What is a trade license in UAE and how to get it?

The Department of Economic Development issues every free zone trade license in UAE, and a Trade License is a document that specifies which activities a corporation may engage in in the UAE.

It is possible to conduct several activities in Dubai with a general trading license. Among these activities are importing, exporting, and conducting commercial activities.

Process to get a Trade License in UAE

If you would like to get a UAE trade license, you will need to complete the following five steps:

1. Select your business activity

The first step to getting a trading license in Dubai is to select your business activity. There are thousands of business activities that you can choose from in Dubai. At Meydan Free Zone, our consultants can advise you on the most appropriate business activity for your company.

2. Choose a trade name for your business

Your trading name needs to clearly describe what your company does, and you should be careful not to include any terms that could be considered offensive or potentially blasphemous. What is more, the brand must not include any acronyms with your own name. For example, Amir Shah Trading would be fine, but A.S. Trading would be against the rules.

3. Choose your business location

Choosing a business location is a vital step in starting your UAE trading business. Many companies choose to base themselves at the Meydan Free Zone because it offers a 0% tax rate and 100% foreign ownership. Our location in central Dubai means you are close to the airport and the seaport, as well as local retail businesses who may want to purchase goods and services from you.

We can advise you on setting up your free zone company at Meydan Free Zone, and provide the support you need to make your business a success.

4. Complete your application and pay fees

In order to receive your trading license in the UAE, you will need to complete your application form and provide a range of documents and paperwork. It is also essential to pay the associated fees as part of your UAE trade license application.

5. Receive your license and open a business bank account

Receiving your license to run a trading business in Dubai takes just a few days – so long as all your paperwork is in order and your application form and fees are all correct. At Meydan Free Zone, we can support you by ensuring all your paperwork will meet the requirements and avoid any unnecessary admin errors.

Once your license has been approved, the final step is to open a business bank account so you can make and receive payments – Meydan Pay is our simple digital banking solution for businesses working in our free zone. It gives you an IBAN and digital wallet which comes with all the features you need to start making and receiving payments.

Types of Trade Licenses in UAE

There are several different types of trade license in Dubai which you can select during your application process. These include:

  • UAE commercial license: Commercial licenses are allocated to companies that trade in goods and commodities – think of things like import and export businesses, as well as some related services such as car rental or real estate.

  • Industrial licenses: As the name suggests, industrial licenses are for any company that will participate in manufacturing activities in the UAE.

  • Professional licenses: Professional UAE licenses are targeted at people who have specific professions including artisanal craftsmanship, consultancy, IT and technical services, medical services, security, printing and publishing and many more.

  • Tourism license: If you would like to run a business in the tourism industry then a tourist license is essential for any firm thinking of operating hotels, tourist trips, cruise boats and any other travel and tourism activities.

  • Agriculture license: If you would like to cultivate plants, harvest crops, build greenhouses or run an agricultural consultancy, an agricultural licence is essential

  • Freelance license: There is a growing community of freelancers in the UAE and so the government has created a freelance license to meet the needs of this sector. Meydan Free Zone does not offer freelance license or visa options. 

There are of course many, many more kinds of trade license in the UAE. At Meydan Free Zone we can help you choose the most appropriate license and business activity for your entrepreneurial idea.

Trade License UAE Costs

Calculating the precise cost of a trade license UAE varies depending on a number of factors about your business, what you are trading in and the number of employees and visas you will need. At Meydan Free Zone, start-ups that require no visas can begin operating from as little as AED 12,500. Meanwhile, companies that need up to six visas can expect to pay AED 23,600. Depending on the specific requirements of your business the exact costs of getting your trade license will change.

Meydan Free Zone Cost

Benefits of Getting a Trade License in Dubai

The UAE offers many business advantages, which is why so many companies are setting up branches or organisations here. Dubai trade licenses offer a number of benefits:

1. Increase local and international trade

General trading licenses provide you with a host of opportunities for manufacturing and importing goods. Depending on your product, you can sell it on the local Dubai market or export it abroad and gain profits.

Additionally, business owners can re-export their goods with a general trade license. By doing this, your company will be able to trade goods and services internationally more efficiently.

2. Enhance credibility

Laws and regulations are often abused by businesses looking to gain a bigger profit, so companies that adhere to legalities are more likely to gain customer trust. A trade license enhances the business’s visibility in the markets where it operates. The company’s credibility and trust are built as a result.

3. Obtain tax benefits

Almost no trade restrictions exist in Dubai, making it an excellent place to do business. A general trading license will protect your products from restrictions as long as they are registered under it.

