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Dec 14




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When the Dubai Economy (DED) opened up its E trader License to Dubai expats which was earlier only available for Emirati and GCC nationals heaps of excitements rushed up as now they can access the cheap trade license and operate a home business.


E Trader License or Trader License?

The terms seems to be confusing. The E Trader License is an initiative to legalize home business and promote their goods and services via websites and social media.

However,Looking to Business Setup Consultancy in UAE? Contact us Now! Articles nowadays it is referred to as 'DED Trader' or 'Trader License'. The actual license is called a 'Merchant License'.

Unfortunately, whilst there are thousands of business activities available to be selected for these licenses, the 'trading', or 'selling' activities are not available to the non-GCC expats in Dubai.


E- Trader License Types and Cost


There are two types of e Trader license:

  1. Professional e trader License
  2. Commercial e trader License


Professional License includes activities such as IT services, Management Consultancy etc, and the cost for the license is AED 1,070 renewable annually.


Whereas, Commercial License includes activities like trading and selling, or manufacturing of goods. However, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce membership cost is AED 300. Therefore, the total cost is AED 1,370.


E Trader license activities for Dubai expats

  • Non-GCC expats in Dubai can get E Trader licenses for professional services, e.g. IT services and Management consultancy; but, as mentioned above, the license doesn't enable them to import and sell goods.
  • Some activities are restricted by nationality.
  • Up to a maximum of 10 activities can be on one license, providing they are 'related' as per the DED's list of activities. Multiple activities on the e trader license doesn't increase the cost.



Who is the Dubai E Trader license suitable for?

The E-Trader license is ideal for the Dubai expats who:

  • Want to run a small business from home
  • Want to own their business 100%
  • Want to set up a side business whilst continuing their job
  • Want to test their entrepreneurial skills
  • Want to test the market for their business or services
  • Stay-at-home spouses and Dependents


Required Documents and the Details:

  • Copy of passport with Visa page
  • Valid Emirates ID
  • Valid Tenancy Contract in Dubai under the applicant name with Makani Number
  • Email ID & Mobile number


Please Make a Note - Applicant has to be 21 years old.


What are the advantages of the Dubai E Trader license for expats?

Here are the great things about Dubai's E-Trader license for expats:

  • It’s a cheapest E-trade License in Dubai
  • 100% ownership - no need for an Emirati local sponsor
  • Individual ownership - ideal for an individual starting a business
  • Quick & easy to set up online
  • Enables the provision of activities throughout Dubai
  • Can have multiple activities on the license without additional cost
  • Can have a company name rather than just the individual's name, e.g. 'Speedy Musical Instrument Repair and Maintenance' rather than just 'John Doe', which looks more professional
  • Can have a corporate bank account
  • Will have a trade license and therefore be operating legally, thus increasing consumer confidence in your business.





What are the restrictions of the Dubai E Trader license for expats?

The Dubai E Trader license for expats (non-Emirati national and non GCC national) does have some downsides to be aware of:

  • Does not provide the expat with a residence visa
  • Does not enable the expat to employ staff - effectively, the individual is a sole trader working on their own
  • Does not enable the expat to lease commercial premises e.g. office space, workshop or commercial kitchen
  • Does not enable the expat to sell goods, either retail of wholesale
  • Restrictions on activities by nationality - check in advance!
  • Individual ownership - so friends and family can't collaborate on a new business idea.


Who ISN'T the Dubai E Trader license suitable for?

The E Trader license isn't suitable for everyone. It is not suitable for people in the following circumstances:

  • Applicants who do not live in Dubai
  • Applicants who need the license to provide them with a visa and Emirates ID
  • Applicants who has only commercial license and no tenancy contract in Dubai
  • Applicants who intend to scale up their business and employ staff
  • Applicants wanting to do their business outside of Dubai e.g. in Abu Dhabi.


Business licenses are unique to their owner - one size doesn't fit all. In this instance, you might not meet the criteria for having an e trader license, it might not enable you to carry out the activities you want; or, it may be too restrictive for your business strategy.


What business license can you have if the E Trader license isn't suitable?

As you will understand from what you have read above, there are various criteria which may make this E Trader license unsuitable for your individual situation and future plans. Don’t worry, there are lots of business license in UAE. This is the same with all types of business licenses in Dubai which you can explore and this is where the Prime Global Business Services can really add value to you starting your business by ensuring you get the right license to fit your needs.



For more information on all the details mentioned here, make sure to visit https://primedubai.com/.  Call us on +971 52 1054028 or message us on Whatsapp on +971 52 1054028. You can also drop us an email at info@primedubai.com