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How to get E-Trader or Online Trading License in Dubai?

Once in our life we have thought of starting our own business but were put off by the idea of going through the difficult procedure and potential fees of company formation. But the United Arab Emirates has made it easier to achieve. In this era of online shopping and digitalization, starting an e-trader business or online trading business can be a profitable idea, that too from the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is secure an E trader license Dubai.

E trader license Dubai overview

An E-trader license was launched by the Department of Economic Development(DED) to facilitate individuals to legally promote and sell products and services through social media pages and personal websites. These social media accounts may include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Besides, they can also feature their products on online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc.  With an E-trader license, individual business owners can participate in exhibitions and conferences and thus reach out to their potential clients and target consumers. This license also safeguards the trade name and intellectual property of the business. It regulates online shopping activities and eliminates fake and illegal products and brands from online channels. And once the business gets a label of being authentic and genuine with an E-trader license, it boosts the confidence of customers in the brand and also incites them to shop more from the same brand. 

With online media changing the face of e-commerce, people are turning their skills into money and stepping into the entrepreneurial community of Dubai. Moreover, the UAE laws and policies also work in favor of foreign investors and business owners. And that’s why Dubai is extensively considered one of the world’s best business destinations.

Benefits of E trader license Dubai

An e-trader license is convenient for those home business owners who want to sell their products and services over social media. Moreover, it also helps in regulating online shopping by wiping out counterfeit and fake products from social media platforms. 

So, if you are thinking about getting an E trader license Dubai, here are some of its other major benefits : 

  • Facilitates legal selling and promotion of products and services via social media accounts and websites 
  • Allows marketing of products and services in online marketplaces 
  • Safeguards business name as well as intellectual property 
  • Provides the license holders opportunities to attend training sessions and workshops to improve their business success 
  • Does not mandate physical premises for a shop or an office
  • Allows selling of goods and services within the country 
  • Promotes flexibility in marketing 
  • Builds confidence and a sense of assurance among the buyers and potential clients 
  • Suitable for start-up businesses with less investment 
  • Strengthens the country’s economy
  • Widens the reach of business in various regions 
  • The cheapest license in the Emirate 
  • Allows individual ownership 
  • Covers multiple business activities under one license 
  • Permits running ads of business on social media 

Eligibility of E trader license Dubai 

  • Only available for UAE residents and GCC nationals residing in Dubai. 
  • The eligible age for e trader license application must be a minimum of 21 years. 
  • Since the trade license can be registered for an individual, the trade name must be the individual owner’s name.
  • Expatriates are not permitted to sell goods or products as online traders. However, they can promote and deliver professional services such as event management, maintenance & repair, modeling, photography, graphic design, etc. 
  • The applicant must hold an Emirates ID and should successfully register themselves on the official website of DED Dubai. 
  • Since the e-trader license is Emirate-specific, the license issued in Dubai would not be valid for trading in other emirates. However, if you seek separate approvals from the concerned authorities and acquire another license, you may be able to trade outside Dubai. 
  • There are restrictions on certain nationalities for an e-trader license. In other words, there are different rules for some particular non-UAE citizens depending on the country they actually belong to. These rules are usually disclosed at the time of registration. 

Basically, anyone can apply for an e-trader license in Dubai if the above conditions are fulfilled. However, there are certain categories of people who may find the E-trading business more convenient. For example, 

  • Housewives and mothers staying at home, with special skills and craftwork 
  • Freelancers, who want to get hired for a particular task 
  • Start-up businesses with minimal funds 
  • Budding entrepreneurs who are capable of generating more leads or sales by trading online
  • Home business endeavors  

Contact the business experts of Shuraa to get more details on the eligibility criteria for an E-trader license and also the process of acquiring one.

You may like it: Guide to Starting an Offshore Company in the UAE

Restrictions for ex-pats on E Trader License Dubai 

There are certain limitations of the Dubai E-trader license, especially for ex-pats living in Dubai. For instance – 

  • Expats do not get a residence visa. 
  • Cannot employ staff. Hence, the individual has to work solely for their business. 
  • Not allowed to lease commercial premises such as office space, workshop, or commercial kitchen 
  • Cannot sell physical goods online, neither retail nor wholesale 
  • Must follow individual ownership. Hence, they are restricted from collaborating with friends or family to work on a business idea. 

Procedure to obtain an E trader license Dubai

To start an online trading business and acquire a valid E-trader license, you need to follow the below steps – 

  • Register your trade name and business

You can register your online business and apply for an e-trader license on the official website of DED. So, visit the DED Trader website and create an account with a username and password. Register yourself by entering your personal details such as the address, contact details, Emirates ID details, etc. Further, enter the description or list of social media accounts where you want to sell and promote your products. 

Furthermore, you need to register your e-trader business name with the UAE’s Registry office. But make sure to use the owner’s full name as the trade name, rather than just the surname or initials. 

  • Apply for an e-trader license

If you want to trade in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE, you need to have a legal license. once you have registered your trade name, specify the business activities that you want to carry out in your online business. Afterward, submit the requested documents, pay the license fee and wait for confirmation from the authorities. once they approve your license application, they will issue an e-trader license and you can start with your trading business. 

While applying for an e-trader license, you must upload the following documents-

  • Passport copy of the business owner 
  • Passport sized photographs 

Common business ideas for an E trader license Dubai  

  • Event management
  • Photography 
  • Graphic Designing 
  • Modeling 
  • Marketing services 
  • Blogging or vlogging
  • Freelancing 
  • Fashion clothing and accessories 
  • Website development 
  • Project management 

Start your online business journey with Shuraa!

Partnering with a company formation specialist such as Shuraa Business Setup is the quickest way to acquire an E trader license Dubai. Shuraa specialists will manage all aspects of your company license registration and setup process. They will also guide you on the various governmental and municipal trade regulations for conducting an online trading business in the UAE. 

So, all you need to do is share your queries and details with us and we will manage the rest. For more information on other business prospects and services in the UAE, visit, or connect with us at


Sakina Burhan is a good experience writer, blogger and social media promoter by providing valuable information which helps readers to get more ideas.

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