E-commerce is growing exponentially across the globe, including in the UAE. Compounded by the pandemic, which drove populations online and altered consumer behaviour forever, the e-commerce market in the UAE has never been stronger. According to the International Trade Administration, e-commerce sales in the UAE jumped by 53% in 2020. Almost 100% of the UAE population is now online too.
So, it’s little wonder that savvy business owners like you are looking to the UAE to open a thriving e-commerce business. But before you launch your e-commerce business, you’ll need to ensure you have the correct licence – an e-commerce licence, to be precise. This licence enables business owners to sell their own goods through their own websites or a portal such as Amazon.
In this article, we will explore the UAE’s e-commerce licence. We will take a deep dive into everything you need to know about the application process, including the costs and benefits. We will cover the following topics:
As one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the Middle East and North Africa, it’s easy to see why so many entrepreneurs are choosing the UAE to establish their e-commerce business.
Firstly, while many countries impose restrictions on foreign businesses, the UAE offers a string of tax incentives and tax holidays that make opening a business in the region easier and more profitable, including:
The UAE also boasts an unrivalled location, conveniently situated between Africa, Asia and Europe. It’s a gateway to growth markets that can transcend geographical barriers, offering access to two-thirds of the population within an eight-hour flight. Businesses have easy access to the sea, as well as one of the world’s largest airports – Dubai International Airport. According to the World Bank Logistics Performance, the UAE ranks as number one in the MENA index too.
The region is widely regarded as one of the world’s largest destinations for infrastructure investments, too. This means that business owners can tap into a wealth of benefits, such as:
E-commerce business owners can also benefit from fast, easy and secure banking. The UAE’s banks have proven reliable during global crises and there’s a wide range of payment providers available for any size of business, such as Stripe, PayTabs and HyperPay.
The cost of an e-commerce licence in the UAE starts at AED 5,750.
However, there are additional costs to take into account when applying for your e-commerce licence, such as resident visa eligibility, office spaces and facilities, and the registering authority.
Get in touch with our team at SPC Free Zone for an accurate and personalised quote tailored to your specific business requirements.
The steps to getting an e-commerce licence in the UAE are straightforward, though you’ll need to jump through a few hoops along the way. There’s no need to do it alone though, as at SPC Free Zone our business advisors can help you navigate the entire process.
Step 1: Document submission
First, you’ll need to make sure your papers are in order and submit your documents to the authorities. Once approved, you will receive your e-commerce licence in under two hours.
Step 2: E-channel application
You’ll need to apply for e-channel applications to receive your entry permit, a temporary visa valid for 60 days.
Step 3: Status change
Once you’ve received your permit, the authorities will activate your status change.
Step 4: Emirates ID
You’ll need an Emirates ID to apply for things like a bank account, property rentals and mobile phone contracts. To acquire this, you will need to undergo a medical test.
SPC Free Zone offers one of the cheapest e-commerce licences in the UAE. Our business advisors offer benefits including:
One of the easiest and most popular ways of building an e-commerce business in the UAE involves an online shopping site, where business owners can list and sell their products. The UAE boasts a range of user-friendly, advanced online platforms for sellers. Some of the best-known online e-commerce sites in the UAE include:
Yes, in order to open an e-commerce business in the UAE, you will need to obtain an e-commerce licence.
If you’re looking to set up an online e-commerce business in the UAE, you will need to obtain an e-commerce licence. For more information, you can get in touch with the team at SPC Free Zone for the latest rules, regulations and a bespoke quote.
Wondering where to find the best e-commerce licence in the UAE? SPC Free Zone offers a fast and flexible business setup in the UAE. Conveniently located in the heart of Sharjah, business owners and entrepreneurs can receive their e-commerce licence in less than two hours. Our business advisors are experts in the market and can help advise on the next steps for you and your business.
SPC Free Zone also offers 1,500 business activities and up to 20 visas under one consultancy trading licence, as well as competitive benefits such as 100% foreign ownership with zero paid-up capital and a dual-licence option that offers both mainland and free zone on the same licence.
Interested in starting and expanding your e-commerce business in the UAE? Get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable business advisors at SPC Free Zone to find out more.
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SPC Free Zone offers a wide range of business support services as a one-stop shop solution for your business needs.