How to Get Your General Trading License in Dubai and the UAE


Imagine your products placed on the shelves of Dubai, all set to navigate through the routes of UAE and landing their destinations. 

Indeed, Dubai is a fertile ground for eager merchants holding a vision to import and export their variety of products like, electronics, furniture, clothing and much more! 

Yet, before you dive into the bustling market and start reaping the rewards, you’ll need to unlock the gateway to trade: the General Trading License.

Either you’re a seasoned trader or a budding entrepreneur, this license is crucial to smoothly gain access to GCC’s vibrant market. 

We’ve written this blog post to help you go through the process of obtaining a General Trading License. With our well-researched and step-by-step instructions, we’ll reveal how straightforward it is to acquire this license. With this license, not only will the local markets open to you, but also an international stage where your products can flourish.

So what’s the delay for? Let’s get started with how to obtain this license.

Get Your General Trading License In 5 Simplest Steps

Following are the five steps to get yourself a General Trading License so you can kick-start your business and execute your entrepreneurial dream!

Select A Unique Trade Name & Corporate Entity 

The first and most important step is to pick a unique trade name that matches the guidelines and isn’t used by any other active entity. We’ve rounded up the standards that your business name should satisfy: 

It must be unique. For instance, business plan writing service have been in trend throughout UAE. Many service providers have started using business plan writers Dubai as a brand name with a bit of variation, as it’s easier to search. As a result, the brand name is no longer unique and now it cannot be used as a brand name.  

  • The name shouldn’t contain any offensive words or shouldn’t be related to political or religious groups.
  • Avoid selecting a name that misguides the audience about the nature of your business
  • Your brand name can be registered in Arabic or English. However, if it’s in English, you will be required to translate it into Arabic for official registration. Make sure the direct translation is phonetically similar to the English name. 
  • Incorporating legal elements (like LLC) into your business name is important. 
  • Abbreviations cannot be used as a name until it’s a part of a trademark.
  • Personal names cannot be used as a brand name unless it’s a sole proprietorship business.

Once you’ve ticked all the requirements, you’ll be required to get your business name approved by DED! Without DED’s approval, you cannot proceed with the selected business name. 

Presenting Your Legal Structure 

Once DED has approved your business name, you will have to define your legal structure! This structure covers the framework of your business and inform who would be liable for your business. Legal structure can include the following information: 

  • Type of Legal Entity
  • Ownership Details
  • Registered Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Business Activity
  • Articles of Incorporation/Organization
  • Tax Identification Number
  • Registration with Trade Authorities
  • Compliance Information
  • Capital Information
  • Identification Documents
  • Contact Information

Mention About Your Business Activities

Now it’s time to mention your business activities to share the scope of your business and what it deals with. This will give a clearer picture to the authorities about your business, hence making it easier for them to make the approval decision. Here’s what you can cover in business activities: 

  • Nature of Trades
  • Services Provided
  • Method of Trading
  • Target Market
  • Supply and Distribution Chains
  • Compliance with Trade Regulations
  • Frequency of Trading
  • Scale of Operations

As an entrepreneur, sometimes it can be hard to craft such detailed documents yourself. Hence, it’s always a good idea to hire online market research plan writing services. The service provider will craft a detailed document using the right words to make things easier for you. 

Submitting The Application Form & Documents

After you’ve mentioned your business activities, you need to fill out the application form and submit it to DED for approval. In a few cases, you may need external approvals. Hence, before you submit the application form, ensure you have the external approvals. These external approvals are needed if your business:

  • Falls into regulated industries
  • Trades special products 
  • Has an environmental impact
  • Could impact public health and safety

Make sure you have external approvals in the above-mentioned scenarios. Besides your application form, you will be required to submit several documents as well! Ensure every document has required signatures, to minimize the odds of rejection.

Select Your Business Location

While selecting the type of trade, you’ll come across many options. If you choose a mainland trade license, you will be required to own a physical business location. Hence, select the business location and get a tenancy contract. You will have to get the contract attested by Ejari and submit it along with the rest of your application materials. 

Finally, Submit Your Application

Now, you are all set to submit your application! When you have all your materials in your hand and have prepared every document, you can confidently submit your trade license. But, keep in mind, at some stages, you might be required to hire proposal writing service plan. These professionals can help you prepare a document! 

Pay The Fees 

Applying for a trade license is not free! You will be required to pay for the license. The fee starts from AED 12,000. However, the fee may vary depending upon several factors like the number of business partners, region of establishment, business structures, partnership with local sponsors, and type of business activity. 

Winding Up

WOW! You just submitted your trade license application – and now, it’s time to brace up yourself and wait for the response. Usually, the authorities take three days to four weeks to approve your license. However, an exact turnaround cannot be stated because the response time varies depending on several factors. But, rest assured! If you have submitted your documents with the appropriate order, the turnaround would be faster. Make sure you re-check every document before submitting it to the authorities.