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How to get a general trading license in Dubai

If you’re an entrepreneur and thinking about setting up a trading business in Dubai, you’ll need to obtain a general trading license in 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 Dubai startup could become a key player in the supplies industry to support businesses with necessary goods across the city.


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 in Dubai will allow you to trade a wide range of goods, such as clothing, accessories, and electronics – to list just a few examples.

With a general trading license, there is not requirement that goods have to be related to one another, so you can trade in as many diverse products as you like, from model trains to artisanal jewellery.

Other than regulated goods that is 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 trading of all other goods.




Steps of getting a general trading license


1) Choose your location

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 mainland general trading license in Dubai.

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; guns, pharmaceutical, etc.

3) Select a company name

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

4) Secure office space and warehouse

You have to rent out an office space and a warehouse. Since general trading is trading of physical goods, you need a warehouse to store your goods. 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 storing. Some free zones like IFZA, allows you to operate on a virtual office. You can choose any depending on your needs.

5) Customs clearance

Getting custom clearance is a primary obligation for any business that import goods to the country. For that, you must obtain an import code from the customs authority so you can import goods into UAE by paying the applicable amount. You can register with any customs authority suitable for you 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 AED 40,000 range. 

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

  • Getting into the general trading business as a startup business in the UAE comes with a number of advantages and opportunities.
  • 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 in Dubai gains revenue and you start to think about expansion.


Why choose Decisive Zone to setup your general trading business in Dubai, UAE

We suggest different ways you can start your general trading business depending on your requirements.

We help you choose activities in order to include all of the selected activities into your trading license. 

We help you in getting any external approval required for your activity in the license.

We will point out the pros and cons of mainland and free zone license and guide you in choosing the right one for your business setup in Dubai, UAE.

We forward all the paperworks and customs clearance documents and ensure you have a hassle-free experience when starting your business in the UAE.

Moreover, we have tailored business setup packages that will suit your needs and requirements.


Contact us now to book a free consultation and to know more about company setup in Dubai, UAE.


About the author:
Bob Natividad | Operations Manager

Bob Natividad | Operations Manager

Bob’s years of experience in the industry makes him one of the top experts in business operations and compliance.
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