Etrader License Dubai

What is an E-trader License and How to Obtain One from Dubai DED

The Dubai Economic Development (DED) e-trader license is an online platform that enables UAE nationals, GCC nationals, and foreigners (expats) to obtain a mainland license (with 100% foreign ownership) for offering services and professional activities only. This license DOES NOT allow the following activities:

  • practicing a commercial activity,
  • buying in wholesale and selling retail,
  • buying items,
  • repurposing items and selling them.

 

This license allows one to offer services (for example producing arts or workshop services), but they cannot sell or buy or conduct any trades based on the products. This regulation has the exception of how the art is produced. If the business generates the goods from scratch and does not contain direct trading products manufactured elsewhere, then selling the products is allowing within the service. The e-trader license also does not cover trading and commercial activities for foreign expatriates (non GCC and non-UAE nationals). There are, however, no limitations of operations within Dubai under this license, but it does not permit commercial activities.     

For any profession, e-trader license has its own delicacies that practitioners need to learn about. Offering consulting services in many fields, such as improving some activities’ quality, can be conducted under e-trader license. For “consultancy” as management consultancy or marketing consultancy, however, which is a regulated industry, the DED e-trader license is not available. This is because it requires side approvals; e.g., requires the staff to pass an exam at the American University in Dubai, proving general knowledge of economics. For becoming human resources, marketing, and business development consultant, one is required to prove their expertise, knowledge, diploma, and professional experience to become eligible for working as a consultant in their field of expertise. 

Thus, although consultancy in many forms does not fall under e-trader license, project management and jobs are viewed as an executive. Marketing services or marketing management, in the same way, can be included in e-trader license if one does not charge the customers with consultancy fees but participate in activities that lead to improving a business, such as managing a company’s marketing presence, either offline or online. Thus, the consultancy or advice will be a part of the management of a marketing platform and can be carried out under e-trader license. 

There are currently 3000 activities falling under e-trader license, and the holders of this license can conduct up to 10 activities in the category of the business they have applied for. For activities that cannot be categorized in the same business activity, one needs to obtain various e-trader DED licenses to conduct those businesses. Also, for conducting more than ten activities, a new e-trader license should be obtained since the duplication of the same license is not allowed. The activities need to be carried out in Dubai as it is issued in this emirate by DED. For operating businesses in other emirates, the corresponding emirate should issue the license directly for businessmen to allow them to run their business in that specific emirate. 

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