How to commence an electronic trade endeavor in the UAE?
The mercantile sector is burgeoning swiftly. Preceding we commence deliberating on ways to inaugurate a mercantile corporation in the UAE, it is imperative to fathom the essence of mercantile. In general parlance, any fiscal interchange transpiring digitally is denominated as mercantile. Consequently, a mercantile enterprise in the UAE is an establishment that vends its wares or amenities via the internet.

If you are contemplating inaugurating an electronic commercial enterprise in the United Arab Emirates, this sector proffers immense possibilities and outlooks in this realm. Electronic commerce is deemed to be one of the exceedingly gainful enterprises in the Arab Emirates. The electronic commercialism domain in the nation is foreseen to surpass USD 8 billion by 2025. Nonetheless, it ought to be recalled that possessing an electronic commercialism authorization is pivotal for any enterprise.

In this composition, let's examine certain of the principal deliberations and lawful measures that you necessitate to consider in order to enlist an internet vending corporation in the UAE.

What are the benefits of enrolling a corporation beneath E-commerce in UAE?  

Inaugurating an e-tail enterprise has transmuted into one of the propitious endeavors in the contemporary marketplace. The Arabian Emirates, distinguished by its tactical situation and multifarious economic landscape, has enticed myriad corporate entities to elect the nation as a nucleus for pioneering commercial cultivation. In consonance with recent inquiries, the market apportionment of digital retailing enterprises is burgeoning conspicuously, not merely in Dubai but spanning the entire realm. However, the more auspicious the UAE manifests for e-tail enterprises, the more formidable it transpires with regards to E-commerce accreditation.   

Some of the key features that attract companies and businessmen to start a business in UAE:

  1. Enhanced infrastructure.
  2. Established logistics connections with foreign nations.
  3. A flourishing indigenous marketplace.
  4. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been acknowledged as the optimal milieu for ingenuity in the Arab realm per the Global Innovation Index.
  5. Entry to collaborative workspaces and economical enterprise structuring for visionaries and digital commerce enterprises.
  6. Quick company registration process and a supportive e-commerce community to maximise business benefits.
  7. Strong banking system.
  8. A rapidly growing e-commerce industry.  
  9. Availability of tax-free zones.  
  10. Opportunity for foreigners to obtain a long-term visa in the UAE.

Prerequisites for starting a business

Any business owner who intends to expand in the Emirati markets or start a company from scratch in the UAE must fulfil the legal formalities set by the government authorities. The following briefly outlines the basic steps to be followed before starting a business, including in the e-commerce sector, here: 

  1. Selection of business region (mainland or FEZ) and legal form of the company.
  2. Selection and approval of the name of the future company.
  3. Preparation of founding documents. 
  4. Determination of office requirements. Having a physical office in the UAE is essential for a mainland company.
  5. Applying for an e-commerce licence in the UAE.
  6. Registration with the customs authority.
  7. Opening a bank account.
  8. Visa processing.

Locale preferences for enrolling an internet-based trading venture in the United Arab Emirates

Trade-related business proprietors may elect from one of the enterprise incorporation selections (each endowed with its idiosyncratic assemblage of regulations):

  • Organising a business on the mainland.
  • Organisation of business in the free zone. 

Deciding where to locate your company is an important step. The type of business, office requirements, tax considerations, employment opportunities and many other factors greatly influence the decision to choose the right zone for your business. It is recommended that you get professional UAE business regulatory advice beforehand to help you choose the best zone for your business needs.   

Enrollment of an e-trade enterprise in the UAE hinterlands
For worldwide benefactors desiring to broadly ingress the indigenous marketplace, founding a firm in the hinterlands is the most commendable preference. Procuring a universal barter permit concurrently with an e-business permit from the Ministry of Economic Growth authorizes an entrepreneur to commence executing both virtual and corporeal commerce within the UAE. Benefactors can institute a webpage, peddle commodities and amenities on the internet, and distribute them to the Emirates hinterlands with an E-business permit on the hinterlands. Establishing an E-business enterprise in the UAE hinterlands tenders abundant corporate benefits such as adaptability in selecting workplace terrain in the aspired site, the capability to recruit more laborers, making use of more spacious storehouses, and substantially more.
Establishing an electronic mercantile enterprise within the UAE liberated precincts
Initiating a corporation within a gratuitous barter enclave (FTZ) emerges as a highly infrequent commercial undertaking and is comparatively economical for visionaries. Benefactors may elect an apt costless area and request an E-business enterprise permit commensurate with their singular requisites. An E-business enterprise officially cataloged in an FTZ holds the prerogative to peddle and dispense commodities beyond the Emirates via virtual conduits.

There exist over 50 gratuitous commerce districts in the UAE that extend e-trade authorizations to stakeholders. Hence, it can be quite challenging for an entrepreneur to choose an option that suits the business objectives. Our team will assist in the comprehensive process of launching a project to obtain an e-commerce licence in the UAE.

Choice of legal form of the company and region

In terms of legal structures for the company, the UAE offers the following to foreign entrepreneurs interested in launching an e-commerce business:

  • Private enterprise.
  • Limited liability company.
  • General partnership.
  • Branch office.
But as the majority of cybernetic enterprises may necessitate a rather substantial portion of funds not solely in the embryonic phases of commencement but likewise throughout the duration of activity, therefore, it is optimal to commence an electronic-commerce enterprise in the United Arab Emirates as a restricted accountability corporation. Regardless of the inaugural pecuniary input in such an establishment, this sum can be elevated as supplementary funding is executed in the configuration of confidential equities or financial institution advances.

