How to start trading in the UAE

For a quick and successful start look into the specifics of incorporating and running a
trading business in the market of a country with unique economic opportunities

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The United Arab Emirates is a low-tax jurisdiction with a high level of economic stability and security. Its high-quality infrastructure and promising sales market provide unique and exciting opportunities to develop a trading business. At the same time, achieving success requires a sound understanding of local laws and market traditions. SORP provides this. We will help shape a successful business model and ensure its implementation.

Opportunities that you find when incorporating a trading business in the UAE


High dependence on imports means strong demand, backed by a well-developed infrastructure and minimal customs burden

High demand for imported goods in the domestic market, low rates of import duties, a common customs area with all GCC countries, an efficient system of containerized international shipping, ease of customs clearance, preferential tax treatment
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and re-export

Ample sales markets across the 6 GCC countries, ultra-modern logistics solutions and the state’s preferential tax policy

Free trade agreements with the Gulf countries enable duty-free trading, VAT refunds, no export taxes, a large market for re-export, minimum bureaucracy, high-quality infrastructure and a wide sales market all make the exporting trade attractive.
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Trade under
the UAE flag

Access to international markets, investment protection and hassle-free capital withdrawal all help to maximize profits

Availability of legal tools for open pricing, tax optimization, increased profits, stability of the dirham and absence of foreign exchange controls. Anonymity of private data, favorable geographic location and prestige of the jurisdiction.
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Factors to consider when organizing trade in the UAE


A license is required to conduct trade in the local UAE market, as well as for other types of business

Certain trading activities that previously required the appointment of a local partner (LLC form) are now fully exempt from such obligations for the main activities, thereby providing significant advantages to setting up a Mainland business
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of certification

Importing goods into the UAE requires product certification and obtaining an import permit

Imported goods have to be certified to check that they conform to UAE national standards and technical regulations. For some categories of goods, testing is mandatory and special permits must be obtained to trade them in the local UAE market.
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Trade and logistics

Finding the best trade logistics solutions is the key to successful trade in the UAE

Selecting reliable suppliers and carriers, organizing fast cost-effective shipment and delivery of goods, optimization of costs for warehousing of goods are all important tasks that require solutions when setting up trade activities in the UAE.
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Advantages of the UAE for doing trading business

Tax incentives

Low VAT rate of 5% on goods in the domestic market and the absence of any other taxes allow you to retain the maximum profits from trade in the UAE.

Purchasing power

An affluent population of high earners and affordable lending programs mean steady growth of consumer demand in the UAE’s domestic market.

Financial stability

The country's economic stability and state investment protection, reliability of the UAE banking system and good market prospects guarantee minimal risks for a trading business.

State guarantees

Investment protection and opportunities for fair competition are guaranteed because both foreign and local business people are treated equally, with identical business conditions.

Developed infrastructure

The UAE enjoys the latest technologies and logistics systems, providing rapid transport, acceptance and shipment of goods, and their proper storage.

Geographical location

The UAE is an international trade hub and widely recognized regional logistics center. Its location at the intersection of Europe, Africa and Asia is the gateway to the Arab world.

SORP expert solutions for formation of a trading business in the UAE

Business model

We will identify a suitable business
license, then select the best legal
entity type for your activities


Fast incorporation through our
close collaboration with the state
licensing authorities

Outsourcing of core
business processes

Administrative, tax, accounting,
legal and PRO support by SORP
Group experts 24/7

business address

Rent space in our SORP business
center for office accommodation
and fast licensing procedures

Opening bank

We steer you through passing
the KYC procedures using our
close cooperation with banks

Local partner or agent
for LLC incorporation

Nominee service from SORP
Investment LLC protected by
waiver of rights in the court

SORP Consulting solutions for trading business in the UAE and abroad

  • Business hypothesis validation

    The basis for optimal licensing and launch of your trading business, as well as the possibility of expanding into international markets.

  • Methodologies and business analysis

    We will conduct market and competitive research, select areas for doing business in the UAE and implement an effective strategy.

  • Opening bank accounts

    Close cooperation with leading UAE banks guarantees passing legally required KYC quickly and professionally.

  • International tax planning

    Individual solutions based on UAE legislation to improve the efficiency of tax optimization schemes for international business .

  • Registration of tax residency

    Help in obtaining a tax domicile certificate as proof of compliance with requirements of belonging to UAE jurisdiction.

  • Economic substance confirmation

    Proof that the company operates and is managed at the place of incorporation and that its affairs belong under UAE jurisdiction.

Key success factors for a trading business in the UAE

  • Favorable tax climate

    The absence of corporate tax and one of the lowest VAT rates in the world, coupled with a high standard of living and consumer demand, create an ideal business environment for the development of trade in the Arab Emirates market, attracting hundreds of thousands of foreign investors and entrepreneurs to the country every year.

  • Well-developed banking system

    In September 2020, the assets of the UAE banking sector amounted to AED 3,252.5 billion, which is 7.6% higher than in September 2019. There are 48 banks in the country, 27 of which are foreign. They offer a wide range of products and services, low rates, leasing and credit programs, the latest digital technologies, mobile and online banking.

  • High purchasing power

    The standard of living and per capita income ($ 43,103 in 2020) in the United Arab Emirates ensures high consumption and constant demand in the domestic market, including for expensive goods such as jewelry, luxury cars, exclusive items, etc. The UAE is in the TOP-10 countries the world in terms of purchasing power.

  • Modern logistics solutions

    The UAE has the best transport infrastructure in the Middle East and ranks 11th in the world in terms of logistics efficiency. An innovative project has started in Dubai that will include a network to support unmanned cargo transportation with ground infrastructure, drone ports, loading bays and service stations.

  • Low level of bureaucracy

    Typified by transparency of procedures, reduction of bureaucratic delays due to widespread digitalization and successful implementation of blockchain technology in the systems for providing public services. In particular, the Blockchain Business Platform (UBRP) was created in Dubai in 2019, simplifying the processes of incorporating companies and obtaining licenses.

  • Promising domestic market

    The volume of retail trade in the UAE in 2020 amounted to $ 58 billion. Steady market expansion is assured because of a constantly growing consumer base due to the migratory population that is always increasing and the millions of tourists who visit every year. Dubai is one of the ten most attractive cities in the world and about $ 40 billion was spent there in 2020 by 16.73 million tourists from 233 countries. Experts agree that the UAE will continue to increase trade volumes and the numbers will at least double by 2022 despite the global crisis.

SORP's long-term experience guarantees success for your trading company

SORP Group is a leading consulting group providing the full range of services for business incorporation, management and support in the UAE and abroad. We offer you our proven expertise, impeccable reputation, great opportunities and significant assets:

Comprehensive Services

SORP offers comprehensive support for acquired companies and their shareholders: from licensing and maintaining bank accounts to obtaining the status of a tax resident of the country

Individual Approach

We understand that each client's requirements are unique. We treat every business individually to tailor the right services to achieve your priorities

15 Years of Successful Work

We have helped thousands of clients acquire, build and develop businesses in the UAE.

Banking Support

Assistance in choosing a suitable bank for your purposes, support with the bank account opening, and passing KYC procedures (know your customer).

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