Steps to obtaining an influencer license in the UAE
Social media content creation emerged as a vital branch of UAE’s economy in the past 5 years. As a result, the Emirates welcomes with open arms all public figures who want to offer influencer services within its territory. However, it is fundamental for influencers to get a social media influencer license in the UAE to generate more revenue and thrive in the UAE market.
In this article, you will find a complete how-to guide to apply for an influencer license in the UAE in a short time. Also, you will get a closer look at the requirements, profile, and fees to meet further. Likewise:
- What is an influencer license?
- Why do you need an influencer license?
- Who can apply for an influencer license in the UAE?
- What is the process to obtain an influencer license in the UAE?
- Requirements to get an influencer license in the UAE
- The step by step process
- How to get a Freelancer Visa before applying for an influencer license?
- How can we help you to get an influencer license in a short time?
1. What is an influencer license?
Since the first appearance of social media, many individuals saw an opportunity to reach audiences through the creation of interesting, creative, entertaining content becoming public figures or influencers along the way. These digital content creators also managed their way in the UAE’s financial world by monetizing their images and charging for promoting brands.
In order to regulate the activities of influencers and create a friendlier, transparent business ecosystem within the UAE, the National Media Council (NMC) introduced the influencer license in the UAE in 2018, also known as E-Media license, as a content regulation tool.
That is to say, the influencer license is a protector law for customers who hire social media content creators services to promote products or services. Also, it helps to ensure a safer digital environment for the audience.
On the other hand, it is mandatory for influencers to obtain this permission if they want to offer their services in the UAE territory. Otherwise, working as an influencer without it may result in a fine.
2. Why do you need an influencer license?
The United Arab Emirates is a financial and technological hub par excellence. Thanks to its booming digital market, establishing yourself as an influencer in the UAE is a great opportunity to develop yourself as a social media content creator in one of the countries promoting this new style of work.
However, to make a profit it is necessary to get an influencer license. In addition, by applying for an e-media permit, you will be able to:
- Meet and work with local and foreign agencies/clients
- Have access to accessible spaces and work teams
- Operate legally in any of the Free Zone or Mainland of the UAE
- Position yourself in the social media market and generate more income
2.1 Is it mandatory for all influencers to obtain a license to work in the UAE?
On the other hand, not all influencers are required to obtain an E-media license to work freely in the UAE. For example, a vlogger (a creator of videos for social media) who does not generate revenue but receives free products in exchange for reviews on any of his or her channels is not required to obtain an influencer license to work freely in the UAE.
However, an influencer who promotes a brand’s products or services through his or her personal networks and generates revenue from it must take out a social media influencer license in order to avoid fines.
2.2 What is the price of the fine for operating without the influencer permit?
Despite the fact that the influencer career is one of the most sought-after within the UAE, offering influencer services on social media without the proper paperwork can result in a fine.
The NMC has a team keeping a close eye on new entrepreneurs. Those who do not follow the correct guidelines must pay a fine of AED 5,000. However, there is always a wake-up call first.
2.3 General requirements
Before starting the process to obtain the influencer license in the UAE, there are some conditions and rules you need to meet. For example, it is possible to apply more easily if you have a freelance permit.
Also, social media content creators allied directly with the NMC or working in a marketing company registered with the NMC are also not required to obtain a license. Finally, influencers who receive free gifts or products in exchange for trademark exposure are not required to apply for a license.
Of the rest, influencers who receive payments for promoting products, services on social networks must obtain their license. Another important point to know is that, unlike the Freelance permit, those individuals who hold an E-Media license are not eligible to obtain a residential visa. It is important to note that the license is only granted to influencers living in the UAE.
Therefore, it is necessary that you apply for a freelancer visa before you apply.
3. Who can apply for an influencer license in the UAE?
Individuals who create content for mainstream social media, blogging, and video blogging (vlogging) can apply for an influencer license in the UAE, it is essential to meet a specific profile so that your application is not rejected. Among things to consider are:
- Being a citizen or resident of the UAE
- Being over 25 years old
- Having a verifiable good reputation
- Not being involved in any scandal or crime of dishonesty
- Having proof of received endorsement for brand promotion
4. What is the process to obtain an influencer license?
To obtain your influencer license in the UAE, you must first obtain a trade license or freelancer permit in the free zone of your choice. Both processes are simple and inexpensive. However, firstly, you must know there are three different categories through which you can obtain an influencer license in the UAE. Among them are:
- If a content creator wishes to work solo, he/she can get an individual influencer license. However, in order to do so, he/she must have a mandatory trade license.
