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Dubai e-commerce license [2021 Guide]

The e-commerce industry has witnessed unprecedented growth in recent years, thanks to the hassle-free internet availability and growing demand for time-saving shopping methods. You get all of that and more via the e-commerce channel. Everything is just one tap away, and there’s no compromise with the product quality too. 

You need to obtain an e-commerce license Dubai if you’re looking to open an e-commerce company in your desired sector. It’s a booming industry, and all you need to do is get in touch with the business experts at Shuraa to get started with your digital venture. Furthermore, the investors get adequate support from the UAE’s government, and the strategic business location of the country further adds to your ecstasy. 

Types of e-commerce license issued in the UAE 

E-commerce businesses in Dubai are categorized as: 

  • B2C (Business to Consumer): when you sell your products directly to the consumer via digital media platforms. 
  • B2B (Business to Business): an online transaction that happens between two business entities. (you sell a product or service to another business)
  • C2C (Consumer to Consumer): an e-commerce business type where a consumer sells to another consumer. 
  • C2B (Consumer to Business): a business transaction where an organization avails the services or products from a consumer. 

There are two categories in the e-commerce license Dubai, and you need to choose the one that matches your business requirements. Here’s a summary of these licenses: 

  1. E-trader license 

You need to acquire the e-trader license from the concerned authority if you wish to list products and commodities online on a business website. However, note that expats cannot obtain the e-trader license as its issuance is restricted to the UAE and GCC nationals only for now. You should prefer this license even if you’re delivering web-based services to your clients. There’s no need to rent an office space or purchase a physical property when you’re applying for an e-trader license. 

  1. Portal license 

Expats and non-UAE nationals have to apply for a portal license for establishing their digital business in the UAE. It’s an e-commerce license Dubai that allows them to carry out their business activities without any non-compliance issues. You can manage the product inventory, list new products, update your services, and much more through a portal license. 

You can also apply for a virtual company license and carry out your business activities if they fall in the described criteria. They can be anything from designing activities, computer or tech-related services and can also be anything related to the advertising sector in the UAE. 

How to get an e-commerce license in Dubai? 

All companies need to have a legal business license to enjoy risk-free business functioning in the Emirates. Therefore, it’s mandatory for companies to obtain an e-commerce license Dubai if they want to launch such a company. Here are the steps involved in the licensing process: 

  1. Finalize your company’s structure

You need to open an LLC in partnership with a local sponsor if you want to launch your e-commerce company in the Dubai mainland region. Conversely, you can go for a free zone establishment and enjoy 100% ownership of your business in the UAE alongside cost-effective business laws. Furthermore, you should also define the roles of the stakeholders (if any) in your company. 

  1. Reserve a trading name for your e-commerce business 

Names play a vital role in the overall company recognition process. People tend to remember catchy and trendy names rather than a combination of overused terms that don’t add any significance to your services. Therefore, devise an impactful name for your e-commerce venture and ensure you don’t violate any of the naming convention laws in the UAE. The name should not involve any derogatory terms, and the full name of a person should be used if you want to reserve it as the official name of your company. 

  1. Obtain the initial approval certificate 

You can apply to the DED or the concerned jurisdiction to obtain an initial approval certificate for your e-commerce license Dubai. You need to submit a few documents for identification alongside the payment receipt of trade name reservation. It’s recommended to collaborate with the legal advisors in Dubai who’ll help you throughout the business formation process. Remember that this certificate is only valid for six months. 

  1. Register with the local ports and customs authority 

The companies can either open a manufacturing unit in the UAE itself (for which they need a separate license) or import the products and commodities from other regions. Therefore, you need to register with the local dock services and gain consent from the customs authority too. This ensures that the concerned bodies are aware of your business activities, and you also get an idea about how to go about import-export activities in the UAE. 

  1. Apply for the e-commerce license 

You can apply for an e-commerce license Dubai once you’re done with all the procedures mentioned above. Get started by filling in your details in the license application form and preparing the required documents. You need to submit both – application and documents with the correct information to obtain the e-commerce license from the DED or a free zone authority. You’ll need to apply for additional approvals in case some of the business activities aren’t listed in your e-commerce license. 

  1. Wrap up the post-licensing activities 

There aren’t any blockers once you obtain the e-commerce license for your company. However, there are a few things you need to take care of. Firstly, register your employees with the labor department, and don’t forget to open a corporate bank account. Next, you should focus on developing an optimized business website that’s safe to use and easy to navigate. That’s it! You can now utilize your e-commerce license Dubai and make a name for your brand in the marketplace. 

Documents required to get an e-commerce license in Dubai 

Here’s a list of documents you must possess to acquire the e-commerce license in the UAE: 

  • Copies of passport of all the shareholders in the company 
  • NOC (if required from a particular council) 
  • MoA and LSA documents 
  • Passport copy of the local sponsor (for mainland setup) 
  • A business plan document 
  • Lease agreement or Eljari (if applicable) 

Consult with Shuraa 

Your decision to launch an e-commerce company in the UAE is the right one because it’s an industry that continued to grow even after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a reliable venture, and future projections also hint towards an even larger market cap for the industry. Your next step is to get in touch with Shuraa Business Setup, and we’ll help you acquire the e-commerce license Dubai. How? By taking care of submissions, documentation, and end-to-end business assistance to ensure there aren’t any blockers in your success path. Connect with our business consultants today to discuss more. 

To book a free consultation, call on +971 44081900. You can also send a WhatsApp message at +971 50 777 5554. Send us your query at [email protected] if you wish to connect over email. 

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