The world of e-commerce has been thriving for many years. However, the disruption caused by the pandemic sent even more businesses and consumers online. As a result, the global e-commerce industry is now estimated to be USD $5.55tr.
For anyone looking to tap into this vast market, Sharjah is a great place to start. In this article, I’ll explore the key considerations for entrepreneurs looking to launch an e-commerce business out here, including:
- e-commerce license Sharjah – step by step
- e-commerce license Sharjah costs
- e-commerce license UAE for expats
- Why work with Worldwide Formations?
When you’re ready to get started, call Worldwide Formations for a detailed quote.
E-commerce license Sharjah – step by step
With the support of a local expert, starting your e-commerce business in the UAE can be fast, affordable and straightforward. We’ll guide you through the following five-step process.
Step 1 – Choose your setup and apply for your license
One of the first major decisions to make when starting a business in the UAE is whether to set up in a free zone of the mainland.
As a mainland business, you can set up anywhere in Sharjah or the wider UAE and trade freely with the local market. Free zone businesses must set up in allocated areas such as SPC Free Zone. However, they are afforded several advantages when doing so.
Free zone companies benefit from 100% customs tax exemption, zero currency restrictions and 100% foreign ownership in all cases.
We can help you decide which one is right for you and then guide you through your e-commerce license application. As part of this process, you’ll need to detail the goods that you wish to sell and submit a copy of your passport, along with other supporting documents.
Step 2 – Build your e-commerce portal and launch your website
Next, you’ll need to develop and test your website as this is where you’ll sell your goods. If you are not a skilled developer, you can outsource this task or use ready made platforms such as Shopify.
This is a hugely important step as a user-friendly store is a huge selling point – many baskets are left abandoned due to a poor customer journey. So, after focusing on the look and feel, pay just as much attention to your site’s usability and functionality.
Step 3 – Choose a payment gateway
You need to provide potential customers with a simple, and most importantly, secure way of processing payments. The easiest way to do this is use a large, trusted provider such as Stripe or PayPal. Many off-the-shelf e-commerce platforms will include payment gateway integration in their packages.
Step 4 – Sort out suppliers, storage and delivery
There are many ways to run an e-commerce business in Sharjah. You could import physical stock, hold it at a warehouse and package and distribute it from there. Or use a dropshipping service to fulfil and dispatch orders as they come through.
Whatever process you decide on, you’ll need to ensure the logistics are in place, tried and tested, before you launch.
Step 5 – Spread your message
You’ve got a great product and a fantastic store – now you need to make sure people know about it. Social media ads can be a great way to get your offering in front of a large audience. But to ensure you get the most out of your marketing spend, it’s vital that you do your research to find and engage with your target consumers.
E-commerce license Sharjah costs
The cost of an e-commerce license in Sharjah is AED 5,750. However, this figure may rise if setting up in the UAE mainland.
On top of this license cost, you’ll also need to account for warehousing and dropshipping fees, staff costs, inventory, marketing, and visa costs.
For a detailed and personalised quote, get in touch with the team at Worldwide Formations.
E-commerce license UAE for expats
Expats are welcome to apply for an e-commerce license with SPC Free Zone. It is one of the cheapest e-commerce licenses in the UAE, starting from just AED 5,750.
As well as a fantastic location just minutes from two international airports, SPC Free Zone customers also benefit from:
- 100% foreign ownership
- Zero paid-up share capital
- Office facilities open 24 hours
- Easy to set up corporate bank account
- 0% corporate or personal income tax
The free zone also offers a ten-year trade license option, flexibility on the total number of visas you can apply for and the ability to hold a dual free zone and mainland license.
Starting up at SPC Free Zone is simple. Just follow the steps below:
Choose your company name
We can help you with this step, ensuring that your chosen name is available and registering it with the relevant authorities. Keep in mind at this stage that you must not include any blasphemous language or the names of any other well-known entities. If you are naming your business after yourself, you must use your full name and not initials.
Submit your license application
You can make this application directly to the free zone authority with the help of Worldwide Formations. We’ll check that your documents are in order before submission to avoid any unnecessary delays or complications.
Apply for visas and immigration card
If you intend to live and work in the UAE, you’ll need a residency visa. Once again, the Worldwide Formations team can help with this step, ensuring a smooth and timely process.
Receive your license and start trading
We’ll let you know as soon as you are licensed and ready to start trading. In all, the process can take under a week.
Why work with Worldwide Formations?
Thanks to affordable licensing, labour and leasing costs, Sharjah is a fantastic place to set up an e-commerce business here in the UAE. And if you’re planning to import or export goods, the benefits continue thanks to the emirate’s amazing trading location between the markets of the East and West.
We are the experts when it comes to business setup in the UAE. Our vast experience assisting with the formation of e-commerce businesses means our consultants can easily navigate the complexities of the process to have you up and running as soon as possible.
For more information and a personalised quote, please visit Worldwide Formations.