Business

How Do You Start An Import and Export Business In Dubai?

Start an Import Export Business in Dubai in 7 easy steps

If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner looking to start an import or export business, then there is no better place than Dubai across the globe. With its business-friendly environment, lenient tax policies, world-class infrastructure, advanced technology and strategic location, Dubai has become a hub for international trade.

Setup an Import Export Business in Dubai with Zero Hidden Cost

Dubai has a wonderful geographical location that connects it with the rest of the world through sea and air routes. According to a study, around 2/3 of the world’s population can reach Dubai in only 8 hours, which justifies the fantastic location of Dubai and makes it a hub for conducting international trade. Dubai is a brilliant destination to start your import export business owing to its strategic location and world-class infrastructure, but to commence your export and import business in Dubai is not an easy task. This blog will guide you through the process and benefits of starting an import export business in Dubai.

Dubai: A Prime Destination for Import-Export Business

For the past decade, Dubai has been engaged in trading activities and it is one of the vital reasons behind its rapidly growing economy. If you want to start an import export business, then Dubai is the perfect location for you given its cutting-edge technology, world class infrastructure and largest port.

In layman’s terms, an import-export business in Dubai is nothing but selling and buying goods between Dubai and other countries of the world. If you start an import and export business in Dubai, it will provide access to a large skilled workforce and the largest port that can help you grow your business manifolds through the sea route. Even the policies for foreign entrepreneurs and business owners are quite lenient, which ensures that Dubai has a business-friendly environment.

Choosing the Right Business Structure for Import Export Business in Dubai

If you want to start an import and export business in Dubai, you need to choose the right business structure based on your business strategies and plan. The different types of business structures for your import-export business in Dubai are listed below for your understanding.

Sole Proprietorship

If you are a small business owner who wants to start an import-export business in Dubai single-handedly, then you should go for a sole proprietorship form of business. You are the sole owner of this kind of business entity and are solely responsible for all the company’s profits and losses. You are not required to share the profits of the business with anyone else, but you also have to bear all the losses yourself. In this kind of business entity, you have unlimited liability, i.e., in case of debt repayment, even your personal assets can be utilized.

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Partnership

The other form of business entity for an import-export business in Dubai is a partnership; it enables you to have a partner(s) with whom you can share the profits and losses of the business. You can have an Emirati national or a foreigner as your partner in the import-export business in Dubai.

Limited Liability Company

This is the most preferred type of business entity in Dubai due to its ability to limit the liability of its owners or members. An LLC is a separate legal entity that can sue or get sued in its own name and also safeguards the personal assets of its owners or members from the liabilities of the business, i.e., in cases of repayment of debts your personal assets like home or car are safe and cannot be used to settle the debts of the company.

Free Zone Company

There are more than 30 free zones in Dubai; you can choose one based on the needs of your business and set up a company in the free zone. A free zone company enjoys various benefits like 100% foreign ownership, 100% tax exemption, 100% repatriation on profits, excellent infrastructural and transportation facilities and easy procedures for customs.

Branch Office

One more option for starting an import-export business in Dubai is setting up a branch office for your foreign company. A branch office is just an extension of your parent company and is not a separate business entity. It operates under the name of the parent company only and engages in similar functions. If you want to expand your existing brand to the global markets of Dubai, you can set up a branch of your existing company.  

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Benefits of an Import Export Business in Dubai

As you know, Dubai is a hub for international trade, but what are the reasons for Dubai becoming this hub? We will discuss some benefits of import-export business in Dubai below for your understanding:

Excellent Geographic Location

The first advantage of starting an import export business in Dubai is the excellent geographic location that connects it with the rest of the world. Dubai’s access is not limited to Asian or African markets, but it extends to the European markets. Moreover, being located in the centre of the Middle East, you can easily access the markets of Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. There is no other location around the globe that provides so much exposure for international trade.

Business Friendly Environment

The second benefit is the business-friendly environment of Dubai. Dubai government’s policies for business owners and entrepreneurs are very lenient and are framed with the objective of attracting foreign entrepreneurs and boosting the flow of foreign direct investment.

Largest Port

One more benefit of setting up an import-export business in Dubai is the world-class infrastructure of the city. It has one of the busiest airports globally, i.e., the Dubai International Airport and the largest man-made port, i.e., the Jebel Ali port. Having the largest port and one of the busiest airports enables it to export and import large quantities of commodities swiftly and smoothly. Moreover, it offers cutting-edge technology and access to a large skilled workforce.

Tax Advantages

The most important advantage of starting an import export business in Dubai is the tax benefits it offers to the businesses.

Rapidly Growing Economy

An additional benefit here is the rapidly growing economy of Dubai. Dubai has been achieving growth in its GDP year on year and has become a preferred destination for foreign entrepreneurs and business owners to expand its operations. Moreover, the government of Dubai has been working to improve the infrastructure and technology further to encourage more business owners to set up their businesses in their city.

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Starting an Import Export Business in Dubai: A Quick Guide

It is not a simple task to setup your import export business in Dubai and it involves various steps such as choosing a business structure, reserving a trade name, obtaining the business license etc. We have simplified the process into 7 easy steps mentioned below for your reference.

Step 1: Choose the Business Entity

The initial step to set up an import export business in Dubai is to select the form of business entity that you need to set up, i.e., you need to decide whether you want to start a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or any other form of legal entity. For example, if you want full control of your business and don’t want to share the profits with any other individual, then you can go for a sole proprietorship for your import-export business in Dubai. But if you want to share profits and losses with an individual(s), then you can opt for the partnership form of the business. On the other hand, if you want to limit your liability and safeguard your personal assets from the liabilities of the company, you should opt for a Limited liability company.

