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Start an Online Business in Dubai: Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Jun 10

start a online business in uae
online business setup in dubai

Dubai has one of the best internet penetration rates globally. More and more people are shopping and using services online, which is why starting an online business in Dubai is a great idea. 

An online business can be anything you sell or offer online, not just physical products. Think online courses, consulting, training, or even yoga classes! 

Since many people in Dubai have internet access, you'll have a big audience for your online business. Plus, Dubai has a great infrastructure to support online businesses. Another perk? You might not need a physical office, which can save you money on rent! 

How to Start an Online Business in Dubai: Steps

Thinking of starting an online business? Dubai might be the perfect spot! Here's a breakdown of what you need to do

1. Pick Your Business Location

Dubai offers two main options: 

  • Mainland: Operate anywhere in Dubai and internationally. Great for companies aiming big! But you'll need a local partner (UAE citizen). 

  • Free Zone: No customs duties or taxes within the zone. Perfect for import/export businesses. No local partner required, and you can even set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC). 

2. Choose a Winning Name

  • Create a great company name 

  • Make sure it follows Dubai's naming rules (no offensive language, etc.). 

  • Check if the name is available for registration. 

3. Get Your Business License

  • The type of license you need depends on your business activities and location. 

  • The process takes about a week and the license needs to be renewed yearly. 

  • You'll also need to provide details of your social media accounts. 

  • If you choose the mainland, you'll need to draft a legal document (Memorandum of Association). 

4. Visas (Optional)

  • You don't technically need to be physically present in Dubai to run your online business. 

  • But if you want an office, you and your employees will need visas. 

  • An online business license allows you to get 3-year visas, renewable yearly. 

  • The number of visas depends on your business size and location. 

5. Open a Bank Account

  • Once you have your license, you can open a business bank account. 

  • It's a quick and easy process - just pick a bank and provide some documents. 

Top Online Business Ideas for Dubai

  • Virtual Fitness Instructor: Lead online workouts, yoga, or meditation classes. 

  • Wellness Coach: Offer virtual consultations for nutrition or other wellness services. 

  • Social Media Management: Help businesses manage their social media presence. 

  • Drop-shipping: Sell products online without having to hold any inventory. 

  • IT Solutions: Provide technology-related services to businesses. 

  • Consulting Services: Offer consulting services (education, finance, recruitment) online. 

Why Start an Online Business in Dubai? 

There are many advantages to starting an online business in Dubai: 

  • Keep all your profits: You can transfer 100% of your earnings back home. 

  • Full ownership (possible): Depending on your business, you can own 100% of it. 

  • Fast and easy setup: Getting a business license is simple. 

  • Low costs: Setting up and running your business is affordable. 

  • No personal income tax: You don't pay taxes on your personal income. 

  • Easy to operate: Dubai makes it easy to do business. 

  • Help with bank accounts: Getting a business bank account is straightforward. 

  • 3-year residence visas: Your online business license can get you a 3-year visa. 

The Cost to start a Online Business in Dubai

The cost of starting an online business in Dubai varies depending on your business activities, location, and other factors. Generally, it starts from around AED 15,500 (US$4,200). 

Required Documents to Start a Online Business in Dubai

  • A few proposed names for your business 

  • Passport photos of all shareholders 

  • Copies of shareholders' passports and UAE visas (if applicable) 

Start Your Online Business in the UAE with Raes Associates 

Ready to launch your online business in the UAE? Rae's Associates can help! We're a trusted business setup company that will guide you through every step, from registration to licensing. Our expert business setup consultants will guide you through the entire process from registering your online business, regulatory requirements, understanding everything you need to know about the jurisdictions, all the way up to the process of getting approvals from the relevant authorities.  

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