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How To Register Ecommerce Business In Dubai - Detail Guideline

By Sumaiya Simran Last Updated -- Saturday, 2024-03-23
how to register ecommerce business in dubai

Well!! In recent times, e-commerce has become a trendy business policy. It seems like a million years ago when we all went shopping at different malls. And after practically touching and feeling the item we reach for the final purchase decision. But that process has become an outdated practice for shopping; now, people like to shop online, just choose, add to cart, and click for purchase.

Dubai has shown massive growth in the e-commerce industry, so if you want to know how to register ecommerce business in Dubai, this blog will be perfect for you. 

In fact, some secondary research found that by 2028, the Dubai e-commerce industry’s market size is expected to expand to USD 16.5 billion, with A CAGR of 11.52%. Indeed, it’s the perfect location to start an e-commerce business in Dubai, and if you are also eager to know how to start an ecommerce business in UAE, this blog can also help. 

What Is An Ecommerce License In Dubai?

An E-commerce license is a legal permit document issued by the Dubai Department of Economics Development (DED). Hence, it allows any individual or company to operate e-commerce activities in a specific jurisdiction (country/ region). 

Besides operating an ecommerce business, both physically and virtually, every e-commerce entrepreneur has to follow Dubai’s laws and regulations. 

Acquiring an e-commerce license in Dubai is mandatory, even if you conduct business solely using digital channels. In such a situation, for example, holding physical inventory but not having any physical store, a Dubai e-commerce entrepreneur must need an e-commerce license. 

Moreover, if any entrepreneur wants to operate both a retail outlet and a virtual e-commerce platform, then the entrepreneur also has to apply for both a trading license and an e-commerce license. 

Document Required for E-Commerce License In Dubai

Before you start processing how to register an e-commerce business in Dubai, you need to collect and organize all the required documents for an e-commerce license. Below, I have listed all the documents and basic details to start an online e-commerce business.

  • A copy of the e-commerce business plan 
  • Document of Investor’s passport copy
  • Document of Passport copy of the local sponsor 
  • No objection certificate (NOC) of any shareholder presently working in the UAE company 
  • Document of your valid Emirates ID  
  • Application form of registration from DED
  • The attested documents are the tenancy contract for the office premises 
  • Attested document of Memorandum of associate from public notary

5 Steps To Register Ecommerce Business Setup In Dubai


Certainly, starting an e-commerce business in Dubai would get complicated, so it's better to follow a stepwise process to start an e-commerce operation in Dubai UAE. Besides, if the entrepreneur fails to follow those processes, the entrepreneur might face a severe penalty from the UAE government. 

  1. Fixate A Company Name 

Selecting an e-commerce business name is a crucial step before applying for an e-commerce business license. Generally, UAE and Dubai are strict about fixing an appropriate "company name". As per Dubai's law, the name should be pleasant, easy to pronounce, or religious. 

  1. Free Zone Vs Mainland License 

Before you choose any specific e-commerce location, the entrepreneur must decide which license their business requires. 

If the entrepreneur selects to register for a free zone license, then he/she cannot operate trade in the local UAE market but doesn't have to pay any type of corporate tax. Also, enjoy 100% business ownership, business profit and no customs fees. 

If the entrepreneur decides to register for a mainland license, he/she can take the business to international and local markets. Also, prepare MOA and AOA, the legal documents with a detailed description of the Organization's structure, operation and internal policies.  

  1. Application For E-commerce Business License 

Before you apply for an e-commerce business license, the entrepreneur has to choose a suitable location for their business.   

However, if you register for a mainland license, you must apply to the e-commerce licensing authority, the Department of Economics Development (DED). 

But, if you wish to register for a free zone license, you must apply to the free zone of your choice. 

  1. Apply For a UAE Visa 

After your e-commerce license gets approved, you can apply for a visa in Dubai, UAE. Besides, they can also apply for visas for the staff and family members.  

  1. Open A Bank Account 

Another crucial step after getting the e-commerce business license is to open a business bank account in any UAE bank because, without that, you cannot process any type of business transaction. 

Advantage Of Acquiring Online Business License In Dubai 

It’s kind of mandatory to acquire an ecommerce business license in Dubai, because it will provide some significant benefits to operate an online business in Dubai. 

