How to Setup a Trading Company in Dubai, UAE #2023: License and Costs


Dubai, the city of gold, is not just a tourist paradise but a global commercial hub. Its strategic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and vibrant business environment make it a perfect place for entrepreneurs to set up their trading companies. But how does one navigate the labyrinth of business setup in Dubai? With its strategic location between the East and the West, world-class infrastructure, and a business-friendly environment, Dubai has become a preferred destination to set up trading companies

Whether you’re an ambitious startup or an established multinational, the city offers a plethora of opportunities to grow and expand your business. But the process to set up a trading company in Dubai can seem as complex as the intricate patterns of Arabic calligraphy.  

That’s where Adam Global comes in. With our extensive experience and deep understanding of the local business landscape, we guide you through every step of the process, making it as smooth as the traditional Arabic coffee, Gahwa. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey of setting up your dream trading company in Dubai. 

How to Register and Setup a Trading Company in Dubai, UAE 

Setting up a trading company in the UAE involves a series of steps that can be as thrilling as a camel race in the desert. Here’s a simplified guide: 

u003cstrongu003eBusiness Plan:u003c/strongu003e

Like a map in a desert, a business plan is essential. It should outline your business activities, target market, and strategies for success. 

u003cstrongu003eLegal Structure:u003c/strongu003e

Decide on the legal structure of your company. It could be a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a Free Zone Company. 

u003cstrongu003eTrade Name:u003c/strongu003e

Choose a trade name that reflects your business. Remember, your trade name is your first impression, so make it count!

u003cstrongu003eBusiness Activity:u003c/strongu003e

Define your business activity. Whether you’re trading in spices or luxury cars, be specific. 

u003cstrongu003eInitial Approval:u003c/strongu003e

Apply for initial approval from the Dubai Department of Economy u0026amp; Tourism (DET). This is like getting a green signal to proceed. Since there is lots of complexities in this it’s better to consult it with a reputable business setup expert like Adam Global. 

u003cstrongu003eSigning Memorandum of Associationu003c/strongu003e

– Memorandum of Association establishes the link between shareholders and the firm to third parties and is created during the registration and formation procedure of a company. 

u003cstrongu003eOffice Space:u003c/strongu003e

Rent an office space. After all, your business needs a home! 

u003cstrongu003eFinal Approval:u003c/strongu003e

With all the above steps completed, apply for final approval in the designated department with the help of your business advisor and get your license done.  

Steps to Start a Trading Company in Dubai 

Starting a trading company in Dubai is like setting up a tent in the desert. It requires careful planning and execution. Here are the steps:   

  1. Choose a Legal Structure: The first step is to decide on the legal structure of your company. This could be a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a Free Zone Company, depending on your business needs and goals. 
  1. Select a Trade Name: Choose a unique and meaningful trade name that reflects your business activity and complies with the regulations of the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET). 
  1. Apply for Initial Approval: Submit your application along with the necessary documents, such as passport copies, business plan, and NOC from the local sponsor (for mainland companies) to the DET for initial approval through your business setup advisor. 
  1. Lease an Office Space: Rent or purchase a physical office space. The size of the office can determine the number of employee visas you can get. 
  1. Signing Memorandum of Association: It establishes the link between shareholders and the firm to third parties. 
  1. Get the Trade License: Once you have the initial approval and the Ejari (tenancy contract), you can apply for the trade license. Pay the required fees and collect your license from the DET. 

u003cstrongu003eMainland or Freezone: Which is the Best Location for Setting Up a Trading Business in Dubai?u003c/strongu003e 

Choosing the right location for your trading company in Dubai is as crucial as selecting the perfect spices for a delicious Shawarma. It can significantly impact your business operations, growth prospects, and profitability. u003cbru003eu003cstrongu003eMainland Companies:u003c/strongu003e Setting up a trading company in the mainland allows you to freely trade with the local UAE market, bid for government contracts, and set up offices anywhere in the UAE.  u003cbru003eu003cstrongu003eFreezone Companies:u003c/strongu003e If 100% ownership and control over your business is what you seek, then setting up a trading company in a Freezone is the way to go. Freezones are designated areas that offer tax benefits, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, and exemption from import and export duties. However, a Freezone company can only do business within its Freezone or outside the UAE, unless it appoints a local distributor. 

Steps to Get License to Setup Trading Company in Dubai 

Here are the steps that your business setup advisor will help you to go through to get you a trading company license: 

  1. Select a Legal Structure: The structure of your company determines the type of license you need. 
  1. Select a Trade Name: Your trade name should not violate the rules of the DET.  
  1. Apply for Initial Approval: Submit your application along with the necessary documents to the DET. 
  1. Lease an Office Space: A physical address is mandatory for the trade license. 
  1. Get the Trade License: After paying the fees, you will receive your trade license. 

u003cstrongu003eCost of Getting Trading License in UAE, Dubaiu003c/strongu003e 

The cost of getting a trading license in Dubai can vary like the shifting sands of the desert. It depends on factors like the type of license, location, and size of the office. On average, it can range from AED 10,000 to AED 50,000. However, with Adam Global, you can be assured of the most cost-effective and efficient service. 

