How to Start a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai?

How to Start a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai?

Foodstuff trading business in Dubai has become one of the major contributors to the UAE’s economy. The reason is obvious; Dubai is home to millions of expats from all around the world who want to have their home country’s cuisines here in this city. Dubai, UAE is also an international trading checkpoint and import and export of all kinds including foodstuff.
If you also want to start your foodstuff trading business in Dubai, this is high time. Dubai is becoming a global attraction in the middle east and people from all across the world are shifting here for multiple benefits related to business and lifestyle. Cafes and restaurants would be serving all kinds of cuisines to attract customers. This means, there will be more business-thriving opportunities in the food and beverage industry. Therefore, don’t think that opening a foodstuff trading business in Dubai wouldn’t be successful. The chances are it will be one of the most successful businesses of the future.

What is a foodstuff trading business? 

Simply put, a foodstuff trading business is a business that deals with different trading aspects of food products. Those aspects include manufacturing, importing, exporting, packaging, distributing, transporting, and storing food items. If you are dealing with just one category or having multiple similar foodstuff business activities, your business will be called a foodstuff trading business.

What is the Process of Starting a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai?

To start a foodstuff trading business in Dubai, you first need to get a foodstuff trading license from the Department of Economic Development also known as DED. The DED is responsible for the issuance of all trade licenses. You submit your documents along with your license application there for license registration, and if they approve, only then you will get your foodstuff trading license for the foodstuff trading company in Dubai.
All foodstuff trading companies in Dubai hold commercial business licenses. Your foodstuff trading company will also be registered as a limited liability company (LLC) and as per the laws of the government of the UAE, no foreign investor can hold 100% complete ownership of their company if it is located in Dubai mainland. In fact, you need to collaborate with UAE national for your business setup in Dubai who is your local sponsor. According to the commercial structure of trading business in Dubai mainland, the shareholding division will be 49%-51%. The local shareholder would have 50 percent and you will have 49 percent shares of your foodstuff trading business in Dubai.
But this would not be the case with opening a foodstuff business in a free zone. In the free zone, you will have complete ownership of your business. However, you will not be allowed to do business with the local market. With the mainland, you enjoy the advantage of doing business with both local and international marketplaces.

Also read: What are the Steps to Get a Food Truck License in Dubai

What Documents are required for Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai?

  • The passport copies of all the shareholders (local, foreign)
  • The Emirates ID of shareholders if they are on residency visas in Dubai
  • The visa page (visit visa or resident visa) of shareholders who do not have Emirates ID.
  • NOC letter from the sponsor if they are on a residency visa
  • Approval from Dubai municipality

The Responsibility of Dubai Municipality for Foodstuff Trading Business in UAE

The Dubai Municipality (DM) is responsible for ensuring the best practices for foodstuff trading in Dubai. The DM’s Food Safety and Food Control Department inspects and regulates all the food trading businesses in Dubai and makes sure they all follow the set rules and parameters of safety and hygiene during all food trading. Therefore, your foodstuff trading business must be registered at Dubai Municipality.

The Dubai Municipality Requirements for Registration of Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai

Here all the checklist of all the requirements you must be in compliance with if your foodstuff trading business is importing food products.

  •       First thing you have to do is to register your company at Dubai Food Import and re-Export System (FIRS). This will make you eligible for import application and keep an update on the status of your request.
  •       Then you have to get food labels for all the food items you will be importing. The labeling confirms that all your food trading products follow the government rules.
  •       After that, register all your food products at FIRS before starting the import them at the Dubai municipality food control department.
  •       Lastly, get your FIT result from Dubai Central Food Laboratory. This result is important before importing as it indicates whether this specific food item can be eaten by humans or not.

The Steps of Starting a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai

Trading Name for Your Foodstuff Trading Company

Each business in the UAE has an official trade name on which the business license gets issued. There are certain name rules you must adhere to before choosing one. One of the rules is: you need to submit at least 3 names to the DED and after reviewing your application, they will approve the appropriate ones and you can choose one from the shortlist.

The Paperwork Required for Foodstuff Trading Business

There are multiple paperwork hassles you have to deal with during registering for a food trading license. You need to submit them with your application form. Note that, you need to prepare and sign MOA from all your shareholders. Vigor Business setup consultants can guide you and handle all the documentation for your ease and convenience.

Warehouse Renting for Your Dubai Foodstuff Trading

It is the foodstuff trading license requirement to get a warehouse to manage all the foodstuff in Dubai. The UAE authorities have specific rules about how the infrastructure f warehouse should be for all import trading businesses, such as:

  • All the equipment that will be in use for foodstuff should be made of high quality and sanitized on regular basis.
  • The food partition should surpass the high standard of hygiene
  • A proper system to keep the food fresh and disinfect such a moderate temperature, humidity level, and more.

Get Your Dubai Foodstuff Trading License 

After completing all the necessary food trade business requirements, you are ready to apply for a foodstuff trading license. This license will allow you to perform all your foodstuff-related business activities. You can take the help of company formation consultants at Vigor who will manage all approvals and requirements of getting the foodstuff trading license in Dubai. Remember that, you have to get it renewed every year before its expiration date. Otherwise, there can be serious consequences.

Additional approvals for Trading UAE business license

Not all business activities would be allowed under one foodstuff trading business license in Dubai. You would have to get external approvals as well if you want to expand your business or looking to include different minor activities. Remember that in case of a violation, your license can get canceled.
With approval from DM and other documents would be reviewed before issuing your foodstuff trading license in Dubai by the relevant department.

Also read: How to Start a Food and Beverages Business in the UAE

The Permitted Business Activities Under Foodstuff Trading License in Dubai

The foodstuff trading in Dubai covers many business activities other than food packaging, import, and export. Look at the following list to find what business activity inspires you to include in your business plan for a foodstuff trading business license in Dubai:

  • Water and beverages trading
  • Sugar and other pantry ingredients trading
  • Kitchen oil trading
  • Snacks and cereal trading
  • Floor and legumes trading

The Responsibility of Dubai Customs in Your Foodstuff Trading in Dubai

The role of Dubai customs comes at the last once you get your license for the foodstuff trading business in Dubai. After you have received your license from the department of economic development, now you have to register your foodstuff trading company with Dubai customs. Upon registration, you will receive a specific custom code which will be used during all the importation and exportation of foodstuff in and out of Dubai.

What is the Cost of Starting a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai 

The cost of a foodstuff trading business license is entirely depending on where you want to start food trading along with warehouse size, visa issues, and external approvals.
If your desired location is Dubai mainland, then the cost will be higher than obtaining a foodstuff trading license in the free zone. Opening a free zone foodstuff trading license will offer you more freedom and single ownership as opposed to the mainland. Overall, the required capital for opening a foodstuff business in Dubai would be around AED 15,000 to AED 30,000.

Final Words on Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai

Though there is already huge competition in the food industry. But with competition, the demand is also increasing due to the rising number of residents. Foodstuff trading business in Dubai can prove to be a lucrative business if you start your food business with a cutting-edge business strategy. In this case, Vigor consultants can guide you. Get in touch with us to know more about the registration and other factors related to the foodstuff trading business in Dubai, UAE. We will gladly help you be successful in your business.

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