One of the most popular business activities in the UAE is General Trading as many clients wish to take advantage of Importing and Exporting with no taxes. A General Trade license gives you the freedom and flexibility to trade in just about any commodity allowable under the DED Activity List. There are certain commodities that are not permitted to be traded with a General Trading license and those are the type of products that require special approvals or clearances from different UAE Municipalities. Examples of these type of products are medical products, guns, alcohol and cars as they all need special approvals and cannot be traded under a General Trade license. These products are allowed to be traded however under a specific Commercial Trade license and with the proper approvals.

Some of our clients, who setup a General Trading company, had their first activity as trading in garments. After time, they realized that they could make more money trading in computer products as the UAE advances in technology and cities like Dubai are moving closer to a Smart City. Because this company had a General Trading License, they did not have to apply for a completely separate license in order to start trading in computer products. If they had a specific Trade License in Garments only, they would have to pay more money and go through a process of adding the activity to trade in computer products. Like this company, it is wise to choose a General Trade license from the start because it allows you to shift in business practices in the future.


Setting up a General Trading Business in the UAE is not difficult. Many free zones offer the license as do various local departments of economic development in all the Emirates