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E-Trader License in Dubai - What it is and how to get one
Starting a business

E-Trader License in Dubai - What it is and how to get one

The E-Trader licence was introduced to help online businesses run more smoothly – in fact, it allows e-commerce business owners to work from the comfort of their own home. 

Read this article for a better understanding of the E-Trader licence and walk away feeling more confident about the running of your online business in Dubai.

What is an E-Trader Licence? 

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) started the Dubai E-trader licence in 2017 in order to normalise the sales of products and services online. This has helped to ensure the authenticity of online businesses. 

E-trading is one of the most effective techniques entrepreneurs and business individuals can use to sell and market their services online. These individuals typically use a number of online marketplaces, social media platforms, and websites. 

This licence is open to all UAE residents, GCC citizens, and expats. The licence is perfect for individual entrepreneurs who do not need a physical office to trade their goods and services. 

What is the Purpose of the E-Trader Licence? 

The E-trader licence in Dubai was created so that entrepreneurs who set up shop at home in Dubai could carry out their business activities online and across social networking accounts. 

These days, social media can be used as a marketing tool for businesses. Allowing entrepreneurs to avoid prohibitively expensive traditional marketing methods. Social media can also serve as an interface between business owners and consumers, allowing business owners the opportunity to get valuable feedback on their services. 

The E-trader licence also helps in protecting your intellectual property and your trade name. The DED also provides workshops and training for E-Trader licence owners to attend. 

Benefits of an E-Trader Licence 

Some of the advantages of an e-trader licence include the following: 

  • The DED licence allows UAE citizens and GCC nationals living in Dubai to carry out business through various social media networks.
  • The licence reduces the amount of counterfeit products and commodities sold on social media.
  • The licence helps build consumer confidence in transacting with you through various social media sites.
  • An e-trader licence lets you conduct business through internet channels that are secure.
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Eligibility and Conditions of an E-Trader Licence 

You should apply for an E-trader licence in Dubai if you sell or market your products and services through social media accounts or personal websites. 

Here are three eligibility requirements you must meet in order to apply for a trade licence in Dubai: 

  • You must be a single-owner of a home-based business that does not require additional help from freelancers or a local partner.
  • You must be a home entrepreneur who does not have or need a physical office space. Otherwise, you would need to register with Ejari Dubai
  • You must either be a UAE or GCC national or an expat of certain other nationalities, on the condition that you are over the age of 21 years old and living in Dubai.

You will only be allowed to sell on social media using an E-trader licence under certain conditions. Here are some conditions of the licence you must keep in mind:

  • An E-trader license only applies to online businesses, if a business opens a pysical location, they no longer qualify for an e-trader license
  • The Dubai licence allows non-GCC expats to sell professional services through social media, however, they cannot sell physical products.
  • To sell in other emirates, you must gain external approvals from the respective DED authorities. This may require an additional E-trader licence to sell in that emirate. 

Read More: Guide to the Corporate Tax in UAE

Cost of an E-Trader Licence and How to Get It? 

You can get an e-trader licence in Dubai for a fee of AED 1,070. This will allow you to sell all professional services like event, design, and marketing management. 

Getting an E-trader licence only includes 5 simple steps.

  1. Visit the DED website, you can change the language to English in the bottom right corner
  2. Click "login” if you already have an account or “register” if you are a new user. You can register with your UAE pass
  3. Next, input your phone number, email address or Emirates ID number.
  4. Make your payment for the E-trader licence at the cost of AED 1,070 (as of 15th December 2022, this price is subject to change)
  5. You will be required to provide information about the social media accounts you will be using for trade

Once the above steps are complete, you have finished presenting the necessary document, and verification is performed and completed, the E-trader licence will be available to you within 3 to 5 working days.

It’s important to remember to conduct a DED licence renewal in Dubai once a year. The previous renewing process involved having to click ‘Renew Licence’ under My Transactions and select ‘Licence renewal information sector’. Then, you would type in your licence number and click ‘Renew’ to receive your renewed trade licence. 

The DED created an auto renewal process which is much simpler. However, you will still be charged renewal fees.

If you found this article helpful, we provide numerous other valuable blog posts on our QuickBooks Resources page to help you manage your small business with confidence. 

Once you have started your new online e-trading business you may also need accounting software like QuickBooks to help manage your finances. Visit our pricing page to get a 30-day free trial.


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