Getting an e-commerce license in Dubai

Currently, thanks to the arrival of COVID-19, electronic commerce has become a profitable business for entrepreneurs. Especially in the United Arab Emirates, because the inhabitants prefer to make their purchases online, instead of the traditional way. If you are a merchant who wants to start this type of business, you should know that you need an e-commerce license in Dubai.

In this article, we are going to teach you all the information you will need to obtain an e-commerce license in Dubai. First of all, we will give you a small introduction to the world of e-commerce. Then, we are going to teach you how you can open your business online and how you can get a UAE e-commerce license. Also, you will see all the types of e-commerce licenses that exist in the UAE.

  1. What is the Dubai e-commerce license?
  2. Do you know the types of e-commerce licenses in the UAE?
  3. Step-by-step guide on how to open an electronic business
  4. Learn how to get an e-commerce license in Dubai
  5. Contact EOR Middle East to support you in the process of opening your electronic business

1. What is the Dubai e-commerce license?

E-commerce is simply a method of making money online. Therefore, this can be selling goods or offering services over the internet. With eCommerce in Dubai, you can make money from anything you can imagine. As a result, you can have anything from online grocery stores to an agency to book private jets. Nevertheless, do not forget that an establishment card is also necessary for these businesses.

In Dubai, the e-commerce license is one of the most sought-after. However, even if your license is not related to e-commerce itself, this does not mean that you will not be able to sell online in the UAE. In the UAE, e-commerce companies are in charge of selling any of their products or services online.

Currently, in the market, practically any company can be considered electronic commerce. Every business has at least some online presence and this is growing dramatically. Also, you will be able to open a company in Dubai by doing any business activity and start doing it online. Remember that, if you have employees, it is best to find a payroll outsourcing business to provide payments.

This license is required by your providers or their partners, including UAE payment gateway providers. If you plan to start e-commerce and want to hire staff outside the country, you can choose to hire remote workers. In addition, these workers, if they wish, can apply for a remote work visa in Dubai.

2. Do you know the types of e-commerce licenses in the UAE?

There are different types of e-commerce licenses in the UAE. Mainly four types of e-commerce licenses are offered in Dubai. You can opt for the licenses taking into account your business activity and your nationality. Below, you can see these types of licenses:

2.1 The e-merchant license

In Dubai, the e-commerce license is supervised by the economic development department. Furthermore, it can only be obtained by citizens of the UAE and GCC residing in Dubai. The e-commerce license in the UAE can only be obtained under one property. You will not be able to have a physical office space or open a store using this license.

2.2 The portal license

In Dubai, there are other e-commerce licenses and the portal license is one of them. This license can be obtained by persons who are not citizens of the UAE. You will be able to start an online business with this portal license to link buyers and sellers.

The portal license is ideal for listing websites that include products, reservations, or services. This license has a minimal cost when applying for a commercial establishment in the continental region. It is important to note that the cost of business licenses varies depending on the requirements of your business.

2.3 The virtual company license

Dubai Economy was commissioned to launch a virtual business license. This allows foreign investors and non-UAE residents to undertake business activities in the region. However, this license is only limited to three sectors:

  • Computer programming and related activities.
  • Design activities.
  • Services related to printing and advertising.

2.4 The self-employed license

Currently, the self-employed are legalized in the UAE. Therefore, any self-employed person can apply for a freelance license. With this license, you can advertise and provide all of your services online. This can be done in the UAE and around the world.

This license is the perfect solution for designers, TI professionals, personal assistants, tutors, and other types of common freelancers.

3. Step-by-step guide on how to open an electronic business

Currently, one of the best ways to earn money online in the UAE is through electronic commerce. Therefore, once you have all the knowledge, about what is e-commerce in Dubai and the UAE e-commerce license; you can now learn how to start your own electronic business in this country. Next, you will see all the steps you must follow to be successful in this task.

3.1 Choose the commercial activity to develop

In case you decide to start your business in Dubai, you have to choose your business activity. There is an entity called Dubai Economic Department or DED that provides a list of more than 2000 commercial activities that are allowed. Also, if you choose some that are not on this list, you can request additional permissions.

3.2 Choose the location of your company

There are two possible location options, the first is in a free zone and the second is a continental region. Once you have already chosen the area where you are going to settle; You must get a legal address for your Dubai e-commerce business. You should know that any location has unique advantages and disadvantages that differentiate it from others.

For instance, when you obtain an e-commerce license in Dubai, in free zones it is the easiest and cheapest process. It is even considered one of the cheapest licenses available in the UAE.

