COMPANY FORMATION SERVICESInfluencer Freelancer License

How to obtain your Influencer Residency Permit and your Trade or Freelancer license in the UAE

The Media Regulatory Office – Ministry of Culture and Youth now oversees the National Media Council. The UAE National Media Council (NMC) regulates the influencer industry by introducing regularly new measures.These rules are not only applicable to digital creators using Instagram, Facebook and Twitter but also extends to bloggers and vloggers.

The current rules require any influencer, who is paid directly for their posts (who undertakes paid or unpaid form of advertising, news dissemination, brand promotion), to be both UAE resident by securing a Company Trade license (a full Trade License) or a Freelancer license (a cheaper option. Your company name will be your own name in this option.)  and holding a NMC influencer license (also called a social media influencer license, E-permit  or E-Media license). The NMC fee is AED 11,900 in Dubai (subject to changes), while only AED 5,750 in Sharjah, and has to be renewed annually.

The only exception to not be in the obligation to obtain a license is when only gifts, experience, and/or products are received in exchange for brands coverage.


Step 1: Applying for aTrade or Freelancer Influencer Business License in Dubai to obtain your UAE residency permit

All businesses in the UAE must have a business license if they wish to sell products and services, and this includes businesses selling through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok and other platforms.

The first step to becoming a licensed influencer, by obtaining a residency permit, is to apply for your trade license or freelancer license, which is cheaper. The license can be obtained either from the Dubai Department of Economic Development or from one of the UAE’s many free zones.

Step 2: Making your Visa application

You will need to hold a UAE residency visa and Emirates ID before you can apply for an NMC social media influencer license in the UAE.

As the holder of a UAE Company Trade License, you would be able to sponsor others for their visas too. The maximum number of visas you can apply for will depend on your license,  the size of your office and, for dependant visas, your personal earnings.

Step 3: Applying for your NMC Influencer License or E-permit in Dubai

The license is designed to regulate the social media influencer industry. The National Media council falls under Media Regulatory Office – Ministry of Culture and Youth.

The NMC license is not required for owners of personal websites, bloggers, or ones who promote their brands on social media or who do unpaid reviews of products (as long as they are independent of the brand they are reviewing and receive no remuneration).

The final step is to apply to the NMC for your NMC social media influencer license. You do not need a trade or freelancer license to perform your business activities as an influencer if you have the NMC license in Dubai. However, this E-permit does not entitle the individual for visa eligibility (refer to step 1 above).

Any errors in the application procedure shall be source of expensive setbacks in the NMC license registration procedure.

Before making your application, you need to ensure that you meet certain eligibility criteria such as being:

  • Over 25
  • Of good reputation.

You must provide the NMC with:

  • Emirates ID and residency visa
  • Registered tenancy contract or title deed
  • Trade Company or freelancer license if you have apply as such.

 The NMC social media influencer license in Dubai is an e-license.

There are 3 types of NMC License, depending on the number of people that appears in the content and not on the number of people involved in editing and uploading:

1.Cqtegory1:  The individual license, for content creators who work alone to produce their work on social media as completely independent social media influencers even if they have editors and managers as long as they do not appear in their videos.

2. Category 2: The partnership license, for two influencers creating their content and uploading them together on social media.

3. Category 3: The agency license, for a company where several people create content under a single brand name. It covers small groups of influencers who want to set up a company, holding a trade license together. This option is less expensive than Category 1 and 2 licenses.

Finally,  NMC proposes a last option to sign up with one of the official Dubai social media influencer agencies already certified by the National Media Council. They have a license covering all their influencers. The drawback, of course, is that you may have less control over what content you promote.


Can An Influencer Use A Free Zone License And Consult Globally?

He can consult globally with customers within the United Arab

Emirates and anywhere else in the world.

Costs Involved

The exact costs will depend on the kind of NMC license you apply for, the type of business ( company or freelance) you decide to run,your freezone location plus the NMC license costs. The rest of the costs depends on your requirements for the number of visas for your business.

Our consultants at Wincore Advisory Group will assist you to ensure that your Company/ freelancer license, NMC influencer license, and visa applications are complete for submission. The team will also assit you in opening local personal or corporate bank accounts.


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