General Trading Activity in UAE: A Comprehensive Guide to Setting Up Your Business

Starting a general trading company in the UAE provides access to a rewarding and varied market where import and export activities are the primary focus. The nation has established itself as a top place for general commercial endeavours thanks to its advantageous location, business-friendly environment, and contemporary infrastructure. We will give you priceless insights into the methods, prerequisites, and benefits of setting up a general trading operation in the UAE in this comprehensive guide. If you want to start a successful business, whether you’re a local businessperson or an overseas investor, arm yourself with knowledge about the laws and prospects.

Understanding General Trading Activity in UAE:

Without any limitations on the kind of items, the general trading activity entails purchasing and selling a wide variety of goods across numerous industries. This makes it a flexible and appealing business because it enables companies to engage in a variety of trading operations. General trading enterprises can import and export items to both domestic and foreign markets, opening up doors to the potential for international trade.

How To Get A General Trading License In Dubai

How | General Trading License

The selection of the appropriate jurisdiction is the first step in the process of getting a general trading licence in Dubai. The processes needed to obtain a general trading licence in Dubai are as follows.

  • Select the appropriate jurisdiction for the business activity falling under general trading, either the Freezone or the Mainland. License
  • Choose the legal structure and trade name for your business.
  • Complete the preliminary approval form and deliver it to the appropriate authorities.
  •  Obtain the authorizations you need for your company, if any
  • Prepare the necessary paperwork, including the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and all documents that have been approved by the appropriate government agencies.
  • Choose the best location for your business and get the Tenancy Contract and Ejari.
  • Get the trade licence by submitting all the necessary paperwork and payments.
  • Obtain a residency permit and a business bank account.

Free Zones for General Trading License:

A general commerce firm might be established in one of the many free zones that the UAE has to offer. These free zones offer several advantages, such as custom duty exemptions, zero taxation, and 100% foreign ownership. Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), and Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) are some of the top free zones for general trading licences.

Import and Export in General Trading:

You have the particular advantage of being able to import and export a broad range of goods as a general trading corporation without encountering any restrictions. You can explore other industries and grow your firm across borders thanks to this exceptional freedom. It is crucial to have a thorough awareness of import and export laws, customs processes, and relevant documentation requirements to maintain smooth trading operations. You can engage in cross-border commerce successfully and rapidly by thoroughly understanding these issues, which will help your business thrive in the global economy.

Bank Account for General Trading:

For general trading enterprises, opening a corporate bank account in the UAE is a crucial step. The smoother commercial activities are facilitated by having a local bank account, which simplifies financial transactions. Each bank has its own specific needs, and Bizdaddy can help you choose the best bank and get through the account opening procedure.

Physical Office Requirement and Warehouse for General Trading:

Physical office space is required in the UAE to receive a general commerce licence. Flexi-desk solutions can, however, be used in some free zones to satisfy the office requirement, enabling enterprises to function effectively at a lesser cost. Additionally, choosing a warehouse site within the free zone can be advantageous if your trading activities involve keeping items.

General Trading License Cost:

How to calculate the costs of setting up a business in RAKEZ?

A general trading licence in the UAE may cost more or less depending on the free zone that is selected, the range of company activities, and the number of visas needed. A summary of the average costs required is provided below.

License Fees: Different fees apply in free zones for awarding general trading licences. These prices could range from AED 10,000 to AED 20,000 depending on the free zone’s location and features.

Office and Warehouse Costs: Renting office and warehouse space is essential for a general trading business. The price will vary according to the location and size of the property. Office space rates normally range from AED 15,000 to 25,000 per year, while warehouse costs typically range from AED 25,000 to 50,000 per year.

Visa Fees: Each employee visa comes with its associated cost, including medical examination fees and government processing fees. Each employee, visa fees might cost between AED 5,000 and AED 10,000.

Government and Legal Fees: The total cost should also include additional government and legal expenses such as document notarization and attestation.

Business Setup Services: A reputable company formation expert like Bizdaddy would charge professional service fees for their services. However, the efficiency and expertise they bring to the process might eventually result in time and cost savings.

Import/Export License for General Trading: You might need to secure extra licences to undertake import and export activities. These permits are necessary for customs clearance and observing import/export laws. The import/export licences you need to maintain smooth commercial operations can be obtained with the help of Bizdaddy.