In addition, obtaining an e-commerce license in one of Dubai’s free zones offers a great advantage. This advantage is that they are granted a 100% exemption from customs taxes. This allows the shareholders of the company; as a result, they can earn a large profit, for a minimal investment. In addition, new entrepreneurs are allowed to go through a fast and smooth registration process.

3.3 Register the trade name of the company

In the UAE, there are some guidelines for e-commerce business names in Dubai. You must refrain from using derogatory words or terms that may be considered offensive or controversial.

3.4 Apply for an e-commerce license in Dubai

At the end of all the previous steps, you must follow the steps to obtain the Dubai e-commerce license. You should know that all legal entities in the UAE are required to have a valid license to carry out their commercial activities without any inconvenience.

3.5 Create a website for your new business

If you want your business to be successful, you must create an optimized eCommerce website. This will generate online traffic and sell your products more easily. For you to have excellent sales and good results there are certain elements that you must include; these are.

  • Record every client with whom you have worked.
  • On the home page, post deals and the best-selling products of the month or week.
  • Product categorization, with its image, characteristics, and prices.
  • Possibility of being able to zoom in on the image of the product.
  • All the details related to shipping.
  • Positive customer feedback.
  • Contact information (phone number, address, and email)
  • Reviews and scores provided to you by customers.

4. Learn how to get an e-commerce license in Dubai

Once you know how to start your small business, it is time to learn how to obtain an e-commerce license in Dubai. Below, you will see all the steps you must follow to access this important document.

4.1 Choose and register the commercial name of your company and your business activities

When it comes to choosing a company name, each country has certain restrictions and the UAE is no exception. Therefore, when you choose the name of your company you must make sure that you do not violate any of these limitations. The most important thing to avoid is taking the name of another company that already exists. Similarly, before beginning the license application process, this step must already be ready. In addition, you must also choose a commercial activity that is approved.

4.2 Complete the KYC form

Once you have registered the name of the company and the commercial activity; you must fill out and submit the commercial license application form. It is important that you put all the details about your new business. For instance, company name, business activity, address, and more. In addition, they will request information about the shareholders of your business in case you have them. Among them, are unified numbers, photocopies of the emirates ID, and others. This must be not only for KYC but it must also for UBO.

4.3 Continue to complete the data for the visa application form, conduct medical examinations, and complete the biometric data

Foreigners who want to operate their business from the UAE need a visa. One of the requirements that they make is that you undergo physical condition tests, chest x-rays, and blood tests. If due to situations beyond your control, you fail the medical exams, do not worry, it is a problem that has a solution. Something important to mention is that you can sponsor members of your family and domestic staff to have their visas. Hence, among the family members you can sponsor are parents, children, and a partner.

4.4 Pay the cost of the e-commerce license in Dubai

It is important that you must pay the fee for the e-commerce license in Dubai, it depends on the type of license you opt for. These can be professional or trade licenses. Despite this, certain expenses must be paid regardless of the type of license you opt for. Thus, these expenses are as follows.

  • Payment of the fee for DED registration.
  • Rent the offices where the business will be developed.
  • The sponsorship fee for the partner is nationalized in the UAE.
  • Fee for investor visa and immigration card.
  • The cost of the fee for the seal of the company.
  • All medical expenses and obtaining the emirates ID of the investors.
  • If they exist, foreign name charges.
  • Expenses for the investor’s health insurance.
  • Any government fees that may appear.

4.5 Creation of the bank account

The last step in this guide is that if you receive payments in the UAE, you will need a bank account in the country. Subsequently, for that, you must choose the bank of your choice and follow the steps that they will give you.

5. Contact EOR Middle East to support you in the process of opening your electronic business

You can realize that opening a business, whether electronic or in person, can be a long and tedious process. Therefore, this is because you must obtain the license, then start the hiring process, and many more things. Dubai offers tools that can make life easier for those new entrepreneurs who want to have their business in this country. The best of these is, a company that takes care of these complicated processes, this company is EOR Middle East.

At EOR Middle East, you will find staff willing to support you in everything you need to start your company in the UAE. Consequently, if you decide to contact us, we offer you a free 30-minute telephone consultation. You only have to call us at +971 43 316 688. Also, if you prefer, you can contact us via email at [email protected].

Moreover, if you are one of those people who does not get job opportunities in your country and you want to look for them abroad; a viable and accessible option is with If you decide to enter this portal, you can be sure that you will find job offers that may be of interest to you. We also offer another channel of information and that is by writing to us via email at [email protected], so you can get more information.

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