With its supportive government and thriving market, Dubai is a hotspot for entrepreneurs. But before you jump in, you’ll need a General Trading License in Dubai from the Department of Economic Development (DED). This essential document opens the door to your business dreams in Dubai. However, the process can be tricky. But dont worry. In this blog, ‘Steps to Obtain a General Trading License in Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide’, we’ll break down the steps you need to follow in simple terms.

What is General Trading?

General trading within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) includes the import, export, and commerce of diverse goods and commodities. This also encompasses a broad spectrum of physical products, spanning furniture, electronics, apparel, toys, and industrial machinery, among others. However, it’s essential to recognize that certain items, such as automobiles, alcohol, medical supplies, and weaponry, are subject to restrictions, necessitating a specific license for their import or export.

What is a General Trading License in the UAE?

A general trading license in Dubai enables you to import, export, and trade an extensive array of goods and products. This license distinguishes itself through its flexibility, permitting you to engage in trading diverse items, with only limited exceptions such as tobacco and products failing to meet health standards.

However, it’s important to note the difference between a general trading license and a trading license. While a trading license confines you to trading within a specific product category and industry, a general trading license empowers you to trade across multiple products and sectors.

Steps to Get a General Trading License in Dubai

Following are the steps to getting a general trading license in Dubai.

Step 1: Choose Your Jurisdiction

When considering whether to start your business in the mainland or opt for a Free Zone in the UAE, weighing several key factors is crucial. Free zones provide the benefit of 100% foreign ownership. Location is important, as Mainland areas are close to established markets and urban centers, but Free Zones often have specialized infrastructure tailored to specific businesses. Your decision between Mainland and Free Zones should be based on a thorough assessment of these variables.

Step 2: Choose A Company Name

When choosing a name for your business in Dubai, make sure to follow the city’s naming guidelines. Ensure compliance with transliteration standards, offensive content prohibition, and proper category classification. A correctly chosen name not only reflects your brand’s identity but also helps to prevent potential legal complications.

Consider filing trademarks and franchises to protect your intellectual property and secure exclusive rights to your corporate identity.

Choosing a company name in Dubai includes the following matters: 

  • Transliteration into Arabic or English without the use of special characters.
  • Prohibition of the use of insulting, religious, or geographic terminologies
  • Restrictions on using certain phrases such as “universal” or “international.”
  • No duplicate names in either language.
  • Trade names are categorized into premium categories A and B.
  • Obscene language and public decency offenses should be avoided.
  • Obtaining diplomatic approval for country or government-related names.
  • Six-month validity with mandatory renewal.
  • Trademark registration by the Ministry of Economy.

Step 4: Secure Office Space

When searching for office space tailored for storing physical goods, you have to prioritize locations offering generous square footage and customizable layouts to facilitate efficient organization and convenient access to your inventory.

Step 5: Obtain Customs Clearance

Securing customs clearance is a fundamental requirement for businesses involved in importing goods into the country. This entails obtaining an import code from the customs authority and fulfilling the associated fee. You can also register with any customs authority within the Emirates. 

Documents Required for a General Trading License in Dubai

For Individuals

  • A copy of your passport
  • Passport-size photo
  • Copy of your residence visa
  • Copy of your Emirates ID

For Corporate Shareholders

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Certificate of incumbency or equivalent
  • Memorandum of association
  • Board Resolution

It is important to note that these documents are essential for confirming the legal existence of the company and identifying the authorized signatories empowered to represent the company.

It’s crucial to understand that these documents might differ based on the jurisdiction in which you intend to establish your general trading company in Dubai. Moreover, additional documentation or procedures, such as attestation by relevant authorities or obtaining a no-objection certificate from your current employer if you hold a residency visa in Dubai, may be required.

UAE General Trading License Activities

  • Import & Export
  • Retail store
  • Online selling
  • Trading multiple products
  • Medical products (Dubai Health Authority approval required)

Why Start a General Trading Company in Dubai?

Setting up a general trading company in Dubai comes with a huge wave of benefits, making it a very smart business decision for any entrepreneur. So, here are some of the best reasons to finalize your decision when it comes to starting your general trading business in Dubai, according to our experts for business setup in UAE

01. Local & International Trade

Dubai offers opportunities for trading both locally and globally, allowing businesses to access diverse markets and expand their reach for increased profitability.

02. Low Tax Rate

The city offers a favorable tax environment that allows businesses to maximize profits with lower tax burdens, giving financial growth and stability.

03. Wide Range of Products

With access to a diverse array of products, businesses can cater to varied customer demands.

04. Simple Process

The straightforward procedures for setting up a general trading license in Dubai save time and reduce administrative delays.

05. Easy Sponsorship for Dependents

Can easily sponsor dependents, facilitate family relocation, and create a supportive environment for employees.

06. World-Class Infrastructure

The modern infrastructure allows efficient logistics and operations, providing businesses with the necessary resources for business growth.

Get Your General Trading License With Us

Get your general trading license hassle-free with us, your trusted business setup consultant in the UAE. We make the whole process simplified for you. From paperwork to approvals, we’ve got you covered. Start your business journey confidently with the top business setup consultants by your side.