Benefits of Freezone Trading Company 

Setting up a trading company in a Freezone is like discovering a hidden oasis in the desert. It offers a host of benefits: 

  1. 100% Ownership: As a foreign entrepreneur, you can own 100% of your business without the need for a local sponsor. 
  1. Tax Benefits: Freezone companies enjoy 100% exemption from corporate and personal income tax, making it a highly profitable option. 
  1. 100% Repatriation of Capital and Profits: There are no restrictions on capital and profit repatriation, allowing you to take your earnings back to your home country if you wish.     
  1. No Import or Export Duties: Freezone companies are exempt from import and export duties, which can significantly reduce your operational costs. 
  1. Quick and Easy Setup: Freezones offer a streamlined and efficient process for setting up companies, saving you time and effort. 

Benefits of Mainland Trading Company 

A mainland trading company in Dubai is like a sturdy dhow sailing smoothly in the vast Arabian Sea. It offers several advantages: 

  1. Freedom to Trade: Mainland companies can trade freely with any company in the UAE, without any restrictions. This opens a vast market for your products or services. 
  1. No Limit on Business Activities: Unlike Freezone companies, mainland companies can engage in a wide range of business activities. 
  1. No Limit on Visas: There is no limit on the number of visas a mainland company can obtain. This means you can hire as many employees as you need to run your business efficiently. 
  1. Eligibility for Government Contracts: Mainland companies are eligible to bid for government contracts, which can be a significant source of revenue. 
  1. Office Location: Mainland companies can rent or buy office space anywhere in Dubai, giving you the flexibility to choose a location that best suits your business needs. 

In conclusion, whether you choose to set up your trading company in the mainland or a Freezone, both offer unique benefits. Your decision should be based on your business goals, target market, and growth strategy. And remember, no matter what you choose, Adam Global is here to make the process as easy and hassle-free as possible. 

Benefits of Opening a Trading Business in Dubai  

Opening a trading business in Dubai, UAE, comes with a plethora of benefits that make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs worldwide. Here are some of the key advantages: 

  1. Strategic Location: Dubai’s geographical location makes it a gateway between the East and the West, providing easy access to markets in Asia, Africa, and Europe. 
  1. World-Class Infrastructure: Dubai boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure, including modern roads, airports, and seaports, which facilitate smooth business operations and logistics. 
  1. Business-Friendly Environment: The UAE government has implemented policies that encourage entrepreneurship, including easy business setup processes, tax benefits, and protection of intellectual property rights. 
  1. Free Trade Agreements: The UAE has signed numerous Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with countries worldwide, providing Dubai-based businesses with access to a global market. 
  1. Diverse Economy: Dubai’s economy is not solely dependent on oil but is diversified across sectors like tourism, real estate, retail, and finance, providing ample opportunities for trading businesses. 
  1. Political Stability: The UAE is politically stable, providing a secure environment for businesses to operate and grow. 
  1. Tax Benefits: The UAE has a zero-tax regime for most businesses, and there is no personal income tax, which can lead to significant cost savings. 
  1. Free Zones: Dubai offers multiple Free Zones that provide benefits like 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of capital and profits, and exemption from import and export duties. 
  1. Skilled Workforce: Dubai has a diverse, skilled, and multilingual workforce, making it easier for businesses to hire the talent they need. 
  1. Quality of Life: Dubai offers a high standard of living with excellent healthcare, education, and recreational facilities, making it an attractive place for business owners and their employees to live. 
  1. Strong Legal Framework: The UAE has a robust legal framework that protects the rights and interests of businesses. 
  1. Ease of Doing Business: The UAE ranks high in global ease of doing business rankings, thanks to its simplified procedures for business setup and operation. 
  1. Strong Financial Services Sector: Dubai has a robust banking and financial services sector, making it easy for businesses to access financial services and support. 
  1. Expo 2020: The ongoing Expo 2020 in Dubai is expected to bring in numerous business opportunities for trading companies. 

In conclusion, the benefits of opening a trading business in Dubai, UAE, are numerous and varied, making it an ideal destination for entrepreneurs looking to establish or expand their trading business. 

Why Hussle with Setting Up a Trading Company in UAE, Dubai When Adam Global is Here? 

Setting up a trading company in Dubai without guidance is like wandering in the desert without a compass. But why Hussle when Adam Global is here? Our team of experts is like a Bedouin guide, well-versed in the landscape of business setup in Dubai. We can help you navigate the process smoothly, ensuring you save time, effort, and money. So, sit back, enjoy your Arabic coffee, and let us do the heavy lifting. 

Scope and Growth of Trading Business Market in Dubai 

The trading business market in Dubai is as vibrant as the city’s skyline. With the Expo 2020, the introduction of VAT, and the government’s vision to diversify the economy, the scope for trading businesses is immense. According to a report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, the UAE’s retail sector is expected to reach $58 billion by 2023. Now, that’s a market worth tapping into! 


According to the Dubai Statistics Center, the total value of Dubai’s foreign trade reached AED 1.302 trillion in 2020, despite the global economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This indicates the resilience and growth potential of the trading sector in Dubai. 

The growth of trading businesses in Dubai can be visualized as an upward trending graph, with the x-axis representing the years and the y-axis representing the value of trade. The line on the graph would show a steady upward trend, indicating the growth of the sector over the years. 

However, please note that this is a generalized description, and the actual growth may vary based on various factors such as the type of trading business, market conditions, government policies, etc. For more specific and detailed information, it would be best to refer to official reports or conduct detailed market research. 



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