Social Media Influencers & e-Commerce Licence : FAQ

The social media license, announced as part of the new electronic media regulation system, has become a hot topic of discussion in the social circuit. The announcement made to the end of February this year, by the National Media Council has given rise to a lot of queries and concerns. Here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions.

Who is a social media influencer?

A social media influencer is any highly popular social figure (follower-count in the six-figure and upward range) whose posts get a lot of engagement in a short time. He / she is capable of impacting awareness and perception of a particular product, service or brand, among his followers through posts.

What are the new rules?

E-commerce websites and social media influencers who promote products, services and brands and are paid money to do so are required to obtain commercial license.

Why have the new rules been introduced?

Realizing the growing impact of the digital / electronic technologies and social media, the rules have been set to encourage social media responsibility and safeguard the public (especially children and youth) from negative or harmful content. Additionally, the new code of practice would provide legal protection to wider publishing industries such as digital and social media agencies operating from abroad to acquire license and open branch offices in UAE.

Whom does the new rule affect?

- Social media influencers who are paid to promote brands
- E-commerce websites
- Companies and businesses that conduct businesses through website and social media

Should all influencers have a licence?


Who should possess a licence?

  • E-commerce websites
  • Social media agencies
  • Social media influencers being paid to promote a brand.

Who need not possess a licence?

  • News and entertainment websites that already possess a licence.
  • Influencers who promote / review products, services or brands free of cost and is not paid for his / her services.
  • Influencers who are gifted with small tokens of appreciation, such as free meal (s), tickets to movie / shows, clothing apparels, shoes, accessories etc. which are nominal. However, large or costly items that could turn hands and be sold, such as a car, diamond and other jewelery, do not qualify to be considered as gifts.

Should e-commerce websites possess a license?

And it is.

What if I should have one but do not get it?

If a website / influencer / agency violates the rule, they will be penalized by inducing fines, verbal or official warning, and / or closure of the website or account.

Is it a generic license?

No. There are different options to fit various needs- separate ones for free zone and mainland - depending on the agency / influencer's requirements and / or business models and revenue system.

Is it worth it?

In just over a decade after it's introduction, the role played by social media has undergone drastic transformation. It has gone from being a medium for communicating with near and dear ones to one of a career path with umpteen possibilities. A social influencer today is paid a sum anywhere between $ 1,000 to $ 20,000 per post! Taking into account the growing outreach of electronic media and UAE's reputation as one of the best business economies in the world, it is highly recommended to get an e-trading license and explore newer possibilities. The answer is- a big 'YES'.

How can Emirates Zone help?

Emirates Zone, being the top ranked consultant for entrepreneurs across UAE looking to establish companies and to incorporate trade license, can help you by:
- Consulting and educating you about various types of e-licenses and their scope.
- Analyzing your business model to check if there is a requirement for a commercial license.
- Helping you get the trade license that best fits your business model / individual needs.

I have a question which has not been answered above.

If you have a question in mind, you can get in touch with our consultants who are more than happy to guide you to your online success.