How to Start Import Export Business in Dubai, UAE in 2024

import export business in dubai

Taking into account the global need for products, the import export business in Dubai is a profitable business in 2024. Its geographical location, between Asia, Europe and Africa, makes Dubai a perfect hub for international trade. It is one of the easiest places to start an import export business due to the city’s dominance as a destination for a business-friendly environment, excellent infrastructure, and international connectivity.

In this guide, we will focus on the key stages, prices, and resources required for entrepreneurs to follow the process step by step and start an effective import export business in Dubai, UAE.

Cost of an Import-Export License in Dubai, UAE?

import export business in dubai

The trade license is an essential part of any import export business in Dubai. This is a license with a varying price according to the Emirates, which demonstrates that the license needs to be carefully analyzed depending on the specific business, requirements and operational activities.

An import export license in Dubai costs AED 24,000. However, these numbers are just approximations and may vary according to your business scenario. Also, licensing charges are based on the local courts under which the import and export company is registered.

Cost of import export license forms an essential element of the budgetary planning. This is an analysis for some Emirates:

  • Dubai: It is from AED 24000.
  • Sharjah: From AED 23000 plus.
  • Ajman: AED 24,000 approximately.
  • Ras Al Khaimah: Shaping around the AED 20,000.

However, care should be applied when this stage used during an import export business startup in the city of Dubai without overlooking the types of cost involved in acquiring the said trade license. This is the first important step that makes your business survive the competitive, and global environment of Dubai.

Documents Required for Import Export Trading Business License in Dubai, UAE

Besides, documentation has to be meticulously approached, if you are starting your journey in the import export business in Dubai. In order to be granted an import export license in Dubai, meeting particular requirements is vital.

Import export trading business license required documents include the following:

  • Trade name options: You should pick a name that resonates with your business vision and values.
  • Business activity: Expressly specify the type of your import export business activities.
  • Passport copies of all shareholders: All parties involved in the company must validly identify themselves.
  • UAE residence visa copy of partner(s): Supply valid evidence of residence visa for the partners that are engaged in the import export company in Dubai.
  • Copy of entry stamp or visa page if the partner is on visit visa: Check the legal status of partners on visit visas.
  • Passport copy and Emirates ID of local sponsor: Provide local sponsorship information.

In general, ensuring accuracy and completeness simplifies the process of obtaining an import export business license in Dubai.

How to Obtain Import Export Business License in Dubai?

Obtaining an import export business license in Dubai is a pretty straightforward process. Driving to your destination without any difficulties, use this ultimate guide.

  1. Choose your business activity: Look at the list of the Department of Economic Development and find the activity matching your import export business ideas.
  2. Select the legal form: In most cases, import export business needs to know the best business structure which is usually a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
  3. Propose and get approval for your trade name: A DED approved name should be submitted at least three.
  4. Apply for initial approval from DED: Getting permission from the government to set up your import export business in Dubai.
  5. Prepare and sign the MOA or LSA Agreement: In this case, electronically sign the Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Local Service Agent (LSA) Agreement.
  6. Establish a business location: Moreover, provide an office or shop rental agreement which is one of the most important aspects of your import export business.
  7. Get additional approvals, if any: Based on the trading activity you select and based on the legal requirement by the authorities, fulfill any other remaining requirements.
  8. Pay the fees: Settle with the payments voucher, which was issued to you.
  9. Collect the trade license: Collect your trade license, either from DED’s service centers or online from the website.

Indeed, this simple procedure guarantees that entrepreneurs can easily obtain the required licenses to start their import export business in Dubai.

Partner with Connect Business Centers for Import Export Business in Dubai, UAE

import export business in dubai

Choosing the right partner is crucial for entering the import export business world in Dubai. Connect Business Centers stands out as the most ideal option for entrepreneurs interested in starting the best import export business in Dubai. Here is why:

  • Expert Guidance: Connect Business Centers with professionals giving accountable consultancy to the point of starting an import export company.
  • Streamlined Setup Process: Their simplified process guarantees easy and simple initiation wasting neither time nor effort of entrepreneurs.
  • Strategic Location: Leverage strategic locations to position your business at the heart of Dubai’s energetic trade scene.
  • Comprehensive Support: Connect Business Centers fills all your business needs, from licensing to office spaces.
  • Networking Opportunities: Forge networks with entrepreneurs to collaborate and foster growth opportunities for the import export company in Dubai.
  • Flexibility in Services: You can customize solutions depending on your import export enterprise in Dubai needs, and benefit from the freedom of choice.

Opt for Connect Business Centers for a smooth journey into the import export business in Dubai. They are accompanied by an innovative client-centric approach to guarantee the success of your venture in the dynamic UAE market.

Register Company with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Register your import-export business with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to open it. Here is how:

  • Visit the website of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Submit the registration form with the company information.
  • Pay the registration fee online.
  • Wait until registration confirmation from the Dubai Chamber.
  • Once approved, obtain a certificate of registration for the application.

Registering with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry validates the legality of your import export business in Dubai. Also, it signifies compliance with local regulations and enhances credibility in the market.

However, the association with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry provides a variety of benefits, such as the receipt of market data, business events, and specialized networking forums. Certainly, utilizing these resources can greatly boost the import export business in Dubai and set you for a success for many years to come.