4. Trade restrictions are few

In contrast to other business licenses in the UAE, Dubai trade licenses are much faster to obtain, as long as you have the proper documentation. A business can usually be set up in a few weeks in any of the free zones or mainland in Dubai. Additionally, once you obtain your license, you don’t need to submit auditing reports. As a result, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort on paperwork in the future.

5. Set-up is simple

In contrast to other business licenses in the UAE, Dubai trade licenses are much faster to obtain, as long as you have the proper documentation. A business can usually be set up in a few weeks in any of the free zones or mainland in Dubai. Additionally, once you obtain your license, you don’t need to submit auditing reports. As a result, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort on paperwork in the future.

6. Sponsor opportunities

An advantage of getting a trade license in Dubai is that dependents can be sponsored easily. As a result, you can bring your family members or employees with you to Dubai. Having a trade license allows you to guide others through the visa application process as well. As a result, establishing a new business or life in Dubai is easier than ever before.

Documents Required to Get Your UAE Trade License

If you would like to get a UAE trade license, you will need to compile a number of essential documents. These include:

  • A completed application form which describes what your business does and the goods and services you will be trading in

  • Copies of your passport and passport size photos

  • A copy of your residence visa (if applicable)

  • Emirates ID copy (if applicable)

Renewal of Trade License in Dubai, UAE

Upon registering your business in Dubai, you will be required to receive a valid license for conducting trade activities. It is necessary to renew this license every year in order to ensure that you can seamlessly sell your products across the UAE and around the world without violating any regulations.

The Department of Economic Development manages the renewal of trade licenses in the UAE. Your Dubai trade license assists you in verifying the legal status of your business as an established enterprise. The proper renewal procedure for Dubai trade licenses ensures that you are not penalised, prosecuted or even banned for your business.

The best practice is to start the renewal process a few days prior to the expiration of your trade license by understanding the application details and renewal fees. By doing so, you will maintain your legal status and continue running your business without any obstacles.

Why Meydan Free Zone?

Meydan Free Zone is located in central Dubai, next to the golf course and a short drive from the airport and international seaport. It is the ideal location to launch your trading business in Dubai UAE and also boasts fantastic connections to the rest of the United Arab Emirates and the wider world.

Meydan Free Zone is a hub full of exciting and innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs in Dubai. You will have access to a complete range of services and equipment you would expect to launch your business quickly and easily, including 24/7 office space, internet connections, fast company set-up and exclusive community benefits.

What is more, our highly experienced and supportive consultants can help you with every aspect of launching your Dubai trade business. With our Meydan Pay service, you get access to professional financial services including a business account where you can make and receive international payments. Meanwhile, Meydan Commerce is a unique service to support you with trading online in the fast-growing Dubai eCommerce sector. And with our Easy Payment Plans, entrepreneurs can cover the costs involved in launching their business over the period of several months – which means you don’t have to make a major up-front payment when launching your new company.

Providing you with everything you need for business setup in Dubai, Meydan Free Zone is the ideal home for your new company.  

Contact us today about getting your UAE trade license and start trading in no time at all!

Get in touch today!

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If you are planning to start a business in Dubai, UAE, you will need to obtain a trade license. A trade license is a legal document that permits you to conduct commercial activities within the UAE. It is a requirement for all businesses, including trading companies, to legally operate in Dubai. 

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai is responsible for issuing trade licenses to businesses. The DED offers several types of licenses, including commercial, industrial, professional each with specific requirements and eligibility criteria.

Moreover, having a trade license offers several benefits to businesses operating in Dubai. It provides legal protection and ensures compliance with UAE laws and regulations. Additionally, it can help build credibility with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders, which can be beneficial for long-term success. 

However, a trade license is a legal requirement for businesses in Dubai, UAE. By following the necessary steps, including registering your business, obtaining the appropriate license, and complying with regulations, you can legally operate your business in Dubai and take advantage of the many opportunities the city has to offer. 

Step-by-Step Guidelines to Get a Trade License In UAE 

Here are the steps listed below to get a trade license in UAE: – 

Determine the Type of License 

The first step is to determine the type of license that best suits your business needs. Research and select the appropriate license for your business based on the nature of your business and the activities you plan to undertake. For example, a commercial license is required for businesses involved in buying and selling goods, while an industrial license is needed for companies involved in manufacturing or industrial activities.  

Register Your Business 

After deciding on the type of license, register your business with the Department of Economic Development (DED). You will need to provide several documents, including your passport, residency visa, and proof of address, as well as pay the relevant fees. The DED will also conduct a name search to ensure that your proposed trade name is available and does not violate any UAE laws or regulations. 

