Sharjah is the third largest Emirate of the United Arab Emirates and is the only one to have land on both the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. The flourishing economic development of Sharjah is attributed to attractive opportunities and the positive incentives that encourage businesses in the city. To sustain its strong economy, the Sharjah Government recognizes and promoted the growth of the private sector and welcomes foreign investment in the service, manufacturing, and trade sectors.
To start a business in Sharjah, a business person has to obtain a trade license. The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), with the institutional support from the Chamber of Commerce & Industry, is the primary body that polices and controls the licensing procedures for an entity in Sharjah, except for the free zones. The free zone authority of the choose free zone offers business licenses in Sharjah. However, licenses for some groups of business require approval from other Ministries and other government authorities – for example - Insurance Companies and related agencies from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce; manufacturing from the Ministry of Finance and Industry; banks and financial institutions from the Central Bank of the UAE; and pharmaceutical and medical products from the Ministry of Health. More detailed processes apply to businesses engaged in oil or gas production and related industries.
Types of Business licenses in Sharjah
The requirement for all business activity in Sharjah is one of the following three categories of licenses.
1. Industrial License
To start a business in any manufacturing or industrial activity. It includes
2. Commercial License
For any trading activity. It includes
- Import, Export, and Trading
3. Professional License
For service providers in the fields of teaching, law, medical services, etc. It includes
- Business Consultancy
- Management Consultancy
- Marketing Consultancy
- I.T. Consultancy
- Design Consultancy (Except Engineering Consultancy)
- H.R. Consultancy
- Tourism Consultancy
- Event Management
- Health & Fitness Consultancy
- Sports Consultancy
- Project Management (Overseas)
- Turnkey Project (Overseas)
- Marine related activities
- Investment of Own Resources
The Authorities also issue some special licenses such as Business Operation Permit, Entrepreneurial Business License etc. subject to certain criteria.
How to Obtain a Business License in Sharjah?
The legal requirements to obtain a trade license in Sharjah is mentioned as under.
- Designate the classification which the business falls into- commercial, industrial and professional
- Determine all the related business activities be included within each business license(Maximum 10 per permit)
- Decide the legal status for your Sharjah business
- Select a proper trading name for the business
- Submit a form to the Department for initial approval
- Register a trading name after receiving initial support (If you don’t have a formerly reserved trade name)
- Lease business premises and get permission from the relevant Authority
- Prepare all required documents; such as Memorandum and Articles of Association and agreements from other relevant government authorities which may be necessary to each case
- Submit a further application to the Department to obtain the business license
- Pay the required fees
How can we help?
We at Commitbiz can help you obtain a business license in Sharjah. Our specialists have years of experience in this field and can make this process hassle-free. Contact us today – we’d be happy to assist you.