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General Trading License In Dubai, UAE

What is General Trading License ?

Entrepreneurs who want to export, import or trade with electronics, food, clothes, furniture and many other products are required to acquire a general trading license in Dubai. If you are trading with a specific product then you can acquire a trade license for that specific activity whereas under general trading license entrepreneur can trade with multifarious products. The main significance of this license is that it can be used for trading a wide range of unrelated products. So, if it sounds good and you are interested in the license, then the next question is how to get the general trading license in Dubai ? Before applying for the business license investor should decide whether to acquire the license of Mainland or Free Zone. Both these licenses have its own unique benefits which make it distant from each other. 

Our Amazing Prices For Obtaining General Trading License

General Trading License Mainland

AED 26,000 / year
  • General Trading License
  • Local Sponsor not required
  • 100% Foreign Ownership
  • License Vouncher Fees
  • Free Company Stamp
  • Free Website Domain
  • Free Logo Design

Why General Trading License in Dubai ?

General Trading Business is the most necessitate business in Dubai and also among the other emirates of UAE. In Dubai, General Trading is the still the most profitable business. There is a huge demand for diversified goods and commodities due to distant culture present among the population.

Trading in Dubai includes a wide range of activities and there is separate trade license available for each different activity unlike from the General Trading company. General Trading License are able to do trading in diversified products with single license. The company registered under General Trading License in Dubai or in any emirates of UAE can have upto 10 business activities could be included in a single General Trade License (more can be added by paying an extra fee).

Getting Trade License in Dubai is very simple and ease. This does not have to be a complex process, and in fact can be made simple with the help of a company formation specialist who can handle your application for you. In any case, many of the licenses offered in Dubai and the UAE are fairly self-explanatory.

Within these broad categories are a range of specific license types. Businesses trading a number of goods would be suited to a type of commercial license known as a general trading license. The main benefit of a general trading license is that you are able to trade any number of unrelated goods that is from food and clothes to toys and electronic parts – under a single license. A further benefit is that applying for a general trading license in the UAE is incredibly straightforward.

Apply to Sharjah Media City (Shams) Free Zone with Alfa Zone and you’ll receive all of your important documentation, including your license, within three days.

Shams Free Zone - Alfa ZOne

Shams Free Zone is one of the preferred choices amongst new entrepreneurs considering the various available jurisdictions in the UAE

Types of Trade Licenses in UAE

4 types of Trade License in UAE are as follows:

Required for exports, trades and imports. General trading license can be used for trading with multifarious products. General trade License is a Commercial Trade License which owned by companies dealing with multifarious products under single license unlike separate license for specific trading activity.

Required for professionals, service providers, artisans, and craftsmen in Dubai and all around UAE dealing with specific jobs. Professional license is required in Dubai for the following business activities

  • Event Management
  • Marketing Consultancy
  • Management consultancy
  • Law firms and Associates
  • Accounting companies or consultancy
  • Businessmen Service Consultancy


Required for all types of trading work. General Trading License is a commercial license for multifarious products.

  • Imports and Exports
  • Broadcasting and Communications
  • Car Rental Services
  • Electronics Trading
  • Home Appliances Trading 
  • Chemicals Trading


Required for manufacturing or industrial work. Industrial Trade License include all the following business activities in Dubai

  • Appliances and Machinery Manufacturing
  • Equipment and Engines Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing of Food Products
  • Casting of Steel and Iron
  • Storage and Packaging
  • Furniture Manufactures


Looking for the cheapest General Trading license in Dubai, UAE?

Price is a factor for many entrepreneurs looking to set up in the UAE. If you’re looking for the cheapest general trading license in the UAE then applying directly to a free zone is a good option.

Several free zones, such as Sharjah Media City (Shams), offer a general trading license for AED 9,200, including fees. SHAMS offers the cheapest general trading license in UAE. This is an incredibly affordable option as there are few if any, additional costs on top of this. Upfront share capital is not required and there’s no need to take on physical premises. All you need is a laptop, an internet connection and some knowledge about your chosen market and you are good to go.

There are many other benefits to set up in a UAE free zone like 0% corporate and a personal tax, free zone businesses benefit from 100% exemption from customs tax.

UAE free zone business owners also have full freedom to repatriate all invested capital and profits. There are also no foreign exchange controls and currency restrictions.

Starting from




Alfa Zone Businessmen Services works with all government entities. Contact Us

Two Ways of Acquiring a General Trading License in Dubai

Mainland or Free Zone General Trading License ?

Entrepreneurs can select from where they want to acquire the license whether from the Mainland or from the Free Zone. The Free Zones and Mainland offer the investor with competitive discounted packages for acquiring a general trade license in UAE. General Trading License in Dubai is the most wanted business license among all other business activities in UAE. The cost of general trading licenses is in the range of AED 9000 to AED 40,000 which varies according to the type of trade license and from where the license is acquired.

General Trading License In Dubai - Dubai DED

Investors looking to open a retail and wholesale business in Dubai should get a license from Dubai DED (which is known as Mainland License). The investor or entrepreneur will get the approval for Mainland General Trade License from the Dubai Department Of Economic Development (DED). 

