E-Commerce License in Dubai | License Cost from AED 5,750 | Online Business in 2022 (2023)

E-commerce business is booming in Dubai. We shop online more than ever and the regional digital economy continues its upward trend.

Value of e-commerce sales in the United Arab Emirates from 2015 to 2022

(in billion U.S. dollars)

Online business in Dubai

Online business in Dubai counts up to about a hundred well-known shops, which serve its 3,5 million population. The population is mostly mid-aged working people, equipped with mobile phones, laptops and a decent salary to spend.

People opt for internet shopping not only because of the pandemic. Online stores are available 24/7, save you travelling time, make it easy to find the best deal from the comfort of your home.

No wonder the demand for E-commerce licenses in Dubai is growing, and there are a lot of options for setting up an E-commerce business in the market.

What is E-commerce

E-commerce or e business simply means making money online: selling goods or services via the Internet.

E-commerce business includes literally anything you can imagine starting from online grocery stores ending with private jet booking.

Whether you are a freelancer or a multinational corporation, online presence is a must. Nowadays, simply any business has to be an e business.

Online trading in UAE

The importance of e-commerce in UAE has never been greater than today. However, the market is still far from being saturated, with just a few big names on the list:

Leading online shopping platforms in the United Arab Emirates in 2020 by usage

If you want to sell your products or services online in UAE, you have 3 ways to do it:

  1. Sell through a marketplace.
    Don’t spend much on advertising and get guaranteed views of your products. Pay commission to the marketplace and supply goods on time.
  2. Build own website and sell through it
    No commissions to marketplaces, but higher expenses for advertising. Logistics is on you too.
  3. Sell in social media
    Reach out to your targeted audience and locations.

The most effective way of online selling in the UAE is a combination of the above. Majority of online trading businesses in the UAE use all possible channels of internet presence.

How to start online business in UAE

UAE has a few options of licensing online business. They depend on the type of E-commerce business you are planning to do.

1. Portal license

If your company will be acting as an intermediary between the buyer and the seller, your business activity in the UAE will be called Portal or E-marketplace.

Most famous example of e-marketplace is Amazon.com the website serves as a platform for the merchants who advertise their goods, and the buyers.

If your activity is similar to that, Portal is what you need. Most of the free zones have such activity, so it won’t be a problem to find it.

2. E-commerce license

E-commerce setup is a choice of companies who want to sell their own goods through their own website.

It can be a website selling only 1-2 types of goods or big online retailers such as Mumzworld.com for example.

3. Commercial or service license

Even if your license does not relate to e-commerce as such, it does not mean you cannot sell your products or services online.

You can open a company with any business activity and conduct it online. As per the law, the mode of sales does not make any difference.

You can provide educational trainings, marketing consultations, sell food or clothes online or do any other type of business thought the Internet.

4. E-trader license

It is the cheapest way to establish your e-commerce company in Dubai. The licence costs 1,070 AED and is issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development.

5. Freelance license UAE

With freelance being now legalized in the UAE, any freelancer is able to apply for a freelance license. Having the license, you can advertise and provide your services online in UAE and globally.

It’s a perfect solution for designers, IT professionals, tutors, personal assistants and other typical freelancers.

Online shopping sites where you can sell your goods

Most popular way of online business in Dubai is selling goods through marketplaces. Here is a list of online shopping sites in the UAE where you can start your e business:

How to create your e-commerce website in Dubai

First thing you need to have if you want to launch your own e-business is to setup an ecommerce website in Dubai.

The easiest way to do it is to use ecommerce platforms such as:

Using them will save your time and efforts and will help to launch your ecommerce website faster.

Payment gateway UAE

Needless to say, your website should have a payment gateway to enable your customers to pay by card. There are a few online payment providers in UAE, that are friendly to new businesses:

Payments can also be received through PayPal UAE or cash on delivery method, which is always good for a start.

The most popular and easy to set up service is Stripe UAE.

Don’t forget that all UAE payment gateway providers charge a commission from each purchase. It usually varies from 2% up to 3.1% depending on the type of goods and sales volumes. Some of them have subscription fees too.

Be ready with the following set of documents for your online payment gateway setup:

  1. Company incorporation documents: license and MoA
  2. Personal documents: passport, residency visa and Emirates ID
  3. Address proof: a recent utility bill
  4. UAE corporate bank account

E-commerce delivery service Dubai

An important part that makes online business in Dubai working is delivery service. Majority of e shops hire a third party for pickup and delivery service in UAE.

Here are some flexible and affordable delivery services in UAE:

Delivery service companies in UAE mostly offer not only local, but also regional and international packages. You also get dedicated managers and user-friendly apps to track and manage your shipments.

