How to Obtain a General Trading License in Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide

General Trading License in Dubai

The winds of opportunity are blowing strong in Dubai, a city where ambition thrives and businesses flourish. If you have set your sights on joining this dynamic market, acquiring a General Trading License is your key to unlocking a world of possibilities.

Currently, Dubai’s business landscape is flourishing, witnessing an immense 69% surge in new business licenses issued in 2021, reaching a staggering 72,152 compared to 2020.

This phenomenal growth reinforces Dubai’s position as a global business and investment hub and solidifies its status as a successful model for business sector recovery.

General Trading License in Dubai

So, What Fuels Dubai's Business Boom?

  • Exponential growth: The number of new business licenses shot up by 69% in 2021 compared to 2020, highlighting the city’s thriving business environment.
  • Unprecedented ease of doing business: Dubai prioritizes streamlined processes, as evidenced by the 427% growth in instant licenses issued within minutes through the “Invest in Dubai” platform in 2021 compared to the previous year. This remarkable increase showcases their commitment to simplifying business setup.
  • Overall transaction growth: Business registration and licensing transactions witnessed a healthy 24% increase in 2021, indicating the overall expansion of business activity.

Time to go beyond the numbers:

  • Professional and commercial licenses: 59% of new licenses issued in 2021 were professional, while 41% were commercial (also referred to as General Trading License).
General Trading License in Dubai
  • Geographical distribution: Bur Dubai led with the most new licenses issued (48,562), followed by Deira (23,513).
  • Legal forms: Sole Establishment companies topped the list with 37% of new licenses, followed by Limited Liability companies (26%) and Civil Companies (13%).

Let’s unlock the potential with a General Trading License:

A General Trading License empowers you to trade in a wide range of unrelated goods, allowing you to adapt to evolving market trends and maximize your business potential.

Ready to join Dubai’s thriving market?  This guide will equip you with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain your General Trading License with ease, leveraging Dubai’s remarkable growth and streamlined licensing procedures.

Example - An entrepreneur's quest on getting a General Trading License:

Meet Sarah, an ambitious entrepreneur with big dreams in the bustling city of Dubai. She wanted to start her own business, a trading company dealing in various products like electronics and textiles. Sarah needed something essential to make this happen – a General Trading License in Dubai. This license would allow her to trade in many different goods. So, she began her journey to get it!

Getting a General Trading License

Sarah dreamed of running a company trading in various products, knowing that getting a general trading license in Dubai was the key. 

She explored the rules for obtaining this license, allowing her to trade in a wide range of products. Despite facing challenges like choosing a legal structure, each hurdle brought her closer to obtaining the license she needed.

The Steps Sarah Took

1. Creating an Identity

Sarah started by choosing a unique name for her company. The Department of Economic Development approved her chosen name, making it official.

2. Making Legal Decisions

Sarah had to decide how her business would be set up legally and what kind of trading it would do. This was important for her application.

3 .Making It Real

With a detailed business plan and necessary documents, Sarah submitted her application. got a payment voucher – the first step to making her dream a reality.

4. Took the Assistance of Business Setup Experts

Considering the various rules and regulations required to be adhered to during company formation and getting a trade license for business setup in Dubai, it was wise of Sarah to appoint a business setup service provider and outsource the various business setup services.

Sarah's Success: Benefits of a General Trading Company

1. Trading in Many Things

With her license, Sarah’s company could trade in different industries, from textiles to electronics. It opened doors to lots of opportunities.

2. Global Impact

Sarah’s business not only did well in Dubai but also made an impact globally. Her license allowed her to trade with businesses not only in the UAE but in other countries too.

3. Economic Boost

Getting the general trading license in Dubai brought many benefits – good infrastructure, an easy setup process, low costs, and no big barriers. Sarah’s business became a success story, showing how Dubai supports entrepreneurs.

Your Turn: Start Your Journey

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking to establish your business in the thriving economy of Dubai? The opportunities are vast, and if you’re considering diverse commercial activities in industries like food, electronics, furniture, fashion, and more, acquiring a general trading license in Dubai is essential.

Let’s explore what this license entails and guide you through obtaining it.

Understanding the General Trading License

What is a General Trading License in Dubai?

A general trading license in Dubai grants you the authority to import, export, and trade a wide range of goods and products. Unlike other license types, it allows you to engage in various trading activities, except for a few prohibited products such as tobacco and items not meeting health standards.

Why Do You Need a General Trading License?

For foreign nationals planning to establish a trading company in Dubai dealing with unrelated products, a general trading license is imperative. It’s especially crucial if you intend to participate in multiple trading activities across different industries.

