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How to Start an Online Business in Dubai

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of online businesses has boomed worldwide. Overnight, the digital sphere became where people lived, worked, shopped, and enjoyed their time. It’s no surprise that the online market is incredibly lucrative, with millions of consumers shopping online daily. So, why not jump on the trend and open your own online business?

Starting your online business gives you even more benefits in Dubai. First, you can launch your online business in the UAE and operate your business from anywhere in the world with minimal bureaucracy and 0% tax rates offered here. Secondly, getting a business license online is simple, with the proper support and guidance. You can start trading just a few days after applying for a permit.

Starting an online business in Dubai is a multi-step process, and some critical decisions must be made along the way. Read on for an introductory crash course and how to get started today.

1- Set Up Location: Free Zone or Mainland?

If you decide to set up on the mainland, you can deal directly with the local UAE market without having to work with a local agent and have the right to enter into contracts with the government. 

However, suppose you want to start your business in one of the many UAE Free Zones and benefit from the UAE’s zero percent tax rate. In that case, you are completely exempt from customs duties, have no foreign exchange restrictions, and are 100% repatriated. As such, this will grant you the ability to repatriate 100% of your capital and profit.

Either way, kicking off an online business in Dubai is easier than ever! Make sure to pick the area of your choice and read the regulations to understand what you’ll need.

2- License Application

A license is required to run an online business in Dubai. You can contact the free trade zone if you want to set up your company in a free trade zone, as each has a set of documents required and specifics depending on the type of business you want to establish.

Suppose you prefer to set up on the mainland; in that case, you should contact the Emirate’s municipality or business development department where you wish to set up. You must submit key documents, including copies of your passport and a completed application form.

3- Choosing a Name for Your Business

This step may seem trivial, but it is essential in this part of the world. Emirates has strict naming conventions that must be followed to get your business approved.

When choosing a name for your business in Dubai, remember that it must not contain offensive or blasphemous language. If you want to include your name in your business name, you must use it in its entirety, not just your last name or initials.

Finally, you need to check if the chosen name is available for registration. A company formation expert can also help you with this step, make suggestions, and check to see if your chosen name is available. So even with the steps mentioned above, you have room to get creative. 

Ideas for Your Online Business in Dubai

After making these crucial decisions, the next important question comes to mind: What kind of online business should I start in Dubai? There are many options available. Below are a few you can get started with. Here are some popular online business ideas in Dubai:

  • Job Search Portal
  • Tutoring 
  • Web Design and Development
  • Marketing Services (Design, Writing, Planning and similar)
  • Making Arts and Crafts
  • eCommerce

As a part of any guide on how to start an online business, you can’t walk into it aimlessly. It’s always best to have a specific idea, name, and the like to ensure you properly succeed in your venture.

Why is eCommerce the Best Among All?

It is widely known that eCommerce is a massive industry in the UAE, with a market value of over $10 billion. People often want to know how to start an eCommerce business; you only need a license, internet access, and products people want to buy.

Consider a wholesale marketplace for your eCommerce business to support your business. So what is a wholesale marketplace? It’s a centre or platform where retailers can easily find various products offered by several wholesale suppliers. You can add your products or services to a wholesale marketplace to get new customers and sales.

Where to Start?

After learning how to start an online business, setting up a shop comes next. Once your products are online, they are presented to thousands of potential customers, and they will need a home. Souk Al Marfa is the largest waterfront market in the heart of Dubai, with a platform that helps your online businesses to start successfully.