Your Guide to E-commerce Licensing in The UAE

Mar 14 · 3 min read

Summary: This article is aimed toward single-owner, online startup businesses that need an e-trader license to sell products and/or services virtually. Discover the cost and benefits of this business license as well as how to apply online. If your business is in Dubai, the process is quick, easy and does not require an official trade name or proof of contracts.

Your guide to the UAE e-commerce license

Got five minutes to spare? That’s all you’ll need to get your online business license in the UAE. In 2017, Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED) rolled out an online registration system to promote simple and easy sign-ups. Read below for more details and how to apply online in a matter of minutes.

What is the e-trader license?

In Dubai, the e-trader license is required for any individual looking to become a business owner online. In other words, if you want to sell your products via the internet, you need an e-trader license. Whether you are starting your own e-commerce website or simply using social media to promote your products and services, you have to go about it legally to avoid a penalty.

Emiratis and GCC nationals living in Dubai and over the age of 21 are automatically eligible. Most other nationalities also will receive almost instantaneous approval.

Keep in mind the e-trader license is specifically for home-based (no shops or work visas involved), single-owner businesses or freelancers in Dubai. You can use any e-commerce platform or social media outlet you desire, as long as you fulfill the above-mentioned requirements.

Benefits of the e-trader license

Other than the obvious part about following the law of the land, completing the license application and getting approval has lots of perks. For example, now you can increase your customer connections at conferences and exhibitions, as well as attend e-trader-specific workshops and training. Think of the license as a golden ticket into Dubai’s world of e-commerce.

Once you have your e-trader license, you immediately can start selling your products and services online if you’re an Emirati or GCC National. Other nationalities can start providing professional services right away. However, not all nationalities can sell commercial products online. Once you have registered using your nationality, the DED will give you the specifics about your circumstances.

Another advantage to having the e-trader license is establishing that your products and services are legit. We all know counterfeit products and companies are floating around online. That is one reason the DED wanted to make the registration process for legitimate entrepreneurs so quick and easy.

How to apply for the e-trader license

No trade name yet? No problem. Still waiting on that legal contract or rent contract? No worries. Read below to see how straightforward registering your startup and getting your online commercial license will be.

Create a DED Trader account online:

● If you are a UAE resident, this step is even faster and easier with UAE-Pass or DubaiID.

● Sign-up asks for the usual personal details, such as name, phone number, email, address, nationality, and passport copy.

● If you run into issues or have questions, contact DED at 04 445 5555 or

The license costs just over AED 1,000 and is valid for one year from the date of approval. Your document will be emailed to you so it’s easy to access and print if necessary.

Whether you are setting up as a mainland company or in a free trade zone such as DMCC, obtaining your e-trader license to do business online is a crucial first step. So, if it took you only five minutes to read this article, that’s all it will take to register for your e-trader license!

We are Fetchr; a company specialized in e-fulfillment. We help e-commerce entrepreneurs grow their business in the Middle East. Let’s make it happen! One box at a time. Learn more here.

To read the Arabic version of this blog, click here.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be considered business or legal advice. MENA 360 DWC-LLC (Fetchr) will not be held liable for the use, non-use or misapplication of this information, lost profits, personal or business interruption, or any other loss.


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We’re on a mission to build the next generation of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Let’s make it happen. One box at a time!

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