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E-commerce license in Dubai: Rules & Costs

Dubai is a hotspot for business, and when it comes to e-commerce adoption it’s at the cutting edge. In 2019 the UAE’s e-commerce sales were estimated at around USD 16bn, with the country at the forefront of e-commerce in the wider MENA region.

The UAE boasts a young internet-literate demographic, with consumers showing some of the highest levels of internet, smartphone, and social media usage in the world. As this digital society grows, obtaining an e-commerce license in Dubai can only have a positive effect on e-commerce.

With the right guidance, setting up an e-commerce license in Dubai is fairly quick and easy.

Table of Contents

    • • Benefits of setting up an e-commerce business in the UAE
    • • Steps to get your UAE e-commerce license
    • • Dubai e-commerce license cost
    • Ready to apply for your Dubai or UAE e-commerce license?

Benefits of setting up an e-commerce business in the UAE

One of the key benefits of setting up a UAE e-commerce license is that you don’t need much in order to get going. In short, you need the product that you’re selling and a computer with internet access.

As your business grows, you will no doubt find the need for other offices, tools and perhaps bringing in other expertise. But, to get off the ground, an e-commerce or an online business needs relatively little groundwork.

Steps to get your UAE e-commerce license

So let’s break down the five steps to getting your UAE e-commerce license in place.

Step 1: Decide on a free zone or mainland license

To start, you need to decide whether setting up in a free zone or on the mainland is the better option for your e-commerce business. If you choose the mainland, you can trade directly with the local UAE market without the need to work with a local agent. This opens up the possibility of taking on government contracts.

The other option is to business set up in a UAE-free zone. Here you will benefit from the UAE’s 0% tax rate, full customs tax exemption, no currency restrictions, and being ability to repatriate 100% of your capital and profit. While a free zone company can’t trade directly with the local UAE market, there are a number of options to enable this should you need the ability to do so.

Step 2: Select your company name

Picking your company name is the next step. The UAE is fairly strict when it comes to naming companies, so it’s important to be aware of the regulations. Essentially, you must avoid any language that could be seen as offensive or blasphemous. You must avoid any name that is already held by a well-known organization.

If you’re naming your company after yourself, ensure that you don’t abbreviate your name. So Mark Johnson Trading is fine, but M Johnson Trading is not. Of course, you will also need to ensure your chosen company name is still available for you to register. This part of the process, like many others, is much smoother if you choose to set up with a company formation specialist like Creative Zone.

Step 3: Make your e-commerce license application

Your application will be different depending on whether you have selected a free zone or mainland setup.

If you plan to establish your business in a free zone, then you can apply directly to your chosen free zone. For mainland setups, you should apply to the municipality or Department of Economic Development (DED) where you want to set up.

With all applications, the key is to ensure that what you submit is free from errors and is complete – to avoid delays and possible rejection. Working with a company formation specialist from the outset means you can have peace of mind knowing that your application is complete, as well as having access to professional advice at each step of the process.

Step 4: Apply for your visa

Once your license application is complete, you can apply for your UAE residence visa (plus visas for your employees if you have any at this stage, as well as family or domestic staff.)

The number of visas you are eligible for depends on the size of your business and where you have chosen to set up.

Step 5: Open a bank account

Before you can start trading in the UAE one requirement is to open a corporate bank account. This can be tricky for foreign business owners in the UAE, but working with a company formation specialist can make the process much smoother.

There are many local and international banks in Dubai, each with different acceptance criteria, so having a professional by your side can be invaluable. They can also advise on the most suitable bank for your business and arrange the necessary meetings.

Dubai e-commerce license cost

It’s quite difficult to estimate an e-commerce license cost in Dubai as it ultimately depends on many factors – including the size of your business, how many visas you’re going to apply for, your office space requirements, and of course, whether you’re setting up in a free zone or on the mainland.

Contact Creative Zone to get the very latest, tailored pricing information for a package that fits your exact requirements.

Ready to apply for your Dubai or UAE e-commerce license?

Now is the time to get your UAE e-commerce license.

While the steps to set up UAE e-commerce are not too complicated, a certain amount of prior knowledge is required. Specifically, it’s vital to ensure that your applications for your business/visa/ license are completely free from mistakes.

This can be somewhat stressful, so as we have advised throughout this article, the fast track to getting up and running is through working with a company formation specialist.

They can also help you with opening a corporate bank account and offer advice on the type of financial institution that would best suit your requirements.

Here at Creative Zone, we offer you the best solutions to start your company in Dubai. You get fast, reliable, and unbiased advice on your unique business setup requirements. We can help you choose the right kind of business license for your activity and take you through the entire process from start to finish.

You can let us deal with the hassle of registering a company while you focus on your business. Working with us means you get the best budget-friendly and cost-effective solution to help make your business dream a reality.

Over 13 years, Creative Zone has helped more than 75,000 entrepreneurs set up their businesses in Dubai. Whether it be a mainland business setup, offshore company setup, free zone company setup, or issuing of trade licenses in Dubai and any related activity for registering a company in Dubai, Creative Zone is your one-stop shop.

Our customer-first focus and our staff who speak 22 languages means you get a tailored package to suit your specific needs. We have worked with clients from around the world, setting them up in over 200 different business activities.

Let Creative Zone make your journey into e-commerce quick and hassle-free.

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