How to apply for a gold trade license in Dubai


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The UAE is the ideal location for trade. With direct links to every corner of the world and a global position almost exactly where East meets West, there are few, if any, better places to start a trading business.

Trading is booming in the UAE – in everything from electronics and car parts to spices and textiles. But there is one commodity traded in this part of the world that, quite literally, outshines the rest. And that is gold.

Gold trading has a long and rich history in the UAE – one that continues today. As recently as October last year, the UAE government outlined plans for a federal gold trading platform in a move aimed at further enhancing the country’s standing as a hub for gold trading.

As well as a burgeoning market, the UAE is also home to a fast and straightforward incorporation process that, with the right guidance, could see you trading within a matter of days.


How to do gold business in Dubai

When starting a gold business in Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE, there are several options available to you. The first decision you’ll need to make concerns the type of setup you wish to run. This can be either a free zone company or a mainland business.

There are several free zones within the UAE that permit gold trading but perhaps none are more suited than Dubai Gold and Diamond Park. This sprawling free zone features manufacturing blocks, warehousing and a large retail centre where traders sell their wares to the public.

If you do not intend to sell directly to the public but instead wish to import and export gold from the UAE, you may be better suited to another zone – perhaps one outside Dubai if you are looking to keep costs down.

At any UAE free zone, you can expect to benefit from a quick and easy incorporation process, ongoing business support and financial incentives such as tax exemptions and zero currency restrictions. You’re also free to repatriate capital and profit back to your country of origin.

You also have the option of setting up in the UAE mainland. The main advantage here being that you are free to sell gold at any of the UAE’s famous gold souks. Again, if you are not intending to sell directly to the public, a free zone may be the best option for your business.


How to obtain a gold trading license in Dubai

First things first, before applying for a gold trading license in Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE, you should engage with a company setup expert to ensure you are armed with the right knowledge about the process. A company setup expert can also manage the entire application process on your behalf.

Step one: Decide on your company name

This is a hugely important step when establishing business in the UAE. There are a few things to keep in mind when making this decision. You must abide by a strict, yet easy to follow, set of naming conventions. Once again, a company setup expert can help you with this step.

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.


Step two: Applying for your license

Now to the second and most important step – your license application.

If you are setting up in the mainland, you can make your application directly to the Department of Economic Development or equivalent in another emirate.

If you are setting up in a free zone, then you can make your application directly to the managing authority of your chosen free zone.

In most cases, free zone licenses are issued in a matter of days. To ensure a smooth process, it is once again a good idea to instruct the services of a company formation specialist at this stage.

Whether making your application yourself, or through a company formation agent, you are usually only required to provide a few details and some basic documentation, including:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport copy of the proposed owner or owners
  • Two colour passport size photos.


Step three: Applying for your visas

Just like applying for your trade license, with the right guidance, the process of applying for your own visa, as well as those of your employees, is particular, yet straightforward. Again, an expert in UAE company formation can help you with this step.

As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others for their visas too. This could be a spouse, parent or child, or a domestic worker such as a housekeeper.

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.


Dubai or UAE gold trading license cost

The total cost of setting up a gold trading business in Dubai and the wider UAE will depend on both the size of your business and your company location.

If you are looking for a ballpark figure, Fujairah Creative City is a good example. A trading license here, inclusive of one visa, costs around AED 22,000. You can also add the use of the on-site coworking facility to this package, taking the cost to around AED 25,000.


How to start a gold business in Dubai

If you’re armed with the right knowledge, getting a gold trading license in Dubai 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 Set Hub 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, Set Hub 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 that are 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.