How to Get General Trading License in Dubai? All You Need to Know

general trading license in dubai

If you’re planning to start up a trading business/company in Dubai, you’ll require to obtain a general trading license as a part of the business setup procedure in the UAE.

A general trading license in Dubai which is also called an instant license allows business startups to quickly incorporate in mainland Dubai to conduct all of their trading activities under one license.

With general trading 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 License in Dubai?

The general trade license is for businesses that want to perform business activities related to export, import, and trade of goods. Goods that can be traded with the general trade license include clothes, electronics, furniture, accessories, etc.

Foreign businessmen and entrepreneurs who are looking to export and import goods in the UAE need to obtain a general trade license. The general trade license is a very versatile license that covers multiple trading activities in the same or different industries.

Even though the general trading license allows the trading of goods and products. There are certain products that need approval from high authorities before you can start trading them. These products include automobiles, guns, alcohol, and medical products. To trade these products, you need clearance from the respective UAE municipalities.

Dubai General Trading License Activities

Here are the Dubai General Trading License activities:

  • Retail activities
  • Wholesale of goods
  • Sales of services
  • Trading of multiple goods
  • Distribution of goods
  • Storage of goods
  • Import and export of goods

The general trading license allows the purchase, sale, export, and import of mixed goods. This means that this license allows you to trade toys and electronics at the same time. It stands true for any number of goods you might want to trade inside and outside the UAE.

However, the trade of goods like Alcohol, Chemicals, Medicine, etc. are not covered by the general trading license. You need special government approvals for those goods.

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How to Get General Trading License in Dubai?

There is a specific process you need to follow to obtain the general trading license in Dubai. The Department of Economic Development in Dubai is responsible for handling the registration processes of new businesses here. For several of these steps, you need to deal with the officials there.

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There are processes and steps of obtaining the general trading license in Dubai :

1) Finalize the Business Activity

The first step is to select the business activities you want to perform with your general trading license. To clarify, you can select a total of ten business activities with one general trading license in Dubai.

2) Select a Company Structure

You need to select a company structure for your general trading business in Dubai. Some of the popular company structures in Dubai right now are Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Civil Company, Corporations, Holding Company and Limited Liability Company.

3) Apply for the General Trading License

Once you have finalized the business activity, you will need to apply for a general trading license from the Dubai Department of Economic Development. You can go to the local office or apply online.

4) Submit the relevant Documents Required

After applying for the general trading license, you will need to submit the relevant documents required by the local authority. When submitting the documents, you must make sure that the documents contain the accurate and latest information. The authority will take some time to review your application. Providing inaccurate documents and information may get your application declined, which can delay the process. Company Setup Consultants can help make sure that all the right documents are submitted according to the guidelines to make the process faster and easy for you.

5) Acquire other Approvals

You will need to acquire additional approvals considering the type of business activity you want to perform. To get the approvals, you can apply to the Dubai Department of Economic Development or the relevant authority overseeing the business activity.

6) Select the Location and Pay the Fees

Next, you will need to select the location where you want to perform your business activity. You can choose to run your business operation on the mainland or in one of the free zones. After finalizing the location, you will need to pay the fees and obtain the general trading license from the Dubai Department of Economic Development.

Benefits of a General Trading License in Dubai

The government of the UAE is in the process of changing the economic focus of the country from the oil and gas industry for a decade now. As a result, they are providing a lot of incentives for entrepreneurs and businessmen from all over the world to start a business here with their trade licenses.

The general trading license in Dubai provides the most benefits among the rest of the licenses here. That is the main reason the general trading license is so popular in Dubai.

Here are the advantages of general trading license in Dubai:

  • Tax free.
  • Local and international trade
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits.
  • No restrictions on any of the foreign currencies.
  • A wide range of banking facilities is available.
  • Low import duty
  • Yearly audits are not mandatory.
  • Ability to sponsor a number of visas for your employees depending on the size of your office.
  • International trading facilities.

What is the cost of a General Trading license in Dubai?

The cost of general trading license in Dubai will start at AED 10,000 to AED 40,000. It is not assured that it will cost you the least if you try to obtain the license by yourself. This is because you may make a mistake in any of the steps of the process and end up having to pay even more.

The cheapest way to obtain a general trading license in Dubai is to get it yourself. However, without previous experience in Dubai, this will be a daunting task. You will have to deal with the authorities and complete all the steps in the process by yourself.

If you are a foreigner who is new in Dubai, you probably do not know the language and customs here. In that case, it is advised that you get a consultation from experts who have years of experience dealing with issues related to the general trading license in Dubai.

Documents Required for the General Trading License in Dubai

Here are the documents you will need to submit to the Dubai Department of Economic Development to obtain a general trading license in Dubai:

  • Copy of Passports of the partners
  • Copy of UAE residence visa
  • MOA (Memorandum of Association)
  • Name approval Letter from the DED
  • The tenancy contract of the office space and the EJARI.

General Trading License in Dubai Mainland

That is why, if you are new, you will be better off paying extra for the assistance. The best business consultants will obtain the general trading license in Dubai for you, while you can sit back and relax.

The Cheapest general trading license in UAE is valid for one year. After that, you can easily renew it for anywhere between AED 5,000 to AED 9,000.

If you are looking for experts to help you obtain the general trading license in Dubai, then we are always ready to help you out.

