In the last decade, influencer marketing has transitioned from a niche for luxury brands to an effective channel with mass-market appeal.
Today, almost every product and service can be marketed by influencers, often with greater reach than many traditional methods of promotion. From business to cosmetics, brands around the world are queuing up to market their wares on this most modern of platforms.
Globally, the influencer market is estimated to be worth almost USD 5bn and is expected to grow by 25% between now and 2025. Here in the UAE, influencers regularly charge between USD 1,000 and 10,000 for a social media campaign, with some companies spending up to USD 50,000 on a single ad.
The influencer market is a little more regulated out here than in many other countries. But that’s not a bad thing. When all influencers are licensed, companies can be more confident that they will receive a professional service, improving the industry for all.
And, with the right support, getting a UAE influencer license can be quick and easy.
How to get your influencer license in the UAE
Before getting into the mechanics of applying for your social media influencer license in Dubai, UAE, there are a couple of steps that you’ll need to take.
The first is to clearly outline your business activities. It’s important that you list every activity that applies to your business when making your application, as failure to do so can lead to fines or even license revocation.
When starting up as an influencer, your listed activity should be ‘Marketing Services Via Social Media’, which carries the activity code 6202101. With this activity on your license, you are permitted to ‘help businesses and others to promote and market their products and services via social media applications. It involves preparation of plans to attract and retain customers, as well as coordinating to purchase an advertising space and to identify the range of targeted customer segment’.
Next, you’ll need to choose your company name. When making this decision in the UAE, you’ll need to stick to a set of clearly defined naming conventions.
In short, UAE company names must not contain any blasphemous or offensive language, any references to well-known institutions or any abbreviations of your name – though your full name is acceptable.
Your name should also have a legal entity attached to it, such as FZE or LLC. It must also relate to your business activity, not resemble the name of any other company, and be available to register.
At Worldwide Formations, we can help you with these initial decisions, ensuring all is in place for a smooth and successful license application process.
Applying for your influencer license in Dubai
With your admin taken care of, you can now apply for your influencer or social media license in UAE. To work in this field, you’ll require a trade license issued by the DED and additional approval from the National Media Council (NMC).
You can make both of these applications yourself online. However, to ensure everything runs smoothly, Worldwide Formations can manage the entire process for you. In either case, to apply for an NMC license, you must be a GCC citizen, over 25, and of good reputation.
To make your trade and NMC license applications on your behalf, we’ll require the following documents.
- Passport photocopy
- Emirates ID photocopy
- Trade license photocopy (for NMC application)
- A copy of your signature
- A No Objection Certificate from your current employer (if applicable)
As you’ll require them to obtain your license, they can also help you apply for your UAE visa and Emirates ID. This process involves four stages, including a medical fitness test and biometric capturing. In all, it usually takes less than a week.
As the holder of a UAE business license, you can also sponsor others such as children, a spouse or domestic staff for their visas too, providing you meet the eligibility criteria.
How much does an influencer license cost?
Another great benefit of starting up as an influencer in the UAE is the low overheads. Providing you have a mobile phone and a little personality, the only other costs of note are your UAE influencer license and approvals.
Obtaining a professional license from the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) costs in the region of AED 20,000 to AED 25,000. If you make your application to a UAE free zone, this may also include the cost of your visa.
On top of this, you’ll also need to pay an annual fee of AED 2,775 to the NMC.
Get your influencer license in the UAE with Worldwide Formations
By following the steps above, it is possible to obtain a trade license and NMC approval in the UAE with minimal fuss.
However, it is always advisable to undertake the steps with the assistance of a registered company formations agent to eliminate any potential hassles that might arise.
With more than 15 years of experience in company incorporation, Worldwide Formations can help you get your business up and running within a week or two. We’ll manage every aspect of the company formation process.
First, we’ll help you outline your business activities, as it’s critically important that you list every activity that applies to your business when making your application. Failure to do so can lead to fines or even license revocation.
Next, we’ll help you choose a company name – a process that takes on more importance here in the UAE. That’s because as well as the need for a name that’s catchy and captures the essence of your business, you’ll also need to stick to the UAE’s clearly defined naming conventions.
With these decisions made, we’ll manage both your trade license and visa applications, too, liaising with all government bodies and authorities for you. We can even assist with the opening of your corporate bank account.
All you need to do is wait for the green light to start trading.