You have seen individuals earning a sizable income by promoting other brands through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, TikTok etc., approach them recognizing their power to influence their social media followers. Since every business in the UAE requires a valid license to operate, the social media influencers who earn revenue from brand promotion must obtain a license from the relevant authority.
National Media Council is the authority that issues an influencer permit in the UAE, for which the influencers should meet certain conditions and requirements. Generating revenue from social media brand promotion without a proper license is illegal, and therefore, it is absolutely necessary for the influencers to understand the prerequisites to obtain an influencer permit in Dubai, UAE.
Here is everything the influencers should know about getting a media license in Dubai.
Who Should Obtain an Influencer License?
In general, content-producing companies should get approval from the National Media Council (NMC), which is the authority that regulates media policies in the UAE. The NMC’s media license is part of its comprehensive project called Electronic Media System (EMS). The EMS envisages that all the individuals, agencies or companies that earn an income from social media influencer activity must get permits from the NMC. However, bloggers or ‘vloggers’ (video bloggers) who receive only free gifts, products in return for the promotion on social media profiles need not get an influencer license.
Three Different Options for Getting an Influencer License
Depending on the way an influencer operates in the UAE, there are three different options for getting a media license. Here are the different licensing options below.
i) Individual Influencer License
An individual can apply for the media license and operate as an independent influencer in the UAE. They also need to get a separate trade license after getting the influencer permit. Business setup consultants in Dubai can assist the individuals in getting the trade license. The cost of getting an influencer license is around AED 15,000.
ii) Influencer License for Company
A small group of influencers can come together and apply for a partnership license from the NMC. The influencer group can form a company as per the regulations of business setup in Dubai before applying for the media license. The influencers should ensure that they have conducted company registration in Dubai and obtained a license from the relevant licensing authority (free zone or DED). The cost for the media license for companies is the same as that of the individual license. Business setup advisers in Dubai can assist the influencer partners in opening a company in the mainland or free zones.
iii) Media License through Influencer Agencies
If opening a company in Dubai is not your cup of tea, then there is a viable option of signing up with official influencer agencies. There are many NMC-approved influencer agencies in the UAE that hold an aggregated license. The influencer must be exclusively registered with the agency to continue operating as an influencer in the UAE. The regulations allow an influencer to work with only one agency and all the paid deals should be carried out through the agency.
Best Options of Business setup in the UAE for Influencers
Influencers can obtain a license in media free zones in Dubai or other emirates in the UAE. The following free zones offer the best options for company formation in the UAE for influencers:
Among the UAE free zones, Ajman Media City provides a low-cost business setup package specifically designed for Social Media Influencers. The SMI Package for influencers in Ajman costs around AED 2,500. Obtaining an influencer license through a free zone is an easier way to get NMC approval. Additionally, the influencers can seek the advice of business setup consultants in Dubai for quicker completion of the process.
Fines for Operating without a Media License in the UAE
Paid influencers operating in the UAE without a license are liable to pay a fine of AED 5,000. NMC has a dedicated team monitoring the illegal activities on social media for catching the influencers without a license. Usually, the team issues an initial warning and slaps the fine if the influencer ignores it. Business setup consultants in Dubai help the paid influencers avoid fines by getting a valid media license.
Consult with Jitendra Business Consultants
Social media influencers earn a sizable income by promoting products or services of various well-known brands. However, paid influencers need to get a media license from the NMC, or hefty fines will be imposed by the authority. To earn an income from social media legally, the aspiring influencers can seek the assistance of the best business setup consultants in Dubai, such as Jitendra Business consultants (JBC). Since an influencer needs a trade license before obtaining a media license, JBC’s legal know-how and experience in handling the licensing authorities will make the process easier. Getting approval for your social media business becomes a hassle-free process with JBC’s bespoke assistance.