The UAE e-commerce industry is one of the leaders in the MENA region and is expected to see further growth in the coming years.
The market at home is thriving with one in three Dubai residents making at least one online purchase per month. However, the beauty of e-commerce, of course, is that you are also free to trade further afield, with every corner of the world.
As all manner of trade continues to move online, those with a good foothold in the e-commerce space are best placed to see success.
When you start an e-commerce business in Dubai, you are free to relocate to take advantage of the country’s perfect global location, its 0% tax rate and low barriers to entry. Alternatively, you can start a UAE e-commerce business and run it from your home country.
If you decide to set up in Dubai, you’ll find lots of support to help your business flourish. As well as expert company formation specialists to manage the licensing process on your behalf, Dubai is home to a range of support services from accountancy and tax advice firms, to marketing agencies, warehousing solutions and more.
Below is your guide to the best of these solutions, with all the information you need to run your very own e-commerce business from Dubai.
Things to remember before launching an e-commerce business
Whether starting anew or relocating an existing e-commerce business to Dubai, there is plenty to consider – appropriate licensing, the best shopfront, the most suitable logistics partners, payment, and banking solutions, as well as VAT and tax implications.
Before approaching any of these tasks, however, your first should be to seek out the services of a company setup agent. A reputable agent can help you make key decisions during the setup process and liaise with all relevant authorities on your behalf.
First, your company setup agent will help you decide on the best setup for your business – free zone or mainland. Should you decide to set up in the mainland, you are free to trade directly with the local UAE market without working with a local agent, and you are permitted to take on often lucrative government contracts.
Alternatively, if you opt for a UAE free zone, as well as benefiting from the UAE’s zero percent tax rate, you can also take advantage of full customs tax exemption, no currency restrictions and the ability to repatriate 100% of your capital and profit. You will, however, require the services of a local agent or distributor if you wish to trade directly with the local UAE market.
Your setup agent will also help you choose a company name, ensuring it is compliant with all local naming conventions. When the time comes, your agent can also manage your e-commerce license and visa applications.
To make your license application, you will usually be asked to provide some basic documentation, including passport copies, along with your completed application form. As part of the visa process, you will need to undergo a medical examination and biometric capturing.
Support services and solutions
As well as the help of a company setup agent, it’s also a good idea to engage a range of other support services. There are plenty available in Dubai, including office solutions, marketing support, tax advice and much more. Below are three of the best.
Automyze: If you’re looking to sell physical goods online, Automyze is the perfect partner. Automyze helps companies scale online by providing fulfilment and inventory management solutions. They can assist with storage, picking, packing, and shipping, ensuring your customers across the region receive their orders as soon as possible.
GTAG: The UAE tax system is unlike most others and requires an expert eye. GTAG is the regional expert. The company delivers the highest quality VAT, accounting, and advisory services to businesses in a range of industries across the region.
Brain Cube: Every business needs to get its name out there, particularly in the competitive e-commerce space. Brain Cube can help. Brain Cube provides full-service comms and marketing solutions, delivering solid, creative, and strategic campaigns that build on business objectives and exceed expectations.
An all-in-one e-commerce solution
When starting an e-commerce business in the UAE, you can often save time and money by partnering with an all-in-one provider. When it comes to e-commerce solutions, eBorderless.com is that perfect partner.
The eBorderless platform offers easy access to all of the services above and more, encompassing shopfront and creative, accountancy and tax advice, digital advertising, warehousing and fulfilment, domain services, and licensing.
There’s no time for confusion when starting out, and with eBorderless.com you’ll be able to drive your business with focus and precision from day one. Whether you are just launching, looking to be more efficient operationally, or needing to better maximise returns, eBorderless.com has you covered with partnerships to all the providers you’ll need – all in one place.
Trade License Zone – more than licensing experts
Provided you have the right support and are armed with the correct information, starting, or relocating an e-commerce business to Dubai can be both easy and affordable.
However, while the process isn’t necessarily difficult, it does require an expert eye. Any errors in your paperwork could lead it to being delayed or rejected. That’s why it’s often a good idea to work with a company setup specialist to help you establish your business.
When you work with Trade License Zone, all you need to provide is some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to start trading. It really is that simple.
And, as part of the eBorderless solution, we can support you with much more than licensing and setup. To find out more, contact our expert team today, or visit eborderless.com.