15 February, 2024

How to Get a Import Export License in Dubai, UAE – Steps & Cost Involved

import export license in dubai

Import export License in Dubai opens doors to a world of opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or a budding entrepreneur, understanding the process of obtaining an import export license is crucial. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essentials of acquiring a license in Dubai, covering costs, required documents, application procedures, and the importance of Dubai Customs registration. Additionally, we’ll delve into the significance of the UAE Import Export Code (IEC) and why RadiantBiz is your ideal partner in this endeavor.

What is Import Export License in Dubai?

The Import Export License in Dubai is a vital document enabling individuals and companies to engage in international trade activities. It grants legal permission to import goods into Dubai and export them to other countries. This license ensures adherence to customs regulations and trade laws, facilitating smooth transactions. With an Import Export License, businesses can harness Dubai’s strategic location and extensive logistics infrastructure to expand their global reach, seize new opportunities.

How to Get an Import Export License in Dubai?

Applying for an import-export business license in the UAE involves several important steps, ensuring that your business complies with local regulations and is set up for success:

  • Choose Your Business Activity: Review the list of activities provided by the Department of Economic Development (DED) and select the one that best fits your import-export business.
  • Select Legal Form: Determine the legal structure for your business. For an import-export business, the most common legal form is a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
  • Select Trade Name: Choose a unique trade name for your business and obtain approval for it from the DED. You’ll need to submit at least three name options.
  • Apply for Initial Approval: Seek initial approval from the DED, indicating that the UAE government does not object to the establishment of your business.
  • Prepare and Sign MOA or LSA Agreement: If your business involves non-GCC residents, you’ll need to sign either a Memorandum of Association (MOA) or a Local Service Agent (LSA) Agreement. Due to travel restrictions during the pandemic, these documents can be signed electronically.
  • Establish Business Location: Arrange for a physical business location by securing an office or shop rental agreement/tenancy contract.
  • Get Additional Approvals: Depending on your chosen trading activities, you may need to obtain additional approvals from relevant authorities.
  • Pay the Fees: Once all necessary approvals are obtained, pay the required fees. A payment voucher will be issued to you.
  • Collect the Trade License: Your import-export business license can be collected from DED’s service centers or online through their website.

By following these steps diligently and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, you can successfully obtain your import-export business license in the UAE.

Cost of an Import Export Business License in Dubai, UAE?

Starting an import-export business in Dubai can be a bit of a financial maze, but fear not, we’ll break it down for you. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Licensing Fees: These are your ticket to enter the game. Expect to pay up to AED 25,000 to get your business officially registered.

2. Office Space Rent: Every business needs a home base. Rent for office space in Dubai can start from AED 5,000 per month, depending on the location and size of the space you need.

3. Visa Costs: Bringing in the talent or manpower? Each visa could set you back roughly AED 3,000 to AED 5,000. Multiply that by the number of visas you need, and you’ve got a significant chunk of your budget accounted for.

4. Legal Consultation Fees: Don’t navigate the legal waters alone. Hiring a legal expert for consultation could save you headaches down the line, but it comes at a cost.

5. Customs-Related Expenses: Moving goods across borders isn’t free. Factor in costs like customs duties, tariffs, and shipping fees. These expenses can add up quickly and should not be overlooked.

Now, let’s talk numbers. The initial investment for your import-export venture could fall anywhere between AED 50,000 to AED 100,000 or even more. This range depends on various factors such as the scale of your business and specific requirements.

Also Read : E Trade License in Dubai

Documents Required for Obtaining an Import Export Trading License?

To obtain an import export license in Dubai, you’ll need several documents:

  1. Trade license and Memorandum of Association of your newly formed company.
  2. Passport Copy of the Owner.
  3. Owner’s Visa Copy (if UAE residence visa is stamped).
  4. Tenancy Agreement of the Office/Warehouse.
  5. Request Letter for the Import Export Code.
  6. Import Export Code Fee Payment.

You can submit these documents and make the fee payment through Dubai Customs’ online portal. Once submitted, the Port and Customs authority will review the documents, and upon approval, the import export code will be issued to your company. This code is essential for conducting import export activities in Dubai and ensures compliance with customs regulations


How to Apply for Import Export License in UAE?

The process of applying for an import export license in the UAE involves thorough planning and adherence to regulatory requirements. To streamline your application process:

  • Seek professional assistance for import Export License in Dubai from experienced consultants like RadiantBiz who can guide you through the entire process.
  • Ensure timely submission of all required documents and fees to avoid delays in processing.
  • Familiarize yourself with import export regulations and compliance standards to ensure smooth operations.

What is UAE Import Export Code (IEC)?

The UAE Import Export Code (IEC), also known as the Customs Registration Number, is a unique identification number assigned to importers and exporters by Dubai Customs. This code is mandatory for conducting import export activities in Dubai and facilitates customs clearance processes, tracking of shipments, and compliance with customs regulations.

Also Read : How to Get a General Trading License in Dubai

Import Export Registration in Dubai:

Registration with Dubai Customs is a prerequisite for import export businesses in Dubai. To register:

  1. Submit the required documents to Dubai Customs.
  2. Complete the customs registration form.
  3. Pay the registration fees.
  4. Receive your customs registration certificate.

Also Read : Gold Trading License in Dubai

Why Choose RadiantBiz for your Import Export License in Dubai?

RadiantBiz offers comprehensive services to assist you in obtaining your import export license in Dubai. With our expertise and industry knowledge, we provide personalized guidance and support at every step of the process. From initial company setup to license application and Dubai Customs registration, we ensure a seamless experience, allowing you to focus on growing your import export business successfully.


Navigating the process of obtaining an import export license in Dubai may seem daunting, but with the right guidance and support, it becomes a manageable endeavor. By understanding the costs, required documents, application procedures, and the importance of Dubai Customs registration, you can embark on your import export journey with confidence. Partnering with experienced consultants like RadiantBiz ensures a smooth and efficient licensing process, setting the stage for your success in Dubai vibrant import export market.

Are you ready to setup a business in Dubai with RadiantBiz? If you want to learn about starting business in UAE, you can contact us by calling +971 50 797 4832 or sending a WhatsApp message to +971 50 777 5554. You can also email us at [email protected] for assistance.

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