How to start trading business in Dubai?

How to start a trading business in Dubai
February 6, 2024

Table of Contents

Share the article with your friends

The UAE is known as the trade hub of Asia due to its business potential and strategic policies. Especially, the government of Dubai is promoting business startups by providing high-level facilities, trade zones, and productive work environment. It is a no-brainer to start a trading business in Dubai in 2024.

Dubai is continuously topping all the rankings, as they label it one of the influential business destinations in the world. Over the last few decades, there is enormous growth in the business and financial sectors of Dubai. Also, the mesmerizing buildings are simply an attraction, and reason to become part of this trading hub.

Industries such as tourism, trade, logistics have all shown extraordinary progress. Particularly, it is a beneficial investment to start a trading business for both local Emirati nationals and foreign investors. Expert business consultants are available for providing support services for entrepreneurs in addition to the business formation.

They assist you to understand the emerging business trends in Dubai and how can you become part of it. If you are thinking of starting a trading business in Dubai and are not sure how to begin. Then, this guidance is helpful in saving the time and money while availing the opportunities to start your business today.

Process of starting a trading business in Dubai

What is the process to begin a trading business in Dubai?

Here is the guide that details the process to start a trading business in Dubai.

Now, we briefly discuss these steps.

Prepare a business plan

The primary step for starting a trading business is to prepare a business plan. Basically, a great business plan virtually analyzes all of the important factors. For example, market conditions, competitions, products (both immediate and future), business activities, and office space requirements.

Consider the total number of employees needed, requirement of initial capital investment, expense of marketing tactics and promotional strategies. Sometimes, you require investors to join the business venture to provide sufficient capital to keep it afloat. Thus, formulate a smart business plan by thoroughly researching these factors as they streamline the working of the business.

Choose the location

Your company location can make or break your business. So, select the business formation setup under which one your trading startup can best flourish. There are basically three types of business setups.

  • Mainland company: Foreign investors require it if they want to do business inside the mainland.
  • Free zone company: This company is the one that comes in 100% tax free region, and a foreign investor can own it 100% without any local sponsorship.
  • Offshore company: It is setup outside the country of its residence with the intent to make profit.

At present, there are 46 free zones in the UAE, while Dubai is home to 26 free zones. If you start a trading business in Dubai mainland, you get more consumers, and can engage with other enterprises. Accordingly, choose the location according to the demands of your company and the business activities you plan on doing.

Seek a sponsor (optional)

If you want to set up your company in the Dubai mainland, you can seek a local sponsor for your business. Once, you had to onboard a UAE national as sponsor who held 51% of the total shares in your company. It is no longer a requirement these days.

However, you can find a local sponsor to get financial backing. So, two types of sponsorship are available in the UAE. They are local sponsorship and corporate sponsorship.

Acquiring a license for your company is very essential as it makes your business legal. The company whose primary business activity is the general trade, import and export of goods, needs a general trading license. Because, this license permits the trading of products like garments, accessories, machinery, furniture, decorative items, electronics, etc.

Read more: Opportunities for international trading in Dubai

Steps for acquiring a general trading license

Which are the steps to get a general trading license?

Submit the original documents at the trade license and commercial registration department. DED issues the trading license after getting approval from the trade license and commercial registration department. Follow these steps to apply for a license in the free zone, mainland, or offshore jurisdictions.

  • Plan your business activities
  • Choose a trading name for the company
  • Apply for the initial approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED)
  • Getting external approvals
  • If needed, prepare Memorandum of Association (MOA) and get it signed by your partners
  • Choose a business location and get a tenancy contract duly attested by Ejari
  • Submit all the documents to the DED
  • Pay the fee for the issuance of the license
Why you need a trading business setup in Dubai?
Why you need a trading business setup in Dubai?

Necessary paperwork for general trading license in Dubai

Which documents you need to submit for general trading license in Dubai?

The following is the paperwork that you have to file along-with application of general trading license in Dubai.

