Start Your Import-Export Company in Dubai, UAE — Step-by-step

start and import export business in Dubai, UAE

When it comes to global trade, there’s no better location than Dubai. Nestled in the heart of the Middle East, it is exceptionally well-connected by land, sea, and air. And those excellent links put the vast global markets of Asia, Europe, and Africa within easy reach.

Truly it is a trading location like no other. And that’s why so many business owners and entrepreneurs head to our shores to do business with every corner of the world.

Once here, they’ll find a 0% tax rate on corporate and personal income, an inviting and supportive business environment, and incredible initiatives designed to help import-export businesses flourish.

So, if you’re thinking of getting started in this space out here in Dubai, here’s everything you need to know.

Why start an Import-Export business in Dubai?

So, you’re wondering why you should start an import-export business in the UAE. Aside from the reasons above, there’s another great benefit to setting up out here – our free zones.

UAE free zones are perfect for import-export business. Most have fantastic infrastructure and transport links, with some directly adjacent to airports and seaports.

But that’s not all. Free zone businesses can also benefit from 100% customs tax exemption, zero currency restrictions, and the freedom to fully repatriate all capital and profits.

And there’s another great reason to set up out here too. The UAE company formation process is incredibly straightforward – provided you seek the right guidance beforehand.

How do I start an Import-Export business in Dubai?To import and export in Dubai, you’ll need a trade license. When you work with a reputable company formation agent such as Worldwide Formations, this process is quick and easy.

First, we’ll help you outline your business activities. It’s vital that you list all goods that you intend to import and export. Failure to do so can lead to fines or even license revocation. 

Next, you’ll need to choose your company name. This is a step of the business incorporation process that takes on more importance here in the UAE.  

In short, UAE company names must not contain any blasphemous or offensive language, any references to well-known institutions or any abbreviations of your name – though your full name is acceptable.

How can I get an Import-Export license in Dubai?

Now we can embark on the most important step – applying for your business license.

When setting up in a free zone, your application is made directly to the managing authority. We can handle this entire process for you. You are usually required to submit several documents along with your application form at this stage, including:

  • A copy of your passport – and that of any other shareholders
  • Your business plan
  • A copy of your signature
  • A No Objection Certificate from your current employer (if applicable)

On top of your trade license, you’ll need approval from the Customs Office in Dubai. This allows you to import and export goods from the UAE.

Finally, you’ll need a residency visa to work in the UAE. This process involves four stages, including a medical fitness test and biometric capturing. In all, it usually takes less than a week.

As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others such as children, a spouse or domestic staff for their visas too, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

Import-Export business ideas in Dubai

There are two schools of thought when it comes to import-export. On the one hand, you could find a niche and carve your place as a market leader in a smaller space. On the other hand, you could join an already vast and profitable market.

Here are some great import-export ideas, whatever approach you choose.

Gold
Gold is one of Dubai largest imports and exports. We export over USD 31bn of the precious metal per year, importing slightly more at USD 45bn. And with the Emirates home to some of the world’s largest and most prestigious gold markets, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.

Car parts
Dubai is perfectly placed to import and export spare parts to and from some of the fastest-growing markets in the world – Africa and Asia. And if you’re looking to sell within the UAE, a nation of car lovers makes for a demanding market.

Manufacturing materials
Manufacturing is a booming industry in the UAE. But there are, of course, many sub-sectors within the space. This is a great opportunity to find your niche. Seek out the industries in ascendance and make your mark before saturation.

What does the Import-Export license cost?

The cost of an import-export license will depend on your chosen free zone. Costs for free zones in Dubai tend to have a slightly higher price, with packages starting at around AED 13,500.

Outside of Dubai, prices for import-export licenses will find their base at around AED 11,000. The exact costs of course vary based on your specific license as well as visa-allotment requirements.

Get your UAE Import-Export license today with Worldwide Formations

By following the steps above, it is possible to obtain your trade license in the UAE with minimal fuss. 

However, it is always advisable to undertake the steps with the assistance of a registered company formations agent to eliminate any potential hassles that might arise.

With more than 15 years of experience in company incorporation, Worldwide Formations can help you get your business up and running within a week or two. We’ll manage your license and visa application and correspond with all relevant authorities for you. All you need to do is wait for the green light to start trading.

Office 611 & Lobby Level

The Fairmont Dubai,

Sheikh Zayed Road

PO 33964 Dubai, UAE

Office Hours :- 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
(Sunday to Thursday)