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Selling on social media in Dubai, UAE: Business License Requirements

It will likely come as no surprise that the global social media commerce market is vast. It is estimated to be worth a staggering USD 3,370bn by 2028, with compound annual growth of 28.4% between now and then.

With a potential market this size, there’s no debate. If you have something to sell, you should be selling it on social media.

Of course, this is often easier said than done. The hard sell is not always the answer here. It pays to take the time to build and nurture a following that values your offering. But with the right guidance, and plenty of hard work, you can find those looking for products and services like yours faster than you may think.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to sell on social media, and the licenses required to operate an ecommerce business in the UAE.

How to sell items on social media in the UAE

Let’s start with the basics – what is social selling? In short, it means finding and nurturing new prospects on social media. It follows much of the same process as telesales or email sales in that you must first find your audience, then warm it up to your offering before attempting to convert a lead into a sale.

There are many ways to do this. If you are already active on social media channels, it is just a case of engaging more frequently with this audience. Always look to add value with your interactions. People follow brands for content and useful advice. They do not want to be bombarded with sales messages every two minutes. If anything, that is a sure-fire way to lose your audience.

If you haven’t yet started building and interacting with your audience on social media, then the steps below can help.

Steps to sell on social media in Dubai, UAE

1. Choose your social network

There are several social networks to choose from, with many giving you access to a global audience. The platform that’s right to sell your business will depend largely on the nature of your activities and the demographic structure of your audience.

Arts, retail, fitness, and beauty brands tend to fare better on Instagram, for example. Whereas Twitter is often more useful for a broader range of industries. It is also worth researching more niche platforms, such as those dedicated to certain hobbies or interests.

Ultimately, however, as long as you can build and engage an audience, then it’s the right platform for you.

2. Grow your network

Once you’ve chosen your platform, or platforms, it’s time to start interacting with other users. A good starting point is to look at the accounts of others in your field or industry. Check out who they follow and interact with and follow suit. You may also want to follow competitors to keep an eye on their activity.

Most social media sites also allow you to search by keywords and topics. This is not only a good way to build a following but can also be a direct selling tool. For example, if you’re an insurer, search for users that are complaining about the service from their insurer. If you sell shoes and a user is asking for advice on a new pair, you can be there to assist.

3. Start delivering value

This is where things get a little harder. As you curate a larger audience, you need to keep them interested. There are a few ways to do this, but ultimately, your aim is to bring interesting and valuable content into their feed.

Creating your own content is preferable but to start with you can always link to third party information that your audience may find useful. You can repurpose content from your own website too. Remember not to overtly sell in every message. You are here to add value first and foremost.

Once you have built trust with your audience, yours will be the first name they think of when they require the services or goods that you offer.

Get started with social selling

An audience is not the only thing you need when selling via social media in the UAE. You’ll also need a trade license. This process and associated obligations are slightly different here depending on the nature of your business. So, let’s start with some basics.

Is it legal to sell online in the UAE?

Absolutely – but you must be correctly licensed. Operating any business in the UAE without a license is against the law. To sell from a website, you’ll need an ecommerce license.

Is it legal to sell on Instagram in the UAE?

Yes. It is legal to sell on any available social network in the UAE. But once again, you must be correctly licensed to do so.

Are you ready to start selling on social media in Dubai?

Hopefully, this guide has made clear that selling your offering on social media is perfectly legal – providing you have a trade license to do so.

And Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) can help you get the license that you need.

We are a team of company registration professionals who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.

As well as handling your trade license application, BIZ can also assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.

We also offer visa and immigration services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and visa applications that are required to trade in the UAE.

In short, our experts can establish your company on your behalf, make your license and visa applications, and take care of all the necessary admin – leaving you free to get on with running your business.

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