How to Get an E-commerce License with Meydan Free Zone

Nicky Peng

Nicky Peng

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E-commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services through the internet. It involves the use of online platforms such as online marketplaces, social media platforms, and e-commerce websites to conduct commercial transactions.

If you are planning to set up an e-commerce business selling handmade goods such as jewellery, clothing, or home decor, you could create an online store using platforms such as Shopify, Etsy, or Amazon, and use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to market and promote your products. Customers could browse and purchase products online through a website, mobile app, or social media platforms, using a variety of payment methods, such as credit cards, PayPal, or cash on delivery. 

With an e-commerce license from Meydan Free Zone, you can make your own goods and sell online, or you can buy goods from factories, store them in warehouses and then sell online. You can also directly sell from factories, which is known as drop shipping.

What Is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping – A business model where the retailer (the e-commerce business) does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers the customer orders and shipment details to the manufacturer, wholesaler, or another retailer who then ships the goods directly to the customer. This means that the e-commerce business does not have to handle the inventory, storage, or shipping of products. You can work with Dubailist, Doba and AliExpress.

To use dropshipping in your e-commerce business, you need to follow the following steps:

  1. Identify the products you want to sell and find suppliers who offer dropshipping services. You can find dropshipping suppliers through online directories, wholesale marketplaces, or by contacting manufacturers directly.
  2. Set up your e-commerce website or online store and integrate it with your supplier’s dropshipping platform. This allows for seamless order processing and shipment tracking.
  3. Create product listings on your e-commerce website or online store and market your products through various channels, such as social media, email, or search engine marketing.
  4. When a customer places an order on your e-commerce website, the order details are automatically forwarded to your supplier, who then handles the packaging and shipping of the product directly to the customer.
  5. You then receive payment for the order, minus the cost of the product and any fees charged by the supplier.

Last-mile delivery is crucial in e-commerce businesses as it is the final step in ensuring that the customer receives their order on time and in good condition. It involves a number of processes, such as dispatch, routing, tracking, and delivery, which are often managed by third-party logistics providers (3PLs) or transportation companies. Employ the use of companies such as Fetchr, Aramex, Talabat and Zajel.

Obtaining an e-commerce license is mandatory for all e-commerce businesses in Dubai, regardless of the size or nature of the business. Failure to obtain the necessary license may result in penalties and legal consequences.

4791.02 Retail Sales of Any Kind of Product over the Internet

This business activity is focused on the retail sale of products via mail order or the internet. Buyers make their purchase decisions based on advertisements, catalogues, website information, models, or any other form of advertising. They then place their orders by mail, phone, or through the special means provided by the seller’s website. The purchased products can be downloaded directly from the internet or physically delivered to the buyer. 

Additionally, it includes direct sales via television, radio, internet retail auctions, and activities of internet auctions and other non-store auctions.

<H3> Third-Party Approvals

This business activity does not require third-party approval.

Applying for an Import Code from Customs 

Businesses that hold an e-commerce license in Dubai are eligible to apply for an import code from the customs authority. The import code is required for businesses to legally import goods into the UAE and is necessary to clear customs at the port of entry. To obtain an import code, businesses must apply to the Dubai Customs Authority and provide the necessary documentation, which may include a copy of their e-commerce license, trade license, commercial invoice, and other relevant documents.


An e-commerce business needs warehousing to store inventory in a secure and organised location. It also allows for better control over inventory management, including tracking stock levels, monitoring product expiry dates, and rotating stock as necessary. With Meydan Free Zone’s ‘Grow from Dubai’ initiative, you will be provided with access to fulfilment centres and distribution networks via air, land and sea by ‘Grow from Dubai’ partners.

‘Grow from Dubai’ integrates logistics, finance, regulatory, and marketplace infrastructures with a variety of key services such as company formation, instant bank accounts, visas and residency, customs codes, import and export services, e-commerce, and digital payment gateways.


The ‘Economic Substance Test’ (EST) requires that specific types of enterprises be administered or guided from within the UAE, have an adequate number of full-time employees located in the UAE, earn the majority of their income within the UAE, have sufficient assets, and have sufficient operational expenses in the UAE. This evaluation is known as the EST, and it is reported through the submission of the ESR. It must be submitted within one year of the end of the fiscal year.

Companies, for example, whose fiscal year began on or after January 1, 2019 and ended on or before December 31, 2019, must file the notification. Even if a company is new, it must file an Economic Substance Return in the following year if this activity needs ESR.

Business activity 4791.02 does not need ESR.


Designated Non-Financial Businesses And Professions must comply with anti-money laundering legislation and combat the financing of terrorism and illegal organisations by implementing Ministry of Economy requirements.

Following the completion of the awareness campaign on April 30th, 2021, an existing licensee has already registered for goAML. Those who did not meet the requirements before the campaign’s deadline will be fined by the Ministry of Economy. To avoid potential fines, new licensees must comply with the requirements after receiving their license.

Business activity 4791.02 does not need AML.

Benefits of Choosing an E-commerce License with Meydan Free Zone

Dubai is a thriving global marketplace that encourages business growth, boasting one of the world’s most diverse economies. Meydan Free Zone Marketplace offers support to businesses looking to establish an online presence and create e-commerce stores on leading marketplaces like Amazon, Noon, Instagram, Carrefour, Etsy, and Walmart. After the license is issued, Meydan Free Zone also provides onboarding services to assist businesses in setting up their online stores on these marketplaces and finding suitable payment options. You can even collect payments through social media platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram with our payment gateway services.

Meydan Commerce is your all-in-one platform to build and grow your business online.

  • Marketplace Store Subscription
  • Product Catalog Setup & Listing
  • Capture Orders & Accept Payments
  • Dedicated Dashboard For Inventory & Tracking
  • Store SEO Services
  • Multichannel Retail Services
  • Sponsored Product Advertising
  • Mail Chat Support
  • Order Processing & Fulfilment

Over 30+ marketplaces to choose from:

Start your business with Meydan Free Zone

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