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How to open a Trading Company in the UAE

How to open a Trading Company in the UAE

How to open a Trading Company in the UAE

The UAE is a logistics hub that continues to be one of the biggest trading and commercial centers in the world. A big advantage that the UAE holds is its strategic location which basically acts as a connecting bridge between the East and the West. A waypoint for all major trading routes that travel long distances from one end of the globe to another. 


There has been unprecedented commercial growth in the UAE in the past few decades that has invited all the big logistics and trading organizations to this region. From start-ups to Small Medium Enterprises to big corporations, the UAE provides a level playing field for competition for all kinds of business ventures. 


Here are the steps by which you can open a trading company in the UAE-   


  1. Business Blueprint


A prudent starting point for any trading business venture is to establish a blueprint and plan for the business that would map out the operational steps for the first few years. Factors such as staff, investment, licensing, marketing strategy, office space, etc need to be considered as important pillars before the formation of a business.


  1. Selection of Jurisdiction


There are a few jurisdictions in the UAE from which a business can choose depending on what suits their needs the most. An organization can choose between a Mainland, Freezone or Offshore trading company.


A Freezone provides 100% exemption on corporate and personal income and full ownership to investors. Whereas in a mainland company, the investors need to allocate a local sponsor who will hold 51% ownership of the business. Finally, the Offshore company is a trading setup that is established in a country that is different from the origin country of the investor.


  1. Legal Processes


Getting a license to officially commence operations is an important step before starting commercial activities. A General Trade License is required to sell, distribute, import, export and store commodities. It also covers a wide range of business operations such as clothing & garments, furniture, & accessories etc


The General Trading License can be obtained by following the simple steps below-


  • Selecting a name for the trading company

  • Finalize the registered address of the organization

  • Prepare a Memorandum of Association (MoA) & sign it with your business partners

  • Register with Department of Economic Development for approvals

  • Register the company with the Immigration Department for an Establishment card & Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

  • Reach an agreement for a 

  • Hire staff and apply for their visas and approvals.

  • Open a corporate bank account.