PRO Profile

How to Obtain a Ecommerce License in Dubai

Steps Involved in obtaining an eCommerce license in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

1. Decide on the legal structure of your business

Prior to making any other decisions, it is crucial to determine the type of business structure you intend to establish. This may include options such as being a sole proprietor, entering into a partnership, establishing a branch office, or forming a limited liability company (LLC).

2. Choose & Register your Business Name

Within the UAE, specific naming guidelines must be adhered to when selecting a business name. These guidelines encompass avoiding offensive language or contentious terms and ensuring that the desired name is currently available for use. It is imperative to obtain approval for your chosen name from the Department of Economic Development (DED).

3. Choose the right business activity

When applying for an eCommerce license, it is necessary to select a specific business activity. Fortunately, there is a wide range of options available, making it relatively easy to find the one that suits your needs the most. Among the recommended choices are eCommerce or Selling on the Internet, as they align closely with the nature of your online business.

4. Choose the right license type for your business

Based on the nature of your business, it is essential to apply for the appropriate eCommerce license. Various types of licenses are available depending on your specific requirements. For example, freelancer licenses cater to individual entrepreneurs, e-trader licenses are designed for GCC nationals operating home businesses, and portal licenses are suitable for those intending to establish a marketplace platform.

5.Choose your location

To initiate an eCommerce business, a physical office space is not mandatory. However, an operating location is required for licensing purposes. This location can be in any emirate within the UAE, not limited to Dubai. You have the option to select an operating location in mainland UAE or a free zone, which offers additional benefits like tax advantages. Alternatively, you may consider applying for a virtual office or a Flexi-desk package as a viable alternative in certain cases.

6.Apply for your Initial Approval Certificate

An Initial Approval Certificate, also known as a No Objection Certificate (NOC), is required from the DED to establish an eCommerce business in the UAE. This certificate can be obtained simultaneously with your trade name approval application. It remains valid for a duration of 6 months and cannot be renewed beyond that period.

7.Filling in your KYC details

During the license application process, it is necessary to submit a comprehensive business license application that includes detailed information about your business and its shareholders. This entails providing proof of identification, address verification, as well as the social media account details associated with the business. These documents and details are essential for the application to be successfully processed.

8.Wait for Final Approval

That concludes the process. At this stage, you will need to wait for the final approval, which typically takes around 7 working days (although it may take longer in cases where the business model is more complex). This approval timeframe assumes that all the necessary documents have been provided accurately and are in order.

9.Business Bank Account Setup

n order to receive payments, having a bank account is essential. It is highly recommended to opt for a dedicated business bank account instead of a personal account to avoid any payment restrictions. Given the abundance of banking options in the UAE, it is crucial to thoroughly research and choose the one that best suits your business needs.


In conclusion, obtaining an eCommerce license in Dubai requires careful consideration and adherence to certain procedures. By following the outlined steps and guidelines, you can successfully establish your online business in this thriving city. Remember to determine the appropriate business structure, adhere to naming parameters, choose a suitable business activity, and secure an operating location. Additionally, ensure you have the necessary documentation, such as the Initial Approval Certificate and a comprehensive business license application. Finally, don’t forget to set up a dedicated business bank account for seamless payment processing. By navigating through these steps diligently, you can pave the way for a successful eCommerce venture in Dubai, taking advantage of the city’s vibrant business ecosystem and expanding your digital footprint in the region.