Steps to Incorporate an Import Export Company in Dubai

by Zaara 18, Oct 2019

Whenever we think of the United Arab Emirates, the term oil and gas pops into our minds. Most of the UAE is dependent on the revenue from oil and gas, including Dubai, but this scenario is gradually changing. With the governments focus on the non-oil sector, there are many sectors or industries that the emirate can pursue. Import and export of goods or services is one such important sector which plays a significant role in contributing to the GDP of Dubai.

In this blog, we will try to understand the benefits and the process of setting up an import and export company in Dubai.

Why Dubai is a Perfect Fit for Trading Business

Dubai has easy access to the Persian Gulf, and initially, Dubai was developed as a seaport. The location of Dubai is very strategic and is considered as a logistics hub for the middle east. There are many other factors which make it very suitable for setting up a company in Dubai such as

1.Diversification of Economy

The government of the United Arab Emirates is focusing more on the non-oil sector in the hopes of diversifying the economy of the country. This means that trading activities are supported by the government and even encouraged. The government provides many perks and incentives to any entrepreneur or businessman in case they want to set up a trading business.

2.Strategic Location

The excellent location of Dubai allows for secure connectivity, be it airways, seaways or by land. Conveniently located between the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe, Dubai is one of the best locations to set up and commence a trading business. Its connectivity to the Persian Gulf allows it to access some of the major trade routes making Dubai a significant seaport.

The location of Dubai also offers a time zone for the companies which is suitable for the east as well as the west. This way, Dubai becomes a bridge between the eastern and the western hemisphere. 

3.The Demand and Supply Conundrum

There are not many production facilities in and around the UAE and the Gulf region. This makes imports a critical activity for the proper sustenance of the country. The people residing in the UAE is known for their splurging habits, and this means that they will require many different products. This will only be possible if there are many import and export businesses in the area.

4.Quick and Affordable Start-Ups

If you are looking to set up a trading company in the UAE, you can avail the advantage of the new instant license service. This licensing service allows an entrepreneur to obtain a license in under24 hours. The entrepreneur does not need to register for a trading name, a legal contract or conduct any of the steps in between.

There are many other benefits of starting a trading business. Now let's look at the process by which we can initiate the process of setting up a trading company.

The Registration Process

To open a trading company, it is necessary to follow the steps given below.

1.Apply for a License

Before starting any business, you should first notify the Department of Economic Development (DED). Upon the notification, the DED will provide you with an import-export license. To apply for a permit, follow the steps given below:

  • Submit the Application of Company Registration to the DED
  • Notarize the memorandum of association of the company
  • Submit all the required documents with DED
  • The final step is to pay the required fee and obtain the license

For more information, Please read our blog titled Guide to obtain a General Trading License in Dubai.

2.Rent Warehouse

It is necessary for an import and export business to be physically present. This means that you need to have an office or at least a warehouse. Having a warehouse will allow you to keep all the goods which are set for the import or export at a single place. A company can obtain the import/export license only after submitting the rental documents of the warehouse.

3.Register Goods through Customs

Without going through the trade and customs department, it is next to impossible for a company to set up its import and export business in Dubai. Seeing the increase in such companies, the government has introduced online registration for getting a license and registering with the customs department of Dubai. According to the import and export of the products, different sets of documents may be required.

4.Consider other Factors

There is a slew of various factors and activities which require your attention while setting up your trading company. These include:

  • Getting a quote from the Dubai Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  • Devising a proper plan for the warehousing and distributing the goods
  • Choosing the appropriate service provider
  • If required, collaborating with a Dubai import-export agent

Taking care of the above mentioned four steps will allow the companies to set up their trading companies in Dubai in an effortless and hassle-free way. However, if you do not want to take any load or strain of the business setup process, you should take the assistance of a management consultancy firm such as "Commitbiz”.

“Commitbiz” will assist you in the setup of your trading business and will also ensure that the proper and recommended procedures as mentioned are being followed. It also provides various other services which will help in the business setup and related services. For more details about these services, contact us – We will be happy to help you.


What documents are required to start an import-export business in Dubai?

  • Business activity proposal

  • Shareholder’s passport copies

  • Partners UAE residence visa copies

  • Local sponsors

Where should I apply to register my import/export company in Dubai?

Apply with the DED (Department of Economic Development).

Can I apply for multiple visas under my import-export business?

Yes. If your company is registered legally, you can apply for multiple visas. The count depends on where you are setting up.

Can I have multiple shareholders for my trading company in Dubai?

Yes. They can be individual, corporate entities or both.

What is ECAS?

Trading with UAE requires conforming to Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme for custom clearance.