Also Read: Difference between Commercial License and Professional License in Dubai

Why you Should Apply for the General Trading License in Dubai

There are reasons that make the general trading license in Dubai as popular as it is. While it allows most of the business activities you will want to perform in Dubai, there are also several other reasons that make it so attractive.

Here are the reasons why you should apply for the general trading license in Dubai:

Easy Setup Process:

The straightforward setup process is one of the main reasons behind the general trading license’s popularity in the UAE. It is even easier to acquire a general trading license in one of the many free zones in the UAE.

In fact, if you meet the requirements for the general trading license then the Department of Economic Development in Dubai will list your company within ninety minutes.

Cost-effective Setup Process:

The general trading license is also very budget-friendly. Small businesses can easily get it without breaking the bank. The usual perception is that the business setup in Dubai is way too expensive. However, you can easily set one up with the general trading license, which starts at AED 9,200 only.

Location Flexibility:

The general trading license allows businesses to rent both office and storehouse space in the city. Dubai has a wide range of choices for office spaces. You can find the type that meets your specific needs and rent or lease that. Dubai allows virtual offices as well.

So if your business does not require a physical base of operations, you can opt for virtual offices.

Ability to Sponsor Multiple Visas:

Depending on the size of the office space you rented or leased, you can sponsor a number of visas for your employees. This gives you the flexibility to hire anyone from anywhere in the world. So, you have access to a wider talent pool, and you can find the right fit for the job.

Allows Multiple Share Holders:

The general trading license allows your business to have multiple shareholders. There is no limit on the number of shareholders per license. As a result, you can start a public shareholding company with a general trading license. You can raise more capital and further improve your products or services thanks to this option.

Minimum Barriers to Entry:

The process of obtaining the general trading license in the UAE is pretty straightforward. The market in Dubai is also welcoming for new entrants. The UAE ranks 16th in the world on the index for ease of doing business. The availability of expert business consultants in Dubai makes it even easier to start a business here.

Family Visa Eligibility:

After you have obtained the general trading license in Dubai, you can apply for the visas of your children, spouse, and domestic workers. The golden visa in Dubai allows you to plan a future for your family and yourself here.

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Easy Way to Get Your Own General Trading License in Dubai

There is an even easier route to get your own general trading license in Dubai. And that is with the help of professional Company Setup Consultants. Business setup experts make your life easier by obtaining the general trading license for you while you can focus on the more important aspects of your business.

You do not need to wait in the long queues in the government buildings. We will do it for you. Contact us today and hit the ground running.

Frequently Asked Questions On General Trading License in Dubai
Who needs a General Trading License?

The general trading license in Dubai is for businesses that want to buy and sell different categories of goods at once. It is the best license for retail businesses operating in Dubai.

How can I do General Trading in Dubai?

If you want to start a general trading business in Dubai, then you need to obtain a general trading license from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. Here are the steps you need to follow to do general trading in Dubai:

  • Select a Company Name and a Legal Structure
  • Finalize the Business Activity
  • Apply for the general trading license
  • Submit the relevant Documents Required
  • Acquire other Approvals
  • Select the Location and Pay the Fees

What is the cost of obtaining a General Trading License in Dubai?

Considering the location of your company and the types of business activities you want to perform, the cost of obtaining a general trading license can be around AED 9,000 to AED 40,000.

The cost of general trading license in UAE will differ from one case to another. However, you can expect the approximate cost of obtaining the general trading license to be around AED 30,000 to AED 40,000.

You can obtain the license by yourself from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. However, if this is your first time doing business in Dubai, then it is highly suggested that you seek the help of professionals.

What are the business activities under a general trading license in Dubai?

You can perform a wide range of business activities under a general trading license. A general trading license will allow you to retail, wholesale, and import-export goods approved by the UAE government. The products can be clothes, furniture, electronics, accessories, and many others. You can also trade regulated goods by obtaining the required approvals.

What is the validity of a Dubai general trade license?

A general trade license in Dubai is valid for one year. After that, you will need to renew the license. The renewal will be valid for five years.

How much time is required to obtain a trading license in Dubai?

The process of obtaining a general trading license in Dubai is quite straightforward. You can expect to receive the general trading license within ten days once the documents are submitted.

General Trading License UAE
What is the difference between General Trading License vs. Trade License?

A general trading license allows a business to retain and wholesale any goods approved by the UAE government within the UAE and outside the UAE. For the regulated goods, you will need to acquire additional approvals. In simpler terms, a general trading license allows trading any kind of goods except the prohibited goods. But in the case of a trade license, you will only be able to trade specific goods for which the license is registered. So, a trade license limits the types of goods you can trade, unlike a general trading license.

How do I start a general trading business?

To start a general trading business in Dubai, you need to obtain a general trading license from the Department of Economic Development here. The Department of Economic Development in Dubai is responsible for handling the registration of new businesses here.

However, to perform some of the business activities, you also need to get some external approvals from other government bodies and non-government agencies.

How do general trading companies work?

General trading companies in the UAE can export, import, market, buy, and sell allowed products here. General trading companies can legally perform those business activities in the UAE thanks to the general trading license.

You can obtain the general trading license from the respective Department of Economic Development of the economic zone you are situated in. You can easily set up a general trading company in the UAE with the help of Company Setup Consultants.

To Speak with our Experienced Business Consultants for further information and assistance, call us at +971582595164. Send a WhatsApp Message for Chat Query on +971 582595164 or email us at info@companysetup.ae.