Trade license in Dubai

Do you need trade license in Dubai to sell on social media?

Selling on social media is no different than trading on land. Both are economic activities that require a government-issued trade license. Social media has provided small businesses and independent entrepreneurs a simple and cost-effective platform for their business ventures. Not only do social media platforms have a wide reach but they also require minimum effort and investment. However, it has also become a playground for fraudulent and illegal activities. To safeguard, online consumers and entrepreneurs, the UAE government has made it mandatory to have a trade license in Dubai.

In 2018, the UAE Ministry of Economy along with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority shut down many unauthorised commercial websites and social media pages  without a valid trade license in Dubai. The same year, the Department of Economic Development (DED) had ordered over 13,000 social media accounts to close for conducting unlicensed trade. Some social media accounts also sold huge numbers of counterfeit goods because of which the DED and the Department of Consumer Protection took necessary action against such social media pages.

Owing to the increasing number of unauthorised selling and online frauds, the Electronic Media Regulations law was launched in March 2019. The law stated that online activities carried out for commercial purposes must have a trade license in Dubai. The trade license in Dubai must be sanctioned by the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the National Media Council (NMC). The activities include selling of commodities and services or otherwise commercial use of any other online platform. The law also includes commercial use of social media by sellers, vloggers, as well as influencers.

What is the penalty for selling on social media without a license?

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are the most popular channels used to sell products and services. The UAE commercial law is applicable on these as well as other social media channels. As a result, UAE citizens and residents may be penalised up to AED 500,000 for selling products or services online without a trade license. In the UAE, social media channels are monitored and regulated by UAE authorities. Their aim is to promote the practice of fair trade and protect consumers from online frauds.

How to get a social media license in Dubai?

The Department of Economic Development (DED) issues business licenses in Dubai for companies willing to do business in the region. Any type of business, be it online or offline must get a license from the DED.

To sell on social media, an entity must have a trade license issued by the DED and the NMC. The license will allow you to freely post and promote content related to products and services. It will also allow you creative freedom to run a full-fledged business.

If you would like to start a social media business or would like to get your trade license in Dubai to sell on social media, contact Shuraa Business Setup and book your FREE consultation today! For more information, speak with our company formation experts on +97144081900 or WhatsApp us on +971507775554. You can also drop us an email at

  • thomas
    Posted at 09:12h, 06 February

    hi, I have a general trading license in dubai, My question is… Do i have to obtain another license to start an online shop for the same activity.

    • shuraabusinesssetup
      Posted at 03:52h, 07 February

      Thank you for your query. No, you don’t need another license to start an online shop. You can create a website and sell the goods online under same license.

  • Ria
    Posted at 02:26h, 23 March

    Hi, which type of license is required if I’ve to import dresses from India and sell it online (only through social media) in Dubai.

    • shuraabusinesssetup
      Posted at 05:21h, 23 March

      Thank you for your query. You will require ready made garment trading LLC company with approval from NMC for online sale through Social Media.

  • Fatimah Lyn
    Posted at 02:16h, 18 July

    Hi, I have trading license in Sharjah for building and interior materials, If I want to do business online do I have to get another e-business licence? I’m planning to sell online like handicrafts (bags, hats, scarfs and other items for women accessories and small items for home interiors ).

    • shuraabusinesssetup
      Posted at 04:52h, 18 July

      Hey Fatimah,

      You can freely sell the home interior products online as you already have the license for it. For other goods, however, you will have to submit your ejari get a permit for online trading.

  • Lui Weiting
    Posted at 06:44h, 29 July

    Hi, If i were to have an ecommerce license, does that mean i cannot import and export just like a general trade license? Hence, won’t a general trade license be enough if i want to sell my goods online?

    • shuraabusinesssetup
      Posted at 02:27h, 16 August

      Hey Lui,

      With a general trading license, you cannot only import and export your goods but also sell the same online without any additional license. However, with just an e-commerce license, you cannot import and export goods.

  • Nomadic
    Posted at 02:23h, 23 December

    Hi good day! if for example i want to sell genuine gold jewellery by posting in social media like facebook, instagram and etc., how much the permit will cost?
    thank you in advance.

    • shuraabusinesssetup
      Posted at 03:37h, 07 January

      Hi Nomadic,

      First, for any kind of sale of goods in the UAE, you will have to avail the appropriate license. The license type may be subject to how you procure your products and other approvals for precious metal trading. Please contact us for free consultation. You can call on +971 44081900 or send a WhatsApp message to +971 501287254. Moreover, you can also send us your query via

  • Harold
    Posted at 15:18h, 01 November

    Hi there. I’m a published author from the UK and want to sell my books here in the UAE. What trade license do I need to have? I don’t need a visa since I have a full-time job, except that I only want to sell my existing books here.

    • Business Setup Consultant
      Posted at 07:16h, 11 April

      Hi Harold,

      You will need a trading license to sell your books here in the UAE. Shuraa Business Setup can help you get your trading license with ease. Contact our experts at INFO@SHURAA.COM. You can also call us at +971 4 4081900 or +971 50 7775554 and even send us a message through WhatsApp at +971 50 7775554