trading license gives you the advantage of trading in multiple industries at the same time in the UAE.

Why you should have a general trading business setup in Dubai?

Starting a general trading company in Dubai can be a great opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses into the Middle East region. With that, Dubai provides tens of benefits for any business to grow.

The Startup

The cost of setting up a company in the UAE is relatively low compared to many other countries. Depending on your business type, you can have your business in different areas like Dubai mainland and Dubai free zones. The UAE has more than 40 free trade zones which are especially attractive to newcomers.

Prospective location and vision

Dubai offers excellent access to global markets via air, land, and sea transportation. The city also boasts an enviable infrastructure with high-speed internet access throughout the city and modern port facilities.

Zero taxation

Another benefit of a general trading license is: all the businesses in Dubai have access to various tax exemptions as well as financial incentives from the government. Opening a general trade setup in a free zone offers 0% VAT and complete ownership.

Business Ecosystem

In UAE, there are numerous networking opportunities available in this vibrant business hub that can help entrepreneurs make valuable contacts that may lead to potential partnerships or investments. The government organizes business seminars and business events for people like you to meet, talk plan, and collaborate to make this place and your business better.
All these factors make Dubai, UAE an attractive proposition for any entrepreneur who is looking to expand their business into new markets.

How to Get a general trading license in Dubai? 

Obtaining a general trading license in Dubai requires careful planning and research. Our company formation specialists can help you with the process of applying for a trade license in any zone of the UAE.
The general trading license covers a wide range of business activities, unlike other single licenses of Dubai and the UAE. The UAE general trading license allows business people to produce or import all kinds of goods mentioned in the license.

Business Plan Developing

Start your general trading license-acquiring journey by identifying the right place to set up your company. This may involve understanding the different free zones and the benefits they offer. A good business plan is a plan that covers all the preliminary factors like market assessment, investment, competitors’ research, business activities, employee number, and office space. Your plan has to be detailed and must answer all the questions related to your business vision.

Jurisdiction selection

There are mainly three jurisdictions: mainland, free zone, and offshore. Each jurisdiction comes with specific rules and perks. But for aspiring entrepreneurs, free zone jurisdiction is preferable as it offers 100% foreign ownership and 0% income tax. However, a mainland trade license in the UAE has benefits like more exposure to potential customers, resources to collaborate with other brands, and unlimited visas. However, you might need a local sponsor to share half of your company based on your business type.

Sponsor rights

Acquiring a mainland general Dubai trade company has one condition which is to find UAE national sponsor. That sponsor will hold 51% shares of your company. Dubai mainland company license offers two types of sponsorship. One is local as told above and the second is corporate. Corporate sponsorship gives you complete ownership of your company in the mainland by signing an investment protection contract.

Legal law

Each jurisdiction of the UAE has different legal formalities. Whether you want a mainland general trading license or a free zone license, you’d be asked to get approval from different authorities and municipalities.

Steps to get a general trading license in the Dubai

  1. Choose to set up an official company name
  2. Discuss your business plan, its activities, and various license types
  3. Apply for approval for the trading license from DED (the Department of Economic Development)
  4. External approvals from independent ministries (if required) for a business license in Dubai
  5. Have a memorandum of association (MOA) and ask all your partners to sign on it
  6. Select the official address for your business; get your tenancy contract and get it attested from EJARI
  7. Submit your application for a general trading license at DED
  8. Submit the license fee as well
  9. Get your license for your business within a few working days.

What is the cost of getting a general trading license in Dubai?

Acquiring a general trade license in Dubai can be a great opportunity for businesses that are looking to start or expand. The cost of a getting general trading license depends on the type of business and its size. Generally, it is recommended that companies should expect to pay around AED 15,000 to register their business in Dubai. And, an additional AED 20,000 for further legal fees and costs associated with the process of this specific license.

However, other matters like office rental or staffing vary from company to company. Companies may need to apply for certain licenses depending on what goods they are selling or services they are providing. All these expenses should also be taken into consideration when budgeting for setting up a free zone general trading establishment in Dubai or getting a general trading license in Dubai.

Get your general trading license in Dubai with us!

If you want to start your company or already setting up a general trading business in Dubai, UAE, taking the help of local trading consultants like Vigor can make things easier. Our team of experts can help you with all the matters related to trading licenses; be it obtaining a general trading license in Dubai or needing an E-TRADE Ejari license renewal.