E-commerce license in Dubai or UAE

E-commerce license in Dubai is one of the most sought after. But even if your license does not relate to e-commerce as such, it does not mean you cannot sell online in UAE.

E-commerce company in UAE is a company that sells its products or services online. In the current market, literally any company can be considered as e-commerce. Everyone has some kind of online presence and the trend is growing dramatically.

You can open a company in Dubai with any business activity and conduct it online. As per the law, the mode of sales does not make any difference.

Then why do people go for e-commerce license in Dubai? Usually because it’s a requirement from their partners or vendors, or even UAE payment gateway providers.

For example, if you are planning to sell your goods through a well-known marketplace, you might need the e-commerce license as a specific requirement from them.

Cheapest e-commerce license in UAE

Setting up an e-commerce company in Dubai won’t be a problem. Almost all UAE free zones provide a business activity of e-commerce, e-marketplace or portal.

E-commerce license in UAE cost depends of a few things:

  • Registering authority
  • Eligibility of resident visas
  • Facilities (flexi-desk, office, warehouse)

Here are the free zones that have an e-commerce license activity:

  • UAQ free trade zone
  • IFZA
  • Ajman free zone
  • DMCC
  • DTEC
  • Ajman Media City free zone
  • Fujairah Creative City
  • Commercity

The cheapest ecommerce licenses are offered by smaller Emirates. Umm Al Quwain with its UAQ Free Trade Zone would be a great choice. Its e-commerce license can be used for online trading in Dubai too.

E-commerce license Dubai cost

Large E-commerce companies in UAE are located in Dubai. Online business license in Dubai can be done in Dubai free zones or Department of Economic Development (DED).

DED has launched an e-trader license which beats others with the price - 1,070 AED only. It is the cheapest in the market, but has some terms and conditions to be met. Read about e-trader license.

As for the free zones, E-commerce license in Dubai price starts from about 15,000 AED. That price is valid in small free zones and does not include any residency visas or facilities.

E-commerce license Abu Dhabi

If you are planning to conduct your E-commerce business in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, it would be reasonable to setup a company in Abu Dhabi. It will help you to avoid any possible difficulties with local authorities and vendors. Many of them work only with Abu Dhabi entities.

E-commerce license Abu Dhabi can be opened in the following authorities:

  • Department of Economic Development of Abu Dhabi (ADDED)
  • Free Zone - KIZAD

ADDED restricts E-commerce in Abu Dhabi to UAE nationals or partnership with UAEnationals. If you want to be 100% owner of your e-business, opt for a free zone.


How much does e commerce license cost in Dubai? ›

The cost of an e-commerce license in the UAE starts at AED 5,750. However, there are additional costs to take into account when applying for your e-commerce licenses, such as resident visa eligibility, office spaces and facilities, and the registering authority.

What is the cheapest trade license in UAE Dubai business setup? ›

International Free Zone Authority (IFZA)

IFZA offers a low cost company license in Dubai without visas at a cost of AED 11,900. This is the cheap and best Dubai free zone license offer in 2023. The IFZA Free Zone is located at a convenient location in Dubai and offers a fast and easy business setup.

How much does a business Licence cost in Dubai? ›

If you are wondering how much a small business license cost in Dubai, then the quick answer to that is minimum AED 8000 to AED 10000 (approx.). However, there are a lot of contributing factors that may collectively increase the cost of a business license in Dubai.

How do I get an eCommerce business license in UAE? ›

Steps to get your e-commerce license in Dubai, UAE
  1. Decide on a legal structure.
  2. Choose a business location.
  3. Register the company's trade name.
  4. Dubai e commerce license application submission.
  5. Submit the application for the initial approval certificate.
  6. Draft the MOA / local service agent agreement.
  7. Rent an office.
Jun 8, 2023

How much is the license fee in UAE? ›

The total fee for getting a driving licence in the UAE differs from Emirate to Emirate, however, it ranges between AED 4,500 to AED 7,000 – this includes the cost of the driving schools along with other documentation and eye-tests.

Do I need a business license to sell online in UAE? ›

Yes, you do need a business license for an online store. It is illegal to conduct business without a permit, and if caught, you can face fines up to AED 500,000. What business license do I need to sell online in the UAE? You require an e-commerce license if you plan to sell your services or products online in the UAE.

How much money do you require minimum to start a business in Dubai? ›

Unlike the comparatively high cost of establishing a business on Dubai's mainland, establishing a firm in a Dubai free zone requires a minimum expenditure of roughly AED 12,900 for a company license with no immigration quota and no office space.