This license streamlines your business setup, making it an essential supply and trading industry player.

Procedures For Acquiring A Business Trade License in Dubai

Procedures: 1 - Get your Commercial Name

Make sure to get your commercial name, before applying for the business trade license. Your trade license will reflect your commercial name. The documents required for this are passport copies of the partners and the list of proposed names. A fee also will be charged to do so.

Procedures: 2 - Get Initial Approval

You need to get the Initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED). The name reservation certificate and passport copies of partners will also be required at this stage.

Moreover, you will also be asked to submit all the approvals from the external departments, before DED grants you an initial approval.

Procedures: 3 - Get the Agreement done!

It is essential at this stage to get your agreement done.

  • For an LLC agreement get a legal translator and notary of the document, in the case of a civil company – a local service agent agreement and partners agreement need to be attested. 
  • In the case of a sole establishment with 100% expatriate ownership, a local service agent agreement is to be attested whereas for a sole establishment with 100% UAE national ownership, there is no court agreement.

Procedures: 4 - Get your Tenancy Contract

The judicial bodies also need you to have a physical presence. You need to have your tenancy contract for the shop/office and register it through EJARI. The EJARI will also charge a nominal registration fee. 

Procedures: 5 - Get your Municipality Approvals

You further need to get your approval from the municipality planning section on the tenancy contract from the DED.  (BR1) form, name reservation certificate, initial approval papers, tenancy contract, and EJARI registration certificate are some of the documents that you need to submit. 

Procedures: 6 - Get your Documents Submitted

Submit the attested LLC agreement, governmental forms, name reservation certificate, initial approval, external departments approval, tenancy contract, EJARI registration certificate, passport copies partners, NOC for partners (if any), or any other specifications as per your business demands – to the Department of Economic Development.

Procedures: 7 – Make your Payments

After you complete all the procedures you need to make the payment to acquire your Trade License. Once your documents are submitted the DED issues your payment vouchers at the same time or else you can get it printed from the DED website.

Procedures: 8 – Get your General Trading License

After your payments, you can collect your Business Trade License.

Documents Required for a General Trading License

  • Business plan
  • License Application
  • Fee payment receipt
  • Name Approval letter from DED
  • MOA (Memorandum of Association)
  • Passport copy of investors or shareholders

Activities Allowed Under a General Trading License

The license allows the import, trade, and re-export of permitted items, covering a broad spectrum of goods. Prohibited industries include oil and tobacco, ensuring versatility in your trading ventures.

Types of General Trading Licenses

1. Dubai Mainland General Trading License

You can obtain a general trading license in Dubai Mainland, offering reasonably priced packages for your company formation.

2. Dubai Free Zones General Trading License

Foreign investors can also opt for a general trading license in Dubai Free Zones, with specific capital requirements that vary based on the business type and jurisdiction. You can also check out the Free Zone Business Setup for additional reference.Cost of General Trading License in Dubai

License Cost Details

  • Trade name reservation cost: AED 620
  • Initial Approval Fees: AED 120
  • Tasheel Fees for initial Approval: AED 345
  • Tasheel Fees for MOA: AED 350
  • License Fees (Approx.): AED 12,500 – 15,000
  • DED Activity Fees (General Trading): AED 15,000
  • Immigration Card: AED 750
  • Cost of general trading license in Dubai: AED 29,685

Additional Costs

  • Annual Rent of the premises
  • Cost of Visa for investors and employees
  • 5% Annual Rent – Dubai Municipality Fees

Benefits Of Starting a Company with a General Trading License in Dubai

    • High-Quality Infrastructure: Dubai offers premium office spaces with flexible rent or lease plans and outstanding infrastructural amenities, providing an excellent environment for efficient business operations.
    • Easy Business Setup Process: The UAE’s business formation process is straightforward, taking 3-4 working days if all paperwork is in order.
    • Minimum Capital Requirements: No bank guarantee or share capital deposit is required, and 100% capital repatriation is allowed for UAE enterprises.
    • No Trade Barriers: Dubai imposes minimal expenditures and time requirements for starting a business, exempting businesses with a mainland trading license from paid-up share capital requirements and regular audits.
    • Low Taxation Policy: The UAE has low corporation tax, and investors only pay taxes on earnings exceeding AED 375,000.

Book A Free Consultation with Experts

Embark on your journey to business success by obtaining a general trading license in Dubai.

For more details on costs and procedures, connect with CorpCreators, and let’s turn your dreams into reality!

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