how-to-start-a-food-stuff-business-in-Dubai

How to Start a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai

Foodstuff trading is a very important business activity in Dubai. It is a major contributor to Dubai’s economy and is an activity that has been prospering in the city for many years. The UAE has become an international hub of trade in the Middle East, and so, the import and export of food take place in high volumes. Therefore, starting a foodstuff trading business in Dubai is a lucrative business venture.

Dubai is recognised globally for its food scene. It is home to many local and international restaurants and cafes serving cuisines from all over the world. Therefore, the food and beverage industry relies on the supply of quality food items. This is made possible by foodstuff trading companies in Dubai. Hence, foodstuff trading is always in demand.

License required for foodstuff trading business in Dubai

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the authority that issues business licenses for companies registered in Dubai mainland. You must submit all the necessary documents to the DED since it is the authority that carries out the registration process.

The foodstuff trading business in Dubai mandates all companies to secure a commercial license. They are registered as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This business structure follows a 51-49 per cent shareholding structure. As per the UAE law, it is mandatory for a foreign-owned company registered in Dubai mainland to partner with a UAE national, also called a local sponsor. As a result, the local sponsor will hold 51% of the company shares and you will hold the remaining 49%.

Documents required to start a foodstuff trading business in Dubai 

  • Passport copies of shareholders
  • Visa page of the shareholder – residence visa or visit visa
  • NOC from the current sponsor, if the shareholder has a residence visa 
  • The Emirates ID of shareholders having a residence visa

Foodstuff trading company formation process

1. Finalize a Trading Name for your Foodstuff Company

In the United Arab Emirates, all legal entities must have an authorized trading name for their businesses. As a result, the same standard applies to food trade companies. In addition, you must make a list of three to four names that you want to use as your legal name and submit it to the appropriate authorities. 

Once you’ve filed your request, the department will review it and approve all the eligible trading names. Hence, you have the freedom to select the one that best expresses your fundamental values and philosophy. However, when shortlisting names for your organization, remember to adhere to all naming convention regulations.

2. Finish the Paperwork

To conduct hassle-free food dealing in Dubai, all documentation rules must be followed. As a result, assemble all of your paperwork, apply for any essential approvals, and secure any external certificates you may require. 

It’s worth noting that you’ll need to sign the Memorandum of Association as well (MoA). In addition, the document must be notarized by a notary public in Dubai. Shuaa’s business consultants handle all legalities, including documentation, for your convenience. 

3. Acquire a Warehouse

The next stage in obtaining a food trading license in the UAE is to rent a warehouse or storage space. Furthermore, your warehouse must meet the government’s infrastructure criteria. Otherwise, you will not be granted a food dealing license.

These are some of the requirements:

  • Containers that are free of contamination and composed of high-quality materials
  • Proper food composition partitioning
  • Temperature, humidity, and other factors are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep food fresh
  • Sanitation of the warehouse regularly to keep it germ-free

It’s worth noting that renting a warehouse is a cost-effective option because it allows for easy movement if you want to start your company in a new area. Furthermore, once you’ve rented the space, you won’t have to worry about selling the acquired property. 

4. Secure a Foodstuff Trading License

Once you’ve completed all of the requirements outlined above, you can apply for a foodstuff trading license in Dubai. Furthermore, to conduct business in the UAE, all organizations must have a valid trading license. Additionally, investors should keep in mind that this license must be renewed every year. 

As a result, working with the business experts at Shuraa Business Setup is preferable. We will compile your license application and obtain the necessary permits on time so that your foodstuff trading business in Dubai is up and running in a quick time.

5. Get External Approvals

Entrepreneurs and investors must seek external clearance If any of the targeted business operations are not authorized by their foodstuff trading license in Dubai. Remember that you can’t do anything that isn’t covered by your business license. 

In addition, you must get clearance from the Dubai Municipality to receive a food dealing license. All of your submissions (including DM’s consent) would be evaluated by the Department of Food and Safety, and your foodstuff trading license in Dubai would be issued. 

Sub-activities under Foodstuff Trading in Dubai

In addition to the main business activity of foodstuff trading, you can also add the following sub-activities of your trade license.

  • Egg Trading
  • Flour Trading
  • Ghee & Vegetable Oil Trading
  • Grains, Cereals & Legumes Trading
  • Ice Trading
  • Juice Trading
  • Mineral Water Trading
  • Potatoes Trading
  • Sugar Trading
  • Spices Trading
  • Snack Food Trading
  • Soft Drinks & Carbonated Water Trading
  • Fruits and Vegetables Trading

How Much is the Foodstuff Trading License Cost in Dubai?

Where do you want to start your food trade business in the UAE? Do you wish to trade with ease in Dubai and the rest of the UAE? If this is the case, you should apply for a mainland food trading license. Remember that the foodstuff trading license cost in Dubai can vary between mainland and free zone.

In addition, you have the option of establishing your food business in any of the free zones. Autonomous governing bodies are in charge of them. As a result, business laws in free zones are more liberal.

Setting up a new foodstuff trading firm in the UAE will require an investment of AED 15,000 to AED 25,000. This includes administrative approvals, the foodstuff trading license cost in Dubai, external certificates, and more. The overall cost varies depending on your location, warehouse size, number of visa permits, and other factors.

Role of Dubai Municipality

Dubai Municipality (DM) is the government agency whose Food Safety Department is responsible for inspections and regulation of best practices for foodstuff trading in Dubai. Therefore, every company trading foodstuff in Dubai must register with the Dubai Municipality.

If your company will be engaging in the import of foodstuff, you must conform to the following requirements by the Dubai Municipality Food Control department:

  • Register your company in the DM Food Import and Re-export System (FIRS) – This is to be able to apply for food import requests and to be able to follow up on the status of your import, from inspection to release
  • Acquire food label approval for all items that you will be importing – This is to confirm that your food labeling is in compliance with government standards to avoid rejection of the consignment
  • Register all food items in the DM Food Import and Re-export System (FIRS) before importing them
  • Obtain a FIT analysis result from the Dubai Central Food Laboratory – This is advisable for the food items you will be importing to specify whether the item is fit for human consumption

Role of Dubai Customs

Once you receive your trade license from DED, you will also have to register your foodstuff trading company with Dubai Customs for importation and exportation of foodstuff. You will receive a unique Customs Code upon registration, which is necessary during the import-export process.

To gain further clarity on the various registration and import-export processes regarding foodstuff trading, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a business setup consultant. You can contact Shuraa Business Setup and speak with our experts for free to learn more about how you can start a foodstuff trading business in Dubai. Call us on +97144081900 or WhatsApp us at +971507775554. You may also email us at [email protected].