The exceedingly favored domains wherein you can commence your electronic trade enterprise are:

  • Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC).
  • Dubai Internet City.
  • RAKEZ.
  • Ajman Media City free zone.
  • Fujairah Creative City.
  • Sharjah Media City (SHAMS).
The cheapest electronic mercantile permissions are proffered by diminutive principalities. For instance, Umm al-Quwain with its UAQ unrestricted commerce territory may serve as a superb selection. An electronic mercantile authorization disseminated in this dominion may furthermore be employed for cyber merchandising in Dubai.

Dubai is a city made for innovative start-ups

You may inaugurate a corporation in Dubai utilizing any category of enterprise and manage it through the internet. Moreover, notwithstanding benefits such as fiscal equilibrium, superlative standard of existence, accessibility of adept manpower, all-encompassing backing for alien financiers, and bureaucratic enthusiasm in enticing capability from overseas, enrolling a corporation in Dubai might encompass far-reaching vocational outlooks.

On the whole, establishing a corporation in Dubai within the E-trade or any alternative sector signifies entrance to a refined corporate milieu. The metropolis is distinguished by the existence of up-to-date commercial districts. Corporate operations are fine-tuned by the governing bodies, culminating in enhanced corporate efficacy.

Moreover, previously, traditionally, in order to establish an e-commerce business in Dubai, as in the UAE as a whole, foreign investors could only fully own a business in free zones. However, following amendments to legislation, now in most industries (including E-commerce) a local partner is no longer a prerequisite for doing business in a mainland company. Other financial incentives include repatriation of 100% of profits, no currency controls, and low customs tariffs.

Varieties of cyberbazaars permits in Dubai 

A cyberspace authorization in Dubai is one of the exceedingly coveted charters. It shall permit an enterprise to market commodities on the internet and amass virtual remunerations in lieu of peddling an artifact. The commercial purview of electronic commercialism may be extended to global bazaars and disparate classifications contingent on the enterprise's commercial scheme and the character of the enterprise. The Ministry of Fiscal Advancement (MFA) proffers 3 principal classifications of charters.

Electronic Trader's Licence
This is the most economical method to establish a Mercantile enterprise in the principality. A cybernautic authorization in Dubai is provided to entrepreneurs who intend to peddle their commodities and amenities on the internet, albeit with a stricture for its possessors. The stricture is that proprietors of such a warrant are barred from unveiling corporeal bureau edifices or emporiums pursuant to the stipulations of the authorization. To secure a Cybernautic authorization in Dubai, you must initially enroll as a solitary entrepreneur.
Licence for electronic trading platform.
The permit authorization is pertinent to foreign citizens outside the UAE who desire to establish an electronic retail enterprise in Dubai. This authorization empowers the interconnection of purchasers and merchants via an electronic merchandising site, which subsequently functions as a stage for merchants to promote their wares.
Virtual Company Licence
Dubai Economy and DIFC have freshly unveiled an ethereal firm permit, enabling non-dwellers to execute their commercial pursuits and peddle their personal wares via their individual web portal. Nevertheless, the permit is presently confined to commercial pursuits linked to craftsmanship, promotion, imprinting, and informatics programming.   

How do I get an e-commerce licence in Dubai?  

The benefits of an electronic mercantile enterprise in mainland Dubai:

  • A scarcely encountered commercial privilege permits an investor to stock commodities in a depository and peddle them on the Emirates marketplace via the internet.
  • An investor may elect a comprehensive commerce privilege in conjunction with an e-trade privilege. This, in turn, amplifies the capability to peddle electronically and tangibly within the Emirates.
  • Every financial dealings within the Emirates will incur a value-added tax of 5 percent in accordance with the value-added tax legislation.
  • The introduction of merchandise for peddling is beholden to a levy of 5% at the harbor or aerodrome contingent upon the manner of sending the consignment.
  • Economical workplace expanse is at one's disposal on the Dubai mainland. Correspondingly, there exist budget-friendly warehousing and reservoir selections.
  • Greater adaptability to broaden into a fully-fledged enterprise by enlisting additional laborers and incorporating supplementary undertakings into the current e-trade privilege.

A commerce authorization from Dubai Free Zones is an economical preference for overseas investors. Dubai Gratis Zones proffer myriad commercial benefits like complete alien dominion, entire remittance of earnings, absence of tolls, simplicity in commencing an enterprise, straightforward entry to airfields and harbors, uncomplicated duty approval, and abundant additional attributes. Principal characteristics of the authorization:

  • For fledgling businesses, independent workers, or visionaries seeking to assess the marketplace and initiate their venture, a liberated district online trade authorization emerges as the supremely pertinent selection.
  • The majority of liberated districts within the United Arab Emirates propose individually tailored storage amenities for stockpiling wares and facilitating commerce.
  • Entities within liberated districts become qualified for exemption from levies on customs duties when importing commodities into these liberated districts.
  • A scant number of the emancipated precincts in Dubai incorporate internal customs inspections, which aid in accelerating the authorization for the transfer of merchandise into and out of these emancipated precincts.

To request authorization, you must dispatch the subsequent records to the DED

  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the pertinent jurisdiction.
  • Indigenous amenities accord or edifice labor pact.
  • Replicas of passports of all proprietors/executives of the enterprise.  
  • Sketch MOA (Charter of Association).  
  • Replicas of visas of all originators.
* Several additional lawful manuscripts may be necessitated by the Dubai Bureau of Financial Advancement.   


The goal of a thriving and fast growing e-commerce business in UAE can be achieved by implementing the right policies, strategic planning with the help of a reliable business consultant.

We are familiar with the latest industry laws and all applicable regulations. Consequently, our experts can advise in detail on e-commerce business licensing in the UAE and provide support at every stage of the process.
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