How to Get a General Trading License in Dubai, UAE

general trading license in dubai

The general trading license in Dubai stands as one of the most sought-after and consequently, extensively granted trade licenses not only in Dubai but also throughout the UAE. This prominence owes itself to Dubai’s consistent establishment as a premier business center, not solely within the Middle East but on a global scale. Its advantageous geographical positioning has garnered significant attention among international business owners, especially those involved in commodity trading.

If you’re considering launching a business in the UAE, this article will provide you with valuable information about the general trading license. It will delve into the benefits it offers for your UAE-based business, the range of businesses it pertains to, and the step-by-step process for applying for this license.

What is the Definition of General Trading?

General trading within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) refers to the comprehensive engagement in the import, export, and commercial exchange of diverse goods and merchandise. This encompasses a broad spectrum of tangible products, spanning from furniture, electronics, clothing, toys, to industrial equipment. It’s essential to recognize that certain items, including cars, alcohol, medical supplies, and weaponry, are subject to restrictions, necessitating a specialized license for their import or export.

What exactly is a General Trading License in the UAE?

A General Trading License in the UAE grants your business the authorization to engage in the export, re-export, import, and trade of a diverse array of unrelated goods all under a single license. Unlike specific license categories, this versatile license permits the trading of a wide spectrum of commodities, excluding prohibited items such as oil, tobacco, and goods failing to meet health and safety standards. This essentially means you can be involved in trading a diverse range of products, spanning from furniture, food, electronics to pet supplies.

The General Trading License stands as a highly coveted license choice for individuals aspiring to establish a business in the UAE. It extends numerous advantages that facilitate seamless trading both locally and internationally within the UAE. These encompass:

The prospect to conduct trade across nearly any industry, except those under restriction. Flexibility to introduce multiple shareholders progressively. Unrestricted hiring potential, allowing you to employ as many individuals as required. Absence of import tariffs and complete repatriation of profits for your UAE-based business. Access to cutting-edge logistics infrastructure and comprehensive warehouse support. Streamlined visa applications for employees, especially when operating from larger premises.

Read More: How to Get Trade License in Dubai

UAE General Trading License Activities

The UAE general trading license permits a wide array of trading activities. Some of the activities that can be pursued under this license include:

  1. Import and Export: Trading in various goods by importing them into the UAE and exporting them to international markets.
  2. Re-Export: Re-exporting goods that were previously imported into the UAE to other international markets.
  3. Wholesale Trading: Engaging in the bulk sale of goods to distributors, retailers, and other businesses.
  4. Retail Trading: Selling goods directly to end consumers through physical stores, online platforms, or other retail channels.
  5. Distribution: Distributing products to retailers or consumers within the UAE or abroad.
  6. Storage and Warehousing: Operating storage and warehouse facilities for goods before distribution or sale.
  7. Trading in Multiple Categories: The general trading license allows trading in various categories of goods, such as electronics, textiles, machinery, food products, consumer goods, and more.
  8. Commodities Trading: Trading in commodities like metals, minerals, agricultural products, and energy resources.
  9. E-commerce: Running an online platform for buying and selling a wide range of products.
  10. Product Sourcing: Procuring goods from different sources globally and trading them locally or internationally.
  11. Trading Events and Exhibitions: Participating in trade fairs, exhibitions, and events to showcase and trade goods.
  12. Business Consulting: Providing consultation services related to trading, market analysis, and business development.

How can I Get General Trading License in UAE?

Traditionally, foreign entrepreneurs were required to collaborate with an Emirati, known as a Local Sponsor, in order to establish a general trading company. The ownership distribution in this arrangement used to be 51-49, with the local sponsor holding 51% of the shares and the expat owner retaining 49%.

However, recent revisions to the Commercial Companies Law (CCL) by the UAE government have ushered in changes. Foreign entrepreneurs can now secure 100% ownership and full profits for their general trading enterprise.

Securing a general trading license involves a straightforward process that entails the following steps:

  1. Assemble and submit all essential documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED).
  2. Receive the government payment voucher.
  3. Fulfill the requisite fees.
  4. Obtain your general trading license.

What Documents are Needed for a General Trading License in Dubai?

a). For UAE Residents:

  1. Copy of passport
  2. Passport-sized photograph
  3. Copy of UAE residence Visa
  4. Copy of Emirates ID

b). For Non-UAE Residents:

  1. Copy of passport
  2. Copy of UAE visit visa

On the contrary, if your intention is to establish a trading company involving corporate shareholders, you will be required to furnish the following:

Certificate of Incorporation:

This legal document confirms the establishment of the company and its formal registration with the pertinent government authority.

