Trading in Dubai: Starting Your Trade Business the Right Way

Dubai is a well-known business destination, especially for investments and startup companies. The steadfast economic boom makes it an ideal place to start a business. Whether you are big business owner or an up-and-coming entrepreneur, you can get a better start with a sustainable economic environment offered by this Emirate.
And despite the global financial setback brought by the pandemic, Dubai, and UAE in general, were able to overcome economic hurdles and limitation and even come out strong in 2022. Just in 2021, it was reported that e-Trader’s license applications were up by 6%, with a total of 6,217 applications recorded.
The trading environment in Dubai was segmented into two, with the professional segment taking 79% of the total applications and 21% for the commercial segment. This means that a lot of professionals are taking a chance in starting their practice in Dubai.
But the commerce industry is not far behind; popular business activities such as retail, Information Technology, fashion, handicrafts, publishing and marketing service marked a staggering increase in 2021 and the trend is expected to continue to year.

There are compounding factors why a lot of aspiring business owners choose Dubai as their bread and butter. Probably, the top reason is the advantages offered by the emirate and the free zones in Dubai to businesses.

It is common knowledge how convenient and easy it is for new businesses to set up a company in Dubai and that is all thanks to streamlined processes and other appealing benefits such as:
  1. Encouraging business environment
  2. Availability of infrastructure and resources
  3. High levels of innovation across all industries
  4. Tax-free benefits
  5. 100% company ownership
  6. Strategic business location
  7. Diverse market and target audience

Starting a business in Dubai is a leap of faith. You need to take certain steps so you can set up a company in Dubai and start your operations. But you need be aware of the system and the procedures that you need to go through so you can start your business the right way.

If you are planning in the near future to test the Dubai business scene, here are some things that you need to keep in mind:

At this point, you probably have a general idea of what business activity you want to offer but you need to be very specific about it so you can zero in on the specific target audience that you want to capture. For example, if you want to try retailing, what kind of products and items would you want to offer? The basic necessities that you can offer to the general public would be food and clothing. But it would be best if you can be more detailed and specific so you can make specific plans and objectives before you setup a business in Dubai.
For professionals, you need to enumerate what services and solutions you like to offer in Dubai. It is advisable to test the waters first before you widen your scope. Try to offer a few services first, and when you are able to establish your business in Dubai, you can plan for business services upgrades and expansions.

There are over 30 free zones in Dubai alone and each free zone is different from the other. Although they offer general advantages for aspiring business owners, you need to choose the best jurisdiction that would offer you the most benefits to grow your business.

Another factor that you need to consider is the nature of your business. There are specialized Dubai free zones that cater to specific industries. For example, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Internet City cater to Information Technology-related companies and businesses while Dubai Media City houses media and digital marketing related trades.

Some of the well-known Dubai free zones are:

The emirate of Dubai is open to almost all kinds of business structures. However, as an aspiring business owner, you need to be familiar with the different types of company setup and understand how your nature of business is aligned to the entity you will be choosing. Each legal structure has their own terms and stipulations.

For instance, if you plan to run your business by yourself, it would be best to go for the sole proprietorship category. If you have a local partner, your business will fall into the limited liability company (LLC) type. There are other types of business entities that you can explore and apply for, depending on the nature of your business, the decided investment ratio and organizational structure. It would be advisable to talk with expert business consultants in UAE like ExpressPRO so you can make a sound decision when it comes to business technicalities.

A business plan is not just an application formality; it can be used as a guide for starting and expanding your business. The more detailed your business plan is, the more clarity you will have of how you will proceed with your business and how to fine tune some of the details.
Below are a few elements that should not be missing in your business plan:
  • Business or brand name
  • Executive summary and business objectives
  • Vision
  • Organizational structure
  • Definition and nature of your business
  • Specific products and services you will offer
  • Source of capital and financial plan
  • Target audience
  • Operational plan
  • Business and marketing strategy

Take your time and be thorough when drafting your business plan since it will serve as the backbone of your company. If you don’t know how you will go about your business plan, you can schedule a consultation with a professional business setup company in UAE for advice and guidance.

Dubai is blessed with great business offices and state of the art infrastructure. But don’t just pick the first location that you come across. You need to align your location with the nature of your business, your business strategy, and your target market. This step is crucial as it can make or break your business.

You might have already narrowed down your choices to a few free zones but when you are picking the exact location, you need to take the following factors into consideration:

  • Accessibility
  • Competition
  • Operational need
  • Rent Cost
  • Security
  • Potential growth
When you get to this part of the process, you will realize that you are a few steps away from starting your business, but you need to pay close attention to this process as this might be the most technical part of setting up a business in Dubai. Although the process to set up a business in Dubai is streamlined, you need to be aware of the proper steps that you need to undertake so you can start your business the right way.
You need to apply for initial approval from Dubai DED. They will request you to submit documents such as business registration and licensing form, a copy of your passport or valid ID, your residency permit/visa, company’s articles of association, and your business feasibility or plan.
Once you get the initial approval, you are only a few steps to launching your business. Your business consultant in UAE would advise you to apply for a corporate bank account. The good news is, you can apply a corporate business account from a number of banks in Dubai like HSBC, Mashreq Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Citibank, et al.
After completing your trade license application, you need to present your initial approval receipt and the other documents you presented beforehand and the approval you received from specific government entities related to your business. You may also need to add the lease contract for your business location (provided by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency) and pay the corresponding fee.

Once you completed the process, your business is all set and ready to run. Starting a business in Dubai can open up doors for you, but you need to make sure that you are prepared and know the fundamentals on how to set up a company in Dubai. Experts at ExpressPRO will provide you the necessary assistance so you can tackle each step correctly and have you start your business in no time. Contact ExpressPRO at +971 4 5840955 or send your inquiry to