How To Start A Logistics Business in UAE?

Start A Logistic Business In UAE | Logistics
The logistics industry in UAE is expected to reach 30.19 billion USD by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 7.01% during the forecast period (2024-2030). This suggests that the logistics sector is thriving in the UAE. A report by Mordor Intelligence stated that the United Arab Emirates Freight And Logistics Market size is estimated at 20.11 billion USD in 2024, and is expected only to grow during the forecast period (2024-2030). 
Logistics Business In UAE | Fastest Growing Market | CAGR
Logistics Business In UAE | Largest Market | CAGR

Another report states that the UAE logistics market size is expected to show a growth rate (CAGR) of 5.58% during 2024-2032. The momentous growth in the e-commerce industry, and the implementation of government policies focusing on boosting trade and logistics are some of the major factors propelling the market growth.

UAE Logistics Market Size | Start A Logistics Business in UAE

What’s More?

Your logistics freight services Dubai business can sit at the crossroads of continents – that is Europe, Asia, and Africa. Also, Dubai’s prime location translates to efficient transportation networks, meaning faster deliveries and a global edge for you. But that’s not all! Dubai boasts world-class infrastructure specifically designed for logistics and freight services. Imagine state-of-the-art seaports like Jebel Ali handling massive cargo volumes with ease, smooth road networks, and efficient air connectivity ensuring seamless movement of goods. No more logistical nightmares! The UAE government actively promotes the logistics sector, making Dubai an entrepreneur’s paradise. Enjoy low import duties and minimal corporate taxes to keep more profits in your pocket. Plus, there’s no minimum capital requirement, making it easier to get started. You have the flexibility to choose your setup – the UAE mainland for wider market access or a free zone like Dubai Logistics City for perks like 100% foreign ownership and tax exemptions. Besides, government agencies are here to help, not hinder, with streamlined processes to make business setup a breeze. So, there is no doubt that the UAE logistics market is brimming with potential. But there are a few key factors at play to help you decide if starting a logistics company in UAE is the right move. 

The Bottom Line:

  • What’s the Market Potential? It’s High. The market is projected to grow steadily, and the government is actively supporting its development.
  • How’s the Competition? It’s Fierce. A well-defined strategy and a focus on a specific niche are crucial for success.
  • What’s the Regulatory Environment like? It’s Complex. Partnering with legal or compliance experts can help you navigate the regulations effectively.

So, How to Start A Logistics Business In UAE?

Starting a logistics company in the UAE involves several key steps and obtaining various approvals. 

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

1. Business Model:

Decide whether you want to start your logistics company in one of the UAE’s free zones for 100% ownership or in the mainland which may require a local sponsor. 

2. Business Plan:

Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your business model, services, target market, and financial projections.

3. Legal Requirements:

Register your business with the UAE’s Department of Economic Development (DED) or the respective free zone authority. You will need to choose a company name, fill out the application forms, and submit the required documents.

4. Trade License:

Obtain a trade license for your logistics company. The type of license will depend on your chosen business activities.

5. Office Space:

Secure an office space or warehouse that meets the requirements of your logistics operations.

6. Visas and Staffing:

Apply for visas for yourself, your employees, and your dependents. Ensure you comply with the UAE’s labor laws and regulations.

7. Bank Account:

Open a corporate bank account in the UAE to manage your finances and transact with your clients.

8. Customs Registration:

Register with Dubai Customs for a customs code if your business will be involved in import and export activities.

9. Additional Approvals:

Depending on your specific logistics activities, you may need additional approvals:

    • Federal Transport Authority (FTA): For transportation-related activities.
    • Customs Clearance Permit: From Dubai Customs for customs brokerage services.
    • Ministry of Economy: For attesting the Memorandum of Association. 
    • Dubai Police: For security systems of logistics companies. 
    • Civil Defence: For handling hazardous materials and cargo.
    • General Civil Aviation Authority: If your business involves air cargo transportation. 
    • Maritime Authority: For maritime logistics activities. 
    • Roads and Transport Authority: For land cargo transportation.
    • Food Control Department: For food storage and delivery services.

Is Mainland Better than Freezone?

FeatureUAE MainlandUAE Free Zone
Market AccessAccess to the entire UAE marketLimited market access; may require additional licenses for mainland trade
Ownership & TaxesRequires majority UAE national ownership (minimum 51% is still applied for some logistical activities) and is subject to corporate tax (currently 9%) if qualified.Allows 100% foreign ownership and typically can enjoy income tax benefits and exemptions on import/export duties. Free zones are also subject to corporate tax (currently 9%) if qualified.
Business SetupGenerally, more complex and time-consumingStreamlined and faster business setup process
RegulationsSubject to all UAE regulationsMay have fewer regulations, but specific to the free zone
VisasEasier to obtain visas for employeesObtaining visas may be subject to free zone regulations
Ideal forCompanies aiming for wider market access and distribution within the UAEConsider business setup in Dubai free zone or anywhere across the UAE to focus on international trade and export

Additional Considerations:

  • Type of Logistics Business: The type of logistics services you offer may influence your choice. Some free zones specialize in specific logistics sectors.
  • Long-Term Strategy: Consider your long-term plans. If you eventually want to expand into the UAE mainland market, setting up on the mainland might be a better option.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: While free zones offer tax benefits, consider other setup and operational costs to determine the most cost-effective option.

Let CorpCreators be your guide!

Dubai beckons with its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and thriving business environment. But navigating the legalities and complexities of setting up a logistics company can feel like a maze. That’s where CorpCreators comes in.

Our team of experts in Dubai business formation will help you:
  • Chart the Right Course: We offer you the right recommendations to choose the ideal setup – mainland or free zone – based on your specific needs.
  • Cut Through Red Tape: Streamline the business registration process, ensuring all legal requirements are met.
  • Secure License & Approvals: Obtain the necessary trade licenses and approvals for your chosen logistics activities.
  • Navigate Regulations: Understand and comply with UAE regulations for a smooth launch.

Don’t waste time deciphering logistics legalese. Start focusing on building your logistics empire and speak to our business setup consultants in UAE today. Book a free consultation now!

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