You are currently viewing Starting a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai, UAE
  • Post published:January 4, 2024

Dubai offers an interesting space for foodstuff trading business owners as the city has wide exposure to cuisines from different parts of the world. The blog ‘Starting a Foodstuff Trading Business in Dubai, UAE’ is your guide for starting a business in this busy city. It will help you understand all the details and every spice or ingredient has its own story here. Our experts will help you to explore the major procedures to start a successful foodstuff business in Dubai. Join us as we share knowledge, find special chances, and start your food success journey in the ever-evolving city of Dubai. Prepare to add excitement to your business and create a tasty spot in the city’s wide food quilt!

Obtaining Your Foodstuff Trading License in Dubai

For starting a business in Dubai mainland, the Department of Economy & Tourism (DET) gives the important licenses you need. This department watches over the complete sign-up process for businesses looking to start up in this area.

If you are into starting a foodstuff business in Dubai, you need to get a business license first. The recommended business setup for these companies is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which has 51-49 % ownership in shares. According to UAE law, this means that if a company owned by foreigners starts in Dubai mainland, it must work with someone from the UAE. This person is often called a local sponsor. So, the local backer gets 51% of ownership, while the foreign company can keep the rest at 49%. Well, here are the major steps of licensing in brief. They are:

  • Trade Name Certificate: Begin by obtaining a trade name certificate through the Department of Economy & Tourism.
  • Initial Approval: Request initial approval through the Invest in Dubai platform.
  • Approval from Dubai Municipality Food Control Department: Ensure compliance with food regulations by obtaining approval from the Dubai Municipality Food Control Department.
  • MOA Attestation from DET: Attest the Memorandum of Association (MOA) from the DET.
  • Registered Commercial Tenancy Contract: Obtain a registered Commercial Tenancy contract under the company trade name and initial approval from the Dubai Land Department (DLD).
  • Documents Submission in DET: Submit all necessary documents to the DET for further processing.
  • License Government Payment Voucher: Obtain the license government payment voucher required for the licensing process.
  • Issue the License: Complete the process by issuing the foodstuff trading license, allowing you to operate in Dubai Mainland legally.

Essential Documents required to launch a foodstuff trading business in Dubai

  • Passport copies of shareholders
  • Visa page of the shareholder – visit visa or residence visa
  • The Emirates ID of shareholders who have a residence visa
  • NOC from the current sponsor, if the shareholder has a residence visa

Process of Foodstuff Trading Company Formation

The process of foodstuff trading company formation can be a Herculean task. But with excellent business setup services in Dubai like Damaar, you can cut down the tasks and ease the whole process. Here are the major procedures of foodstuff trading company formation. Let us take a look at them.

Finalizing the Company Name

  • Complete the Documentation
  • Choose a Location
  • Acquire a Foodstuff Trading License
  • Create a Bank Account

Finalizing the Company Name

In the UAE, all businesses must follow a certain set of rules and must have a legal name for their work, foodstuff trading business is no exception. This requires making a list of three or four possible names and then sending it to the right authorities for finalization. The respective team approves the most suitable names for your business after serious thought and discussion. Then, you can pick from the approved names for your business. Choose the one that best fits your company’s main ideas and mission. However, it is important to be careful and follow the rules when you make a list of possible names for your business.

Complete the Documentation
To make the food trading business in Dubai smooth and trouble-free, it is very important to follow the rules for keeping records. So, it is important to get all the papers and start applying for needed permissions. You might also need extra documents from external sources. It is important to note that carrying out the Memorandum of Association (MoA) is a requirement in this procedure. In addition, the MoA needs to be checked by a certified notary public in Dubai.

Choose a Location
An important step in starting a food business is choosing the location carefully. Whether it is a big building for keeping things or just a small room, you need to follow government rules very carefully. Not doing so could stop you from getting permission to run your business. It is very important to set up machines that watch the environment closely day and night. They check for temperature and humidity all the time. Checking the stored food regularly is very important to keep it fresh. Also, it is important to clean the warehouse regularly so germs stay away. This helps make the place cleaner and follows rules.

Acquire a Foodstuff Trading License
To start a food business in Dubai, you must get a commercial license. To get this license, you need to send a formal form to the Department for Economic Development. You must add all necessary papers and proof with it. A big part of this process is getting a food trade license, a must-have permission needed for doing trade work. Importantly, this permission needs to be renewed every year. Thinking carefully about what jobs the business will do and the kinds of food to sell is very important. Some types of food might be part of separate activities in the trade license like the general trading license in Dubai, like juice or mineral water selling. When the planned activities are not part of the food trade license, permission from outside is needed before you start.

Create a Bank Account
The final step to start a business is setting up a bank account for it. In Dubai, many banks offer full business banking services. Even though the UAE has strict rules to stop money laundering, banks might trust you and open an account if you follow the guidelines and show needed papers. Plus, a strong business plan could help too.

Major Sub-Activities Under Foodstuff Trading

Food & beverages trading
Grains, cereals & legumes trading
Dates trading
Baby food trading
Flavors & fragrances trading
Canned & preserved food trading
Snack food trading
Dried vegetables & fruit trading
Frozen fish & seafood trading
Dairy products trading
Salted, preserved fish & seafood trading
Egg trading
Fresh & chilled & frozen meat trading
Honey & apiary accessories trading
Bread & bakery products trading
Pastry trading
Ice cream trading
Flour trading
Ghee & vegetable oil trading
Bottled water trading
Ghee & vegetable oil trading
Soft drinks & carbonated water trading
Juice trading
Ice trading
Potatoes trading
Vegetables & fruits trading