Entrepreneurs from every corner of the world start businesses in the UAE for many reasons.
One major draw is its location. At the crossroads of Africa, Asia, Europe, and, of course, the Middle East, it is a prime location from which to trade with many vast and emerging markets. But to take advantage of this location, you’ll need a trading licence. And if you wish to trade multiple goods, a general trading licence.
In this article, we will cover the key factors you’ll need to consider when obtaining yours here in the UAE, including:
- What is a UAE general trading licence?
- Cheapest general trading licence in the UAE
- Benefits of having the cheapest general trading licence in the UAE
- Steps to start a general trading business
- Why choose Worldwide Formations?
When you’re ready to get started, get in touch with Worldwide Formations for a personalised quote.
What is a UAE general trading licence?
A general trading licence allows the holder to import, export and trade goods in, out and within the UAE.
It differs from other licences in that you are free to trade in numerous and unrelated goods under a single licence. So, you are free to buy and sell auto parts, carpets, garments, office equipment, textiles, watches and almost everything in between.
Cheapest general trading licence in the UAE
The cheapest general trading licence in the UAE is issued by SPC Free Zone and costs AED 6,500.
Located just minutes from Dubai International and Sharjah International airports, SPC is a great location for businesses wishing to import and export goods to and from the UAE. It is open to more than 1,500 business activities and offers coworking spaces, private offices, warehousing, retail space, storage and more.
Whether you set up here or elsewhere, you will need to account for further costs on top of your licence fee. Visa requirements, office space, additional permits and approvals, labour costs and much more will also play a part in the amount you’ll pay to start your general trading business in the UAE.
Call Worldwide Formations today for a detailed and personalised quote.
Benefits of having the cheapest general trading licence in the UAE
Let’s start with the most obvious benefit of obtaining the cheapest general trading licence in the UAE – it costs less than the others. That means more vital funding for marketing, hiring employees, investing in your offering, or simply keeping in reserve should you need it later down the line.
Then there are the many benefits of obtaining any business licence in the UAE. For one, the country still levies 0% on both corporate and personal income. The current level of VAT is also low at just 5%.
On top of this, the UAE benefits from a robust and time-tested relocation and immigration process – a huge part of the reason why over 80% of its residents are from overseas.
When you get your UAE general trading licence in a free zone, the benefits keep coming. On top of guaranteed 100% foreign ownership, you can also take advantage of zero currency restrictions, 100% customs tax exemption and capital and profit repatriation – perfect for trading businesses.
Steps to start a general trading business
While applying for a general trading licence in the UAE is a relatively simple process, it is much easier with the help of a local expert. So, first things first, instruct Worldwide Formations to manage the process for you.
After a short consultation to get to know your requirements, we’ll guide you through the following process and liaise with all relevant authorities on your behalf.
Step 1: Decide on a company name
One of the first steps to undertake is choosing a company name. Keep in mind that your trading name cannot be the same as another business and, if you are planning to use your own name for the business, it has to be your complete name – no initials or abbreviations are allowed.
You are also not permitted to use any names that could be deemed offensive or blasphemous.
Step 2: Business activities
Next, you’ll need to select your business activities. While you can choose more than one when applying for your general trading licence, all will need to be stipulated on your application.
Failure to declare activities may cause issues when running your business. Your dedicated contact at Worldwide Formations will work with you at this stage to ensure you are correctly licenced for your chosen activities.
Step 3: Decide on a location
This is about more than choosing whether to set up near the airport or in downtown. You must choose whether you are going to start your business in a free zone or in the UAE mainland.
When you set up in a free zone, you can take advantage of the benefits mentioned above such as 100% customs tax exemption. However, you will need a branch or distributor to trade directly with the UAE market.
Worldwide Formations can help with this step, too, taking the time to understand your requirements before advising on the best way forward.
Step 4: Applying for visas
Finally, you’ll need a UAE residency visa to live and work out here. This is quite an involved process, including a medical, fitness test, blood test and chest X-ray. However, with the expert help of Worldwide Formations, obtaining your visa is easy. Get in touch to find out more.
Documents required to obtain the cheapest general trading licence in the UAE
When applying for your general trading licence in the UAE, you’ll be required to submit several pieces of official documentation. These include:
- A photocopy of your passport
- A photocopy of your visit or residency permit
- A copy of your signature
- A No Objection Certificate (if applicable)
- A business plan (if applicable)
Why choose Worldwide Formations?
The process of starting any business in the UAE has been designed with speed and simplicity in mind. However, there are still some quirks and complexities that require an expert eye. That’s where Worldwide Formations can help.
We’re your business setup in the UAE experts. With vast experience helping entrepreneurs obtain their general trading licences and start up in the UAE, we’ll manage the whole process for you to make it as smooth as possible.
To find out how you can benefit from our international team and local knowledge, get in touch today for a free consultation – and you could be trading within just a few days.