Free Zones in Sharjah

by commitbizadmin 03, Oct 2019

Free Zones in Sharjah

Sharjah is considered as one of the most developed Emirates in the UAE. Its strategic location allows several trading activities in the emirate, which create significant opportunities for investors from all over the place. The pace of growth of Sharjah is impressive. Every day big projects are being commenced, and the number of businesses being started is gradually increasing.

Sharjah has made headway in terms of economy, tourism, reach of its culture, and infrastructure due to the strategy of its government based on the diversification of the economy and the understanding of the incentives which will be provided to an investor. The various investments made by a company will benefit the local businesses and the residents of the area making business setup in Sharjah a very viable idea for any investor.

In Sharjah, a company can set up either in the mainland or in any of the free zones of the emirate. The incorporation of a business in the free zones have their benefits. Sharjah currently has three free zones, namely:

  1. Hamriyah Free Zone (HFZA)
  1. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone)
  1. Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)
  1. Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC FZ)
  1. USA Regional Trade Centre (USA RTC)

Let us know more about these free zones.

I.Hamriyah Free Zone

This free zone as established by an Emiri decree which was issued on the date November 12 1995. The location of the free zone allows the various companies that are created here to take advantage of the time zone of the area and the unique geography of the free zone. This free zine is 24 km long in size and has a port which is 14 meters' deep. The port also has an inner harbour, which is 7 meters deep.

This free zone has dynamic and flexible management due to which it can entirely focus on the various companies that come to the free zone and provide them with services which will take the companies further into the future.

There are two legal structures available for conducting business in this free zone:

Branch of a Foreign-Based or a UAE Based Company

This type of company is legally dependent on the parent company and can be considered as an extension of the parent company. The branch company may or may not conduct all the operations of the parent company. Separate share capital for the branch company established is not required.

Free Zone Limited Liability Company

An FZ-LLC is a separate legal entity, and various individuals and corporates are the shareholders of the company. The size of the company and the nature of the business being conducted determine the capital requirement for the incorporation of the business. 

The main businesses that are being conducted in the free zone are:

  • Import and Export
  • Trading and Manufacturing Business
  • Marketing and Management Consultancy

Benefits of Hamriyah Free Zone

Some of the benefits of setting up a company in the Hamriyah free zone are:

  • Conducting business in various sectors
  • The strategic location of the free zone
  • 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of profits
  • 100% exemption of any corporate tax or personal income tax
  • Lease of land for conducting business available for a period of 25 years and this period can be renewed for another 25 years.
  • Highly developed infrastructure, communications and transportation,
  • Warehouses and office suits which have been already built and are ready for use.
  • Affordable cost of living

II.Sharjah Airport International Free Zone

Set up in the year 1995, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) is considered as one of the top free zones to set up your company in. This free zone has been frequently referred to as the industrial powerhouse of the UAE and comprises roughly over 2,900 companies hailing from 91 countries.

The Sharjah Airport International Free Zone offers a wide variety of incentives to the companies getting up in this free zone. Getting a license in UAE can be a very cumbersome and time taking process, but to address this issue, SAIF zone provides a 24-hour licensing service which enables the quick company incorporation.

This free zone provides many alternatives to the companies as it allows for office solutions ranging from a single office to an entire manufacturing facility and everything in between. Warehouses, storage areas, labour housing, bunker, container parks etc. are also available in the free zone. The SAIF zone offers an adequate workforce for your business and also provides the necessary sponsorship and visa services for the in-house staff.

The SAIF zone allows two different legal structures for conducting business in the zone, which are:

Branch of UAE or Foreign-based Company

This form of company is dependent on the parent company regarding the various legal processes and can be considered as an extension of the parent company. The branch company may or may not conduct all the operations of the parent company. Separate share capital for the branch company established is not required.

Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ-LLC)

An FZ-LLC is a separate legal entity, and various individuals and corporates are the shareholders of the company. The size of the company and the nature of the business being conducted determine the capital requirement for the setting up and registration of the business.

The significant businesses being conducted in the SAIF zone are:

  • Storage and Warehousing
  • Import and export of goods and raw materials
  • Manufacturing, Processing, Assembling and Packaging of products
  • Freight Forwarding
  • Trading and Logistics
  • Various other activities which have been approved by the federal and local authorities

Benefits of Setting Up a Company in SAIF Zone

The numerous benefits to be availed by setting up a company in SAIF zone are:

  • State-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Exemption of Custom Duties
  • 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of profits
  • 100% exemption of any corporate tax or personal income tax
  • The strategic location of the free zone and various sectors to invest in
  • 24-hour hotline for provision of labour and attainment of equipment
  • Operations happening 24 X 7 in the free zone

III.Sharjah Media City

Sharjah Media City, better known as SHAMS, was launched in January 2017 with a vision to be a world-class hub for all media and creativity in the middle east. The range of SHAMS covers a wide range of business activities as well as various services making this free zone a haven for the budding creative geniuses and their companies.

