Business Setup in Sharjah

We help you set up your company in Sharjah, the most liberal economies in the Middle East!

Sharjah is the safest and highly advanced Emirate. The business activities conducted their accounts for more than 45% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (G.D.P.). Being the only city with access to ports in the Arabian Gulf's eastern and western coasts and furthermore with the Indian Ocean and immediate connections to North Africa, the Emirate offers excellent opportunities for foreign investors. Investors have the possibility of opening various business entities among which L.L.C., joint-stock companies, branch office, and subsidiaries.

Set Up a Business in Sharjah – A Vibrant and Global Economy

Sharjah is catching up as an economical alternative to Dubai for setting up a business due to the proximity of an International Airport and coupled ports on the west and east coasts of the Arabian Gulf having direct entrance to North Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Its geographical location (at the junction of Asia, Africa, and Europe) offers unmatched opportunities for investors, and therefore sees the inrush of over 5.2 consumers, million investors, and travellers every year.

Sharjah is one of the safest global cities with a meagre crime rate and has an excess of economic energy supply. The judicial system in Sharjah is fair, and the economy is liberal with competitive fees structures and property lease rates. Additionally, there is the presence of a highly qualified and skilled workforce that is mostly bilingual and very economical. Moreover, there is a provision for sponsorship and visas for the entire staff with a 24X7 hotline that ensures an uninterrupted provision of labour and equipment.

Company Incorporation in Sharjah - An Overview

Sharjah is growing with economic expansion and is one of the most rewarding industrial destinations that bring foreign investment. The Government of Sharjah understands the significance of trade, service, and manufacturing sectors in supporting the country's economy, and has therefore devised policies that promote foreign investment.

Flexible government schemes have played a crucial role in gaining the faith of global investors, and have primarily devoted to the speedy and continued economic majority of the Emirate. Further, the business growth trend in Sharjah stays accurate as it has always maintained world economic ties and friendly trading connections with numerous nations across the world.

Setting up a business in Sharjah is a pathway to building long-term contacts and customer relations, and obtaining continuous trade orders in the U.A.E. Other reasons to consider company formation in Sharjah are:

  • Sharjah is a tax haven (no corporate or income tax)
  • It has a modern legal framework
  • There are no foreign exchange controls, trade barriers or quotas
  • Security of investment
  • Sundry incentives from the Government of Sharjah for investors
  • Sharjah allows 100% international company ownership
  • 100% tax exemption for export, import, and all commercial levies
  • 100% repatriation of profits and capital
  • Sharjah has provision for warehousing facilities where investors can store goods for up to 2 months for free
  • Presence of multiple local and foreign banks, and an advanced communication system

Why Invest in Sharjah?

Sharjah, from the past few years, has shown massive advancement in technology, arts, and culture. The presence of history and culture in Sharjah appeals to the people who make the entrepreneur start their business in this beautiful city. The aesthete is not all that Sharjah offers. There is so much more you can get an advantage from company incorporation in Sharjah. The city is cheaper, it has an active seaport and is full of culture, wealth, and heritage. The business industry is booming with different sectors trying to get on the number one position. If an investor decides to invest in the Emirate, here are a few business opportunities available for company setup Sharjah-

  • Healthcare
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Travel and Leisure
  • Environment

To know more on the businesses to invest in Sharjah, click here.


Business Jurisdictions in Sharjah

Launched in 2009, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) is an autonomous government body that focuses on the Asset and Property Management, Development, and Investment in the Emirate. It also looks over the social, economic, environmental and cultural development of Sharjah, in line with Islamic values.

An expatriate can choose from among two categories of business jurisdictions in Sharjah: (1) Mainland or (2) Free Zone

Here is a brief description of each:

Sharjah Free Zone

A Free Zone company in Sharjah can be set up in any of these five free zones with a minimum capital of AED 150,000 (approximately US$40,000).