How much does LLC trade license cost in Dubai? ›

The cost of registering your limited liability company in Dubai ranges from AED 20,000 to 30,000. However, the fees vary depending on the industry type and services. The investor visa cost is between AED 4,000 to AED 5,500. Depending on the category of employee you hire, the fee is between AED 5,000 and AED 7,000.

How much money i need to start a small business in UAE? ›

Therefore, any amount between AED 20,000 and AED 30,000 is considered a safe bet. It's vital to remember that the small business license cost in Dubai will increase if you require special privileges. For example, regulations like a foreign trading name or governmental approval add to the entire cost.

How much is a 1 year business visa in Dubai? ›

As stated by the ICP website, the visa fee for different categories of the UAE job seeker visa is as follows: The 60 days visa – AED 1,495. The 90 days visa – AED 1,655. The 120 days visa – AED 1,815.

How much does it cost to start a business in Dubai as a foreigner? ›

Cost of starting a business in Dubai as an expat

For example: the trade license would cost you between AED 15,000 to AED 25000, approximately depending on the region. Also, if you pick a foreign name (non-Arabic) for your company you have to pay additional fee of AED 2000.

How much is commercial license in UAE? ›

It is a sole establishment license that can be obtained by Dubai home-based businesses issued with the trade name. It can be applied through “Invest in Dubai” platform with a fee of AED 1070 (license fees and knowledge and innovation fees) + AED 300 (Dubai Chamber membership fees).

What are the three types of business license in UAE? ›

Establishing business in the UAE
  • The nature of the economic activity defines the legal form of the company and the type of license required.
  • There are six types of licenses, namely industrial license, commercial license, crafts license, tourism license, agricultural license, and professional license.

How can I open an ecommerce store in Dubai? ›

How to set up an e-commerce business in Dubai, UAE:
  1. Choose your line of business and business license. ...
  2. Choose the correct jurisdiction and acquire a trade license. ...
  3. Develop, build, and launch your website. ...
  4. Include online payment gateways. ...
  5. Secure supply, storage, and delivery. ...
  6. Market your product or services.
Mar 11, 2022

Which e-commerce business is best in UAE? ›

Area Served
  • Souq.com. 2005. Acquired by Amazon in 2017. General Ecommerce. ...
  • Ounass.ae. 1979. Al Tayer Group. Fashion Ecommerce. ...
  • Amazon.ae. 1994. Amazon. General Ecommerce. ...
  • Groupon.ae. 2008. Groupon. ...
  • Basharacare.com. 2012. Jad Haidamous. ...
  • LetsTango.com. 2013. Dikran Tchablakian. ...
  • Sharafdg.com. 2005. Mohammed Sharaf. ...
  • Noon.com. 2016. Mohamed Alabbar.

How much is the total cost of licence in Dubai? ›

UAE Driving Licence Cost

The overall cost to obtain a driving licence in the United Arab Emirates varies from Emirate to Emirate and ranges from AED 4500 to AED 7000. This includes the cost of driving to school as well as extra paperwork and eye exams.

How much is the cheapest license in Dubai? ›

Meydan Free Zone's license is the cheapest trade license in Dubai with no visa. The price of the license varies from case to case. In general, you can get this license for AED 10, 000 to AED 13,000. You can also get it on monthly interest-free payments for AED 800 – AED 1,100.

How much is unlimited license in Dubai? ›

The cost is around Dh8,000 plus VAT for the unlimited package. “But you can actually save between Dh1,000 and Dh2,000, or more if you are a beginner and not yet confident to drive,” Agha candidly added. The number of lessons one has to take varies from one emirate to another.

Can I sell on Amazon without a business license in UAE? ›

Can you Sell on Amazon Without a License? No, selling products on Amazon UAE without an e-commerce license is not permitted. You must apply for an e-commerce license, which we can provide you with at Meydan Free Zone.

How can I start a small online business in UAE? ›

Steps for setting up an online business in Dubai
  1. Choose the right jurisdiction for your online business. ...
  2. Picking the ideal name for your company & obtaining your initial approval certificate. ...
  3. Getting started with the process of obtaining your online business license. ...
  4. Application process to acquire visas.
May 9, 2023

Can I open a company online in UAE? ›

You can apply in person at the Department of Economic Development in the emirate where you plan to establish business. Additionally, digital platforms are available to obtain a commercial license and establish a company online where applying with the necessary documents will lead to a license within minutes.

Do small businesses need a license in UAE? ›

A business license in Dubai is mandated and monitored by the DED (Department of Economic Development). From small and medium to multinational companies, all need business licenses to operate legally.

How much does it cost to start a shop in Dubai? ›

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Business in UAE? A minimum share capital of AED 1000 is required as capital. Each share should have a value of AED 1000. The minimum share capital for establishing a free zone company in DMCC is AED 50,000 per company and AED 10,000 per shareholder.

