DED E-Trader License: Explained


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Home-based business have been on the rise around the world for some time now. In the US, they are thought to account for around 50% of all small enterprises, and that is a trend that is reflected in many other countries.

The disruption caused by the pandemic has only served to drastically increase the number of entrepreneurs plying their trade from home here in the UAE too. Many of these businesses will go on to expand, taking on office space and employees in the process.

For others, however, this is not part of the business plan. Many home-based businesses are designed to be exactly that—a business that can be operated from home, always. In Dubai, there is a specific license for businesses like these called the DED e-trader license.

With the right guidance and support obtaining this license, trading in Dubai can be quick and easy. Here’s how SEt HUb can help.

What is a DED e-trader license in Dubai?

Issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED), the DED e-trader license is designed for individuals who wish to sell products and services online via social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.

The e-trader license permits both professional and commercial business activities. However, only GCC-nationals are permitted to sell physical goods under this license. Non-GCC nationals can only sell professional services such as photography, tutoring and the like.

An e-trader license issued in Dubai is only valid for use in that emirate. If you wish to trade under the e-trader license in another emirate such as Abu Dhabi, you must first gain approval from the relevant DED or municipality.

Benefits of an e-trader license in Dubai

The DED e-trader license offers many benefits to home-based entrepreneurs in Dubai. Most importantly, it permits the holder to freely sell or promote goods and services via social media, e-commerce platforms and personal websites within the emirate.

Holding this license can add legitimacy to a business, giving potential customers greater confidence to make a purchase. The license also protects the company’s intellectual property and trade name.

Finally, businesses operating under this license are permitted to sell in established marketplaces such as Souq.com.

How to get an e-trader license in Dubai

Set Hub can help you apply for an e-trader license, guiding you through the simple five-step process below.

1. Set out your business activities

Before doing anything else, we’ll need to explore your intended business activities to ensure they align with the professional or commercial version of the e-trader license.

2. Choosing your company name

Next, we will help you choose a company name. There are a few key things to keep in mind at this stage.

In short, you should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e. Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting.

3. Applying for your e-trader license

Now it is time to apply to the DED for your e-trade license. Much of this process takes place online.

Set Hub can manage this application on your behalf, liaising with all relevant authorities and ensuring your application is correct and complete before filing.

4. Applying for your visas

You’ll also need a residency visa to work in the UAE. Again, Set Hub can assist with this step.

As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others for their visas. This could be a spouse, parent or child, or a domestic worker such as a housekeeper.

5. Opening your corporate bank account

To take and make payments freely within the UAE and beyond, you’ll require a corporate bank account.

Accessing such services is not always an easy task for non-GCC nationals. However, working with Set Hub can help smooth the process. We can advise on the banks and other institutions best suited to your needs and assist with applications to ensure all is in order before submission.

Documents required for an e-trader license in Dubai

As part of your DED e-trader license application, you will be required to submit the following documentation:

  • Valid Emirates ID
  • Proof of age (applicants must be over 21)
  • Trade name registration and approval
  • The minimum applicable age is 21
  • Proof of residence

Cost of an e-trader license

If you are only engaging in professional services, the cost of the DED e-trader license is AED 1,070. If you are a GCC-national and wish to carry out commercial activities under an e-trader license, the cost is AED 1,370. The latter includes the cost of membership to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

Why work with Set Hub?

That’s all there is to it. As you can see, if you’re armed with the right knowledge, business setup in Dubai with a DED e-trader license doesn’t have to be overly complex.

That being said, it does require a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is important to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.

To help you to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a company formation specialist such as SEt Hub when establishing a new company in the UAE.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling your license application, Set Hub can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visas applications that are required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.