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What are the steps to set up an ecommerce business in Dubai?

E-commerce business in Dubai is booming due to city’s enormous population of internet users and the region’s highest internet penetration rate. The e-commerce sector in the UAE is predicted to maintain its rapid expansion through the year 2023.For several reasons, entrepreneurs flock to Dubai to launch their online stores.

  • To begin, Dubai has one of the quickest-expanding e-commerce markets in the Middle East thanks to the city’s large and growing population of internet users.
  • Sustainable development and economic progress are further bolstered by the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) strong transportation system.
  • Improved infrastructure
  • Connectivity
  • Streamlined business setup processes
  • Streamlined government incentives

The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers substantial incentives for startups, such as tax breaks, free trade zones, and access to a professional business network.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) requires the following in order to launch an online store
  1. Figure out what kind of company you want to have. This might be a limited liability corporation, a sole proprietorship, a branch office, or a representative office. Due to their benefits, LLC registration and branch office establishment are popular options in Dubai.
  2. Pick a location, because that’s where you’ll have to apply for a business license. The DED must be consulted before launching a web-based business. Free zones and the Dubai mainland are both available to you. In contrast to the mainland, where at least 51% of the shares must be held by a local national, free zone e-commerce permits allow for full foreign ownership.
  3. Settle on a trade name: pick a catchy trade name that can double as a desirable domain name. Even though you don’t have a storefront, you can still attract customers by having your brand name set up as a memorable domain name. Make sure the name is distinct to avoid potential legal issues.
  4. Apply for an e-commerce license in the United Arab Emirates. In response to your application, the DED will grant the necessary license. It will cost you around AED 10,000 to get your company approved, register your trade name, and get your license issued on the mainland. The type of your online business will determine which free zone authority you need to obtain an e-commerce license from.
  5. Submit an application for preliminary permission: acquire the DED’s preliminary approval or No Objection Certificate (NOC). The validity of this authorization is limited to six months and is not renewable.
  6. Draft a MoA that details the ownership arrangements among partners and any specific arrangements with sponsors if you plan to open up shop on the mainland. Businesses operating in a free zone are not required to take this action.
  7. After completing the preceding stages, you will be able to apply for your UAE e-commerce company license and receive final approval between 1-7 working days, depending on the relevant authorities.
  8. To import or export goods, register your company with the relevant ports and customs authorities to receive an importer’s code. Imported products into the UAE are subject to a 5% customs charge. Companies operating in a free zone are not required to pay import duties on any goods or services sold within that zone.
  9. Set up a corporate bank account that meets your demands after you have secured a successful e-commerce business license in the UAE.


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