Over the years, Dubai has become an international hub of trade in the Middle East with import and export clocking in high volumes. According to Dubai Customs data for 2020, Dubai’s imports of foodstuffs were recorded at AED 34.7bn, exports were at AED 10bn, and re-exports were reported to be AED 7.3bn. Further, Dubai is home to a number of local and international restaurants & cafes that depend on the supply of quality food items. Therefore, initiating the process of business setup in Dubai will turn out to be a lucrative venture for foodstuff traders.
When it comes to initiating the process of company formation in Dubai, the location matters the most. Starting a mainland company is ideal for Foodstuff traders compare to free zones as it offers unlimited access to the UAE market along with 100% foreign ownership. Consult with the best business setup consultants in Dubai to make the process hassle-free. Read ahead for some key insights about starting a foodstuff trading business in Dubai Mainland.
License required for foodstuff trading business in Dubai
The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the competent authority that issues trade licenses for mainland companies in Dubai. You need to apply for a Commercial License for starting a Foodstuff trading business in Dubai Mainland. A Foodstuff trading company needs to be incorporated as a Limited Liability Company ( LLC) with more than one shareholder.
Activities that come under Foodstuff trading are eligible for 100% foreign ownership in Dubai Mainland. This eliminates the erstwhile requirement of a UAE national holding at least 51% shares of the company in Dubai Mainland. The new ownership regime took effect from 1st June 2021 making company formation in Dubai Mainland more attractive.
Company formation process in Dubai Mainland
The process of business setup in Dubai Mainland involves a series of highly streamlined steps that need to be executed meticulously. The following steps are vital to obtaining a Foodstuff trading license in Dubai Mainland:
Provide three trade name options for approval from DED
Obtain Initial Approval
Sign the Memorandum of Association (MOA) duly notarised by notary public
Rent an office/warehouse; submit the tenancy contract along with the Ejari
Submit the Ejari and the tenancy contract to Dubai Municipality’s Food Control Department
Obtain external approvals, if any
Collect the payment voucher
Make the total payment and collect the trade license
Sub-activities under Foodstuff Trading in Dubai
The foodstuff trading is a broader activity. Under it, a wide range of sub activities will come. The following are some of the sub-activities that will come under your trade license.
Ghee & Vegetable Oil Trading
Grains, Cereals & Legumes Trading
Mineral Water Trading
Snack Food Trading
Soft Drinks & Carbonated Water Trading
Fruits and Vegetable Trading
Registration with Dubai Municipality
Dubai Municipality is the government authority that ensures that the public is getting safe and healthy food for consumption. The Municipality regulates and controls food trading and make sure that the players in the sector follow the best practices. In line with this, every company engaged in food trading is required to register with Dubai Municipality.
If your company require the import of foodstuff, you must adhere to the following requirements set out by the Dubai Municipality Food Control department:
a) Registering the company with Dubai Municipality Food Import and Re-export System (FIRS): it will make you eligible to make food import requests and track the status of your import, from inspection to release
b) obtain approval for food labelling for all items that you will be importing: this will ensure that your food labelling is as per the government standards and saves you from the rejection of the consignment
c) Register all food products with Dubai Municipality FIRS before importing them
d) Obtain a FIT analysis result from the Dubai Central Food Laboratory – This is to confirm that the food products you import are fit for public consumption
Registration with Dubai Customs
Once DED issues the Foodstuff trading license, proceed further to register the company with Dubai Customs for facilitating the import and export of food items. You will get a unique Customs Code after registration which is essential during the import-export process. To gain further clarity on the various registration and import-export processes regarding foodstuff trading, you may seek the guidance of business setup consultants in Dubai.
How Can Jitendra Business Consultants Help You?
The process of business setup in Dubai Mainland involves a series of complex steps that need to be undertaken with care. Starting a foodstuff trading business requires approvals from Dubai Municipality and registration with Dubai Customs. A new entrepreneur unaware of the process will struggle and that’s why they are advised to get help from the best business setup consultants in Dubai such as Jitendra Business Consultants (JBC). JBC will make the process of company formation in Dubai easier for the entrepreneurs by providing services such as visa processing, bank account opening, VAT registration, accounting and audit etc.