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Do you need trade license in Dubai to sell on Social Media?

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Today’s world cannot function smoothly without Social Media. Almost everyone has an online presence and using the same many like Social Media influencers take the easy way to earn a quick buck. And why shouldn’t they?  It is a sure shot way to success: low investment, minimal effort and a huge target audience.

But there is a caveat. Many may use it to perform illegal or fraudulent activities. In order to protect the Intellectual Property and trade-name and also to ensure that innocent customers are not conned, the Electronics Media Regulation Law was launched in 2019. As per this law it is mandatory for you to acquire a trade license like the e-trader license or the social media influencer license which will be approved by the Department of Economic Development (DED) and National Media Council (NMC). Many may find this step unnecessary but it is only fair as it is in the end an economic activity and thus, must be overseen by Government. So no matter if you are an online trader or a blogger/vlogger or a social media influencer, you do need a trade license to sell on social media.

The e-trader license or social media influencer license is a single-owner or freelancer license that is strictly home-based and would not allow you to rent office premises or open up a physical shop. Another con of getting this type of trade license is that there will be no number of visas allotted that you can hire under you like it would have been if it was a trade license for a company or business as it is a single-owner license. This license was launched by Department of Economic Development (DED) in 2017.

Another factor with respect to this license may be the fact that only UAE and GCC nationals are permitted to sell products and services via their social media sites in Dubai. Expats who comprise of about 92.05% of Dubai’s Population in 2020 (as per www.dsc.gov.ae) are only allowed to sell services. Nonetheless, the scope of such activities is so high that it is indeed a smart idea to get the required license.

Would you get penalized for selling stuff on social media without the necessary license?

The answer is yes. In 2018, the Department of Economic Development (DED) ensured the termination of more than 13000 social media accounts who were operating without license. The Ministry of Economy of UAE on its part also closed down many such accounts and commercial websites without the required e-trader or social media influencer license. The penalty that might be charged from you for selling on social media in Dubai without license may range from 5000 AED to 50000 AED.

Though acquisition of this type of trade license might seem fairly simple, the whole process may be daunting without the guidance from a trustworthy partner. Flyingcolour Business setup services has been helping clients to set-up companies in Dubai since the past 17 years. We can help you with getting this trade license and with the trade license renewal process in a hassle-free manner. Please feel free to mail your queries at info@flyingcolour.com or contact us at +971 4 4542366.

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