Get Trade License from Department of Economic Development

One of the major steps in the import export business in Dubai is to get a trade license from the Department of Economic Development. A process that is sine qua non for legalizing your activities and gaining recognition in the market. Streamline this process by adhering to the guidelines and submitting relevant documentation accordingly.

  • Establish your business activities in compliance with the regulating standards.
  • Provide documentation as soon as possible and correctly.

There is the need to comply with the regulation in order to start import export business in Dubai. This license empowers you to participate in import-export businesses in Dubai and elsewhere.

Understanding the process of getting a trade license is crucial. Moreover, this not only builds trust in your business but also affords opportunities for growth and expansion.

Open Bank Account in Dubai, UAE

If you have an import export business in Dubai then opening up a bank account in Dubai is a very vital step. This facilitates convenient flow of money and adherence to banking rules and regulations.

  • Financial Transactions: A bank account streamlines financial transactions.
  • Compliance: Banks regulatory compliance.

To open a bank account in Dubai, follow these steps

  1. Research: Some of the banks you may want to research in Dubai would be those that work to match your business needs.
  2. Documentation: Have the required documents ready, such as identity and company registration papers.
  3. Appointment: First, book an appointment with the selected bank to start the account opening process.
  4. Meeting: Bank representative meeting should be answered with the submission of documents for review.
  5. Verification: The bank checks and does the required checks before approval of the account.
  6. Activation: Once approved, activate your bank account and utilize it for import-export business transactions.

If you open a bank account in Dubai, you can enjoy various financial services that will assist you in running your business. Also, it also shows your adherence to the rule of law and financial discipline of the UAE.

Acquire Necessary Import and Export Licenses from UAE Ministry of Economy

To obtain crucial import and export permits in Dubai, you need to connect with the UAE Ministry of Economy. This step is essential for legal compliance and operational efficiency.
Here is the approach to take:

  • Contact the UAE Ministry of Economy: Contact the ministry to know the specifications that your business might need.
  • Submit Required Documents: Submit all the required documents, such as the business registration documents and the required permits.
  • Attend Regulatory Meetings: Interact with ministry representatives and participate in meetings to address licensing process and rules.
  • Follow Guidelines Carefully: Follow all advice and directions from the ministry to enable you to get the license.
  • Stay Updated: If there are any changes in import-export regulations and licensing procedures, be aware of such changes in order to remain compliant.

Indeed, obtaining licenses from the UAE Ministry of Economy is one of the key stages to learn how to start import export business in Dubai. Such a step-by-step approach and adherence to regulations will ensure that the business is legal and will remain in operation.

Renting Office Space

Finding appropriate office space is an essential component for your import export business in Dubai. Here are some essential considerations:

  • Know the cost you are willing to spend and the area of your choice in Dubai.
  • Search for available office spaces according to your standards.
  • Consider dimensions, facilities, and rent conditions.
  • Book appointments to visit the proposed office spaces to determine their viability.
  • Make deals with landlords and get good deals.
  • On completion, execute the lease agreement and start running your business from your new facility.

The right office space protects the right environment for the growth and success of the import export business in Dubai.

Find a Reliable Helper: Your Go-To Freight Forwarder for Easy Shipping to and from Dubai, UAE

In your import export business in Dubai, having a good freight forwarder is very important. They provide knowledge on handling shipment freight and providing easy navigation. In fact, freight forwarders have many global partnerships which ensure smooth shipment to and from Dubai.

Furthermore, they help with customs clearance, reducing delays and adhering to regulations. Outsourcing logistics to freight forwarders also yields good long-term financials. As you delegate the shipments to reliable forwarders, you relax in choosing the business growth direction and stay relaxed.

Finding a reliable freight forwarder to partner with is a strategic move towards success in Dubai’s import-export terrain. So, this provides them with a solid base on which they can improve their operations for business growth.


Finally, import export business in Dubai is a vibrant area where many opportunities for growth and success abound.

As a result of its strategic location, strong infrastructure, and business-friendly environment, Dubai is an excellent location for international trade. By utilizing the city’s strengths, entrepreneurs can tap into global markets and broaden their business scope.

It is by following the steps outlined above and working with the right service providers, such as Connect Business Centers, that entrepreneurs can manage the import-export operations successfully. Businesses, with their knowledge and assistance, are able to simplify processes, reduce risks, and increase benefits.

However, business setup and licensing are the only part of the process; it is also necessary to be aware of market trends, regulations, and industry changes. Also, the essence of international trade is constant learning and development.

In general, setting up an import export business in Dubai is a venture that is worth the while because it promises the well-deserved successes and the long-term profits and growth. Starting with zeal, intelligent planning, and the appropriate assistance, entrepreneurs can develop successful companies that contribute to Dubai’s dynamic economy.

Interested in learning more about import export business in Dubai? Connect with Connect Business Centers for details. Call +971 43 316 688 or email for assistance.


Kate works at Connect Business Centers as Sales Manager, She is graduated from London and moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2017, She is a specialized agent for finding Business Centers, Office space, Co-working spaces to the clients based on their requirement and in addition to it, she also happens to be specialized in UAE mainland Company formation, Golden Visa, Bookkeeping, VAT registration and PRO services.

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