E-commerce License Dubai, UAE: Everything you need to know

Amal Khadiri

Amal Khadiri

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It will come as a surprise to no one that e-commerce is big business in the modern world. From clothes and food to tech and travel, we can now purchase almost anything online. And this is no passing trend. It is now a way of life.

Despite a challenging year for retail, global e-commerce sales grew 27.6% in 2020, totalling over USD 4tr. And this figure is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, up to USD 6.4tr by 2024.

Here in the UAE, signs are just as strong. Our e-commerce market topped a record-breaking USD 3.9bn in 2020, representing a 53% increase on 2019. By 2025, the market is expected to be worth a staggering USD 8bn. Whatever your business, there is space for you in this vast market. And when you start a UAE business with the help of Meydan Free Zone, you can be up and running in no time. Our team are experts in business setup in Dubai and can help you with licensing, visas, and much more.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to start an e-commerce business in the UAE, including:

How to get your e-commerce license?

Of course, the first thing you’ll need to know is how to get your e-commerce license. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with the local business landscape at this point. While it is welcoming, and with low barriers to entry, the UAE differs slightly from other countries when it comes to starting a business. One of the first things you’ll need to do, which is perhaps not such a priority elsewhere, is

  1. Choosing and registering your company name.

    The UAE has a set of naming parameters that you’ll need to stick to. But don’t worry, all are straightforward and of largely common sense. Essentially, you should avoid blasphemous and offensive language and names of well-known organisations. There are a few more rules too which we will cover in your initial consultation.

  2. Selecting your business activities.

    It is also important when setting up in the UAE that you align your business practices to the list of permitted activities. There are thousands to choose from, so you’re bound to find one that matches up, the best one is to go for e-commerce, e-trading or selling via internet. These activities will need to be listed on your license application. With this early part of the process successfully navigated, we can help you apply for your e-commerce license. There are several ways to do this.

  3. Complete your KYC.

    When making your application, you will need to submit an business license application form containing details about your business and its shareholders, as well as proof of address and identification for the purpose of completing your KYC and UBO details.

  4. Complete your visa application, apply for medical test & biometrics.

    If you are intending to operate your business from the UAE, you will also require a visa. As part of this process, you’ll need to undergo a fitness test, blood test, and chest x-ray. You can also sponsor the visas of others, such as dependent children and parents, your spouse, and any domestic staff.

  5. Set up your business bank account.

    Finally, if you’re getting paid in the UAE, you’ll need a UAE bank account. Meydan Free Zone can help with this step too, advising on the right bank for your circumstances. We offer 0 balance bank account that help start-ups and have partnerships with leading local and international banks in the country.

The benefits of setting up in a UAE free zone

UAE free zones are not just good value for money, they also offer many other incredible benefits. On top of the UAE’s great trading location, excellent access to markets around the world, and growing e-commerce market, when you set up in Meydan Free Zone, you can also take advantage of the following.

  • Premier location
    Being at one of the most sought after centrally located commercial addresses in Dubai puts you minutes away from major pulse points and vital commercial and financial hubs of the city.
  • Easy start up
    Benefit from smooth registration process with access to priority government relations assistance and broad support services, along with tailored packages that best address individual business needs.
  • A great place to live and work
    Take advantage of the unique opportunity to live and work in Meydan’s premium mixed-use developments offering innovative office spaces that encourage business growth in elegant lifestyle communities.

Take your business to new heights at Meydan Free Zone

Meydan Free Zone has been awarded the Best Digital Free Zone and is centrally located economic district with one of the most prestigious business addresses in the region. Our offices are located in The Meydan Hotel.

We offer our businesses a host of innovative investment and lifestyle benefits in a secure regulated environment that empowers productivity. Our expert team can assist across the entire company formation journey, from registering your company name to managing your license and visa applications.

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