  • Investment capital can be minimal 
  • VISA process will be flexible 
  • Access to business in international market 
  • Operating cost can be minimal 
  • 100% foreign ownership 
  • No type of geographical limitation 
  • Can enjoy modern banking system 

How Much Does An E-Commerce License Dubai Cost?


Certainly, there is a cost to register an e-commerce business in Dubai. Still, it depends on numerous parameters such as size of business, number of visas applied for, office sq ft space, type of online business license, etc.

In numerical way, to start an e-commerce entrepreneur might need AED 5500 to AED 30,000 (variable based on e-commerce business & license type). 

To register for a free zone business license, an entrepreneur might need AED 12500. To Register for a mainland business license, an entrepreneur might need AED 11500

A trading service or industrial license costs AED 10000 to AED 50000 annually. Besides, to renew the e-commerce business trade license, the entrepreneur would need AED11,000 to AED 13,000.  

Along with the cost of an e-commerce license in Dubai, an entrepreneur must also pay for other expenses. For instance:

  • Registration document of the physical store(if any) 
  • Expense details of office rent 
  • Visa cost 
  • Any specialized permission 
  • Investor's medical 
  • Investors' Emirates ID cost 
  • Charges of applying foreign name 
  • Investors' Medical insurance fees
  • Other government fees 

Why Is It Necessary To Have An E-Commerce License In Dubai?

An e-commerce business in Dubai is considered to be a legal authorization document issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED). 

And having that e-commerce business license, an e-commerce business owner gets the approval to operate e-commerce activities within Dubai, UAE. 

Even if you don't have a physical store in UAE, to start an online e-commerce business, it's mandatory to register for an e-commerce license. 

  1. Legality And Compliance

Acquiring an e-commerce business license in UAE gives you a confirmation & legal right that the e-commerce business has been operating legally and follows all the compliance of Dubai's laws and regulations. Besides, it protects from any types of potential legal consequences and fines. 

  1. Business Credibility 

Only having an e-commerce business license can help achieve goodwill as a credible and legitimate organization; hence, attracting potential partners, investors, and clients is easy.

  1. Banking Financial Services

As soon as you get the license approval, opening a bank account is mandatory, which will facilitate various financial transactions and payment gateways.

  1. Tax Benefits And Financial Incentives 

By registering an e-commerce business in DED, you'll get the eligibility for tax benefits, tax exemption and financial incentives provided by the Dubai Government. 

How To Register Ecommerce Business In Dubai (Types Of E-Commerce License)

Indeed, Dubai offers three crucial types of e-commerce business licenses; it depends on the e-commerce business activities and nationality. Listed below are the cheapest e-commerce licenses in the UAE. 

  1. E-Trader License 

An E-trade license is suitable for individuals or small companies associated with e-commerce activities only from home & no physical store. An e-trader license is considered a basic and cost-effective e-commerce trade license. 

  1. Portal License 

A portal license is another type of e-commerce license that non-UAE national citizens can also acquire. 

But, anyone with a portal license can start an online business in Dubai. A portal license is most suitable for listing websites that sell products, services, and reservation-related businesses. 

  1. Virtual Company License 

The virtual company license in Dubai issued by Dubai Economy allows various overseas investors and non-residents of the UAE to perform commercial activities in any region. With a virtual company license, any entrepreneur can operate an e-commerce business without having a physical office. 

Best Tech-Friend of Ecommerce Business


A multi-store eCommerce shopping cart software.

A comprehensive package for eCommerce solutions for any type of eCommerce business. 

Only Isshue can provide you with a combined package for managing all operations. It has an excellent backend admin panel to manage inventory, sales, orders, products, billing, reports, HR management, accounts, and more. With Isshue, you can effectively handle multiple stores at a time. 


Since we've come to the end of how to register ecommerce business in Dubai, I think you have become capable enough to start an ecommerce business in Dubai. 

By following the suggested procedures, ecommerce entrepreneurs can establish a solid foundation for their online business in Dubai, tapping into the region's dynamic market opportunities while contributing to its vibrant business landscape.

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