An exclusive ‘To-Do’ checklist to start ecommerce business

Impact of Covid-19 on the business world

The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the business world upside down. It has created a new normal of working for companies and individuals. With social distancing becoming the norm across the world, online is the new address. Even the buying and selling of goods and services is happening online.
It is called E-COMMERCE.

Key steps in the Checklist to start ecommerce business

Shoppers are moving online. In the same way, entrepreneurs are also flocking to starting an e-commerce business. The thought of starting an e-commerce business is excellent. But, the process is not a piece of cake.

Forming an e-commerce business is a complicated recipe. If done right, it can lead to the right results. But, it requires your efforts, time, and money to set up a good base. The initial steps needed for starting an e-commerce business include:

  • Select a niche in which you would sell your products
  • Research about that industry’s market scenario and competitors through Porter’s five forces model and SWOT analysis
  • Define your target audience
  • Conduct a feasibility check for your business idea
  • Identify the sources for procurement of products
    Prepare a solid business plan

These steps are common and have the same structure to start an e-commerce business anywhere. Through this blog, we provide you a list of key aspects of starting an e-commerce business in Dubai. Keep a note of these things to realize a successful beginning of your e-commerce store in Dubai.

We make your e-commerce business ready for the market.

Checklist to start ecommerce business in Dubai

Selection of the right location/jurisdiction In Dubai, you can either set up your company in a free zone or in mainland Dubai. This is a key decision to make since the features and benefits of each location are different. The right location or jurisdiction is the one that aligns with your business requirements.
You need to check whether you will be able to scale your business in the chosen location. If you intend to sell your products directly to the local market, a mainland license is appropriate. You need a physical office for operations in mainland Dubai.
In the case of a free zone company, you need to find a distributor to sell products to the market. Here, you can operate from Flexi desks to provide your products and services. There are several free zones in Dubai, some of which are specific to an industry. So, select a free zone that is suitable for your products.

Being aware of the merits and demerits of each location is important to make the decision. We, at Business Setup HQ, understand the UAE market well. We will comprehend your business requirements and offerings. Based on that, we will suggest an apt location for your operations. 

Decision on the legal structure - Checklist to start ecommerce business

Selecting the right legal structure runs parallel to selecting the jurisdiction for your e-commerce business. The mainland Dubai and free zones have different options of possible legal structures. You need to base this decision on your preferences and possibilities in the chosen jurisdiction. If you select a free zone, you can establish it as:

If you select mainland Dubai, your options for possible legal structure are:
Our business formation consultants are adept at finding the right legal structure for your business. You need not worry about it if you have Business Setup HQ by your side.

Registration of a domain name - Checklist to start ecommerce business

Another important thing is to select an appropriate name for your business. The domain name of your website is generally the business name. An e-commerce business must have a strong domain name that people can remember easily. It must follow all the points as allowed by the Dubai government or any relevant authority.

Business Setup HQ’s business advisors can find the right trade name for your business. We follow all the restrictions for possible trade names in Dubai. The right business name will create an identity for your business.

Obtaining a license - Checklist to start ecommerce business

You need to have a valid license for operating in Dubai. It ensures that you do not face any legal constraints in carrying out your operations. The Department of Economic Development (DED) issues business licenses in Dubai.

Business Setup HQ provides full support in applying for the license. We get all the relevant documents ready for you. We submit the documents and licensing application to the relevant authority for approval.

Creation of a website - Checklist to start ecommerce business

E-commerce business means online. So, it is important to have an e-commerce portal to display all your products and services. Potential customers see your products and buy them from the portal. Visitors leave the website if it takes a lot of time to load. The number of payment options available on a website is also crucial.

You need to ensure that your website is easy to explore on any device. It must be easy and simple to use and navigate different products and services based on search criteria. It must be secure so that customers’ payment information and details are not leaked.

You need to have some essential aspects in your e-commerce portal such as:

  • Tab for customer registration
  • List of all product categories, sub-categories, and items
  • Details of products with their images
  • Rating of products and customer testimonials
  • Prices and offers/discounts
  • Delivery and shipping details
  • Return policy
  • Contact information and customer service details

Business Setup HQ can help you with the creation of an optimized e-commerce website. We ensure that your website is SEO-optimised to have good traffic and hence, increase sales.

Import/export registration - Checklist to start ecommerce business

In an e-commerce business, imports and exports of goods are a regular process. So, you must register your business with the relevant Customs departments and Ports authorities. Once you register with these authorities, you receive an importer’s code. Business Setup HQ’s business advisors will help you with such registration.

Opening of a bank account - Checklist to start ecommerce business

You need to have many payment gateways available for your customers. These options include Cash on Delivery, Debit/Credit Card, online bank transfer, and many more. Since you understand your target audience’s preferences, you must include all the possible options. You must also ensure the safety of online transactions so that customers trust you.

Business Setup HQ helps you with creating a business bank account for your financial management. We also ensure to create several payment gateways to enhance financial transactions on your portal.

Explore the most efficient and effective business setup services in Dubai


So, what are you waiting for? You have the idea of an e-commerce business. You have the necessary ‘to-do’ list for setting up the e-commerce business in Dubai. Now, only one crucial step remains – the selection of a partner to help you with e-commerce company formation in Dubai. And, we have the name ready for you – Business Setup HQ.

We are a professional firm providing business setup services to our clients in UAE. Whether you are a local or a foreign company, we can help you with forming a company. Our comprehensive range of services gives your vision a new direction of success. Our business advisors and consultants give you complete guidance on forming a company.

Our experience in setting up companies in Dubai gives us an edge over others. We also know all the local rules and regulations. We ensure a timely, convenient, and hassle-free process for you. Our expert business advisory services are available to clients in UAE and other Middle Eastern countries.

Book a free consultation for setting up a company in UAE. You will not regret it.

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The cost of obtaining an e-commerce business license in Dubai depends on several factors. These factors include the type of business, location, business size, number of visas, and many more. It also depends on what all services you need from us while setting up the business. Contact us and we will let you know the details. 

Dubai is a favored destination to establish an e-commerce business because of the following reasons:

  • An international destination with strategic business centers
  • Permission of 100% foreign ownership
  • No corporate and personal taxes
  • Possibility of 100% repatriation of capital and profits
  • No restrictions on currency usage
  • Absence of import duties on e-commerce business license
  • A rise in the adoption of smartphones and the use of internet facilities in Dubai
  • Advancements in technology 
  • Post-pandemic preference of online shopping over in-store shopping (a common trend across the world)
  • A pro-e-commerce strategy launched by the Dubai government to give a boost to e-commerce growth
Yes, we provide full support in finding the appropriate office space or warehouse for your business. It is up to you to select the full package of services or only a few as per your convenience.