When applying for an E-Trader License in Dubai, you’ll first need to choose where you intend to operate. The region is home to many locations, including Mainland Dubai, numerous Free Zones, and more. And with over 2,000 business activities that operate in this area, there is endless potential for business success. So, let’s take a deeper look at some of the various E-Trader Licenses available in Dubai.

Possible DED Licensing Options

Several licensing options are available from the Department of Economic Development (DED). These vary based on the business sector you hope to enter and include:

1. Industrial Licenses

An industrial license is issued to companies engaged in various manufacturing or industrial activities. They typically involve businesses that refine natural materials into finished products. Under this license, 51% of company shares must be owned by a UAE national, with 49% owned by the expatriate owner.

2. Professional Licenses

A professional license is given for businesses that conduct non-physical services. This can be consultancies, attorneys, auditors, and more. These businesses provide professional services that require skills and expertise to complete. Businesses with professional licenses have the benefit of 100% foreign ownership. However, it’s still required to appoint a UAE national as a local sponsor.

3. Commercial Licenses

Commercial licenses are for companies that engage in forms of commercial trading activities and provide physical services. This can include healthcare, general trading, specialized trading, real estate, contracting, transportation, and more.

4. Occupational Licenses

Also known as craftsmanship licenses, these are provided to individuals that independently create crafts or artisanal works as a business. These can include blacksmithing, carpentry, printing, and more. Craftsmen require physical effort and the use of tools and equipment to complete jobs.

5. Agricultural Licenses

An agricultural license is given to businesses that grow crops, raise livestock, or conduct farm-related business.

6. Tourism Licenses

Tourism licenses are issued to the owners of businesses that specialize in tourist activities. These can include hotels, resorts, restaurants, travel agencies, and more. There are three main types of tourism licenses, each for inbound tourism, travel agents, and outbound tourism.

The Benefits of Setting Up a DED Licensed Company

A DED license, also known as a Mainland license, LLC, or Onshore license, is an increasingly popular choice for new foreign investors. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits of setting up a DED-licensed business:

1. Ease of Business Setup in Dubai

• A hassle-free legal process for registering a DED company
• An easy, straightforward application process for new businesses in Mainland Dubai
• Flexible regulations provide more opportunities for business growth
• Fewer restrictions, easy approval processes, quick timelines, and affordable business options

2. Multiple Licenses

• No restrictions on business scope
• Relaxed visa eligibility, with the number of visas based on office space
• You can apply for as many business licenses as you need, provided you have ample office space

3. A Choice in Office Location

• DED-licensed businesses can choose their own office location anywhere in the UAE. The choice will give a company the ability to trade with local markets and open multiple branches if necessary.

4. Business Activity Flexibility

• The DED presides over a wide range of business activities. However, if there is still a particular business activity not mentioned, DED authorities can have new activities added to the coverage list.
• No limitation of business activities
• While current DED companies must have a local partner with a majority stake, regulation reforms will soon change to allow 100% foreign ownership with no need for local sponsorship.
• Profit sharing between owners and local sponsors
• A broader scope of business, with a diverse workforce and skilled labor pool.

5. Expanded Flexibility

• DED-licensed entities are allowed to trade with Mainland-based companies
• You can conduct business anywhere in or outside of the UAE
• Permitted to conduct business with local officials and government authorities.


The Strategic Pillars of DED

The Department of Economic Development’s vision is to transform Dubai into one of the largest business hubs globally. This plan is comprised of six strategic pillars that include:

1. Economic Growth

Economic growth is built by providing infrastructure and support to various business sectors, allowing them to grow sustainable progress.

2. Economic Competitiveness

This focus is on supporting the Dubai Government in their goals of expanding the regional and global economy.

3. Business Community Happiness

This pillar ensures the presence of a regulatory framework that supports businesses of all sizes, from startups to large corporations. Additionally, this requires firms to abide by all rules, laws, and regulations set forth by government authorities.

4. Economic Foresight and Planning

This focus revolves around planning and building a sustainable economy for Dubai, with definitive plans to handle any future challenges that may emerge.

5. Advance the DED

Advancing the DED requires internal functions to be constantly improved and streamlined, ensuring more effective governance capable of achieving long-term strategic goals.

6. Maintain Financial Stability

The final pillar focuses on the efficient use of financial resources. This includes the careful and effective implementation of strategies for additional development of revenue streams.

Who Can Apply for an E-Trader License in Dubai

An E-Trader license can be obtained by UAE citizens, GCC nationals, and ex-pats in Dubai. This license allows individuals to legally form a digital shop to market and sell products or services through social media accounts. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, having a business license allows owners to conduct business without official office spaces.

While this license allows an unprecedented amount of business freedom, it still requires the DED to regulate the authenticity of products. To this, the DED will require licensees to abide by online trading rules as set forth by the government.

The Requirements for an E-Trader License

To secure an E-Trader license in Dubai, there are several requirements you must first meet. These include:

• You must be a Dubai resident.
• You must possess a valid Emirates ID.
• You must be 21 years or older.
• E-Traders may not use commercial premises like shops, offices, or garages to conduct business.
• An E-trader license is only for small businesses. If you plan on expanding or growing your company in the future, you’ll need to seek a different license.

How MSZ Consultancy Can Help You with Your DED License!

Whether you’re a new investor hoping to take advantage of a lucrative business market or you’re part of a larger corporation that’s expanding, it pays to choose third-party business setup consultants to help them navigate the terrain of conducting business in a foreign country. And that’s where MSZ Consultancy can help!

For those interested in securing an E-trader License in Dubai, handling critical license applications, or seeking visas, MSZ has you covered. We have years of experience helping investors understand and take advantage of all the benefits of business in the UAE.

Give us a call today at +971 52 544 1248 and let our team of experts help you handle the day-to-day aspects of your business so you can focus on the long-term growth of your brand.

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