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How to Get a General Trading License in Dubai

how to get a general trading license in dubai uae
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Are you a foreigner and looking to relocate to Dubai to set up your business in one of the highly emerging economies? Choices are endless when it comes to operating a business in Dubai. You can get your general trading license in Dubai where you are allowed to combine different commercial activities in any of the industries including food, electronics, furniture, clothes, fashion, and more. However, you need to obtain a general trading license in order to register your general trading company in Dubai.

Delve into the guide to learn what a general trading license is and how to get a general trading license for your business in Dubai.

What is a General Trading License in Dubai?

A general trading license in Dubai is a license that allows you to import, export, and trade goods and products under this license category. Unlike, other license types, a general trading license enables you to trade in a broad array of goods – however, except a few products that are prohibited in the country such as tobacco and other goods that do not comply with health standards.

Why You Need a General Trading License in Dubai?

If you’re a foreign national and want to start a trading company in Dubai that sells unrelated products, you’ll need to get a general trading license. Getting a general trading license is a must, especially if you plan to get involved in multiple trading activities. Even if these activities are spread across different industries, a general trading license will cover them. That’s why getting a general trading license should be one of the most important steps for easy and smooth company formation in Dubai.

Once you’ve got your general trading company license in Dubai, your business startup in Dubai is allowed to conduct all of its trading activities under this one license. Once you get this important aspect of company formation in Dubai done, your startup is poised to become a key player in the supply and trading industry, providing businesses across Dubai, the UAE, and even other countries with necessary goods.

What Is A General Trading Company in Dubai?

If you want to trade, import, and export a variety of items in different industries, then starting a general trading company in Dubai is the best option. This encompasses textile trade, electronic trading, equipment trading, and product trading in general.

Additionally, certain regulated commodities must meet health and safety regulations when operating a business. Pharmaceuticals, frozen meals, and gold are all examples. Aside from these controlled commodities, the DED (Department of Economic Development) Dubai enables new business setups to trade and do business with foreign companies.

Steps to Get a General Trading License in Dubai

The Department of Economic Development (DED) currently offers quick licensing processing for a general trade corporation. To obtain a general trade license in Dubai, the following steps must be done during business registration:

  1. Get approval for the company name – Present the Department of Economic Development with three to four possibilities for your company name reservation.
  2. Choose Legal Structure & Define Business Activities – To continue your application for a trade license choose a legal structure for your business as well as define the business activities that you intend to carry out.
  3. Submission of documents – To complete the application, you must go to one of the recognized centers. A passport copy, residence visa copy or visit visa, and Emirates ID are all essential documents for starting a general trading company in Dubai. After you have submitted your application to the center, the DED will give you a payment voucher for the license after fully validating the documents. You must pay the specified cost in order to get your trade license.

Documents Required To Get a General Trading License in Dubai

In order to get a general trading license in Dubai for your business to start a general trading company, you will have to submit essential documents to the concerned authority. Below are the documents that you will need to submit:

  • Business plan
  • License Application 
  • Fees payment receipt
  • Name Approval letter from DED
  • MOA (Memorandum of Association)
  • Passport copy of the investor or the shareholders (if any)

Activities under General Trading License

According to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), the owner of a general trading firm in Dubai can import, trade, and re-export any of the permitted items. Furthermore, with the exception of a few prohibited industries such as oil or tobacco, it permits you to trade in nearly everything. Sweets and vehicle parts, jewels and shoes, pet supplies and toys, and practically any other combination you can think of are all acceptable trades.

Activities that require particular permits and arrangements can be carried out through a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or a single-owner (LLC-SO) business in Dubai.

Dubai Mainland General Trading License

You have the option of obtaining a general trading license in any of the jurisdictions including the Mainland or in a Free Zone. The Free Zones and Mainland provide reasonably priced packages for your company formation in Dubai that can best meet your individual requirements.

Dubai Free Zones General Trading License

Foreign investors can open a company in any of the Dubai free zone jurisdictions as well. Some Dubai Free zone authorities require having a minimum of AED 1 million in share capital in order to be granted a general trading license in free zone Dubai. Nevertheless, the cost may vary in accordance with the type of business and jurisdiction.

The Cost of General Trading License in Dubai

General Trading License Cost DetailsAmount AED
Trade name reservation cost620
Initial Approval Fees120
Tasheel Fees for initial Approval345
Tasheel Fees for MOA350
License Fees (Approx.)12500 – 15 000
DED Activity Fees (General Trading)15000
Immigration Card750
Cost of general trading license in Dubai29685 AED

Additional cost

  • Additional expenditures
  • Annual Rent of the premises
  • Cost of Visa: Investors and employees
  • 5% Annual rent – Dubai Municipality Fees

The general trading license cost in Dubai depends on factors like the number of partners in the company, the number of managers in the company, and the type of name you choose, for your company. A general trading license in Dubai costs between AED 28,000/- to 32,000.

You can contact us to know more about the costs and procedures involved in getting a general trading license in UAE or any other aspects of starting a company in Dubai.

Benefits of Starting a General Trading Company in Dubai

Are you wondering what can be the benefits of setting up a general trading company in Dubai? A general trading license company offers endless benefits to investors or entrepreneurs.

  • High-Quality Infrastructure – The availability of office spaces with flexible rent or lease plans and the greatest infrastructural amenities give an excellent location and environment for firms to conduct their operations in the most efficient manner possible.
  • Easy Business Setup process – The procedure of forming a corporation in the UAE is uncomplicated. If all of the paperwork is in place and ready, the entire operation may be completed in 3-4 working days.
  • Minimum Capital Requirements – It is not required to produce a bank guarantee or to deposit the share capital with the bank. Furthermore, 100% capital repatriation is permitted for UAE enterprises.
  • Low Taxation Policy – There is low corporation tax in the UAE for doing business. An investor with a license in UAE does have to pay taxes on earnings or revenue above the threshold of AED 3,75,000, which is comparatively very low globally.
  • No Trade Barriers – The expenditures and time necessary to start a business are extremely minimal in Dubai. Furthermore, businesses having a mainland trading license are exempt from any paid-up share capital requirements or regular audits. This increases the company’s profitability and affordability to the beyond level. Hence, there are no trade barriers to operating a business in UAE.

Why Choose Avyanco to Set Up Your General Trading Business in Dubai, UAE?

At Avyanco, our expert team makes the process of opening a general trading company in Dubai easy for investors. Moreover, we do this in as short a turnaround time as possible. In fact, by the time you finish your cup of coffee in our office, we’ll make sure your license is issued! Connect with Avyanco Business Setup and:

  • We will help you get any and all external approval required for your license.
  • We will share the pros and cons of mainland and free zone licenses and help you choose the right one to set up your business in Dubai, UAE.
  • We will offer you customized business setup packages that will perfectly match your requirements.

Contact us now by by calling at +971 50 398 9000 or via WhatsApp at +971 50 398 9000we are also available by Email at info@avyanco.com.


About the Author


Jashvantkumar Prajapati

(Founder and CEO of Avyanco Group of Companies; Business Setup Consultancy, Avyanco Tax and Accounting LLC, and Avyanco Auditing LLC.)

He keeps a varied portfolio with core expertise in investment management, corporate structuring, commercial law, business consultancy, lead management, business planning and market research. Aspire to help potential entrepreneurs and investors to come ahead and form their companies in highly emerging economies like UAE.