How to get a general trading license in Dubai

  • Gaurav Rajyana | Operations Manager
  • January 23, 2020

If you’re thinking about setting up a trading business in Dubai, you’ll need to obtain a general trading license as part of the business setup process in the UAE.

A general trading license allows business startups in Dubai to conduct all of their trading activities under one license. With a trade license, your startup could become a key player in the supplies industry to support businesses with necessary goods across the country.


What is a general trading business in Dubai?


In short, just about everything – especially if you want to get into the goods supply startup business in the UAE. A general trading license will allow you to trade a wide range of goods, such as clothing, accessories and electronics – to list a few examples.

With a general trading license, there is no such requirement that the goods have to be related to one another, hence you can trade in as many diverse products as you like, from model trains to artisanal jewellery.

Other than regulated goods that are required to comply with health and safety standards, such as pharmaceutical products, frozen foods and weapons, the Department of Economic Development Dubai allows a startup business in the UAE with a general trading license to export, import or trade all other goods.




Steps in getting a general trading license:


1) Choose jusrisdiction

Opting for a mainland general trading license in Dubai allows you to freely trade goods in the UAE. It is always recommended to go with a mainland license for general trading. If you opt for a free zone you will have limitations in moving around the goods. Get approval from the Department of Economic Development Dubai for a mainland general trading license.

2) Choose business activities

You may choose up to 10 activities for your general trading business. You can include all the activities which are regulated goods that comply with the health and safety standards and not the goods that require external approvals like guns, pharmaceuticals, etc.

3) Select a company name

Choose a name for your general trading business. Send it for initial approval. Read the dos and don’ts of naming a company in Dubai. Once its approved, you can apply for a general trading license.

4) Secure office space and warehouse

You have to rent out an office space and a warehouse. Since general trading is the trading of physical goods, you need a warehouse for storage. A mainland license allows you to get a warehouse without any limitations but with a free zone license, you will have certain limitations in the area of operation and storage. Some free zones like IFZA, allow you to operate with a virtual office. You can choose any depending on your business needs.

5) Customs clearance

Getting customs clearance is a primary obligation for any business that import goods into the country. For that, you must obtain an import code from the customs authority by paying the applicable amount. You can register with any customs authority in the emirates.


Dubai general trading license fees


Depending on where you choose to set up, the cost of general trading licenses in Dubai, UAE are generally priced between AED 9,000 to 40,000. 


Check out cost calculator to get an estimate of your general trading license in UAE.

Contact us to know more about the costs and processes for getting a general trading license in the UAE.


Benefits of setting up a general trading company in Dubai

  • If you choose to apply for a business license in Dubai mainland, you will be able to easily trade within the region, including mainland and free zones, as well as internationally.
  • An added bonus is the ability to apply for and obtain visas for multiple employees as your trading startup gains revenue and you start to think about expansion.


Why choose Decisive Zone?


  • We suggest different ways you can start your general trading business depending on its requirements.
  • We help you choose activities strategizing complete inclusion of all in the trade license. 
  • We help you get relevant external approvals required for your business activity.
  • We point out the pros and cons of mainland and free zone licenses and guide you choose the right jurisdiction.
  • We forward all the paperwork and customs clearance documents and ensure you have a hassle-free experience.
  • Moreover, we have tailored business setup packages that suit your requirements.


Contact us at +971 4 581 3618 or [email protected] to book a free consultation and to know more about company setup in Dubai


About the author

Gaurav Rajyana | Operations Manager

Gaurav’s years of experience in the industry makes him one of the top experts in business operations and compliance. He makes sure that all client’s processes are seamless and on schedule.

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