A Guide to Obtain General Trading License in Dubai, UAE

by Zaara 15, Mar 2019

A Guide to Obtain General Trading License in Dubai, UAE

When it comes to starting a company in the UAE, the primary requirement is to obtain a license for the same. Licenses in this country are issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). The type of license you need to obtain depends on the business activity your business is into. Exploring various types of licenses can be a daunting task for entrepreneurs who want to start a company in Dubai. This guide will help you in understanding how to obtain a general trading license in Dubai.

Let us start with the meaning of General Trading License and what it is all about.

General Trading License- An Overview

In simple terms, let us say, you have an established company which is precisely into import, export, trade, and transfer of goods, then you will have to apply for a General Trading License. If you have a manifold exchange in trade activities that are in the same or dissimilar business, then it is mandatory to have a general trading license. Dubai has been seeing a gradual increase in the demand for this license due to the country being favourable for doing business. Though comparably costlier, the general trading license can be a blessing to many. It stretches the flexibility and freedom to trade in just about any product permissible according to the rules of DED and the list made by the department.

According to the list, there are a few products that are not allowed to import or export even if you have the license. You need to get special approval from the Municipality of the UAE. The products for which you need to take permission includes pharmaceutical products, guns, cars, and alcohol. These products can be traded only through a Commerical Trade License.

Advantages of General Trading License in Dubai

  • 100% tax-free from any sort of tax
  • Allows you to trade more than one item in one single license
  • No currency restrictions
  • Easy to get a visa for the employees
  • Hassle-free legal procedure to obtain the license
  • Low import duty
  • Provision for local and international trading
  • An audit for the company is not mandatory

How to Get a General Trading License in Dubai?


Let us first start with the base of establishing a business in Dubai. The first thing you need to do is select a business activity and decide who your local sponsor is going to be. The next, to select a business form. The next is to finalize a company name for the company after going through do’s and don’ts while settling for a name. The next important work is to apply for initial approval to the DED- it is a document which states that DED has no objection to you starting a business. Next, prepare an MoA and LSA agreement and get other special approvals. After you do all this, you need to apply for a license, in this case, a general trading license. The question is how?

Read the steps below for the same.

  1. Decide on the activities that must be involved in the business license (a maximum of 10 per license
  2. Fill in the application form for the approvals needed for the license
  3. Assemble all the required documents for the license and all the accepted documents from the related government authorities
  4. Choose a business location and get a tenancy contract confirmed by the Ejari
  5. Submit an application to DED to get the concluding license
  6. Make the obligatory payment for the license, including an issuance fee for gaining the license

After following all the above steps, you shall get a license in about a week.

Documents Required to Obtain the License

The documents to be submitted for a general trading license are:

  • A license application signed by the company managers
  • A Memorandum of Association
  • Company name approval letter from DED
  • Passport copy of the Partners

The documents will be checked for authentication by the Commerical Registry after which the name of your company will be added to the Registry. The DED will then frontward the documents to the Federal Ministry of Economy for the journal. After the documents are published, the Ministry will issue its approval letter. Upon completion of the licensing procedures, the DED will issue the unique trade license and commercial registration credentials. Remember that, the general trading license is valid for 1 year after which you can apply for a renewal.

Why Should You Have a General Trading License in Dubai?

From the aforementioned points, one thing you can grasp is the value of having a general trading license. Apart from this here are a few points to give you the push that you need.

1) Setting up is Easier

UAE is known for having a straight-forward process. The government has also taken new initiatives to make the process simpler than it already is. Now you know why this license is so popular among the businessmen,

2) Multiple Stockholders

This type of license allows the company to have multiple shareholders. The shareholders can be both individuals and companies with a generally accepted limit as 50

3) Location of Your Choice

As opposed to other types of licenses, having a general trading license permits the owner of the company to take on both office and warehouse space anywhere in the UAE.

These and many such advantages come with having a general trading license for your business. If you are interested in applying for this license, then we at Commitbiz can help you in the process. Contact us today- we’d be glad to help you out.