Can a non citizen start a business in Dubai? ›

The answer in most circumstances is yes. Though there may be conditions depending on the type of business you wish to start, your nationality, and the country of your tax residence. In some cases, you may need to work with a local sponsor who will hold a 51% stake in your business.

What is the cheapest company license in UAE? ›

What is the cheapest trade license in UAE?
Trade License CostFree Zones
11,900 AEDDubai Silicon Oasis – IFZA
4000 – 10,000 AEDSharjah media city
10,000 – 12,000 AEDRas al Khaimah
12,500 AEDMeydan Free Zone
2 more rows
May 8, 2023

Which trade license is best in Dubai? ›

The Commercial License is also known as the general trading license or business license. It is the most widely applied for and issued trade license type in Dubai's Free Zones. This license type applies to businesses involved in commercial activities and trade activities in Dubai and the UAE.

Can I own 100 LLC in UAE? ›

There may be one owner or many stockholders in a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Expats were only permitted to possess 100% of a limited number of businesses in the professional services sector and specific free zones in the UAE.

How much does it cost to open a company and bank account in Dubai? ›

Yes, there are various banks where a deposit of at least 50,000 AED (approx. 12,000 euros) is required for a company account. However, as mentioned, this does not apply to all banks. Of course, there are multiple banks that open corporate accounts without the need for a deposit.

How much capital do I need to start a business in Dubai? ›

Mainland business setup / LLC company formation costs. License Fee (yearly gov't fees) – AED 10,000 (Approx.) License Fee (yearly gov't fees) – AED 5,600 (Approx.)

Can you start a business while working full time in UAE? ›

Starting a business while being employed is legal in the UAE, given you follow the guidelines to do so. You can't violate the laws by opening a company without obtaining the NOC from your employer in the restricted regions.

How much is a 3 year work visa in Dubai? ›

The work visa fees for Dubai can range anywhere from AED 250 to AED 3,450 or approximately INR 5,500 to INR 77,000.

How much is 2 years freelance visa in Dubai? ›

Foreign professionals who want to move and apply for freelancer visas in Dubai must first get acquainted with its requirements. The total cost of such a visa is AED 7,500 to be issued and renewed. Also, another fee may apply. This is the AED 10 “Knowledge Dirham” for innovation.

How much is 3 years freelance visa in Dubai? ›

The freelance residence visa in Dubai costs AED 4,960 (normal) or AED 6,340 (express) and is valid for 3 years if applied from within the UAE. The freelance residence visa in Dubai costs AED 3,330 (normal) or AED 3,990 (express) and is valid for 3 years if applied outside the UAE.

Do I need an eCommerce license in Dubai? ›

You must have the appropriate licence to conduct eCommerce activities. Governments offer various programmes to support and promote eCommerce businesses.

How can I get e trader license in Dubai? ›

The steps to apply for your Dubai e-trader licence are simple:
  1. Create a username and password.
  2. Enter your address details.
  3. Enter the social media accounts of your business.
  4. Choose the relevant license activity.
  5. Pick a business trade name.
  6. Pay for the licence fee online.
  7. Await confirmation.
Jul 4, 2022

How can I open an eCommerce store in Dubai? ›

How to set up an e-commerce business in Dubai, UAE:
  1. Choose your line of business and business license. ...
  2. Choose the correct jurisdiction and acquire a trade license. ...
  3. Develop, build, and launch your website. ...
  4. Include online payment gateways. ...
  5. Secure supply, storage, and delivery. ...
  6. Market your product or services.
Mar 11, 2022

How can I get e license in Dubai? ›

The DED Trader license is issued electronically wherever you are by visiting dedtrader.ae and following simple steps; create username and password; enter address details, and social media accounts for the project/business; select the activity and trade name and finally pay and receive the license electronically.

Do you need a license for Shopify in UAE? ›

Do I need a trade license for Shopify dropshipping in Dubai? Yes. To engage in any trading activity in Dubai or the wider UAE, you will require a trade license. In this instance, you will need an e-commerce license.

Do you need a license in Dubai to sell on Amazon? ›

Is it legal to sell on Amazon in UAE? Yes, it is legal to sell on Amazon in the UAE, but you will need to have a licence to sell products through this website. You need to apply for a UAE E-commerce Licence, which we can provide you with at Meydan Commerce.

Can I open bank account on e trader license Dubai? ›

DIB, in association with Dubai Economy (DED), brings you a business banking account loaded with exclusive benefits. If you are an online or social media entrepreneur holding a DED Trader License, you can now open a DIB e-Trader Business Account and enjoy hand- picked privileges.


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