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How to Obtain a Trade License in Dubai Before Starting Your Business?

Investors from all over the world rush to Dubai, UAE, for its investor-friendly environment. However, just like other countries, UAE too has its own regulations for its local as well as foreign investors, which needs to be followed strictly for smooth functioning. Out of many mandatory processes, issuance of a trade license is a necessary process to start a business in Dubai or any other emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Every emirate of the UAE asks the investors to obtain a trade license before embarking on any business activity. A business cannot run unless legalised by the concerned government bodies. Trade licenses depend upon the work or business activity you do. There are different trade licenses sanctioned for different businesses in the UAE.

Types of Trade Licenses in UAE

Here are the different licences that you can obtain to start your business in Dubai.

You can apply for any of the following licenses:

  • Commercial or Trade License – for all types of trading work
  • General Trade License – for exports, trades and imports
  • Industrial License – for manufacturing or industrial work
  • Professional License – for professionals engaged with specific jobs

Trade Licences For Different Types of Business Activities and Industries

  • Commercial businesses in the UAE should obtain their licenses from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Financial institutions like banks must obtain their licenses from the Central bank of UAE.
  • Insurance organisations can obtain their trade licenses from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.
  • Manufacturing business enterprises have to acquire their licenses from the Ministry of Finance and Industry.
  • Pharmaceutical and medical product businesses must obtain their licenses from the Ministry of Health.

How to Obtain a Trade License in UAE?

Obtaining a trade license in Dubai UAE is easy, provided you follow the rules and regulations sincerely.
Listed below are the legal requirements for the respective government body:

  • Request the DED (Department of Economic Development) Dubai or respective emirates for original approval for trade activity.
  • Mention the category name for the profession, business, commercial and industry establishment.
  • Regulate all the business work that are connected for every business license (there are about 10 actions that exist for each license)
  • Prepare the legal status of your business in the UAE
  • Obtain other necessary permissions from other concerning government authorities
  • Give a name to your company
  • Lease business setup premises and do obtain genuine approval from the authority
  • Keep all the necessary documents like the memorandum of association handy

What is a General Trading License?

General trade license is for enterprises engaged in trading, exporting and importing products. Companies dealing in electronics, food and furniture should obtain this license. With this license, companies are allowed to trade in the local market within the UAE. It also permits traders to trade with businesses across the world. General trading licenses in the UAE enables you to trade in mixed goods. Therefore, companies can export, trade and import any number of items in the sectors like building materials, toys, electronics, furniture or cosmetics, etc. 

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is a government body that offers general trade licenses. Any individual or corporate entity can start businesses in Dubai mainland with this license. Every business needs permission from the concerned ministries. Therefore, businesses must take consent from other authorities before starting a business activity.

Benefits of General Trading License in Dubai

  • 100% direct tax-free
  • Easy employee visa
  • Allows 100% repatriation of profits and capital
  • More than one product can be traded with a single license
  • Use any office location in Dubai
  • Hassle-free legal process
  • Any currency can be used
  • Simple to start and set up your business

Trade License Renewal in Dubai

All companies and businesses need to renew their general trade licenses every year. Licenses are legal consent that permits you to run your businesses as per the business regulations in the UAE. The licenses enforce enterprises to meet the rules set by the government. This process helps you grow your revenue faster in the UAE.

How to Renew Your Trade License?

During the renewal of your trade license, your tenancy contract should be valid.

While renewing your tenancy contract, do take permission from Ejari, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. A valid Trade License in Dubai allows investors and entrepreneurs to perform their business operations comfortably. 

If you are confused and find the process complicated, then contact a business setup consultant or company formation and registration firm in Dubai for smooth closure of the process.


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