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How to open a grocery store in Dubai?

Opening a grocery store in Dubai offers several perks and multiple trading avenues. The lucrative market and the heavy foreign investments have always made business setup in Dubai advantageous.

But every business setup is different and must follow different set of procedures. The Dubai Government ensures to layout an easy process for individuals willing to start a grocery store in Dubai. Nevertheless, being a foreign entity entering the international market, setting up a grocery store can be quite tricky and complicated.

Here are as several factors that need to be taken under consideration, while opening a grocery store in Dubai.

STEP 1: Decision Making

Before opening a grocery store in Dubai, you need decide your initial investments, reserve funds, business location, market trends, company structure, licensing, documentation, etc.

STEP 2: Local Sponsor

To open a grocery store in Dubai you will require local sponsorship or local partnership. As per the commercial law a UAE national must have a partnership in the store.

STEP 3: Documentation

Documentation is a mandatory requirement. The passport and visa of the owner need to be submitted along with the application. It is followed by tenancy contract, Ejari, approvals from Municipality, Trademark registration from Ministry of Economy, etc.

STEP 4: Initial Approval

To open a grocery in Dubai, the documentation must be submitted as per the protocols given out by the Dubai government and Department of Economy Development in Dubai (DED). After all the documents are submitted thoroughly, the initial approval is granted by the DED.

STEP 5: Trade Name

The trade name must be approved by the DED. It is extremely important that the trade name must be same on the license and on the signboard of the grocery store. The trade name which is also called as the commercial name must be in accordance with the DED.

STEP 6: Finalise Location

If you have already submitted the tenancy contract and finalised the location before the initial approval, you may skip this stage. However, if the location of the store is not confirmed or could be changed then a prior approval must be taken from the DED. Once you have the location finalise for your grocery store draft the tenancy contract and get the Ejari.

STEP 7: License Issuance

Every respective business activity is columned under a certain licenses in Dubai. There are three categories of licenses: commercial licenses, professional licenses and the industrial licenses. To open a grocery store in Dubai a commercial license is a must. Under a grocery license only things listed as grocery can be sold. It is not allowed to sell any products related to medical, herbal, pharmaceutical or even cosmetic.

STEP 8: Visa Processing

Visa processing is a simultaneous process along with getting a trade license. At this stage you will get your investor visa and may also apply for subsequent family and employee visas under the company.

Few regulations that you need to know to open a grocery store in Dubai

  • Any amendment or changes in the license should needs approval from authorities involved, municipality and DED.
  • Any advertisements, promotions, banners ads and wall stickers posted by the grocery store must have pre-approval from the DED.
  • Products with fake trademarks are prohibited by law. Hence ensure not to sell such products.
  • To open a grocery in Dubai, you will need a VAT registration number and need to file taxes returns on interval. Also, all the purchases must have a proper invoicing system.

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