How to Start an online business in Dubai? The world has shifted swiftly from brick-and-mortar business to online business. The global e-commerce business growth has been outstanding, with 93 % of Internet users have purchased products online at some point. It is estimated by 2040, 95% of purchases will be through E-Commerce.
Advantages of online business
- Allows easier expansion in foreign markets
- Easier to get product fit for the market
- Shorter B2B sales cycle
- Low entry barrier
Starting an online business in Dubai
While online business is lucrative, it is more beneficial to start in Dubai. Certain factors like minimal bureaucracy, investor-friendly rules, and the overall amicable work environment, along with zero uae corporate tax, make Dubai a vibrant place to start an online business.
Few critical decisions to be made before starting are as follows.
Free Zone or Mainland?
Setting up an online start-up business in the Mainland and Free Zone has its requirements. For example, in the Mainland Company setup, Dubai one can trade directly in the local UAE market without requiring a local Sponsor. One is allowed to take up government contracts.
- Starting a Free zone Company setup in Dubai will allow the business to benefit from the UAE Zero Tax requirement, customs duty exemption, and 100% repatriation of profit and capital in any currency.
- Starting an online business in Dubai will require a license as any regular business requires. The name of the company operating online will have to follow similar rules of the UAE.
- All online businesses should have a company name that is not registered and approved by the authorities.
- Application in the Free Zone or Mainland will be similar to setting up any offline business.
- One has to apply to the relevant Free zone authorities. In the case of the Mainland, application to the Department of Economic Development or municipality will be required with proper documentation.
Cost of setting up an online business
The initial cost of setting up an online business setup in Dubai is incredibly low. One can apply and get a business license from the DED online portal in one day. Acquiring an e-commerce business license in a Free Zone is quick and easy. One can get many advantages, as already mentioned.
Setting up a business depends on the size and type of business, the number of people required to handle the operations, office space set up, and visa requirements. One does not necessarily require physical office space and can operate an online business from a virtual office address. Depending on the online business scale, managing an online business is also process-oriented, backed by an experienced workforce.
Starting an online business
- For start-ups, entrepreneurs will analyze scheduling and pre-planner launching of the eCommerce website to grab the consumer’s attention and provide the business with the initial boost.
- Ensure smooth end-to-end functioning of Infrastructure and website Applications.
- Monitoring of eCommerce platform for complete business solutions.
- Provide training to the workforce to ensure tackling complex problems encountered on the digital platform.
- Ensure the eCommerce platform enhances user experience and assists them through interactive tools competency and ensure on-time order fulfilment and no delivery snags.
- As the end-to-end purchase is automated, there will be minimal staff requirements. The inventory cost can be kept to the minimum through a product demand forecast.
- Requirement of e-commerce website consultant who can provide scaling up of infrastructure and provide support and training.
If one has an online service-based business, the operational cost will be lower. On the other hand, dealing in consumer durables and goods will require infrastructure and back-office staff on a larger scale, and the cost of setting up and monthly operations will be higher.
While it is easy to set up the online infrastructure in the UAE, the more crucial part is knowing and deciding what type of business will benefit the eCommerce platform.
Hiring Business Consultancy
An entrepreneur will require an in-depth knowledge of the UAE market. It is advisable to take the services of a business setup consultancy to advise on the correct type of online business, which location to start in, and the formalities needed to set up.
When one works with a Company formation expert such as Business Link UAE, one will get complete guidance on what type of online business to start in the UAE market and get assistance to get all the licenses, permits, and visas approved from the authorities. Experts can help to provide a virtual office address if the online business does not need a physical space. Besides, providing routine administrative and legal services, they can bring onboard digital marketing experts for website development and activation to make the online business go live and function smoothly.