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Cheapest General Trading License in UAE | 2023 Guide

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur with dreams of establishing your own general trading business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? The UAE, known for its dynamic business environment and strategic location, offers a wealth of opportunities for traders, importers, and exporters. However, one crucial step in realizing your business dreams is obtaining a general trading license.

What Is a General Trading License?

A general trading license in the UAE allows you to engage in a wide range of trading activities, from importing and exporting goods to selling products locally. It’s one of the most versatile licenses and is highly sought after by business enthusiasts worldwide. However, it’s essential to understand that costs associated with obtaining a general trading license can vary depending on several factors.

Factors Affecting License Costs

Before diving into the cheapest options available in 2023, let’s explore the key factors that can influence the cost of obtaining a general trading license in the UAE:

  • Emirate Choice: The UAE comprises several emirates, each with its own rules and fee structures. Licensing costs may differ significantly depending on whether you choose Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, or any other emirate.
  • Free Zone vs. Mainland: UAE offers businesses two primary locations for setting up: free zones and the mainland. Free zones often provide cost-effective licensing options, but they come with specific restrictions regarding the scope of operations and target markets. Mainland setups offer more freedom but may involve higher setup and operational costs.
  • License Package: Different business setup providers offer various license packages that may include additional services such as office space, visas, and bank account assistance. These packages can impact your overall expenses.
  • Business Activities: The specific activities your business intends to engage in can influence your licensing costs. For example, trading in certain restricted or regulated goods may require additional approvals and fees.

Cheapest Options Available For General license in Various Free Zones

Now that we’ve explored the factors affecting licensing costs let’s dig deep into some of the cheapest options available in 2023 to obtain a general trading license in the UAE.


  1. IFZA (International Free Zone Authority) – Sharjah

IFZA, based in Sharjah, is gaining popularity as a cost-effective free zone for business setup in the UAE. It offers affordable general trading licenses, starting as low as AED 6,200. IFZA provides a straightforward and streamlined process, making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs seeking budget-friendly solutions.

  1. Ajman Free Zone

Ajman Free Zone, located in the emirate of Ajman, is another budget-friendly choice for obtaining a general trading license. It offers competitive rates and comprehensive packages that include a trade license, office space, and more. While exact prices may vary, general trading licenses can start from around AED 12,000.

  1. Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) Free Trade Zone

UAQ Free Trade Zone, located in the emirate of Umm Al Quwain, is gaining recognition for its economical business setup options. It offers cost-effective general trading licenses, often priced around AED 13,000. Additionally, its strategic location makes it an attractive choice for businesses targeting northern Emirates.

  1. Dubai South (formerly known as Dubai World Central)

Dubai South is a major business hub in Dubai, offering a diverse range of business setup options. While Dubai South might not be the absolute cheapest, it provides value for money with its strategic location, modern infrastructure, and access to Al Maktoum International Airport. General trading licenses in Dubai South can start from approximately AED 15,000.

  1. RAKEZ (Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone)

RAKEZ, situated in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, is known for its cost-effective business setup solutions. It offers general trading licenses that can be quite competitive, typically starting from AED 15,000. RAKEZ provides a wide range of business facilities and support services.

  1. Fujairah Creative City Free Zone

Located in the emirate of Fujairah, the Creative City Free Zone is an excellent option for entrepreneurs seeking affordable general trading licenses. This free zone has gained recognition for its budget-friendly packages, starting at approximately AED 15,000. It’s an attractive choice for those who want to explore business opportunities on the east coast of the UAE.

  1. Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)

JAFZA, one of the oldest and largest free zones in the UAE, provides a range of business opportunities. While it may not be the most cost-effective choice, it offers a wide range of facilities and services that can be valuable for general trading businesses. General trading licenses in JAFZA can start from approximately AED 25,000.

In Conclusion: Your Path to Affordable General Trading in the UAE

Obtaining a general trading license in the UAE doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. By carefully considering factors like emirate choice, type of business setup, and specific requirements, you can find affordable options that suit your budget. Each of the mentioned free zones and economic zones has its unique advantages, so it’s essential to weigh your priorities and business needs when making your decision.

At BizDaddy, we understand that navigating the UAE’s business landscape can be challenging. That’s why we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Our expert consultants can help you identify the most cost-effective solution for your general trading business, ensuring a smooth and successful setup process.

In conclusion, while these options offer some of the cheapest general trading licenses in the UAE in 2023, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research, consider your business goals, and consult with experts to make an informed decision. With the right strategy and guidance, your dream of starting a thriving trading business in the UAE can become a reality.


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