Certificate of Incumbency or Equivalent:

This certificate or its equivalent lists the present shareholders, directors, and officers of the company.

Memorandum of Association:

The memorandum of association serves as a legal document delineating the company’s objectives, powers, and governing regulations.

Board Resolution:

The board resolution stands as a document that grants the company authorization to partake in general trading endeavors and endorses the application for a general trading license.

Read More:  Company Registration in Dubai, UAE

How much is a General Trading License in Dubai, UAE?

The expense for obtaining a general trading license in the UAE typically ranges from AED 15,000 to AED 50,000 (approximately) or potentially higher. The overall fee of the license hinges on variables including the selected business location, warehouse dimensions, office area, supplementary authorizations, business jurisdiction, and visa processing.

Benefits of General Trading License in Dubai

Acquiring a general trading license in Dubai offers numerous benefits for business owners and entrepreneurs. Some of the key advantages include:

  1. Versatile Trading Opportunities: The general trading license allows you to trade in a wide variety of goods across multiple industries, offering flexibility to adapt to market demands and trends.
  2. Diverse Product Range: You can deal with a broad spectrum of products, from electronics and textiles to consumer goods and machinery, enabling you to explore various market segments.
  3. Global Trade: With Dubai’s strategic location and well-developed infrastructure, you can easily access international markets for both import and export, expanding your business’s global reach.
  4. 100% Ownership: Recent changes in regulations allow foreign entrepreneurs to have complete ownership of their business, empowering you to maintain full control over your enterprise.
  5. Tax Benefits: Dubai offers a tax-free environment, meaning there are no personal or corporate income taxes, providing a favorable financial backdrop for your trading activities.
  6. Strategic Location: Dubai’s position as a global business hub facilitates efficient logistics, streamlined supply chains, and easy connectivity to regional and international markets.
  7. Access to Skilled Labor: The city attracts a diverse workforce from around the world, providing access to skilled professionals to support your business operations.
  8. Advanced Infrastructure: Dubai offers state-of-the-art facilities, including modern ports, airports, and warehousing, enhancing your efficiency in import, export, and distribution.
  9. Business Networking: The city hosts various trade exhibitions, events, and networking opportunities that can help you connect with suppliers, distributors, and potential clients.
  10. Repatriation of Profits: You can repatriate 100% of your profits and capital back to your home country, providing a secure financial outlook.
  11. Minimal Bureaucracy: Dubai has streamlined its business registration processes, making it relatively straightforward to obtain licenses and set up operations.
  12. Investor-Friendly Policies: The government of Dubai continues to introduce initiatives to attract foreign investment and support business growth.
  13. Strong Legal Framework: Dubai offers a stable and well-regulated business environment with robust legal protections for investors and entrepreneurs.
  14. Gateway to the Middle East: Dubai serves as a gateway to tap into the Middle Eastern market, which presents numerous business opportunities.

It’s important to note that while a general trading license offers many benefits, understanding the regulations, market dynamics, and compliance requirements specific to your chosen industry is essential for a successful trading venture in Dubai.

Read More: Establish Companies in the UAE Mainland

What is the Difference between general trading license and regular trade license?

A “general trading license” and a “regular trade license” are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, but they can refer to slightly different concepts depending on the context and jurisdiction. In some cases, they might even refer to the same thing. However, let’s explore the potential differences:

a). General Trading License:

A “general trading license” typically implies a broader scope of trading activities. This license allows a business to engage in a wide range of trading activities involving various types of goods across different industries. It’s often associated with the ability to trade in multiple categories without specific restrictions, making it versatile for businesses that wish to deal with diverse products.

b). Regular Trade License:

The term “regular trade license” can be a bit vague and might refer to a standard trading license that allows a business to legally engage in trading activities. This could encompass both general trading activities and specific trading activities within a certain category or sector. It might not necessarily imply any limitations on the type of goods traded, but it might be used to refer to a more standard or basic form of trading license.

In essence, the key difference could lie in the scope and specificity of trading activities allowed under each term. However, the exact terminology and implications can vary depending on the regulations and practices of a particular jurisdiction. It’s always advisable to consult the official documentation and authorities of the relevant jurisdiction to understand the specific meanings and requirements associated with these terms.

What is the cheapest general trading license in UAE?

The SPC Free Zone offers the most budget-friendly general trading license in the UAE, with costs averaging around AED 6500 for securing this license.

If You want to get General Trading License in Dubai, UAE? Look no further! contact us our expert consultants.  Feel free to drop by or call us at +971 43827700. Send a WhatsApp Message for Chat Query on +971 557012754 or email us at info@spiderbc.com

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