General Trading License in Dubai: Types and Application Procedure Explained

This article is about General Trading License in Dubai. Read the Complete article to know more about the procedure, documentation and benefits.


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    General Tradng License in Dubai

    Dubai stands out as a prominent hub for entrepreneurs and investors in the ever-changing global business landscape. It’s no surprise that obtaining a general trading license in Dubai has become one of the most sought-after opportunities in the business world, given its strategic location, vibrant economy, and investor-friendly policies. General trading License is an important factor for setup a company in Dubai. This in-depth guide will delve into the complexities of a general trading license in Dubai, distinguishing it from other trade licenses and providing invaluable insights into the entire process.

    What is a General Trading License in Dubai?

    General trading is the versatile and dynamic activity of trading in a broad array of commodities across multiple industries. The issuance of general trading licenses in Dubai falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Economic Development (DED). According to the DED, general trading encompasses commercial firms engaged in importing, trading, and re-exporting goods, in compliance with UAE government regulations. While some trading activities may require specific approvals, a general trading license allows companies to operate across diverse sectors, from machinery and chemicals to real estate and foodstuff trading, all under a single license.

    General Trading License vs. Regular Trade License

    To provide further clarity, let’s compare the characteristics of a general trading license and a regular trade license:

    General Trading License

    Regular Trade License

    Permits trade across multiple industries

    Trade limit is only for one industry

    The licence is relatively more expensive.

    The licence is relatively less expensive.

    Allows trading a wide range of products

    allows trading only one group of products

    Provides a wide scope for business diversification

    Offers no scope for business diversification

    Application Procedure for General Trading License in Dubai

    The process of applying for a general trading license in Dubai is straightforward and involves the following steps:

    • Submit all required documents to the DED.
    • Receive the government payment voucher.
    • Pay the necessary fees.
    • Obtain your general trading license.

    Business Activities Under Dubai General Trading License

    General trading licenses in Dubai open doors to a wide spectrum of business activities. Some of the most common activities covered by a general trading license include:

    • Import and Export
    • Retail Store Operations
    • Online Selling
    • Trading Multiple Products
    • Medical Product Trading (Dubai Health Authority approval required)

    Types of General Trading Licenses in Dubai

    There are different types of general Trading License in Dubai:

    • Free Zone Licenses
    • Offshore License
    • Mainland License

    Documents Required for General Trading License in Dubai

    The documentation required for a general trading license in the UAE  depends on your residency status:

    Non-UAE Resident

    • Passport copy
    • UAE visit visa copy

    UAE Resident

    • Passport copy
    • UAE residence visa copy
    • Emirates ID copy

    Benefits of a General Trading License in Dubai

    Acquiring a general trading license in Dubai offers a multitude of advantages, making it a highly attractive option for entrepreneurs. Some of the key benefits include

    • 100% ownership of your business
    • The flexibility to obtain the license from your country of residence without travelling to Dubai
    • Quick issuance of the trade license (as fast as one hour)
    • No mandatory requirement for an office space
    • Full repatriation of profits and capital
    • There are no restrictions on the number of activities or products that can be carried out under a single licence.

    Conclusion: The OnDemand International Advantage

    In the competitive landscape of business setup in Dubai, finding the most cost-effective general trading license can be a daunting task. OnDemand International, with over two decades of experience, has been a trusted partner for local and international entrepreneurs looking to establish and maintain their businesses in Dubai and the UAE.

    Our team of seasoned corporate advisors offers comprehensive business setup services, from guiding you through the process of obtaining a general trading license in Dubai to assisting with other aspects, such as opening a bank account. When you choose OnDemand International, you can be confident in receiving transparent and reliable assistance throughout your business journey.


    The cost of a general trading license in Dubai can range from approximately AED 15,000 to AED 50,000, depending on various factors such as the business location, warehouse size, office space, additional approvals, jurisdiction, and visa applications.

    Yes, a General Trading Licence can be obtained in a Dubai Free Zone. Free zones provide several advantages, including 100% foreign ownership, no corporate tax, and no customs duties.

    A General Trading Licence application typically takes 5-10 working days to process.

    Yes, a General Trading Licence can be renewed annually, provided that the regulations are followed and the necessary fees are paid.