Sharjah is among the most advanced Emirates in the UAE. The trading activities conducted here account for more than 45% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Just like any other Emirate in the UAE, Sharjah has its free zones. Being the only Emirate with land on Persian Gulf as well as the Gulf of Oman, the free zones offer affordable land and labor as well as incentives to small and medium enterprises. The free zones have a highly-developed infrastructure and 24-hour licensing services to enable quick company formation in Sharjah free zone. They are also known for availability of low rental cost, be it flexi-office set up or a large warehouse. In Sharjah free zones, there are fewer auditing, accounting, and reporting requirements as compared to other free zones.
Benefits of Starting a Business in Sharjah Free Zone
There are many benefits for an investor if he/she decides to start a company from any of the Sharjah Free Zones. They are as follows;
- 0% corporate and personal income taxes for the company, investors, and employees
- 100% repatriation of profits and capital
- 100% foreign ownership
- 100% import and export duties exemption
- Access to over two billion consumers
- Strategic location between east and west
- International air links across the world through Sharjah International Airport
- Abundant and low-cost supply of energy
- No currency restrictions
Free Zones in Sharjah
There are five free zones in Sharjah. They are as follows;
1.Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone)
This free zone provides round-the-clock licensing services and is positioned near to the Sharjah International Airport. The main USP of Sharjah Airport Free Zone is that warehouses, storage areas, container parking, bunkers, labour as well as housing facility are available at economical cost.
2.Hamriya Free Zone
It is the second-largest free zone in the UAE and is located close to Sharjah International Airport. This free zone is also connected to a 14-metre deep water harbor. The Hamriya Free Zone focuses on Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector and offers discounted lease rents and minimum reporting formalities to SMEs.
3.U.S.A Regional Trade Center (USARTC) Free Zone
The USARTC free zone offers Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), an opportunity to grow commercially and expand their trade in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
4.Sharjah Media City Free Zone (SHAMS)
This free zone was launched with a vision to be a world-class hub for media and creativity in the region. Similar to other free zones, SHAMS free zone also issues licenses to companies, freelancers, and entrepreneurs wanting to set up a business.
5.Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone
Sharjah Publishing Free Zone is managed by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and serves as a cultural hub and the most preferred destination for book traders. The main advantage of this free zone is, a license is approved within 24 hours.
Types of License Provided in Sharjah Free Zone
You need to have a valid license to start a business in Sharjah. To get a valid license, you need to specify your business activity. Here are the licenses one can obtain from the Sharjah free zone.
- Commercial License- The companies who have this license are engaged in trading or buying and selling of goods.
- Trading License- This license is issued to the businesses involved in industrial and manufacturing activities.
- Professional License- This type of license is given to the businesses providing services. It can be service providers, professionals, artisans and/or craftsman.
Procedure to Start a Business in Sharjah Free Zone
The business setup process in Sharjah free zone is smooth and hassle-free. There are just a few steps to complete after which you can officially start a business. Here’s how you can set up a company in Sharjah-
- Understand your business and select the type of free zone suitable for your business activity
- Prepare a business plan (it is also an important document to provide to the free zone authority)
- Choose a company name which is not similar to the existing businesses and register with your desired free zone
- Choose a business activity which will further help you in getting the license
- Depositing the minimum capital amount mandated by the authorities in the bank account
- Register your business by submitting required documents
- Once the free zone authority reviews everything, they will approve your registration and provide you with Certificate of Incorporation and a Business License
- Completed application form
- Business plan
- Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Colored passport copies of the company's shareholders and the appointed Manager/Director for the new company
- Board resolution designating manage/director
- Share capital information
- The authority will prepare lease agreements
Starting a business in Sharjah free zone will benefit you for a long-term. Liberal economic policies, cosmopolitan culture, and business friendly-environment are some of the advantages you can avail from business in Sharjah.
If you want to avail business setup services in Sharjah, we at Commitbiz are here for you. Contact us today- we’d be happy to help you.