Shuraa Business Setup
Procedure to obtain General Trading License in Dubai

Learn how you can obtain a general trading license in Dubai.

How to Get a General Trading License in Dubai, UAE (2023)

General trading license in Dubai is one of the most in-demand and, hence, widely issued trade license in Dubai and across the UAE. This is because Dubai is steadily cementing itself as one of the foremost business hubs, not only in the Middle East but also in the rest of the world. Its enviable geographic location has gained it immense popularity among global entrepreneurs, particularly with commodity traders.

What is general trading?

General Trading is the activity of trading in a broad array of commodities and across multiple industries. 

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the government agency responsible for issuing trade licenses in Dubai. It describes general trading as follows:

General Trading includes commercial firms that engage in the activity of importing, trading, and re-exporting goods, legally allowed by the UAE government. Some trading activities require no approvals while some others need specific approvals. The trading activities that do require special approvals are eligible to apply for a general trading license, provided they obtain the necessary NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the relevant departments.

A general trading company is not restricted to any singular trade activity. It can operate across business activities as diverse as machinery and chemicals to real estate and foodstuff trading, all under one license.

Difference between general trading license vs trade license

Commodity trading in the UAE requires commercial trade license and is of two kinds:

To start a general trading company in Dubai or in any other emirate of the UAE, you must apply for a General Trading License, which is a Commercial License, with the DED in Dubai.

For trading an individual commodity, you require a trading license specific to that commodity. For instance, to start a foodstuff trading business in Dubai, you must apply for a Foodstuff Trading License. 

Cost of General Trading License in Dubai

General trading license cost in Dubai is also slightly higher. This is because it allows you to trade in several products under one license and also provides greater scope for business growth and diversification. This, in turn, makes it a more cost-effective solution when compared to a single-activity license.

The cost of a general trading license in Dubai will be anywhere between AED 15,000 to AED 50,000 (approx.) or even more. The total cost of a license is determined by factors such as where you choose to set up business, warehouse size, office space, additional approvals, business jurisdiction, and visa applications.

When you engage with the experts at the Shuraa, however, you won’t have to worry about the authenticity of these payments. We oversee all transactions to ensure you secure the cheapest general trading license in the UAE and that you do not incur any additional costs as a result of incorporating your general trading business in the UAE.

Difference between general trading license and regular trade license.

Allows trading a wide range of products Allows trading only one group of products
Allows trade across multiple industries Limits trade to only one industry
Cost of license is comparatively higher Cost of license is comparatively lower
Wide scope of business diversification No scope of business diversification

Activities Under General Trading License 

While general trading covers a broad spectrum of activities, some of the most common business activities under general trading license in Dubai include the following:

How to Get General Trading License in Dubai

Previously, a foreign entrepreneur was required to partner with an Emirati, known as Local Sponsor, to start a general trading company. The shareholding structure for this arrangement used to be 51-49, with 51% shares signed to the local sponsor and 49% shares remained with the expat owner. 

But with the recent amendments to the Commercial Companies Law (CCL), implemented by the UAE government, you can now retain 100% ownership as well as 100% profits of your general trading company as a foreign entrepreneur. 

Documents required to apply for general trading license: 

If you are a resident of the UAE

If you are a non-resident of the UAE

 Applying for a general trading license is a straightforward process involving the following steps:

Benefits of general trading license in the UAE


General trading is one of the most popular business licenses in the country, and for good reason. Finding a deal offering the best cost for general trading license in Dubai is not easy. Therefore, it is important that you reach out to the right people to get the right advice and support for your company formation in a new country.

For over 20 years, Shuraa Business Setup has been helping foreign investors and entrepreneurs set up and maintain their business ventures in Dubai and across the UAE. We have helped 35,000 entrepreneurs, local as well as international, with their UAE company registration requirements.

Our team of experienced corporate advisors will offer you end-to-end business setup services. Whether you have queries regarding general trading license in Dubai or want to know how to open a bank account in Dubai, you can rest assured of receiving the most transparent and reliable assistance.

Book your free consultation with our business setup consultants today! Get in touch by calling +97144081900 or WhatsApp us on +971507775554. You can also drop us an email at

Exit mobile version