General Trading / E-CommerceLicense

General Trading / E-Commerce License in Dubai

Dubai has rapidly grown from the time when it was a trading outpost on the sea route and today is home to 3.3 million residents. Its population is only growing, thanks to a favorable business climate that sees thousands of investors set up shop in Dubai and hiring employees for their operations. Just about every industry sector is booming, and so it makes sense to set up a trading establishment or an e-commerce operation as well to take advantage of the growth that Dubai offers.

What is General Trading / E-Commerce License?

A trade license is the other name for a Business License that is mandatory to run a business operation. Because trade and commerce are strictly regulated in the United Arab Emirates, there are hundreds of designated business activities, each requiring a Business License. Sometimes, allied business activities can be undertaken with the help of a single Business License.
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A General Trading License specifically allows the holder of the Business License to trade in various items, such as would be the case with a spices store or a supermarket. However, this comes with its own set of restrictions on what you may trade in and what you may not. For example, alcoholic beverages, firearms, and medical / healthcare products cannot be sold without securing additional permits. Dealing with frozen foods and perishable vegetables too comes with its own set of restrictions – you must have a temperature- controlled storage area or godown apart from the retail area.

Why Apply for a General Trading / E-Commerce License in the UAE?

Because of Dubai’s population, its well-connected public transport system and its network of roads (meaning easy accessibility wherever you go), and a high disposable income, there is a lot of demand for general trading establishments and e-commerce stores which deliver to the client’s location. Dubai has the second highest number of five-star hotels in the world, and all these fine establishments, as well as four-star hotels, three-star hotels, resorts, and other players in the hospitality and tourism industry, are dependent on general trading establishments to supply them with fresh produce and provisions. There are general trading establishments and e-commerce stores that cater to institutional customers as well as the residents of Dubai, who in turn are dependent on these general trading establishments and e-commerce stores for their various needs.
The United Arab Emirates makes it easy for those running general trading establishments and e-commerce stores with its attractive tax structure. You are also allowed to fully repatriate your profits, or even your invested capital. There are no forex restrictions. The local currency is in fact pegged to the US dollar, lending itself to a very stable environment, free from the frequent changes that are normally associated with forex conversion rates.

General Trading / E-Commerce License Activities

A General Trading License or an E-Commerce License allows you to trade in almost everything. You could trade in multiple items at the same time, even if they are unrelated to each other. For example, you could deal in baked goods as well as toys, pet supplies and perfumes, or any other combination that comes to your mind. Of course, there are licensing regulations such as how tobacco cannot be sold to minors, but for the most part, almost anything – barring a few restricted items – can be sold in the United Arab Emirates.

You also have the opportunity to hire as many workers as you need for your business operations. Foreign workers can legally bring their family over to the United Arab Emirates on spouse / dependent visas, subject to them meeting the minimum income criteria.

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List of Documents Required for General Trading License / E-Commerce License in Dubai, UAE

Documents required

This is applicable for all Directors, Shareholders, and Managers of the company.
If you want to incorporate a subsidiary of a company, notarized and legalized copies of the following from the UAE embassy in the country of origin are also required at the time of application.

Benefits of Obtaining a General Trading / E-Commerce License in the UAE

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