E-Commerce business market is booming internationally, the United Arab Emirates has rapidly adopted for the changes in the online technology which has drastically changed the way the consumers shop for products. Development in the E-commerce sector has brought forth improvement in a diverse set of industries as this technology is adopted by all the business sectors worldwide.
Whether you’re buying for personal consumption or business through the internet, online shopping is now a big part of our everyday lives. This fact is going to evolve even more so in the coming years with the upsurge of e-commerce businesses that are promptly capitalizing on the soaring number of online shoppers today. There has been a growing demand for e-commerce license in the UAE.
Process of Getting an E-Commerce License
When it comes to setting up an e-commerce business, there are even more advantages to be had. UAE is home to a fast-growing e-commerce market with around one in three residents making an online purchase at least once a month. In most cases, you are also free to set up your e-commerce business in the UAE but trade from anywhere else in the world.
So, if you are wondering – how can I get an e-commerce license in the UAE? We have set up an easy guide to getting a UAE e-commerce market.
Step 1: Choose your jurisdiction
There are two common options in the UAE – free zone or mainland. If you are opting for a mainland, your e-commerce license in any emirate is issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). If you opt for the free zone, the portal license is issued by the relevant free zone authority.
Step 2: Decide on your legal structure
It can be a sole establishment, LLC, civil company, branch or representative office. Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most popular form for legal business entity chosen by entrepreneurs and business leaders entering the industry.
Step 3: Register your trade name
You must reserve your trade name and obtain an initial approval certificate from the DED. As you’re an e-commerce business, it is better if the trade name or business name is easy to remember. The Emirates has a strict set of naming conventions that will not be familiar to anyone outside of the region. When choosing a name for your business in the UAE, you must keep in mind that it cannot include any offensive or blasphemous language. If you wish to include your name in your company name, you must use it in full rather than just your surname or initials.
Step 4: Make your e-commerce license application
The process of your e-commerce application will differ depending on whether you opt for a free zone or mainland setup. If you wish to establish your business in a free zone you can apply directly to the free zone in question. If you prefer to set up in the mainland, you should apply to the municipality or Department of Economic Development in the emirate you wish to set up in. In both cases, you will be required to submit some basic documentation, including passport copies, along with your completed application form.
- Passport/visa copies of the shareholders
- Copy of sponsors passport/ Emirates ID
- Local service agreement/ Civil works agreement
- No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the relevant authority
- Draft a Memorandum of Association (MoA)
Step 5: Apply for your visas
With your license application complete, you can now apply for your UAE residence visa, as well as those of your employees. The number of visas you can apply for will depend on the size of your business and where you choose to set up. When it comes to applying for visas for dependants – such as domestic staff or your spouse or children – the process is equally straightforward providing you meet the eligibility criteria.
Step 6: Open your corporate bank account
The final step before you can start trading in the UAE is to open a corporate bank account. This is not always easy for foreign business owners in the UAE. While there are many local and international banks to choose from in UAE, all have different application and acceptance criteria, and navigating them can be a minefield.
Important Note: If your online business involves physical products to sell or trade, it is mandatory to have proper warehousing to store your goods. This factor is equally important when deciding the jurisdiction to set up your company. Once you secure a warehouse and office space, the next thing on your list is to establish a reliable logistics system to ensure the efficient delivery of your products to your consumers. You can opt for a third-party logistics or build your own.
Are You Ready to Apply for Your E-Commerce License?
If you have the proper resources and the right details, applying for an e-commerce business license in UAE can be both simple and inexpensive. However, while this application procedure is not complicated, an expert eye is needed. Any errors in your application could cause a delay or rejection. That’s why it’s always a wise choice to partner with a company set up expert to guide you in establishing your business. Contact us today to get in touch with our experts at Riz and Mona Consultancy.