Start Your Import Export Business In Dubai

Start Import Export Business In Dubai


In Dubai, like in many other countries, the import and export of goods are regulated by government authorities. To engage in import and export activities in Dubai, you typically need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Here’s an overview of the process of obtaining an import-export license in Dubai

Before applying for an import-export license, you need to establish a legal entity for your business in Dubai. This can be in the form of a mainland company, free zone company, or offshore company, depending on your business requirements.

Trade Name Registration:

Choose a unique and appropriate trade name for your business. Ensure it complies with the guidelines set by the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the relevant free zone authority.

Business Activity Selection:

Clearly define the scope of your import-export business activities. This will help determine the type of license you need.

Choose the Right Licensing Authority:

Mainland Business:

If you plan to operate your business within the mainland of Dubai, you will need to obtain a commercial license from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Free Zone Business:

If you prefer to set up in one of Dubai’s many free zones, you’ll need to apply for a license from the respective free zone authority (e.g., Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, etc.). Free zones offer various benefits, such as tax exemptions and full ownership for foreigners.

Submit Required Documents:

Prepare the necessary documents, which typically include:

  • Passport copies of shareholders and partners
  • Visa copies
  • Business plan
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the relevant authorities
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA) or Service Agreement (for free zone companies)
  • Trade name reservation certificate
  • Proof of initial capital

Application Submission: Submit your application along with the required documents to the relevant authority (DED or the chosen free zone).

Payment of Fees:

Pay the required license fees and any other applicable charges.

Approval and Issuance: Once your application is approved, you will receive your import-export license.

Customs Registration: After obtaining your license, you’ll need to register with Dubai Customs to obtain a customs code. This code is necessary for customs clearance.


Ensure that you comply with all relevant regulations and requirements related to import and export in Dubai. This includes obtaining any additional permits or certifications needed for specific types of goods.


Import-export licenses typically need to be renewed annually, so be sure to keep track of renewal dates to avoid any disruptions in your business operations.

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