If you are a business owner and want to take your business to Dubai, either online or offline, you first need to get a trade license Dubai requires from every business owner.

The Department of Economic Development(DED) is the official authority in Dubai for providing Trade licenses as well as regulating the rules & laws governing trading in Dubai. It ensures that foreign trading and small business practices are promoted and supported in the emirate of Dubai.

The country plays a vital role in the global economy and forms a leading tech-driven hub for business owners to grow their businesses internationally. Every International business owner aims to build an office in Dubai because of the infrastructure and network the city offers to them.

Trade License Dubai

To protect the place Dubai holds in the global economy, DED has established six strategic principles or pillars as follows:

  1. Economic growth
  2. Economic competitiveness
  3. Business community happiness
  4. Economic foresight and planning
  5. Advance DED
  6. Financial sustainability


Now, you might need to know more about the licenses and whether you need only one of them or multiple to run your business. Types of Trade License Dubai trading inducts are:

  1. Commercial License: A commercial license is mandatory for the trading practices like- import and export, general store of goods, automobile trading, rental offices, restaurants, plumbing, entertainment, warehousing, etc.
  2. Professional License: A professional license is obligatory for doctors, artists, teachers, artisanal workers, etc.
  3. Industrial License: An Industrial license is required for a business that conducts- the production of material, its segregation, collection, and packaging. The organization must have its warehouse in the UAE in order to obtain an industrial license.
  4. Tourism License: Businesses that come under the hospitality or travel and tourism segment are suitable for a tourism license. 

Once you have decided which license you need, you need to know the application process and general trading license cost in Dubai.

Also read:

Dubai Investor Visa: Requirements, Documents & Criteria
How to Open a Bank Account In UAE: Requirements and process
How to Apply for UAE Citizenship

The application process for a General trading license in Dubai:

  • Choose a business name for registering the business and trading in the UAE with a unique identity.
  •  In order to run a business in the UAE, you need to list all the activities you need to perform. DED allows you to submit over ten activities and requires you to mention all relevant trading practices under the license.
  • The application involves different documentation steps. Once you fill out the form, you can submit the documents with the application form for verification.
  • The second round of approval might be necessary for unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, the authorization might take more time.
  • The next step is to verify the business location with the help of Ejari registration proof.
  • The final step is the payment of the license fees, which completes the application process.

You might want to run the business either in Mainland Dubai or a Freezone. In the former case, you need to register with the DED for license approval.

General Trading License in Dubai

Documents required for a DED License:

For each type of license mentioned above, a different set of documents need to be submitted by the DED. Before applying, you need to provide the statutory documents, both in original and copy, a DED letter for the company that needs the license, a Tenancy contract with Ejari online registration proof, passport copies of shareholders with their identification details, etc.

Cost of a Trade License in Dubai:

The general trading license cost in Dubai depends on the type of trading you will do in the city. The standard cost of a trade license ranges from AED 15,000 to AED 50,000. The DED provides you with a trading license as soon as the payment is secured. 

Advantages of trading in Dubai: 

As the tech-driven emirate of the UAE, Dubai has implemented numerous rules and regulations on trading activities for making the city the center of all trade. It achieves this by offering a flourishing environment to business owners and foreign traders. Here are some of the benefits a business owner has when establishing in Dubai-

  • Tax Benefits: Few tax rules that promote business growth and development in most trade hubs in the world. They often impose heavy taxes on import activities, due to which the business suffers greatly. Dubai and all the metro emirates in UAE are free of taxes with only small mandatory tax payments. 
  • License benefit: The DED has set rules that make one-time verification payments imperative, after which the trader or the business owner does not need to make heavy transactions at each step of the trade. Once you get the trading license, you can trade larger quantities of goods or products with the DED trading license.
  • Easy team transfer: The trading license helps to bring your employees to the UAE without the need for repetitive lengthy procedures. The owner or the representative can sponsor the members using the general trading license. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQS):

  • What is the cost of a general trading license in Dubai?

A general trading license costs anywhere between AED 15,000 to AED 50000. Payment submission is the final step of the trading license application procedure. The DED provides you with a token after the payment that acts as proof of payment completion.

  • How can I change my trading license in Dubai or UAE?

To change your license follow the given steps-

  1. Navigate to www.dubaitrade.ae. 
  2. Select the Service Center option from the menu 
  3. Choose Dubai Customs from the list 
  4. Then, choose “Registration Tools” 
  5. Next, choose “Renew Business Code” 
  6. Enter the Business Code 
  7. Complete the Captcha verification step
  8. Update the expiration date according to the validity of your trade license 
  9. Choose the current date as the renewal date
  • How many days does it take to get the trade license in Dubai?

The average time to get a trade license in Dubai is around 10-15 days. The application process might get prolonged if additional verification is required from authorities other than DED. To receive it at the earliest, check if you have updated all documents according to the DED rules and requirements.

  • What are the Dubai general trading LLC license renewal fees?

A Limited Liability Company(LLC) will need renewal after the end of the validity period. This renewal costs around AED 16,000-40,000 which is less for a business operating in a free zone and more for mainland operations.