Step 2: Finalise a Name

The second step in starting an import and export business in Dubai is to select a name for your business. Your business should have a trade name that is unique and connects to your target consumers. While selecting a trade name for your import and export business in Dubai, you should remember that it should not violate public morality and should not include the names of any religion. The trade name of your business should be descriptive in nature, i.e., you should tell the customers what your business is. Moreover, there is no restriction on naming your business after your name, such as Faizal Khan Imports, but using only the initials of the name for your trade name is not allowed. This means that you can name your business Faizal Khan Imports, but you can’t name it FK Imports.

Step 3: Select a Location

After choosing a trade name for your business, you should now select a location for your import-export business in Dubai. You have an option to set up your business in either mainland Dubai or free zones. Both locations have their own pros and cons, and free zones provide 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation and 100% exemption on the payment of corporate or personal income tax. In the mainland, you are free to expand your business operations to other UAE markets. Based on your requirements and business plan, you can make the decision regarding the location of your business.

Step 4: Rent an Office Space

Following the selection of the location where you want to setup an import export business in Dubai, you should look for an office space to conduct your business operations. Owing to its world class infrastructure, Dubai is home to advanced office spaces and warehouses. You can choose as per the size and requirements of the business. 

Step 5: Apply for the Business License

Now that you have completed all the above steps, you need to apply for a business license in Dubai. You should fill out the application form, pay the specified amount of fees and submit the required documents to obtain your business license in Dubai. If you are willing to setup your business in Dubai free zones then you need to apply for the license with the appropriate free zone authority and in case you are willing to setup a business in the mainland, then you should apply with the Department of Economic Development.

Step 6: Registration with the Customs

Following the receipt of a business license, you should register your business with Dubai customs. The registration will provide you with a customs code that is essential for customs clearance of your goods.

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Step 7: Open a Business Bank Account

Following the receipt of your license, you are now eligible to start your import export business in Dubai. But before commencing your business you should open a business bank account in order to conduct financial transactions.

Conclusion

Dubai’s economy is growing rapidly, and it is the perfect time to set up your import-export business in Dubai and enter the global market. It provides easy access not only to the Middle Eastern markets of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait but also allows you to trade with the African, Asian and European Markets. Moreover, you don’t need to pay any personal or corporate income tax for businesses in Dubai, so this makes Dubai the most preferred location for business owners and entrepreneurs in recent times. We have provided some easy steps to take to start your import and export business in Dubai, such as selecting a type of business entity, choosing a trade name for your business, and adhering to all the guidelines and local laws. After this, you should finalise the location of your business, i.e., whether to set up your import or export business in Dubai freezones or mainland and then find an office space to conduct your business operations. The next steps include applying for a business license in Dubai by filling out the application form, paying the fees and submitting the required documents, registering with Dubai Customs, and opening a business bank account to conduct your business’s financial transactions.

FAQ’s

  1. Why should I choose Dubai to start my import and export business?

    Dubai has an excellent geographical location connecting it to the rest of the world via air and sea routes and a world-class infrastructure making it one of the fastest growing economies around the globe. The strategic location of Dubai is perfect for conducting international trade and makes it an appropriate choice for entrepreneurs and business owners to start an export and import business.

  2. What is an import export business in Dubai?

    An import export business in Dubai is nothing but a business of buying and selling goods between Dubai and other countries across the globe. 

  3. Where should I apply for the business license to start an import export business in Dubai?

    If you select your business location as Dubai mainland, then you need to apply to the Department of Economic Development for the business license, and in the case of a free zone company, you should apply to the specific free zone authority.

  4. Do I need any additional government approval to start an import and export business in Dubai?

    In order to start an import export business in Dubai, you may require additional approvals from the relevant government authorities based on the products you are exporting or importing.

  5. What are the steps to take to start an import-export business in Dubai?

    Starting an import export business in Dubai is not an easy task and involves various steps such as selecting a form of the business entity as per your business needs and strategy, selecting a trade name for your business, finalising the location (free zone or mainland), renting an office space, obtaining the business license, registering with the Dubai customs and opening a business bank account in a suitable bank.

  6. What are the benefits of doing an import export business in Dubai?

    Dubai is the perfect location for starting an import-export business, given its strategic location and tax benefits. It offers various benefits to business owners and entrepreneurs, such as excellent infrastructure that includes one of the busiest airports in the world and the largest port. Dubai has a fantastic geographical location that will provide you with easy access to the Asian, African and even European markets. Moreover, it is at the centre of the Middle East, which will allow you to conduct your trade with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait.

  7. What are the documents required to start an import export business in Dubai?

    There are several documents required for starting an import-export business in Dubai, such as the copy of passports of partners and shareholders, a detailed business plan, MOA, a certificate of trade name reservation, an NOC from the relevant authorities and proof of initial capital.

  8. What are things I need to take care of while selecting a name for my import export business in Dubai?

    Trade name reservation is an important step in starting your import and export business in Dubai. You should select a name that is unique and not similar or identical to any already existing business. The other important thing that you should be aware of is your trade name should not include the name of any religion and should not offend the morality of the public. It should be descriptive, i.e. it should convey to the customers about your products or services.

  9. What are the different types of business entities for starting an import export business in Dubai?

    If you are a business owner or entrepreneur interested in starting an import export business in Dubai, then you should select a business entity such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, branch office or free zone company. You can select a business entity based on your business requirements and plan.

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