Required Documents for Obtaining a General Trading License in Dubai

  • Completed the General Trading Licence application.
  • Copies of each shareholder’s and manager’s passports.
  • Pictures of shareholders and managers the size of a passport.
  • The company’s Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA).
  • Evidence of an actual office location in Dubai (tenancy agreement or Ejari).
  • Business strategy defining the trading company’s goals and actions.
  • If relevant, a sponsor’s No Objection Certificate (NOC) must be presented.
  • Additional documentation in accordance with the Dubai Department of Economic Development’s (DED) particular requirements.

The specific free zone or mainland authority where you are applying for the General Trading Licence may have different documentation requirements.

Allowed Activities under General Trading:

General trading licenses in the UAE allow businesses to engage in diverse activities, including trading in various products and commodities. This includes a wide range of goods, including electronics, apparel, machinery, cosmetics, and food. However, certain items such as firearms, hazardous materials, and banned substances are restricted.

Additional Approvals for General Trading:

You might need extra approvals from appropriate authorities depending on the nature of your business operations and the products you deal with. For example, certain food items may require approval from the UAE Food and Safety Department. Our experts at Bizdaddy can guide you through the approval process to ensure compliance with all regulations.

Clubbing Consultancy with General Trading:

Businesses frequently choose to combine consulting services with regular trading activities to provide their clients with a full range of solutions. This is a strategic move in the cutthroat industry because it can foster synergy and improve your company’s prospects.

UAE General Trading Regulations:

UAE has a well-established legal framework governing general trading activities. It is essential to adhere to these regulations, which include customs procedures, taxation, import/export guidelines, and consumer protection laws. Compliance with these regulations is vital for a successful and sustainable trading business.

The Advantages of Obtaining a General-Trading License from Dubai Free Zones

The UAE’s Free Zones provide a simple & seamless company establishment process.They provide customised general trading licence packages at affordable prices to meet the needs of all investors.For the purpose of hiring staff, UAE Freezones provide Multi-Year General Trading Licence Packages with a variety of Residence Visa Quotas.

The majority of the Free Zones provide three-year residency visas as an added benefit for investors who want to hire workers for their offices.Due to the sophisticated logistics & storage support offered within the Free Zones, investors can simply ease international commerce with the use of the FreeZone General commerce Licence.

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Total management of the business; annual fee
  • No yearly audit is necessary
  • No relationship to the Labour Department
  • Repatriation of profits in full
  • Tax residency certificate eligibility Customs duty exemption
  • Dediccustoms inspection at the location

General-Trading Business Opportunities:

The UAE offers abundant business opportunities for general trading enterprises, thanks to its thriving economy and large consumer base. With its strategic location and free zones, you can explore various industries and discover untapped markets, setting the stage for remarkable growth and success.

General-Trading Company Formation:

Setting up a general trading company in the UAE requires careful planning, understanding of regulations, and legal compliance. Bizdaddy is here to support you every step of the way, making the company formation process simple and hassle-free. This way, you can concentrate on growing your business with ease.

Finding the Most Affordable General-Trading License in the UAE

Sharjah Media City offers the cheapest general trading licence in the UAE for about AED 8050 with a zero visa quota. Each Emirate has a different general trading licence fee.In general, Dubai charges more for a general trading licence than the other Emirates of the United Arab Emirates.The Dubai Silicon Oasis-IFZA offers the cheapest general trading licence in Dubai for AED 11,900 with a zero visa quota.

A FreeZone General Trading Licence has a lot of advantages.The Free Trade Zones’ warehousing resources are available to the enterprise.The majority of the UAE’s free zones provide a variety of warehouse alternatives.Including cold storage for food and custom warehousing areas.The Free Zones offer everything to investors.


Both prospective business owners and seasoned traders might benefit from starting a general trading operation in the United Arab Emirates. You can easily handle the challenges of business setup with the correct advice and direction from Bizdaddy. Our team of professionals will be at your side at every stage, from picking the ideal free zone to securing the required licences and approvals. Discover the many advantages of starting a general trade business in the UAE and benefit from the nation’s advantageous location to access international markets. Trust Bizdaddy, the top company creation specialist in the UAE, to help you realise your goals of general commerce in this bustling commercial district.