SHAMS helps the aspiring start-ups and the various SMEs so that they can grow their businesses locally and globally. This free zone offers company setup services at affordable prices and does not require any physical presence during the incorporation process. This free zone aims to be very easy to understand and set up a business in.

This free zone offers a flexible solution for companies and individuals who want to conduct business in the UAE and want to do business under the same license. There are two types of legal entities that are allowed to set up their business in this free zone; these are:

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

This type of company is a separate entity and has its own set of assets and liabilities. The assets and liabilities of the company are considered separate from the assets and liabilities of the shareholders.

UAE and Foreign Branch Company

This entity is an extension of its parent company, and the branch usually conducts most of the operations and process of the company.

Benefits of Establishing a Company in SHAMS

There are many benefits that a company can take advantage if they are set up in this free zone.

  • The company can take several visas for the desk facility
  • Boasts of one of the cheapest company setup costs in UAE
  • Located only 15 minutes away from Dubai
  • 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of profits
  • 100% exemption of any corporate tax or personal income tax
  • The strategic location of the free zone and various sectors to invest in
  • 24-hour hotline for provision of labour and attainment of equipment

IV.Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone

This free zone caters specifically to the publishing and printing industry. Launched in November 2017, it covers an area of almost 19,000 sq. m area and consists of state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure. This free zone provides many opportunities to all the companies that want to enter in to the printing and publishing industry.

The free zone will offer state of the art printing services at a very competitive rate. This move will be beneficial for both the companies and the country at large as this free zone will play a significant part in spreading the knowledge of the country from one part to another by penning it down on paper.

This free zone specially caters to those companies which are looking to commence its business in the creative arts and printing businesses, but the free zone is also open to other types of businesses. Services like high speed broadband connectivity, many conference rooms, various secretarial services and the availability of the provision of dual license help the investor to conduct business outside the free zone.

The Benefits of Establishing a Company in SPC FZ

There are various benefits of establishing a company in the free zone.

  • 100% foreign ownership and repatriation of profits
  • 100% exemption of any corporate tax or personal income tax
  • Quick incorporation processes
  • Easy bank account opening and maintenance
  • Office space is not mandatory
  • Ideal for international businesses

V.USA Regional Trade Centre

USARTC is a step taken by the Sharjah government in the direction of making the economy of the emirate a very successful one and also to help be a part of the various international business transactions. Built in 2011, the zone had the aim of strengthening the business relationships between the US and the UAE.

The rules and regulations of the have been framed to encourage the international trader and the small and medium companies of the foreign market, especially the USA, will be able to better interact with the market in Sharjah. This move will also provide an opening through which facilitate trade with the African and Indian counterparts.

The various industries in the free zone are:

  • Transport and logistics,
  • Mass Communication
  • Food and Beverage
  • Engineering
  • Jewellery and Apparels

Benefits of setting a company in USARTC

The various benefits for a US based company to establish itself in Sharjah are:

  • Collective promotion Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Fast developing Connections with African, UAE and SAARC countries
  • Endorsed by the Ministry of Commerce
  • Self-driven a logistics, import and export facilities all are available at a single place

These are the five free zones which are situated in the emirate of Sharjah which act as havens for companies and budding entrepreneurs from all over the world. Each has its own set of benefits, and the massive drive for foreign investments in Sharjah has assisted in improving the economy of the emirate and also securing business from foreign investors. With these five free zones, Sharjah is looking at a bright future, and it is expected that the Sharjah will become one of the most coveted places in the middle east to set up a free zone.

The government of the emirate has plans for one more free zone in the pipeline in Sharjah. It is an indication of the future opportunities the emirate will provide to the various investors and also a rise in the economy of the emirate.

Setting up a business in the emirate can be a very complicated process. During these times it is necessary to avail the help of a business management consultancy which would guide you through the complete company setup procedure. “Commitbiz" is one such business setup firm which will ensure that your business can avail all the benefits and becomes one of the top companies in the industry. There are many other services provided by “Commitbiz”. to know about them all, do contact us – we would be happy to help.