How to start an online business in Dubai? Obtain an e-commerce license in the UAE

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Today, the e-commerce industry is growing all over the world. It is facilitated by the wide spread of the Internet, the availability of gadgets for every person and the continuous development of international courier services. This is particularly noticeable in the area of ​​e-commerce, furniture, clothing and household goods. Unlike conventional stores, an online store is much cheaper, and at the same time, its audience is not geographically limited to a city, region or even a country.

In the United Arab Emirates, the e-commerce market is as lucrative as the online markets of any other field. The e-commerce industry is already over $10 billion, and with over 90% of the population having internet access, there are great opportunities for future growth.

In addition, e-commerce, as well as other types of businesses, are subject to preferential tax treatment conditions that operate in Free Zones. A well-developed logistics system – ports, airports and ground communication networks make this country a real paradise for an online store.

If you want to register an e-commerce business in Dubai, you need to go through a number of procedures, from developing the website to getting an approved e-commerce license.

Main advantages of e-commerce in Dubai

Entrepreneurs who start an online business in one of the free zones in Dubai, United Arab Emirates enjoy significant benefits:

There are no taxes and fees (except 5% VAT);

There are no restrictions on capital withdrawal and no currency restrictions;

The possibility of owning 100% of a foreign company in one of the free zones;

Operating expenses are lower than in other jurisdictions.

The possibility of obtaining a resident visa of the United Arab Emirates for three years with the possibility of renewal.

How to start an online business in the United Arab Emirates?

The process of registering a business in a Dubai free zone and obtaining a business license online depends on the type of business and the free zone. The general commercial license and the e-commerce commercial license are the easiest and fastest to obtain. More than 80% of companies have such licenses and are engaged in trade in various groups of goods.

Generally, setting up an online business in Dubai starts with applying for an e-commerce license. It is this license that makes it possible to do business and sell products.

How to start an e-commerce business in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other UAE?

When it comes to the process of registering an online e-commerce business in the UAE, the process of setting up a business involves several steps:

Select the type of business;

Choose the jurisdiction (place of registration);

Register a legal entity;

Choosing and renting an office.

Obtain a license.

Open a bank account.

1. Choose the right type of business

Several options are available here. You can register a limited liability company, branch, representative office and other types of companies. Depending on your plans and your potential access to other markets, one or the other option will be optimal. The most common types of companies in Dubai are limited liability companies and subsidiaries, as they come with a significant set of benefits. Free zones offer different conditions and preferences for the business registered here.

2. The choice of a place of registration of the company

There are over 45 free zones in Dubai itself. You must choose a place to obtain a license. Dubai offers two options, the first is the registration of a company in the free zone and the second is the registration of a company outside the free zones.

Registering a company outside the free zones is a good solution if you plan to do business in the region (for these companies there are no restrictions on the import and export of goods and no import/export charges). However, unlike companies in free zones, foreigners must find a local partner who will hold 51% of the shares.

3. Registration of trading company name

Choosing the name of the online store is an important step because this name must be memorable. When registering, you will need to provide several alternatives in case the name is already in use.

4. Choose a physical office in Dubai

Although an online store does not have premises, like a regular store, there should be a legal (office) address, as the authorities in Dubai require e-commerce companies to have one.

5. License Approval

After completing all the points above, it will take up to 7 days to obtain a license (depending on the registration authority).

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