July 10, 2024

Starting a Trading Business in Dubai

Trading Business in Dubai

Dubai, the city of gold and ambition, is no stranger to different kinds of businesses. In recent times, however, trading has taken the world by storm. This is because of the growing interest in trading and the stock markets from all corners of the world. 

With its soaring skyscrapers and world-class infrastructure, it is a natural hub for international trade. And if you’re someone who wishes to go entrepreneurial in this arena, then there is no other better place than Dubai.

As an established hub for global entrepreneurs and leaders, Dubai has emerged as a profitable arena for all niches. But one of the best ways you can tap into this super-fast-growing economy is by setting up a trading company in Dubai.

Defining a Trading Business

Generally, a trading company refers to a kind of business entity involved with buying products and selling them to potential customers. For operating a trading business, you need to have a proper trading license for buying and selling and the trade of products.

Suppose you have a general trading license. Then you can trade within different industries that may be similar or different from each other. To start that trading company, the first thing that needs to be done is to obtain a general trading license from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Now, if you are a foreign national trying to secure that base for your trading company in Dubai, depending on if your market is only international or both national and international, you can apply for a Freezone or a mainland license. In a free zone license setting, your business operations will not be related to the Dubai ports and/or customs. 

Getting a Trading License in Dubai

To do any kind of business in Dubai, obtaining a license is a must, which means that to establish a trading business in Dubai, you can obtain a general trading license first, especially if you wish to trade between various industries. 

This involves submitting a complete application form with your business plans, a feasibility study, a Memorandum of Association (MOA), a bank reference letter, details of shareholders and directors of your business, etc. 

The cost of a trade license in Dubai varies, which means that depending on the jurisdiction, type of business activities, and complexities involved, the application fees for obtaining that license may vary.

The cost of a trading license in Dubai can go from AED 25,000 to AED 50,000 as well. In this situation, consulting with a renowned business setup firm will be a great way to smooth out and carry out the entire business application procedure. CDA is a well-known firm that carries out licensing services for new business setups.

Steps for Starting a Trading Business in Dubai

While the process of beginning a trading business in Dubai may look daunting, with the right guidance and professional support, it is not that large of a task. Here’s what your steps will more or less be like on your way to establishing that trading business in Dubai:

  • Choose a Trade Name for Your Business:

Name it before you begin work on it. Without a trade name, there won’t be any applying for licenses or any business activities whatsoever. So, choose a name that is unique, and not in any way offensive to the region, and get it approved by the DED.

  • Finalise A Business Location: 

Your business location will define your license type, any activities liable for taxation, and more. So, this might just be one of the most crucial decisions that you take in the initial days of your business. Choose wisely. 

  • Plan Out and Strategize Your Business Activities:

You will be required to submit your business plans when you apply to acquire a trading license in Dubai. So, it is best to have a few plans and business strategies at the back of your head as you think of a trade name as well. 

  • Licensing Requirements:

Here is where you apply for that trading license that you have been aiming for. But first, apply for an initial license approval from the DED or any freezone authority- depending on if your business location will be the mainland or freezones. 

  • External Approvals:

This is for all the hirings you may be doing from overseas- all the employee visas, even the freelancers and project-based professionals will be having visa requirements that you will need to fulfil before beginning operations.

  • Open A Corporate Business Account: 

This one’s a given. You need to have a corporate bank account for your business before commencing operations on the ground. This is where all company transactions and employee checks will be taking place.

Vital documents for Starting a trading business in Dubai

Some of the vital documents which are to be maintained by the entities while setting up a trading business include the following:

  • A license application which is to be signed by the legal representatives or the stakeholders
  • Passport size photograph of the partners in business
  • Copy of the passport and the Visa of the partners of the trading business

Benefits Of Starting Your Trading Business in Dubai 

Dubai being the glittery city of ambitions that it is, has a lot of potential for trading enthusiasts as well. Some of them are:

  • Dubai provides you affordable trading company formation costs for all potential investors
  • Traders can now trade both locally as well as internationally 
  • For the freezones, you can have 100% ownership of your trading company- no requirements about appointing a UAE national as a director or a shareholder of the company.
  • There are much fewer business barriers in Dubai as compared to other places, with exponential growth potential. 
  • The traders can avail various tax benefits if they comply to the tax laws. The entities planning to start a SME can get further tax benefits in Dubai
  • Streamlined process of conducting businesses, the entities can conduct the businesses in the Dubai in a streamlined manner without any consequences due to the stringent rules and regulations of the land
  • Global attraction from all over the world is yet another advantage of starting a trading business in Dubai. As Dubai is tourist spot, the traders can get an international recognition by trading their products and services to the tourists
  • With premium infrastructure and facilities, the entities in Dubai planning to conduct trading business can take advantage of the best infrastructure in Dubai, which can smooth the trading processes.
  • The trading companies planning to set up their businesses in Dubai can get the advantage of the skilled workforce at a very friendly cost.


Dubai is one of the major attractions in the middle east for people looking to start their own businesses or entrepreneurial journeys. Could traders be any far behind?

With the right kind of research, entrepreneurial spirit, and the right business structure coupled with best entrepreneurial practices, you can turn your trading dreams into a rigid reality in the heart of UAE! The traders don’t have to worry about the stringent processes and the paper works involved in the procedure of starting a trading business, as these can be handed over to the expert business set up services providers who can guide you through all the complexities involved in the setting up.

To learn more about trade license services, click here.

CDA as Support for Starting Your Own Trading Business 

There is no business that doesn’t require the right kind of support and professional guidance from time to time, and trading, with all its multiple facets, might just need a little more of it. 

With CDA as your professional support in your trading entrepreneurship, it might just turn out to be one of your best ventures yet! CDA can be your resort in Dubai to assist you in getting the trading business afloat in the Dubai market. Our team of experts can provide you with multiple business set up services which include; PRO services, HR consultancy services, virtual office services, compliance services, get your bank account opened in Dubai with our expert assistance, get your license issued and many more services just under one roof. So go ahead, and make that consultation call.

For more about our Business Setup services, click here.