Your Simple 10 Step Guide to Obtain E-Commerce License in Dubai

The Emirate of Dubai has been a pioneer in business innovation as the state is focused on attracting international entrepreneurs, business people and organisations to set up company operations in Dubai. The emirate is open to foreign direct investment, international partnerships and multi-national organisations operating in the region, this is due to the fact that government recognises the contribution of the business sector to the country's infrastructural growth, economic progress and employment scenario.

In terms of the business ecosystem, the government of Dubai is highly flexible in absorbing the latest trends in the international business market and catching up industry standards by creating comprehensive laws, and regulations that support the cutting-edge industries, start-ups and businesses working in those sectors such as (i.e., E-commerce, blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning). By allowing the latest, advanced and modern industry sectors to operate with customised business-friendly regulations, minimum requirements and low tax rate, Dubai is becoming a desirable location internationally for business leaders, entrepreneurs to start their legal business entity.

E-Commerce Business in Dubai

E-Commerce business market is booming internationally, the Emirate of Dubai has rapidly adopted for the changes in the online technology which has drastically changed the way the consumers shop for products. Development in the E-commerce sector has brought forth improve in a diverse set of industries as this technology is adopted by all the business sectors worldwide.

Consumers in UAE are swiftly catching up to the online and mobile shopping as more than ninety per cent of the region's population has internet access. The e-commerce trends in UAE opens doors for internet businesses to enter and succeed in the market. Gradually the trends are further fuelled by the rise of emerging markets in Asia and Africa, as these regions display positive growth in the Internet-based economy which gives opportunities for companies to operate in that region from UAE in a safe, regulated environment. The companies can take advantage of the facilities, infrastructure and supportive business ecosystem in Dubai for setting up their base operations as a start-up or SME for operating in UAE and expanding their presence internationally.

How to Start an E-Commerce Company in Dubai?

The roadmap for E-commerce business in Dubai is evident as the government has made significant efforts to establish itself as an e-commerce hub in the UAE. Determined to attract numerous companies in digital, media and internet business sector the Emirate of Dubai has built multiple free zones. The free zones in Dubai offer unique space for internet businesses, digital, media and software companies. These companies in the zones have contributed to the UAE’s economy by providing world-class products and services in the form of e-commerce and others.

It should be no surprise that the rapid growth, faster profits and smaller teams are the way to go for a business in the e-commerce sector, with limited resources you can start an E-Commerce business in Dubai and you can grow expeditiously. With the massive potential for growth in the industry e-commerce is not primarily the act of buying and selling products online, performing vital business operations such as logistics, supply chain, warehouses and suppliers.

If you’re looking to start an e-commerce company in UAE, the Limited Liability Company structure is the most flexible form of legal business entity that you can choose for operating an internet business.

Free Zones for E-Commerce in Dubai

Other zones for E-Commerce in UAE

The 10 Steps for Obtaining an E-Commerce License in Dubai

Step 1:

Choose the location to start your business in the UAE. You have the option to start your company in Mainland or Free zone, but each one has its advantages and limitations.

Step 2:

If you're a resident in UAE, then you should possess a valid identity card, or you must apply for a UAE work visa or avail visa services.

Decide on a legal business structure for your company, Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most popular form for legal business entity chosen by entrepreneurs and business leaders entering into the industry.

Step 4:

Design and register your trade name; as you're an e-commerce business, it is better if the trade name or business name is easy to remember.

Step 5:

Apply for an E-Commerce license with the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Step 6:

After obtaining an e-commerce business license, apply for the initial approval certificate. The initial approval certificate is a no objection certificate from the authority to start your business operations. This can be obtained from DED if the company is in the Mainland or from the free zone authority.

Step 7:

Draft a Memorandum of Association for your company along with the sponsor or partner or investor and submit the documents to the DED.

Step 8:

Register your physical office in UAE; this can be a flexible-office space address that has to be registered as per mandatory legal requirements.

Step 9:

Acquire the final approval after completed all the above steps. The business license usually takes around 1-7 days to obtain and allows you to start full-fledged operations.

Step 10:

Register your business a port and customs authorities in UAE so that your business is authorised with an importer's code. The UAE customs impose a customs duty of five per cent on imported goods. The companies that come under free zone will not have import duty since they have to sell their product/services within the free zones.

Best Places to Start your E-Commerce Company in Dubai

Even though you can start your E-Commerce company in Dubai mainland, setting up your operations in free zone offers you the maximum advantage as the zones provide tax benefits, purpose-built infrastructure and special legislation allowing hundred per cent foreign ownership. By understanding your business requirements, we at Business Setup Worldwide can help you choose the right location to set up your company in Dubai.

We at Business Setup Worldwide can help you with business setup in Dubai with all the support you need in terms of market research, company incorporation, licensing, and legal services. Notably, our E-Commerce solution offers you a full-fledged solution for your business, right from visa application & processing, UAE e-commerce licensing, obtaining office flex-spaces for rent, trusted e-commerce payment platform partner, logistics and warehousing partner who can support your business to operate effortlessly.

Contact us, for knowing more about starting an e-commerce business in Dubai. Our expert team in UAE can guide you professionally taking care of your business needs and offer solutions to sustain your company in UAE effectively. We also work with well-established organisations in expanding their operations internationally in UAE as we can provide professional services that are essential for business operations.

About the Author

narayanan@bsworldwide.com's picture

Narayanan has been a ghostwriter for the past 4 years. As an undergrad in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, he has a well-founded interest in developing sustainable solutions with innovative technology. Intellectually curious, he has a wide range of interests ranging from Renewable Energy, Electronics, Technology, Military Science, Geopolitics, International Relations, and world history.