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Steps on Starting an e-Commerce Business in UAE

Much like starting a traditional business, knowing the steps in starting an online or e-commerce business in UAE is not always an easy task. Nevertheless, developing, launching, and also maintaining sites wherein creators, entrepreneurs, and designers can sell their products and services are more attainable today than they’ve ever been.  

A lot of entrepreneurs and even professionals are now considering e-commerce businesses rather than the traditional brick-and-mortar as they offer more flexibility, opportunity, and affordability for many.  

Although there’s a couple of notable differences with starting an offline and online business, there’s also some similarities, most especially the legal and planning steps. We’ll tackle them with more depth below. 

Guide on Starting an Online Business in UAE

Step 1: Perform the necessary research 

The first step to starting an online or e-commerce business in Dubai or anywhere in UAE is performing research to find your niche. Just like when starting a restaurant business and you look into several different locations, themes, and food options, you would want to investigate thoroughly the e-commerce area that you are interested in. Then, make some important decisions with regards to your chosen business.  

For instance, you’d want to-determine the services that you’ll be offering. What are they? Maybe you want to sell products, too. if you are selling products, will they be in digital or physical form? Where will you be sourcing your products? In addition, you would want to consider the kind of business model that you will be employing – will you be offering packages, subscriptions, single products, or something else? 

Questions such as these will be integral with starting an e-commerce business in UAE ad help you start creating and writing your business plan. The process will provide you with a much better sense of the specific goals you want to achieve and also how you are going to reach every single one of them. That being said, an important part would be finding the niche perfect for you. Although the UAE’s e-commerce industry has seen growth that’s it is already a huge advantage if you have an online presence, that also means you have more competition. It is, therefore, best if you perform competitor research. Find the specific space where you will be able to establish a unique brand and find some success in offering your goods and services. 

Step 2: Choose a business name 

As soon as you have solidified your plan for an e-commerce business in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, the next step would be choosing the name of your business that is also compliant to naming policies for business entities in UAE. Just like with any other business, you would want to select the name that is unique but is also a clear indicator of what exactly your business does or is offering. You would want to consult with experts on business setup in UAE so you can have the assurance that you have a business name which is not already claimed by a different company.  

Also, although you would not want to invest a lot of time on your website or page just yet, it’s going to be worth your while if you check and see if the domain name for your business is available. In the event that you find out it’s already used, consider choosing another business name. 

Step 3: Obtain the necessary e-commerce license 

After you have done your research and chosen a name for your business, it is time to register it by getting an e-commerce license. An e-commerce license in UAE allows you to operate legally in the country. Only a business with an e-commerce license is allowed in undertaking the sale of goods and services online and collect payments from product sale.  

An investor or entrepreneur can also opt for a trading license together with an e-commerce license, expanding the possibilities for selling in AUE through the physical and digital way.

Take note: VAT standard rate of five percent will be charged with all transactions in UAE in accordance to UAE taxation regulations.

Requirements you need to furnish to the local authority for the necessary business permits are as follows: 

  • Passport or visa copies of shareholders or applicants for business license 
  • Copies of sponsor’s emirates ID or passport 
  • No objection certificate issued by a relevant authority
  • Company registration form 
  • Tenancy contract or lease agreement 
  • Memorandum of association or any other supporting document 

Business Setup Experts in UAE  

As with launching just about any new business, creating an e-commerce business will likely feel stressful and overwhelming. Luckily for you, you can have access to the legal advice and guidance of experts of business setup in UAE who can offer their tips or even help you in getting your business idea established from the ground up. If you want to speak with a team of company formation specialists in UAE, contact us here in FAR Consulting Middle East today!