Guide to Launching an Import and Export Business in Dubai, UAE

import export business in Dubai -

Import Export Business in Dubai: The Complete Guide (2023)

Are you considering establishing an import export business in Dubai? The United Arab Emirates’ overall import, export, and re-export value was a staggering $1.182 trillion AED, according to Dubai trade figures from 2020.

Undoubtedly, Dubai is a fantastic location for import export business. After all, it’s a developed city with lots of business options. But is starting a business in the UAE really as simple as it seems?

The import and export of goods have been a part of human commerce for generations. It is a sector that serves the supply and demand of goods and commodities in various regions and nations. As a result, company permits for import and export are in high demand.

Import Export Business in Dubai: Why it is the ideal destination for this type of activity

1. Business-Friendly Environment: Dubai is renowned for its ease of business, making it one of the most favorable places to start a company.
2. Strategic Location: Situated between Asia, Europe, and Africa, Dubai benefits from its central location, offering convenient access to markets across the globe.
3. Excellent Connectivity: Dubai boasts a robust transportation infrastructure, encompassing well-connected air and sea routes, facilitating seamless trade and travel.
4. Favourable Time Zone: Dubai’s strategic time zone enables effective coordination and trade with Eastern and Western countries.

Import Export Business in Dubai: How to get started

Dubai has a rich history of commerce and trade. In quest of items from all over the world, traders from all over the world have long gone to its busy souks and markets.

Dubai is still a significant business trade center today. Dubai is particularly positioned to enable trade between the East and West because to its strategic placement at the intersection of the two.

Along with these benefits, the UAE has a growing population of consumers with high discretionary incomes, a favorable tax structure, and a culture that is supportive of business. Starting an import export business in Dubai is the ideal solution.

Has the favourable tax climate in Dubai caught your attention? It’s a huge benefit. On income up to AED 375,000, corporations pay no tax (that’s right, zero percent) and only 9% on income above that amount. Additionally, well-developed infrastructure benefits businesspeople looking to conduct trade in Dubai. The location is so ideal for UAE corporate operations. Activities involving trade have never been simpler because of contemporary airports and seaports that can handle massive shipments.

The UAE economy thrives on trade activities

Due to the UAE’s robust economy, there are several business prospects for local entrepreneurs. As a result, there is currently a high demand in Dubai for imported items.

This is especially true now that climate change is a growing concern. According to a report from the United States Foreign Agriculture Service published in January 2022, the Middle East imports roughly 90% of the food it consumes due to water limitations brought on by climate change.

The same poll also revealed that 34% of UAE customers are willing to pay higher prices to buy their preferred brands. As a result, there is a significant need for trading operations that originate from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Here is a guide to starting an import export business in Dubai:

Get an Import Export Business License in Dubai

To obtain an import export license, You must register your business in the UAE before engaging in any import export commercial activity.

A trading license from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is required. The type of company activity you engage in will determine the normal cost of an import export license.

The cost of obtaining an import export license in Dubai varies depending on your business’s specific requirements and operational activities. Here is an estimated breakdown of the license costs across several Emirates in the UAE:

  • Dubai: Starting from AED 24,000
  • Sharjah: Starting from AED 23,000
  • Ajman: Approximately AED 24,000
  • Ras Al Khaimah: Approximately AED 20,000

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change based on your unique business needs and the specific Emirate in which you operate.

Documents Required for an Import-Export Trading License

To apply for an import export business license, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Trade name options
  • Business activity details
  • Passport copies of all shareholders
  • UAE residence visa copy of partner(s)
  • Copy of entry stamp or visa page (if applicable)
  • Passport copy and Emirates ID of the local sponsor

Renting an Office for your Import Export Business in Dubai

Once the license and registration fees are paid, you’ll probably need to find an actual office space in Dubai. Even though the price to rent an office space might vary greatly, the average monthly cost AED 3,500.

The use of a Flexi-desk eliminates the requirement for huge office space and is a suitable choice for many small business owners.

The Process to Obtain an Import Export License in Dubai

Obtaining an import export license in Dubai involves the following steps:

  1. Choose your business activity from the DED’s list of approved activities.
  2. Select the legal form for your business, typically a Limited Liability Company.
  3. Propose three trade name options and obtain approval from the DED.
  4. Apply for initial approval from the DED, indicating the government’s acceptance of your business establishment.
  • Prepare and sign the Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Local Service Agent (LSA) Agreement involving all partners and the local sponsor.
  • Note: Non-GCC residents may require a local service agent.
  1. Establish a physical business location by providing an office or shop rental agreement/tenancy contract.
  2. Obtain any additional approvals required based on your chosen trading activities.
  3. Pay the necessary fees as per the issued payment voucher.
  4. Collect your trade license either in person at DED’s service centers or online through their website.

Dubai Customs Requirements

We advise you to consider the potential business-related Dubai customs obligations before proceeding with your celebrations. Dubai presents numerous opportunities for international import and export trade. However, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the specific requirements set by Dubai customs for both the UAE and the exporting country of the products. Typically, all imported products need to be declared to UAE Customs, and the applicable taxes and charges will be imposed.

Moreover, certain goods, such as food, cosmetics, or pharmaceutical products, may have additional requirements that must be met. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the import and export laws of the destination country, as they can significantly differ from those in the UAE. Furthermore, it is important to be aware of any relevant taxes and tariffs that may be applicable to your products. Taking these factors into consideration will help ensure a smooth and compliant trade process.

Visa application for your Import Export Business in Dubai

A transit visa and an import-export visa are the two sorts of visas available for this activity. An import-export visa has a 30-day validity period, but a transit visa lasts only 14 days. You can transfer items within the confines of each visa’s allotted time.

A residency visa is a better option if you intend to live and work continuously (or even semi-permanently) in the UAE.

An application form, an Emirates ID, two passport photos, and a copy of your passport must be submitted by whoever is applying for the visa. You can obtain a visa at a UAE consulate or online. You must also include a copy of your trip itinerary if you request a transit visa.

Visa applications take a few days to several weeks to be processed and decided. Your shipment will be available for pickup at the port of entry in Dubai once your visa has been approved and issued.

Consult with Vista Corporate for Your Import Export Business in Dubai

Starting an import and export company in Dubai is a profitable chance for growth and profitability. Contact Vista Corporate Global Business Setup right away for professional advice on starting your firm, getting an import-export license, and comprehending the import and export procedures in the UAE. Our knowledgeable business setup advisers are available to answer all of your questions and help you through the procedure. Explore the fascinating import and export market in Dubai by getting in touch with Vista Corporate right away!