Step by Step Procedure: How to Obtain a General Trading License in UAE?

General Trading License is one of the most sought after Business License types in the UAE by investors.

It enables the company to indulge in various trade operations like export, import, distribution, storage, re-export, etc.

It provides flexibility to the company to conduct trade in a variety of goods, unlike a specific license that limits only a few related business activities. The scope of the General Trading License in UAE henceforth is large.

Why you need a General Trading License in UAE?

With the trade of goods ranging from foodstuffs to electronics, the company can trade a vast number of items under the same Business License type.

General Trading enables the company to be actively involved in the local UAE market and conduct local and international trade accordingly.

Hence, choosing the LLC Company structure in the mainland of UAE for company formation is the right choice.

Steps in Obtaining a General Trading License in UAE

  • Choose an appropriate trade name and make a legal structure for the company (LLC Company is the most common form in the mainland of UAE)
  • Select the list of business activities to be included in the general trading license for your business. (A maximum of 10 business activities are allowed per license)

Applying for General Trading License from DED

  • Apply for General Trading License from the Department of Economic Development (DED) for opening a Limited Liability Company.
  • You can also submit the documents to the respective Free Zone for obtaining the General Trading License under the Free Zone.
  • Certain business activities under general trading (medical devices, heavy equipment, used cars, spare parts, foodstuff, etc.,) would require special approvals.
  • Submit all the required documents and clearances to the concerned authorities ( DED or Free Zone based on your decision).

Partnering with UAE National Sponsor

  • LLC Company Setup requires partnering with a UAE National (51% of stake to be owned by UAE National) and 49% by the investor (foreign owner).
  • The shareholder and partner agreement has to be made legally and complying to the UAE business laws.
  • Once you receive the initial approvals, look for a business location, and prepare the tenancy contract for renting the office space.
  • Upon submission of the tenancy contract to the DED, and payment of the fees you will be issued the General Trading License.

The steps in issuing a General Trading License from any of the Free Zones in the UAE are also quite similar.

There will be 100% foreign ownership which is the major highlight for the popularity of Free Zones among foreign investors. 

Also, there is no requirement of the UAE National Sponsor for setting up a company in the Free Zones of UAE.

What are the Advantages of Setting up a Limited Liability (LLC) General Trading Company in Dubai?

1. Zero Taxation Policy

There is no corporate or personal income tax in the UAE. The investor in the UAE is free from paying any taxes to expect the 5% VAT on all transactions initiated in the region.

However, there are certain exceptions to this if it is a VAT Free Zone and falling beyond the VAT threshold limit, etc.

Read more on VAT Registration in UAE here.

2. Flexibility in Hiring

A mainland company has more flexibility in terms of adding employees to your company. 

Employee visas in the mainland of UAE are based on office size and the selected business activity.

3. No Requirement of Minimum Capital

There is no requirement for any paid-up capital required to be shown for LLC Company Formation in the Mainland of UAE. Hence, the process of LLC Company Setup is more streamlined and easy.

4. Easy Company Registration Process

There are minimum documentation and processes involved in the issuance of a General Trading License and setting up an LLC Company in the Mainland of UAE.

The process of LLC Company Setup in UAE takes less than a week and your General Trading License and new company documents will be at your hand.

5. Top -Class Infrastructure

UAE is known for the world-class infrastructure and business support ecosystem. It has got some of the worlds-best office spaces and locations for company setup.

The secure banking network, Government support, world-class amenities make it the perfect location for business sustainability.

6. Doing Business Anywhere in the UAE

LLC Business Setup enables you to operate anywhere in the UAE. Based on your requirements and budget you can choose an office space and facilitate trade operations using your trade license and newly formed LLC Company.

General Trading License from Free Zones of UAE

General Trading License from Free Zones of UAE is also an equally prospective option for foreign investors.

There are enormous business benefits for obtaining a General Trading License from the UAE Free Zones.

Choosing a General Trading License under a Free Zone

If the investor is keen on the overseas market, export and re-exports, a Free Zone General Trading License would be the right fit for the business to flourish easily,

Free Zones have their benefits in facilitating global trade operations due to the easy access to Airports, Seaports, and other infrastructures.

Thus, it helps your business to seamlessly connect with the rest of the world.

Free Zone Benefits – Why take General Trading License from Free Zones

  • 100 % foreign Ownership,
  • 100% profit repatriation,
  • Fully-furnished office spaces,
  • No customs duty imports,
  • In-house customs check,
  • Custom made warehousing facilities,
  • Easy access to Airports & Seaports,
  • and many more,

Export companies aiming at the international market as well as trading companies importing and selling in the UAE prefer Free Zones due to the above business benefits.

To know more, read: Ways the Free Zone Companies can trade in the Mainland of UAE

Connect with our Expert Business Consultants to know more about General Trading License in UAE.

Contact: Aurion Business Consultants

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About the author

Marketing Consultant working with Aurion Business Consultants. Likes to write on business support services, current market trends, and the latest business updates in the UAE.
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