How To Start An Online Business In Dubai, UAE?

A person setting up online business in uae

Dubai is a strategic global hub with world-class infrastructure and a business-friendly environment with top-notch infrastructure, services, a free enterprise system, and an attractive financial sector. Its diverse trading strategies make it an exceptional market for global companies across industries in the digital era.

With widespread internet access and advanced infrastructure, Dubai’s vast online market creates ample opportunities for the country’s growing online business sector. Here we cover the straightforward process, costs, and benefits of launching your online business in Dubai.

Types of Businesses You Can Start in Dubai

Here are the most attractive types of businesses you can start in Dubai:

1. IT Solutions

2. Manufacturing Business

3. E-commerce Business

4. Logistics Business

6. Digital Marketing

7. Tourism Services

8. Consultancy service

9. Cloud Kitchens

10. Specialty Clinics

11. Bookkeeping and Accounting

12. Automotive

13. Jewelry business

14. Food and Beverage (F&B)

15. Real Estate 

16. Retail Business

17. Fashion and Beauty

How to Start an Online Business in Dubai Easily?

Following are the five easy steps to be followed in order to start an online business in Dubai:

1. Define Your Online Business Type

First, you need comprehensive research on various online business options such as e-commerce, digital products, affiliate marketing, or freelance. 

Choose a business name that complies with UAE regulations.

2. Identify Unique Selling Points

Conduct competitor research, market analysis, and customer surveys to determine what sets your business in the UAE online market.

Opt for a free zone license for 100% profit repatriation, tax exemption, and ownership. 

Alternatively, choose a mainland license for access to international and local markets.

3. Establish Brand and Website

Develop a comprehensive brand identity and a website. Ensure that your online representation is consistent with your brand identity and resonates with a broad audience.

4. Legally Register Your Business

Streamlined process to legally register your in UAE. Apply for an e-commerce license based on your license type, submit to DED for the mainland or directly to the chosen free zone authority for free zone businesses.

Available licenses for online businesses in the UAE:

  • Portal license
  • E-commerce license
  • Commercial or Service License
  • E-trader license
  • Freelance license 

5. Obtain Visas & Set Up a Business Bank Account

After license approval, apply for UAE visas for yourself, your staff, and your family. 

Set up a business bank account to facilitate essential financial transactions and ensure smooth business operations in the UAE.

Average Cost of Starting an Online Business in Dubai?

Various factors influence the cost of starting an online business in the UAE. The factors include business activities, location, website hosting, and online business license when calculating. Additional approvals may increase costs. A general portal license in Dubai is approximately AED 12,000, making the total cost range from AED 15,500 to AED 30,000.

Benefits of Starting An Online Business In UAE?

The following are key advantages associated with starting an online business in the UAE:

  • Full profit repatriation
  • Complete business ownership
  • Quick and straightforward license acquisition
  • Cost-effective setup and operational expenses
  • No personal tax
  • Business-friendly environment
  • Bank account support
  • A 3-year residence visa granted


Do I Need a Business License To Sell Online In Dubai?

Yes, you need a business license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai to sell online. It is a mandatory requirement for conducting any online business activity in the UAE.

Can You Renew Your Online Business License?

Yes, you can renew your online business license through the DED e-Services Portal, with the added benefit of tracking your application status.

How Can Now Consultant Help You?

Setting up an online business in Dubai can be complex; therefore, expert guidance matters at every step for a smooth and error-free online business setup in Dubai. To streamline the process, hire a business setup expert at Now Consultant.

Our experts will assist you with mainland and free zone online business setups as per your requirements. We will assist you through the complete process, from registration of your online business and regulatory compliance to getting approvals from the relevant authorities.

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