How to Start a Ship Chandlers Company in Dubai?: Procedure & Fees Explained

Want to start a ship chandlers company in Dubai? Discover the complete steps, tax benefits, license requirements as well as fees for registering your business in Dubai. Speak with our experts to register your business today.


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    start a ship chandlers company in dubai

    Set up a Ship Chandlers Business in Dubai

    Dubai, the vibrant hub of business and innovation in the heart of the United Arab Emirates, beckons entrepreneurs from around the world with its promising opportunities and conducive business environment. Among the several businesses flourishing in Dubai’s ever-changing terrain, establishing a ship chandlers company is particularly profitable. 

    In this article, we will delve into why Dubai is prime for ship chandler businesses, the process of setting up a business in Dubai, tax benefits, license requirements, key considerations, and more. So buckle up and join us as we embark on a journey to explore the seas of entrepreneurship in Dubai.

    Why Dubai is Prime for Ship Chandlers Businesses?

    Dubai is a key hub for marine trade because of its advantageous location at the intersection of the East and the West. The city is a great place for ship chandlers to operate because of its top-notch infrastructure, contemporary ports, and effective logistics. Businesses in the maritime industry benefit greatly from the facilitation of maritime activities, which is mostly the responsibility of the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA).

    Furthermore, Dubai is a desirable location for entrepreneurs wishing to launch their ship chandlers firm because of its business-friendly laws, investor-friendly policies, and tax breaks. The multinational workforce and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city offer a wide skill pool to meet the various demands of the maritime sector.

    Business Setup Options for Ship Chandlers in Dubai

    When it comes to setting up a ship chandlers company in Dubai, entrepreneurs have several options to choose from.

    The two primary business structures are:

    Free Zone Company 

    Establishing a business in Dubai’s free zones has several advantages, such as complete ownership, tax breaks, and streamlined company registration processes. Free zones like Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) Free Zone are particularly conducive to maritime businesses.

    Mainland Company 

    Opting for a mainland company allows entrepreneurs to operate anywhere in Dubai can conduct business without hindrance anywhere in the United Arab Emirates. Despite the fact that mainland businesses need a local sponsor or agent, they provide freedom in terms of market reach and operational procedures.

    How to Register Your Ship Chandlers Company in Dubai?

    Registering a ship chandlers company in Dubai involves several steps, but the process is streamlined to ensure ease of doing business.

    Here’s a brief overview:

    Select a Name for Your Business

    Select a distinctive and appropriate name for your ship chandlers company, ensuring compliance with Dubai’s naming regulations.

    Determine the Business Activities

    Clearly define the scope of your ship chandlers business, including the products and services you intend to offer.

    Submit Required Documents

    Gather and submit the required paperwork, which could include:

    • Passport copies of shareholders and directors
    • Memorandum of Association (MOA)
    • Articles of Association (AOA)
    • Lease agreement for office space
    • NOC from the relevant authorities

    Obtain Approvals and Licenses

    Based on your company’s activities, you may have to acquire certain approvals and licenses from regulatory bodies such as the DMCA.

    Register with the Department of Economic Development (DED)

    Mainland enterprises must register with the DED to acquire the necessary trade licenses and permits.

    Create a Corporate Bank Account 

    Once your company is registered, proceed to create a corporate bank account in Dubai to facilitate business transactions.

    Tax Benefits and Incentives for Ship Chandlers in Dubai

    Dubai offers a favourable tax environment for businesses, including ship chandler companies.

    Some of the key tax benefits and incentives include:

    • Corporate Tax Exemption: Due to Dubai’s lack of personal or corporate income taxes, companies are able to keep more of their profits for future development and expansion.
    • Customs Duty Exemption: Importing products into Dubai for trading or re-exporting is typically duty-free, which lowers ship chandlers’ operating expenses. 
    • Value Added Tax (VAT) Refund: Certain businesses may be eligible to claim VAT refunds on eligible expenses incurred in the course of business activities.
    • Free Zone Benefits: Companies operating within Dubai’s free zones enjoy additional incentives including complete foreign ownership, duty-free import and export, and money and profit repatriation.

    License Requirements and Key Considerations

    Obtaining the appropriate license is crucial for operating a ship chandlers company in Dubai. The kind of license needed may vary based on the nature of your company’s activities.

    Some key considerations to keep in mind include:

    • DMCA License: Ship chandlers companies operating within the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) Free Zone must obtain a license from the DMCA, which regulates maritime activities and ensures compliance with international standards.
    • Trading License: Mainland companies engaged in trading activities, including ship chandling, require a commercial trading license from the Department of Economic Development (DED).
    • Import/Export License: You must have an import/export license from the appropriate authorities if your ship chandler business includes importing or exporting commodities.
    • Local Representation: In order to facilitate company operations and serve as a link with government officials, mainland enterprises are required to designate a local sponsor or service agent.
    • Compliance with Regulations: Ensure compliance with relevant regulations, including maritime laws, customs regulations, and licensing requirements, to avoid any legal complications.

    Fees for Setting up Ship Chandlers Business in Dubai

    The fees associated with setting up a ship chandlers company in Dubai will differ based on your selected setup method, the size and complexity of your operation, and the specific licenses you require.

    Here’s a breakdown of some key cost factors:

    Business Setup Fees

    These typically cover costs associated with company registration, obtaining licenses, and securing visas for employees (if applicable). Expect fees to range from AED 15,000 (USD 4,000) for a basic free zone setup to significantly higher for a mainland company with a local service agent.

    Annual License Renewal

    Most trade licenses in Dubai require annual renewal fees. These fees typically range from a few thousand dirhams to tens of thousands, depending on the license type and location.

    Office Space and Storage

    The cost of office space and storage facilities will vary depending on the size and location you choose. Dubai offers a range of options, from cost-effective shared office spaces to dedicated warehouses in prime locations.


    Dubai presents a range of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to start a ship chandlers business. Dubai offers an optimal environment for corporate expansion and prosperity in the maritime sector because of its advantageous location, rules that are conducive to investment, tax breaks, and strong infrastructure. Entrepreneurs can confidently start and expand their ship chandlers business in Dubai by adhering to the guidelines for company formation, securing the required licenses, and maintaining compliance with laws.

    At OnDemand International, we specialize in assisting entrepreneurs and investors with business registration and setup services in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Our team of experts offers complete assistance to expedite the setup procedure and guarantee compliance with regulatory standards, from business registration to bank account creation and document gathering. Get in touch with us right now to begin your business adventure in Dubai and discover a plethora of prospects.paid up capital in 


    Tax incentives, 100% foreign ownership, and streamlined registration processes are some advantages of free zones. On the other hand, they might put restrictions on direct trade inside the United Arab Emirates.

    The license type you choose will depend on the extent of your services and the area you have selected for setup.

    Maintaining compliance with regulations set forth by the DMCA and other authorities is crucial. 

    Incentives for qualifying enterprises, including ship chandlers, are available in Dubai, including exemptions from corporate tax, customs duties, and VAT.