UAE Trade License Guide – All You Need to Know

April 23, 2024
UAE Trade License

Home to one of the fastest-growing and most diverse economies in the world, the UAE has a long tradition of welcoming business and trade. Consistently ranked as one of the world’s ‘best places to do business’, it’s fast becoming a popular destination for forward-thinking entrepreneurs to set up new and exciting companies. Like most countries, it is a legal requirement for businesses to have a license in the UAE. For most business owners, this will mean acquiring a trade license, which defines specific areas of your business operations and can encompass a wide range of industries.

In this article, we will discuss UAE trade licenses and explore the different types of trade licenses, prices, and procedures. We will cover the following topics:

  • Steps to get your UAE trade license
  • Cost of a UAE trade license
  • Types of trade licenses in the UAE
  • Why do business in the UAE?
  • Why choose SPC Free Zone?

Steps to get your UAE trade license

If you’re ready to set up your business in the UAE but you’re concerned about how to go about it, we’ve broken the process down into three simple steps:

Step 1: Application submission

As part of the application process, you’ll need to choose your business activity or activities. This will enable the authorities to issue you with the correct type of trade license. You’ll also need to choose your company name in accordance with the UAE’s strict naming conventions. Once your application is approved, you can receive your license in as little as two hours, depending on the free zone.

Step 2: E-channel services authorisation

The UAE has introduced an a-channel survive to help speed up business set-up in the region. This portal eliminates unnecessary paperwork and makes it easier for you to obtain your entry permit. Once your entry permit has been issued, you can stay in the region for up to 60 days.

Step 3: Status change

Once you have your entry permit, you will need to activate your status change. Depending on your country of citizenship, you can either activate this in the country or by exiting and re-entering the emirates. Then you’ll need to undergo medical tests to acquire your Emirates ID. This card allows you to open bank accounts, rent properties and take out phone contracts.

Cost of a UAE trade license

The cost of a trade license in the UAE starts at AED 6,875. However, there are additional costs to consider too, such as multi-year licenses, visa quotas, and storage spaces. Prices vary depending on the type of business activity and trade license you require, too. For example, if you require an industrial trade license, you are required to pay for warehouse facilities or storage units.

Get in touch with the SPC Free Zone team today for a free quote tailored to your specific requirements. While applying for a trade license is a relatively simple process, our market-leading team will be happy to work with you to make the process as fast and affordable as possible.

Types of trade licenses in the UAE

In order to conduct business in the UAE, you need to ensure that you are applying for the correct trade license. There are currently three common types of trade licenses in the UAE: professional trade licenses, commercial trade licenses and industrial trade licenses.

Also known as a general trading license, the commercial trading license is the most common type of trade license in the UAE. It covers a wide range of businesses involved in commercial and trade activity in the UAE, including importing, exporting and commodities trading. With this license, entrepreneurs can trade in any number of unrelated goods under one license.

A professional license is designed for skilled entrepreneurs who wish to practice a profession in a specific field of expertise. For instance, entrepreneurs who wish to work in industries such as consultancy, law, accounting, engineering or company formation will need to apply for this type of license. This license makes it possible for professionals to be totally transparent about specific services and industries.

Finally, an industrial license is for entrepreneurs involved in the production and manufacturing of new products, such as food industries, textile manufacturing and equipment manufacturing. This type of visa requires businesses to operate from a physical office space or warehouse with the UAE free zone of their choice.

You will need to choose from more than 1,500 business activities in your license application to acquire the correct license. If you’re unsure about where to begin, you can reach out to our friendly advisors at SPC Free Zone who have helped other entrepreneurs navigate this process thousands of times before.

Why do business in the UAE?

For many aspiring entrepreneurs, doing business in the UAE is a no-brainer. As well as enjoying a strong banking system, first-rate transport and digital infrastructure, luxurious lifestyle and diverse economy, the UAE offers specific benefits to business owners, such as:

  • Speedy business setup

Setting up a company in the UAE is faster and simpler than most destinations across the globe.

  • Strategic location and time zone

The UAE enjoys a convenient location in the heart of the Middle East, with easy access to emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Europe.

  • Access to talent

The UAE is home to some of the world’s most prestigious higher education institutions, with a curriculum that incorporates entrepreneurship. It’s also one of the most ex-pat friendly destinations in the world.

  • Favourable tax regime

Entrepreneurs based in the UAE and its free zones can maximise their profits with one of the world’s most competitive tax regimes, including low income tax, and 100% foreign ownership.

  • Well-established startup and entrepreneurial scene

The UAE is heavily invested in startup businesses and is home to a huge network of business owners with whom budding entrepreneurs can connect and network.

  • Business-friendly ecosystem

The UAE government offers visa incentives for high-value talent, support schemes for startups, and one of the fastest-growing economies in MENA.

Why choose SPC Free Zone?

SPC Free Zone is located in the heart of the UAE, just 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport. Our team offers fast and flexible business setup in the UAE, conveniently located in Sharjah. We also offer immigration services on-site, which means you can get your trade license UAE issued in less than two hours.

At SPC Free Zone, you can also choose from more than 1,500 business activities, apply for 20 visas under one license, and apply for a dual-license option that offers both mainland and free zone on the same license. What’s more, you can also benefit from zero paid-up share capital, low corporate and personal income tax, and 100% foreign ownership. That means more profits for both your pocket and your business.

Interested in acquiring a trade license and launching a lucrative business in the UAE? Get in touch with SPC Free Zone now.

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