Obtain Initial Approval 

Once you have registered your business, you will need to obtain initial approval from the DED. This approval confirms that your business activities are permissible in the UAE and that your trade name is acceptable. You can obtain initial approval online or through a DED service center. This approval is necessary to confirm that your proposed business activities are permissible in the UAE and that your proposed trade name is acceptable. 

Submit Your Application 

After obtaining initial approval and finding a local service agent (if required), you can submit your application for a trade license. You will need to provide the necessary documents and information, including proof of residency and address. It is important to keep your license up to date and comply with any ongoing requirements or regulations to avoid any potential legal issues or penalties. 

Receive Your Trade License 

Once your application is approved, you will receive your trade license, which will allow you to legally operate your business within the UAE. It’s important to note that trade licenses must be renewed annually, and failure to renew your license can result in penalties and fines. However, to avoid any issues, it is recommended that business owners keep track of their trade license renewal deadlines and submit their renewal applications well in advance. 

Advantages of Getting a Trade License in UAE 

Note down the following advantages of getting a trade license in UAE: – 

  • Obtaining a trade license provides legal recognition to your business and allows you to operate legally within the UAE. Whereas this can give you peace of mind and help you avoid any potential legal issues or penalties. 
  • Having a trade license in the UAE can give you access to local markets and enable you to expand your business within the country. Whereas this can help you reach new customers and increase your revenue. 
  • Having a trade license can enhance the credibility of your business and signal to customers, partners, and investors that you are a legitimate and trustworthy entity. Moreover, this can help you build long-term relationships and attract new opportunities. 
  • The UAE is known for its strong international trade networks and strategic location. Having a trade license can help you leverage these networks and expand your business globally. 
  • Depending on your business activities and structure, obtaining a trade license in the UAE may offer tax benefits and incentives. However, this can help you save money and reinvest in your business. 

Types of Trade Licenses in UAE   

There are several types of trade licenses available in the UAE, each of which is designed to meet the needs of different types of businesses. Following are some of the most common types: 

  • Commercial License: This type of license is designed for businesses engaged in commercial activities, such as trading or selling goods or services. 
  • Professional License: This type of license is for individuals or businesses engaged in professional services, such as consultancy, accounting, or legal services. 
  • Industrial License: This type of license is for businesses engaged in industrial activities, such as manufacturing or construction. 
  • Freelance Permit: This type of license is for individuals who work as freelancers or independent contractors and are not tied to a specific company or employer. 

Renewal of Trade License in UAE 

To renew your trade license in the United Arab Emirates, follow these steps: –

  • Gather all required documents: You will need to provide updated documents and relevant information. Make sure you have all the required documents before you start the renewal process. 
  • Submit the renewal application: You can submit your renewal application online through the Department of Economic Development (DED) portal or in person at the DED office. Ensure that you have completed all the necessary fields correctly and accurately. 
  • Pay the renewal fee: You will need to pay the renewal fee for your trade license. However, the fee will depend on the type of license and the activities of your business. 
  • Wait for approval: Following the processing of your application and payment, the DED will assess it and either approve or deny your request to renew your trade license.

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It’s fairly easy to get a Dubai trade license. To get your Dubai trade license, you’ll need to follow several simple steps.

Select a Business Name

The first step to getting your trade license is to select an appropriate trade name. Your business name must adhere to UAE guidelines for selecting a company name. It should also be a unique name that isn’t used by another active entity.

Define Your Legal Structure

You’ll need to select the legal structure of your business in order to continue your application for a trade license. The legal structure will define how your business is run and who is liable for the company.

Define Your Business Activities

Once you have chosen your company’s name and legal structure, you’ll need to define the business activities that you plan to fill out. Make sure to list out all activities on the license and keep in mind that each license allows a maximum of ten activities.

Complete the Application Form

The next step of the process is to fill out your application form. Once completed, submit the form to the DED for your initial approval.

Get Additional Approvals

Some business activities may require you to get external approvals. Make sure to do your research before completing the business formation process. Otherwise, your trade license may be rejected.

Gather Required Documents

Along with your completed application, you’ll need to submit several documents with your license. Gather these documents and ensure that all necessary signatures are present.

Choose Your Business Location

You have several options when it comes to what type of trade license you apply for. If you apply for a mainland trade license you will need to have a physical business location.

Once you choose a business location, you will need to get a tenancy contract. Ejari will have to attest to the contract, which you will submit with the rest of your application materials.

Submit Your Application

With all your materials in hand and a business location chosen, you’re ready to submit your trade license application. Send all the materials to the DED in order to receive your trade license.

Pay Your Licensing Fees

Remember, applying for a trade license is not free. You’ll need to make a payment for the issuance fee as well as the license fee itself in order to receive your license.

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