Dubai attracts traders in all manner of goods from car parts and clothes to textiles and timber. With a strategic location at the crossroads of many of the world’s largest markets, it’s not difficult to see why.
As a result, Dubai is home to many industrial estates and warehouse facilities. Traders can buy or lease these premises to store goods after import or prepare goods for dispatch. However, doing so requires a license.
So, if you’re new to the UAE and planning to operate a trading business or offer warehousing services, you’ll need to know how to apply for one.
Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) has you covered. Here, we take a look at the general warehouse license application process, costs, and more.
Benefits of a general warehouse license in Dubai
With a general warehouse license, you can offer a much-needed solution to the UAE’s many businesses. In a country with such high levels of import and export, warehousing services are always in demand.
On top of this, there are all the benefits of starting any business in Dubai. There’s the easy incorporation process, low barriers to entry, and incredibly welcoming business environment.
And, of course, there is also the nation’s tax rate – still 0% on corporate and personal income.
Steps to get a general warehouse license in Dubai
Before you can apply for a general warehouse license in Dubai, you need to obtain a trade license. With the help of a company formation expert such as BIZ, both applications are incredibly straightforward.
There are a few critical decisions to make before applying for a trade license in Dubai, UAE. The first is to clearly outline the activities you wish to undertake. Activities must be chosen from a published list.
You’ll also need to set time aside to choose a company name, perhaps more than you may expect. As well as choosing a catchy name that suits your business, you’ll also need to abide by the UAE’s company naming conventions.
In short, you should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e., Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting. You must also check that your chosen name is available to register.
With these decisions made, you can apply for your trade license. You can make this application yourself to the Department of Economic Development (DED). However, it is much more straightforward when you work with BIZ. We can manage the entire process on your behalf.
In any case, you are usually required to provide a few details and some basic documentation, including:
- A completed application form.
- Articles of incorporation (if necessary).
- Passport copies for all shareholders.
- Brief description of intended business activities.
Once you have your trade license, you can apply for your general warehouse license. This application should be made to Dubai Customs. You can do this online or in-person at a Customs office. Again, BIZ can manage this process for you.
Documents required to get a warehouse license in Dubai
As part of your application, you will be required to provide a selection of the following:
- Cash or Bank Guarantee (AED 50,000 for private warehouse and AED 1,500,000 for public warehouse)
- Trade license copy
- Insurance policy copy
- Civil defence certificate copy
- Ownership/Lease verification certificate copy
- Warehouse plan
- List of commodities to be stored
- Details of inventory system
As the holder of a general warehouse license, also known as a customs warehouse license, you can store goods under the supervision of Customs for a specified period without paying customs duty.
Licenses are usually issued within seven working days.
Applying for your visa
You will also need a visa to operate your warehouse in the UAE.
As well as applying for your visa, you can also sponsor visas for company employees, family, and domestic staff such as housekeepers or drivers.
The maximum number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your company, your chosen setup and, for dependant visas, your personal earnings.
In all cases, the visa application process follows the same five steps:
- Apply for an entry permit.
- Status adjustment.
- Medical and fitness test.
- Emirates ID registration.
- Visa stamping.
Dubai general warehouse license costs
The warehouse license price depends on whether you intend to operate a private warehouse for your own goods or a public warehouse open to others.
A private warehouse license costs AED 25,000, whereas a public warehouse license costs AED 150,000. On top of this, you will also be charged a AED 20 Knowledge and Innovation fee.
While not a fee, you will need to show proof of funds, either cash or a bank guarantee, to obtain your license. The figure is AED 50,000 for a private warehouse and AED 1,500,000 for a public warehouse.
Are you ready to operate a warehouse in Dubai, UAE?
If you’re armed with the right knowledge, setting up a business in the UAE doesn’t have to be overly complex.
That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.
To help you to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) when establishing a new company in the UAE.
We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
As well as handling your license application, BIZ can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.
We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visas applications required to trade in the UAE.
In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.