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How to start social media businesses in Dubai?

Recently an official data published by the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) stated that over 3,000 licences have been issued since 2017 to trade goods on social media alone. Around 2420 where UAE nationals, whereas all other were expatriates and foreign investors. The data also said that out of the total licences 60% of the licences have been issued to women entrepreneurs.

Why do social media businesses in Dubai need a license?

It is extremely important for social media businesses in Dubai to have a license in order to trade legally. It is not only to secure the entire trade, but a trade license for social media businesses also plays an important part in promoting consumer confidence in shopping for products and services. In the UAE social media channels are supervised and standardised by the UAE authorities. The ultimate aim is to exercise a fair trade and shield consumers from ambiguous online commercial frauds.

Is there a penalty on unlicensed social media businesses in Dubai?

In 2018, the UAE Ministry of Economy along with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority had a massive shut down. The authorises shut down unauthorised commercial websites and social media pages selling without a proper trade license in Dubai.

Another media report also said that the Department of Economic Development in Dubai had ordered over 13,000 social media accounts to close in 2018 due to unlicensed selling. A penalty of up to AED 500,000 for selling products or services online without a proper license was introduced in due course. The report mentioned, “Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are the major channels used to sell products and services and if selling is done with a DED license then penalties will be levied.”

Do social media businesses in Dubai require e-traders license?

Yes, to start a business on social media in Dubai an e-traders license is required. An e-Trader licence can be registered under the name of a single owner. To apply for an e-trader license in Dubai you need to submit proof of identity, the type of business activity you want to setup and the account through which products and services will be displayed. The documents are verified, and the license is issued for AED 1070 with a validity of one-year.

The e-traders license does eliminate the obstacles faced by social media users and improves accountability of your intellectual property. With an e-traders license in Dubai you can also enhance consumer confidence and removes the risk of infringement on a reserved trade name or other intellectual properties.

However, e-trader license in Dubai does have limitations. With an e-trader license – commercial entities cannot rent a commercial space or shop; have a corporate bank account or even get or issue visas.

So, what is the procedure of starting a full-fledged business in Dubai that provides you visa, bank account, renting options as well as freedom to sell on social media?

The Department Economic Development creates unconditional business openings and appealing environment for social media and online businesses in Dubai.

However, if you want to do an online business in Dubai or are planning to sell goods and services on social media – it would be ideal to setup a full-fledged business. This does not only secure future prospects of the business but also offers the liberty of renting an office space, issuing visas and channelizing the company’s revenue with a corporate bank account.

Here are the steps to start a business in Dubai be it offline or online –

  • License Application
  • Governmental forms
  • Name reservation certificate
  • Initial approval certificate
  • External departments approval
  • Tenancy contract
  • EJARI registration certificate
  • Passport copies partners and NOC for partners (if any)

Confused where to get started? Get in touch with Shuraa Business Setup the best company formation service providers in the UAE.

To get a well-informed outlook on your business in the UAE, book a free consultation with our experts.

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