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How to get your general trading license in Dubai and the UAE

A general trading license in UAE is a great option for anyone who wants to get into imports and exports of a variety of goods. You can select many different activities under general trading license in Dubai and also have the option to add new ones in the future.

Table Of Contents

•General trading license activities
•Key steps to acquire a general trading license
•Cheapest general trading license
•Working with Creative Zone

General trading license activities

A major benefit of the UAE general trading license is that it allows you to trade in a wide variety of goods, outside of a few industries where there are restrictions, such as oil or tobacco. In addition, the goods that you trade in do not need to be related to each other. As long as you steer clear of prohibited items, you can choose almost any combination.

So there is a lot of opportunity to grow your company and branch out into other areas over time.

Key steps to get a general trading license

Let’s break down the main steps to obtaining your general trading license in UAE.

Step 1: Decide on a free zone or mainland license
Okay, let’s get started. The first decision to make is whether a free zone or mainland setup is better for your company. With a mainland setup, you can trade with the UAE market (without needing a local agent), plus you can potentially take on government contracts.

Then there is the UAE free zone option which offers 0% tax rate, the ability to repatriate 100% of your profits, full customs tax exemption, no currency restrictions, and so on. While your free zone company is not able to trade directly with the UAE market, there are options which enable you to do so, should you need it in the future.

Generally, a mainland license will be optimal as you can then freely trade goods in the UAE, while a free zone will be limited in this aspect.

Step 2: Choose your business activities
You can select up to 10 activities. As mentioned, these cannot be any of the goods that need further approvals such as pharmaceuticals and firearms.

Step 3: Select your company name
Next up is picking a name for your company. The UAE is fairly strict when it comes to naming companies, so it’s important to be aware of the regulations. Essentially, you must avoid any language that could be seen as offensive or blasphemous. You must also avoid any name that is already held by a well-known organization.

If you’re naming your company after yourself, ensure that you don’t abbreviate your name. So Mark Johnson Trading is fine, but M Johnson Trading is not. Of course, you will also need to ensure your chosen company name is still available for you to register. This part of the process, like many others, is much smoother if you choose to set up with a company formation specialist like Creative Zone.

Step 4: Consider office/warehouse requirements
If you’re moving goods around, you’re going to need space, whether that’s office or warehouse or both. A mainland license comes into play here, allowing you to access warehouse facilities with fewer restrictions.

Step 5: Make your license application
If you are taking the free zone route, then you can apply directly to your chosen free zone. For the mainland option, you can apply to the Department of Economic Development (DED).

The key is to make sure that your application is mistake-free, to avoid possible delays or rejection.

Working with a company formation specialist from the outset means you can have peace of mind knowing that your application is complete, as well as having access to professional advice at each step of the process.

Step 6: Apply for your visa
Once your license application is complete, you can apply for your UAE residence visa (plus visas for your employees if you have any at this stage, as well as family or domestic staff).

The number of visas you are eligible for depends on the size of your business and where you have chosen to set up.

Step 7: Open a bank account
Before you can start trading in the UAE one requirement is to open a corporate bank account. This can be tricky for foreign business owners in the UAE, but working with a company formation specialist can make the process much smoother.

There are many local and international banks in Dubai, each with different acceptance criteria, so having a professional by your side can be invaluable. They can also advise on the most suitable bank for your business and arrange the necessary meetings.

Cheapest general trading license

Now let’s look at Dubai’s general trading license fees.

The costs can vary a lot. But as a rough guide, you can plan for somewhere between AED 9,000 and AED 40,000.

Contact Creative Zone to get the very latest, tailored pricing information for a package that fits your exact requirements. That’s the fastest way to get information on general trading license costs in Dubai.

Working with Creative Zone

Now is the time to start a general trading company In Dubai

This can be somewhat stressful, so as we have advised throughout this article, the fast track to getting up and running is through working with a company formation specialist. It’s the quickest way to get a general trade license in Dubai.
We can also help you with opening a corporate bank account and offer important advice on the type of financial institution that would best suit your requirements.

Here at Creative Zone, we offer you the best solutions to start your company in Dubai. You get fast, reliable, and unbiased advice on your unique business setup requirements. We can help you choose the right kind of license for business activity and take you through the entire process from start to finish.

You can let us deal with the hassle of registering a company while you focus on your business. Working with us means you get the best budget-friendly and cost-effective solution to help make your business dream a reality.

Over 10 years, Creative Zone has helped over 36,000 entrepreneurs set up their businesses in Dubai. Whether it be a mainland business setup, offshore company setup, free zone company setup, or issuing of trade licenses and any related activity for registering a company in Dubai, Creative Zone is your one-stop shop.

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