General Trading companies operate in a broad spectrum of industries, and can import and export goods such as clothes, accessories, and electronics, as well as foodstuffs and furniture. To legally operate in Dubai, these businesses require a general trading license that is issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). General trading licenses can cost anywhere between AED 25,000 and AED 40,000 and the cost may vary depending on several factors.
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Steps to start a general trading company in Dubai:
- 1. The first step in starting a general trading business in Dubai is to ensure it has been planned and implemented legally as the laws of Dubai are extremely strict. When undertaken with the help of a local company formation expert, it is fairly easy to set up a general trading business.
- 2. Choosing the type of business activity, you wish to carry out with your general trading license is a crucial part of setting up a general trading business. General trading licenses in Dubai cover activities such as export, import, and trading of products such as furniture, accessories, electronics, clothes, foodstuff etc.
- 3. The next step is to choose a name for the business. Names must follow conventions and cannot contain offensive or blasphemous language.
- 4. Select and fix the location to operate the general trading business. Several jurisdictions are available in Dubai and throughout the emirate. Although mainland licenses cost more than free zones, businesses get more benefits from trading on the mainland. Benefits are a wider scope of business, the ability to trade with mainland companies (free zone companies can only trade within the same jurisdiction), gaining access to the local market, and no minimum capital requirements while forming a company on the mainland.
- 5. Apply for the general trading license by submitting the applications to the Department of Economic Development (DED). Cost of general trading license may vary depending on several factors. License is valid for 1 year. Paperwork can be made easier and error free when you make use of company formation experts.
- 6. Besides applying for your license, you can also apply for any visas that you may need. This includes visas for employees of the company, and visas for domestic staff like housekeepers or drivers. The maximum number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your business, the setup you choose, and, if you are applying for dependent visas, your own personal income. All visa applications follow the same five steps:
- Apply for entry permit
- Status adjustment
- Medical and fitness test
- Emirates ID
- Stamping of Visa
- 7. Look for a local sponsor if the general trading company is a limited liability company (LLC). It is mandatory to have a local sponsor when registering an LLC. Depending on the agreement, the local sponsor will have a capital share of 51% in the business set up and charge fees to the business.
- 8. Opening a corporate bank account is the last step in establishing your general trading business in the UAE. Business owners have a range of options for local and international banks.
Hopefully, this guide has made it clear that setting up a general trading license in Dubai isn’t that difficult if you have the right information. It is crucial to note that the application process is only straightforward when your license application is complete and free of errors at the time of submission.
It is a good idea to work with a company formation specialist like YABS when you establish a new company in the UAE. We can establish your company on your behalf, apply for licenses and visas, and deal with all the necessary paperwork – so that you can focus on running your business.
We can help you start a general trading business in Dubai. Call or message us on WhatsApp +971 58 829 3781 / +971 45 80 9986 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information. Our services include business setup in Dubai Mainland, Corporate Pro Services, Trade License Issuance, Assistance for Visas and other additional services.