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How to Start an Import Export Business in Dubai?

By Sakshi Srivastava - 23 Mar 2022 Last Updated: 23 Mar 2022
How to Start an Import Export Business in Dubai?

Table of Contents 

  1. 1. Growth of Import Export Business in UAE
  2. 2. Import and Export License in Dubai
  3. 3. Import Export Business License Cost in Dubai
  4. 4. Documents required to get an Import Export License in Dubai
  5. 5. Procedure to get an Import Export License in Dubai
  6. 6. Customs Registration in Dubai
  7. 7. Conclusion

Import and export have been in operation for centuries. It is a business that meets the demand and supply for goods and commodities across territories and countries. As a result, import export business licenses are in high demand. An import is a product or commodity that is brought into one country from another. It is a product of the sending country. A product or commodity exported is one that is sent or transferred to another country. In the receiving country, it is considered an import. International trade refers to the exchange of goods and commodities.

International trade has had a significant impact on the UAE's economy. The UAE has become a key hub for international trade due to its stable trade relations with several countries around the world and its support for open trade. As a result, establishing an import and export business in Dubai is a popular business venture. In this blog, we will go over everything you need to know about Import Export Business in Dubai.

Growth of Import Export Business in UAE

The import and export business is thriving in the UAE for the following reasons

  • The UAE is one of the easiest places in the world to start a business.
  • It is strategically located between the continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa. Because of its central location, it is easy to travel to and from anywhere in the world.
  • It is well-connected to the rest of the world via air and water routes.
  • It has a great time zone that allows for seamless coordination and trade with countries in both the East and the West.

Import and Export License in Dubai

Import-export companies in Dubai must apply for a trade license and register their business in Dubai. To do so, you must apply to the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Import and export businesses require a Commercial License and will be registered as a Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Import Export Business License Cost in Dubai

The cost of an import-export license in Dubai is approximately AED 25,232 however, fees may vary in real-time

The general trading license fee, virtual office contract, application form, and import-export code fee are all included in the Import Export License Cost in Dubai. For investors who require a physical office setup, a one-year tenancy contract should be prepared based on the annual rent for the desired office space. As a result, the cost of an import-export license includes everything from obtaining a general trading license to applying for an import export code and renting an office space in order to successfully conduct global import-export operations from Dubai.

If you're bringing in goods to sell in your home country, you'll also need to consider about taxes. Any goods passing through a free zone and entering the local market are subject to a 5% duty (though this can be more on certain products).

Documents required to get an Import Export License in Dubai

To apply for an import and export business license, you must submit the following documents

  • Optional trade names
  • Business activity
  • All shareholders' passports have been copied.
  • A copy of the partner's UAE residence visa
  • If the partner is on a visit visa, a copy of the entry stamp or visa page is required.
  • Copy of local sponsor's passport and Emirates ID

Procedure to get an Import Export License in Dubai

The following steps are involved in applying for an import export license

Select your Business Activity

Choose your business activity from the DED's list of options.

Choose a Legal Form (business structure)

Your company's legal structure must correspond to the activity it performs. It will be a Limited Liability Company in this case.

Choose a Trade Name and get DED Approval for it.

You must submit at least three name options for your company.

Submit an Application to the DED for Preliminary Approval.

This approval indicates that the UAE Government does not object to your company establishing itself in the UAE. It is critical that you obtain this in order to proceed with the next steps.

Prepare and sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) or Letter of Agreement (LSA).

To sign the Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Local Service Agent (LSA) Agreement, the partner(s) and the local sponsor (UAE National) must be present. It should be noted that businesses owned entirely by non-GCC residents require the services of a local service agent.

*The MOA or LSA are signed electronically due to travel restrictions during the current global pandemic.

Create a Business Location

A rental agreement/tenancy contract for an office or shop must be provided.

Obtain any Additional Approvals that are required

This is determined by the trading activity you select.

Pay the Charges

You will be given a payment voucher.

Obtain the Trade License

This can be obtained at DED service centers or online via DED's website.

Customs Registration in Dubai

Dubai Customs is an essential government agency that plays an important role in the import and export industries. You must register your import and export company with Dubai Customs once you have received your commercial trade license from the Economic Department. This registration is done in order to obtain a unique Customs Code. Each time a company ships goods or commodities, the Customs Code assigned to the import-export companies in Dubai must be submitted. The Customs Code assigned to your company must be submitted each time goods and commodities are shipped.


Starting an import and export business in Dubai can be profitable and valuable in terms of expansion opportunities. Contact Dhanguard today for more expert advice on your business activity, obtaining an import-export business license, and learning about the UAE's import and export formalities.

For more information regarding the Import Export Business in Dubai connect to Dhanguard we will gladly assist you in every aspect.

Dhanguard provides the business setup and company formation services in Dubai, UAE with the guidance of our professional team of consultants. Faster and hassle-free company setup in Mainland and Freezone in UAE.

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