Dubai: If you are interested in becoming a social media business, whether you would like to sell clothes, shoes, perfumes or even your own craftwork to customers, it is essential to make sure you apply for the right business licence to operate legally in the UAE.
Gulf News spoke with Mohamed Gamal, Legal Advisor at Kaden Boriss Legal Consultants, Dubai, who said that people can face strict penalties for selling items online – whether through a website or through social media accounts – if they are not licenced.
Mohamed Gamal, Legal Advisor at Kaden Boriss Legal Consultants, Dubai
“Under Law No. 13 of 2011 in the matter of practising commercial activities in the Emirate of Dubai, Article 6 states that it is not permissible for any natural or legal person to engage in an economic activity in the Emirate, except through an establishment licensed by the Department of Economic Development. The department specifies the conditions and requirements for granting this licence and the documents and approvals that must be submitted for its issuance,” Gamal said.
According to the law, penalties will be applied to those who violate this and practise work without a licence, which is “a financial fine that is not less than Dh100 and not more than Dh100,000, and varies according to the type of activity.”
So, whether you have procured a batch of sneakers, which you would like to sell through social media, or have hand-crafted jewellery that is growing in demand, it is essential that you apply for the right licence.
Buying on social media
Buying on social media can also be fraught with risks. Over the years, economic departments in various emirates of the country, as well as the Ministry of Economy, have highlighted the problem of counterfeit items being sold on social media, and shut down various social media operations, where counterfeit items, including bags, perfumes, watches, accessories and cosmetic products, were being sold online.
If you do find stuff that you are interested in buying on a social media platform, first find out if the business has a bigger online presence. Even if the account is based outside the UAE, it is advisable to find out which country the office is located in, so that you can inquire about the legitimacy of the business from the relevant economic authorities
If you do come across social media accounts or webites selling counterfeit products, you can report them to the Dubai Economic Department Consumer Protection hotline on 600545555 or to the Ministry of Economy on 8001222