A favorable business environment, no-tax regime, supportive government, ease of doing business, huge demand for goods, and proximity to the emerging markets together make Dubai one of the most sought-after destinations to start a new business. But, to do this, you need to procure a valid general trade license from the Department of Economic Development (DED). A general trade license covers all activities that are in the same or different industries, such as export, import, or wholesale/retail trading of goods or products like clothes, accessories, electronics, furniture, and more.
10 Steps to Obtaining a General Trade License in Dubai
Step 1: Trading Business Location
You have 3 location options to set up a trading company in Dubai: Mainland, Free Zones, or Offshore. So, the first step is to decide from which location you want to get a trade license.
Step 2: Company Structure
The next step is to choose an appropriate trade name and the legal structure for your trading company.
Step 3: Business Activities
Next, you need to decide on all the business activities that you wish to include in the business license (a maximum of 10 activities are allowed per license)
Step 4: Application
At this stage, you fill in the application and submit it for initial approval.
Step 5: Approvals
Based on the type of business activity, you need to get external approvals as required.
Step 6: Documentation
Once you get the initial approval, you need to arrange all the required documents, such as the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and all other approved documents from the relevant government authorities.
Step 7: Tenancy Contract
Once you decide on the business location, you need to get a tenancy contract attested by Ejari.
Step 8: Final Application to DED
The next step is to submit an application to the DED to obtain the final trading license.
Step 9: License Fee Payment
Once the application is approved, you need to make the requisite payment for obtaining the license, including an issuance fee.
Step 10: Submission of Original Documents
To get a valid trading license from a free zone or offshore, the company needs to submit the original documents to the Commercial Registry at the Trade license and Commercial Registration Department (CRD). Once CRD checks and validates the documents, the company name is added to the Commercial Registry.
Then, the DED forwards the documents to the Federal Ministry of Economy to publish the documents. After publishing, the Ministry issues its approval letter. Once the licensing procedures are completed, the DED issues the original trade license and commercial registration certificates to the new company.
The whole licensing process takes around one week once you share the necessary documents with the DED. A general trade license is valid for one year.
If you are looking to start a new trading business in Dubai, then seek help from professional business setup consultants like Creative Zone. We can help you obtain a general trading license in Dubai in the shortest possible time. Call us on 800 LICENSE (5423673) to speak to one of our Business Setup Consultants today!