  • License application signed by legal representatives
  • Memorandum of Association (MoA)
  • Attested company name approval letter from DED
  • Copy of passport and visas of partners

Once you submit necessary documents, the government officials verify and then add your trade name to Dubai’s commercial registry. Then, the Dubai’s Economic Department forwards your paperwork to the Federal Ministry of Economy for its verification. Afterwards, the ministry issues the approval letter on a successful publication.

Read further: Get a general trading license in Ajman

Guidelines for a better business setup in Dubai

What are the advises for better business setup in Dubai?

Given below are some suggestions for an effective business setup in Dubai.

  • You go through complete research and survey methodology (online or market survey).
  • Ensure whether the nature of your business is appropriate and attractive for the residents of Dubai and foreign buyers.
  • Determine the land type and its location, suitable for your work as well as to your living place.
  • Calculate the minimum capital amount requirement for establishing your business.

Getting license and registration involves documentation procedures and approvals from government authorities. For this purpose, you need to visit the government departments. Business owners need to fulfill these conditions.

  • You should have handsome financial background.
  • Your business must be a subsidiary of some international group.
  • You ask for business loan from bank or money lending companies.

Tip: Acquire cryptocurrency trading license in Dubai

Opportunities for investors to establish a business in Dubai

Which are the opportunities for investors to establish a business in Dubai?

Dubai is a land of opportunities for investors to start their business. Entrepreneurs wish to expend their business and grow into a multinational entity. So, they prefer to set their business at a place, where they have to pay at the start.

According to world Banks’s Ease of Doing Business Report in 2017, UAE stood 21st position in developing an unparalleled infrastructure, rich and diverse culture and business environment which positively affected economy.

Keeping in mind the investor ease, government of Dubai has made appropriate laws. Subsequently, empowering brains can work here and take their economy to the peak. In financially stable systems like Dubai, providing financial aid such as business loans to the entrepreneurs is easy for banks.

Here are the rewards that investors get as they start a trading business in Dubai.

Next, we take a look at these plus points you avail as you start a trading business in Dubai.

Ideal business location

The UAE is an ideal place for any businessman to start their business. As it connects people of Asia, Africa, Europe/Americas to the people in the Middle East. Consequently, local/foreign investors can hit the jackpot if they start a trading business in Dubai.

No/low tax payment

Government of Dubai has made policies that allows 0% tax rates in free zone for companies. Dubai’s tax free nature is attracting to many entrepreneurs. So, entrepreneurs only require to pay the processing fee while starting a business.

Taxes apply on the companies setup in the mainland. But the tax rates are much less than other countries. Thus, the same is the case with the offshore companies.

Convenient trade policies

Dubai trade laws and regulations provide an appropriate environment for trade. Likewise, they encourage individual by putting healthy competition among entities to secure the rights and interests of investors. Thanks to open door policy, tax benefits as member of GAFTA; trading companies in Dubai get benefits over GCC countries.

Loan facility

Dubai has made obtaining business loan quite easy with many banks. Moreover, credit companies are offering different kinds of packages for people investing at different scale. Thus, loan facility makes the business incorporation easy for many entrepreneurs.

Easy import/export rules

Import and export rules vary according to the mode of trade and area used by commodities. Whether, it is mainland business or free zone business, Dubai government has made procedures convenient for entrepreneurs. For instance, licensing, registration, and approval of business. To start this business in Dubai, you must have valid license by Dubai license issuing authority.

Bonus: Get instant trade license in Dubai


You can’t jump into the ocean of entrepreneurship without knowing proper techniques and professional guidance. Therefore, remember as you start a business in Dubai, that it is tricky in the beginning. Nevertheless, reliable business consultants can setup your business by providing company formation services for mainland or free zone.

The same is true for the entrepreneurs having an interest in setting up offshore companies. Thus, for launching a trading business, you first have to draft a business plan. Besides, a good business plan gives control to your business by setting your goals and objectives.

Opt for the right location for your company. Furthermore, finding a local sponsor in case of setting up a company in Dubai mainland can prove a good move. Apply for a general trading license to enter the word of opportunities.

For further information about establishing your company in Dubai, consult with KWS Middle East. So, please contact us on call on +971 509664705. Or send us an email to info@kwsme.com now.

Share the article with your friends

Setup a business in UAE

    Latest News & Updates

    Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
    Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.