Now, there is the advantage of an Instant License from the Dubai Department Of Economic Development. The investor will get a one-year valid license without a physical office. Dubai Department Of Economic Development will also provide an E-MOA for a year. After one year, the investor or shareholders should have a physical office for the license renewal.

Instant License from Dubai DED

1. A one-year validity
2. No office space is required
3. Issues E-MOA

The cost of a General Trading License in Dubai is approximately in the range of AED 28,000 – 40,000. There are several other factors that change the cost of the license like business activity, visa quota, license validity which is different from an investor to an investor.

General Trading License From DED - Benefits For The Investor

  1. 5 % VAT on all trade transactions in UAE while compared to other countries.
  2. Mainland General Trade License will enable you to take office anywhere in UAE.
  3. General Trade License from DED will only have the provision to do business in the local market.
  4. Get a local sponsor or we will get you the best reliable sponsor.
  5. Allocation Of Visa quotas are very easy in Mainland and there is no limit for the visa quotas. Visa quotas are issued to the proportion of office space.
  6.  Bank Account opening is easy and can trade in multi-currencies

Why General Trading License from Dubai Free Zones ?

A free zone (FZE / FZC) is a limited liability entity that doesn’t involve any local/native ownership. All free zone companies are incorporated under an independent authority called Free Zone Authority (FZA). They are the regulating authority that is responsible for the smooth functioning of all the Free Zones.

General Trading License in Dubai is still the most demandable license in UAE. Trade License can be from any free zone among 40 + free zones. Acquiring a General Trading License from a Free Zone has benefits are as follows:

1. 100 % foreign ownership
2. No import duty on imports 
3. Warehouse facilities
4. Logistics

Not only the persons but artificial person like companies can also register a Free Zone company in UAE Free Zones. Another highlight or significance of Free Zone is the 0% rate on both personal and corporate income. 

Note: The process of incorporating Free Zone Company is very easy and fast while compared to Mainland Company.

The price range of General Trading License in Dubai Free Zone = AED 9000 – AED 25,500

Cost Of General Trading License

Cost Of General trading License from Mainland

Price Of General Trading License from Dubai DED

Dubai Mainland Trade License from DED is the only license in which you can have a local trading directly with the customers whereas with the Free Zone trade license you can trade with international and B2B (Business to Business) market. General Trading License Cost in Dubai is approx. in the range of AED 30,000 – AED 40,000 depending on your business activity.

Cost Of General trading license from Free Zone

Prices Of General Trading License in different Free Zone (FZE) 

Fujairah Creative City Free Zone

The price of general trading license is different in Mainland and Free Zone. The prices of General trading license in Fujairah Creative Free Zone are:

License Fees

AED 13,500

AED 16,500

AED 19,995

Number Of Shareholders


Multiple Shareholders

Multiple Shareholders


0 Visa

0 Visa

2 Visa

Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) Free Zone

Sharjah Media City free zone which is widely known as SHAMS free zone offers cheapest General Trading License in UAE. The price of general trading license in SHMAZ is AED 9,200.

License Fees

AED 9,200

AED 15,500

AED 14,700





Ajman Free Zone (AFZA) License

Ajman free zone (AFZA)  is one of the oldest free zone in UAE. This zone is located near by a sea port and which makes easy for business. General Trading License in Ajman Free Zone is AED 18,735 (including 2 visa packages).

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) License

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA) is one of the free zone based in Dubai emirate which is originated from Fujairah. The IFZA free zone is significantly located to provide easy access to the other markets of Dubai emirates. Other free zones which we have discussed are not located in Dubai. Dubai Free Zones are more expensive while comparing with any other emirate’s Free Zones.

License Fees

AED 11,900

AED 17,900

AED 21,900





Visa Quota on General trading License in Dubai

Number Of Visas allocated on the General Trading License In Dubai

How many visas a General Trading company can get? 
As we discussed earlier, a General Trading License in Dubai can be from Mainland or from Free Zone. A Mainland General trading Company doesn’t have any limitation on the number of visas. Visas are allocated to the proportion of office space.


Number Of Visas = 9 sqm per person

15 sqm per person (in case of renting a warehouse)

General Trading License in Dubai Free Zone has a definite constraint on visa quotas allowed. The maximum number of visas in the Free Zone will be in a range of 1 to 6. 

Steps to Get General Trading License in Dubai

Step 1

Decide legal structure of your business whether you want to setup in Free Zone or Dubai Mainland 

Step 2

Decide Your Business Activity for general trading in Free Zone or Dubai Mainland License

Step 3

Registration of name for your General Trading License.

Step 4

Fill the Application Form for a business license and get initial approval from Govt Authorities.

Step 5

Receive General Trading License after approved. 

