Guide to Obtaining an E-commerce License in UAE

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COVID-19 caused a surge in online shopping, making the UAE the leader in e-commerce among GCC states. The soaring demand for online shopping has accelerated the UAE’s commerce sector. 

With the e-commerce sector predicted to generate over 8 billion in sales in 2025, starting an e-commerce business in the UAE can be an innovative approach to your future. 

However, before you do so, you must get an e-commerce business license in UAE. 

What is an E-commerne Lisence?

An e-commerce license is a legal permit provided by the UAE’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) that allows an individual or company to sell goods and services using online platforms. 

The strict rules and regulations for doing business in the UAE make it obligatory to obtain a business license in the UAE before conducting business activity. 

Therefore, whether you are a startup or a large company, getting an e-commerce license in Dubai and the UAE is necessary to open an online store in the country.

Benefits of Getting an E-commerce License in UAE

The UAE’s strategic location acts as a hub connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa. Easy access to these three continents offers numerous benefits to businesses in the UAE. 

Some of the benefits of starting an online store in the UAE include:

  • 0% income tax and 9% corporate tax (lowest in the world).
  • Low cost of operation
  • Stable and ultra-modern internet facilities
  • Multi-national and cultural environment
  • World-class transportation and logistics facilities
  • 100% foreign ownership of your company

Types of e-commerce licenses in the UAE

  • E-Commerce license: If you have a business that sells its products online, this one is for you.
  • E-Trader license: This license is for enterprises looking to sell their products or services online. However, it is only available to UAE and GCC nationals with residency in the UAE.
  • Commercial/Service license: You can get this license if your company give training or consultancy, sell food or clothing, or trade on other online platforms like Amazon or Noon.
  • Virtual company license: This license allows a foreigner to start and conduct business in the UAE, even if they are not physically present. However, this license only permits three types of business activities: computer programming, design, and advertising.
  • Portal license: If you are going to make or have a company that seeks to connect customers and sellers and conduct business transactions, the portal license is for you.
  • Freelance license: A freelance license is a special type of license that allows professionals in IT, media, and education to sell their services in the UAE.

Steps to get an e-commerce license in the UAE

Here is your complete guide to get your e-commerce license in the UAE:

  1. You have to decide the business activity of your online store/company. 
  2. Decide a unique name for the registration of your e-commerce license.
  3. Then, you move forward to applying for the initial approval.
  4. Later, on the approval, you can get your e-commerce business license.

Required documents for the registration of an e-commerce license in the UAE

For the registration process of the e-commerce license in the UAE following documents are required:

  1. Passport and visa copies.
  2. Bank account statement.
  3. Emirates ID (for the residents) and Country ID (for foreigners).
  4. Application form completed with requirements.

What are the obligations for e-commerce license holders in the UAE?

  • You have to pay an annual license fee. Your business’s activities and location determine the precise amount.
  • Keep accurate records of all transactions, invoices, receipts, and payments.
  • Get the proper permits and approvals for specific commodities such as food, cosmetics, or precious metals.
  • You have to keep consumers’ personal and financial information safe. To avoid fraud and theft, you must use security measures.
  • Provide high-quality products and services. The authorities perform random license holder examinations.
  • Respond to client issues as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in sanctions.
  • Paying taxes such as VAT. The sale of most goods and services by e-commerce enterprises in the UAE is subject to value-added tax.

Contact TCG for your E-commerce license in the UAE.

Are you planning to get an e-commerce license but uncertain about the procedure? No worries! Our team at TCG has your back! We know about all the latest trends in the UAE’s e-commerce and will guide you through the whole process. Whether it’s completing applications or understanding the steps, we are here for you.