- The second option is to obtain a collective E-Media License. That is, a group of content creators can form a company and apply for an influencer license further.
- Lastly, you can obtain an influencer license in the UAE by joining an agency certified by the NMC. However, there is a limiting requirement. The influencer cannot work with other agencies.
4.1 Why do you need a trade license to become a successful influencer in the UAE?
While the trade license allows individuals and companies to trade goods and services within the Emirati market the influencer license has a different function. To clarify, the E-media license allows content creators to promote brands and generate revenue by making use of social media legally.
For influencers who choose this option, the process may be a bit longer. However, it is a fundamental requirement according to the NMC status. Therefore, obtaining a trade license will allow you to establish a company further and operate freely.
5. Requirements to get an influencer license in the UAE
Now, going into the process of how to get an influencer license in the UAE there are some documents that you need to submit further such as:
- Application form duly filled out
- A copy of the influencer’s passport
- Emirates ID
- Two-color passport sized photographs
- Copy of influencer’s visa
- Trade license copy
- Tenancy contract (if needed)
- Title deed (if applicable)
5.1 Duration and cost
Obtaining an E-Media license is a cost-effective way to work in the UAE. Therefore, the cost of the influencer license is not expensive. However, the price may vary depending on the Emirate.
The approximate cost is between AED 5,750 and AED 11,900. Nevertheless, it is cheaper to get an E-media license in a Free Zone such as Sharjah Free Zone, Ajman Media City Free Zone, or Dubai Media City.
Also, the permit has an availability of 12 months and it is possible to renew it. On the other hand, the waiting time is short. To clarify, you can have your license in around a week.
6. The step by step process
Similarly, the entire process is done through the National Media Council website, which takes about 15-20 minutes.
The first step to obtaining your influencer license in the UAE is to choose a jurisdiction that suits your goals, needs, and purposes. One of the most recommended emirates is Dubai thanks to its wide variety of Free Zones that support the freelancer lifestyle and the training of new content creators.
Next, go to the website and fill out the form. Make sure to double-check and fill in all the required fields with the correct information. Third, you must submit the requested documents to the authorities of the Free Zone you chose to make sure everything is in order.
Finally, pay the fees to obtain your influencer license. Remember that these may vary according to the Free Zone.
7. How to get a Freelancer Visa before applying for an influencer license?
One of the prerequisites to obtain an influencer license is to be a UAE resident. The best option to obtain a residency visa in a short time for foreign social media content creators and bloggers/vloggers is to apply for a freelancer visa.
This is a special visa that allows individuals to work, live and establish a business in the UAE focusing on areas such as Tech, Education, and, most importantly, Media. In addition, it can be renewed every three years. Also, freelancer visas can cost between AED 5,000 and AED 7,500 depending on the package you choose.
The entire process is made through the Free Zone authority website. To obtain a freelancer visa, it is necessary:
- Apply online for the Freelancer Visa
- Submit a copy of your resume, a recent photograph, a copy of your passport, a bank reference letter, and your sponsor’s NOC
- Wait 10 to 15 days to receive approval by email
- Finally, you will have an approximate period of time to enter the country so that you can sell your passport for the next 3 years
8. How can we help you get an influencer license in a short time?
Starting an influencer career in the UAE with the right permissions will allow you to enter into a vast market of digital creation, reaching new and bigger foreign and local enterprises. If you are planning to get an influencer license soon, at Connect Zone we are more than ready to help you in the process
We are experts in providing information and business setup, offering multiple business centers available to provide a physical space for your company. Also, we have different VAT and TAX consultancy services to help you in the post-business setup process.
Would you like to contact Connect Zone to get help with the influencer license in the UAE? In case you have any questions, call us on +971 43 316 688. Likewise, you can email us at email@example.com, and you will talk to one of our representatives who will answer your questions.
Attach your CV or resume to thetalentpoint.com to receive more information. Likewise, there is no need to worry, your personal information will not be stored or shared.