Step 6

We will help you in opening Bank Account & Payment Gateway for receiving payments online

Documents Required for General Trading License

  • License Application 
  • Passport copy of the investor or the shareholders (if any)
  • Name Approval letter from DED
  • MOA (Memorandum of Association)
  • Business plan
  • Fees payment receipt

Dubai DED Process Of Licensing

The Commercial Registry Authority will inspect and authenticate the documents submitted by the investor or the share holder to the Dubai DED (Department Of Economic Development).  The Commercial Registry Authority will then add the company’s name to the commercial registry. The authority’s website will be updated with the register number and company details to ensure the identity of the company and the owner of the business is legally registered within Dubai emirate of the UAE.

DED office will submit all the documents to the Federal Ministry of Economy which also includes MOA and the application for the ministry approval letter. After the completion of the licensing procedures, the DED issues the original trade license.

General Trading License obtained from Dubai DED office is valid for 1 year. The general trade license or any other trade license can be renewed from Dubai DED office by following below topic “Trade License Renewal“. Previous trade license is also required for the renewal. The renewed license will be valid for 5 years.

Trade License Renewal ?

Trade License from Dubai Mainland DED (Department of Economic Development) should be renewed annually.
The cost for the renewal of General Trade License from Dubai DED is AED 16,000.
The cost for the renewal of General Trade License from Free Zone is AED 5,750.

Trade License can be extended to a four-year term, depending on the type of business, permissions will be required from DED. Documents required for the renewal of General Trade License are as follows : 

  • Trade License 
  • Registration & Licensing Application Form 
  • EJARI Certificate or Tenancy Contract
  • Passport Copies of all shareholders

FAQ's - General Trading license in dubai

Frequently Asked Questions on General Trading Company Formation in Dubai

Cost Of General trading License in Dubai is completely depends upon from where you acquire the License. It can be a Mainland or Free Zone General Trading License

General Trading License in Dubai Price Range = AED 9,000 to AED 40,000 range. 

The General Trading License are required for indulging in selling & distribution, stored in the warehouses, import or export. General Trading License in Dubai have a wide range of business trade activities like retail & wholesale of goods, accessories, clothes, furniture, electronics, etc. If a company is dealing in multiple products then it is better to have a general trade license rather than acquiring specific trade license for each trading activity.

General Trading License is issued for 1 year from Dubai DED / Mainland License.

General Trading License from Dubai Free Zones can be applied for one-year, two-year or even three-year validity.

No, since 100% foreign ownership is now possible Free Zones Business License and for onshore UAE-based businesses.

Yes, you are required to have a physical address in the country. To even qualify for a license, you’ll need to have a valid lease for an office or warehouse space.

It’s usually takes 48 hours to form a company whether in Mainland or in Free Zone.

It’s completely depends upon what kind of business license that have applied whether it’s an LLC or a Free Zone Company. It will also vary depending on which Free Zone and if the company has an individual or corporate shareholder.


1. Prepare the Documentation

Documentation for business license in Dubai, UAE is different according to their geographical location.  We helps in preparation of required documentation for business license in Dubai, UAE

2. Get a Business License

Entrepreneur should decide from where to get the license.

(i)   Mainland Business Setup License
(ii)  Free Zone Business Setup License
(iii) Offshore Business Setup License

3. To start with Visa Processing

After receiving the business license approval we will proceed for visa application and get it approved within 24 hours. 

Major visa services includes

(i)    Tourist visa
(ii)   Investor visa
(iii)  Work visa
(iv)  Family visa
(v)   Business visa
(vi)  Maid visa, and more.

First of all should apply for entry permit, Emirates identity card and resident visa. Once receives residence visa, he can apply for work permit or labour card. All these approvals are done from different government departments where a lot of time and efforts are invested.

Alfa Zone Businessmen Services have a years of expertise in business setup services and visa processing services makes all of your approvals with ease and cost effective. 

4. Open a Bank Account

A Business or Company without corporate bank account is meaningless. To open a corporate bank account, involves 3 steps.

1. Get a business license
2. Have the necessary documents
3. Choose the right bank

To open corporate bank account you need to submit certain documents like

  • Copy of the Emirates ID card
  • Company Trade License
  • Certificate of Registration
  • Lease Agreement
  • Passport copies for shareholders and authorized signatories
  • Company Memorandum & Articles of Association

However, opening a corporate bank account in Dubai / UAE can be hassle-free and quick with Alfa Zone Businessmen Services. Help our clients to choose their bank account opening accordingly to their corporate structure or trade license activity. 

Alfa Zone Businessmen Services works with all government entities. 

Bank Assistance with our partnered bank

Dubai Islamic Bank
Mashreq BAnk
Emirates NBD Bank
Instant Bank Account Opening Assistance with all Banks.

Government Departments

We Work Closely with all Government Departments

Expo 2021
Federal Tax Authority
Dubai Health Authority
Government Of Dubai

Free Zone Government Departments

We are Partnered with Free Zone Departments in all the Emirates of UAE

Rakez Free Zone
hamriyah Free Zone Alfa Zone
international freezone authority
jebel ali free zone
Dubai South Free Zone
dubai airport freezone
dubai multi commodities center


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