1. Sharjah International Airport free zone – SAIF Zone

Established in 1995 in the Emirate of Sharjah, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF-Zone) are U.A.E.'s industrial powerhouse and one of the most premier business destinations. SAIF-Zone houses more than 4,500 companies (Industries, Commercial Companies, and Professional firms) from 91 countries

2. Hamriyah Free Zone

Hamriyah Free Zone Sharjah enables foreign nationals to avail 100% business ownership and set up business in a tax-free climate with the repatriation of capital and profits, and all commercial tax exemptions. Depending on the type of shareholding, two types of companies can be set up in the Hamriyah Free Zone:

  • Free Zone Establishment (F.Z.E.) – It is a single shareholder limited liability company setup
  • Free Zone Company (F.Z.C.) – It is comparable shareholder limited liability company set up a business with the exception that it allows multiple shareholders (maximum of 5)

3. U.S.A. Regional Trade Center

The U.S.A. Regional Trade Center (USARTC) was established in the year 2011 as a part of Sharjah's objective to become a hub for foreign trade and turn it into an investment-driven economy. The USARTC offers Small and Middle-Sized Enterprises (S.M.E.s) the opportunity to improve commercially and expand their trade in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It helps S.M.E.s by assisting them in exploring and entering the market, including establishing a presence in the U.A.E. and other areas.

4. Sharjah Publishing City

Sharjah Publishing City (S.P.C.) is an exclusive free zone for printing and publishing. Sharjah Publishing City, a unique free zone is one of the most attractive targets for all the publishers and book lovers. Covering a landscape of 400,000 sq. Meters, it provides great warehousing and office space facilities for company owners.

5. Sharjah Media City

Sharjah Media City Free Zone, known fondly as Shams Sharjah Media City, was launched in January 2017 with a concept to be a world-class hub for media and creativity in the sector. Similar to other free zones, free zone Sharjah also issues licenses to companies, freelancers and entrepreneurs wanting to set up a business

6. Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI)

The SRTIP free zone was established to encourage the association between the private business, government and educational institutes. It has been built to bridge the gap between ideas and the marketplace. SRTI Park aims to offer an atmosphere favourable to creativity and modernization by top-notch infrastructure and high-tech services.

Mainland Company Sharjah

A business may choose to set up in Sharjah Mainland, covering geographical areas set up by U.A.E. Government departments for commercial purposes. It consists of one of the most developed economic regions of Sharjah with regularized statutory policies. Commitbiz can help you set up your business, replete with all the legal formalities, in this mainland.

For a company to be opened as a Limited Liability Company (L.L.C.), a capital of AED 150,000 is required. In case you want to evade using this capital amount, we can help you set up a civil company, which needs a local partner acting as a service agent.

Read more about mainland company formation in Sharjah.

Business Licenses with Business Activities in Sharjah

Sharjah Economic Department is the licensing authority for issuing all kinds of business licenses in Sharjah, except for the free zones.

Industrial License

To participate in any manufacturing or industrial activity. It includes

  • Manufacturing
  • Processing
  • Packaging
  • Assembling
  • Fabrication

Commercial License

For any kind of trading activity. It includes

  • Import, Export, and Trading
  • E-Commerce

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

What are the Types of Business Entities in Sharjah?

To start a business in Sharjah, one has to select a corporate structure for the business. The available business entities in Sharjah are-

Limited Liability Company

It is the most preferred business entity by the investors where the number of partners must not be more than 50 and less than 2. The liability of the partner is limited to the investment in the company

Partnership Company

The partnership company in Sharjah must be between two or more individuals, and they are liable to the extent of their shares to the company's liabilities

Local Service Agent

They are the individual companies that are managed by a single person. If the owner is not a U.A.E. or G.C.C. national, then there must be a local service person who is a U.A.E. national.

Public/Private Shareholding Company

A Public SC is the one with share capital divided into equally valued tradable shares. A Private SC is subject to rules pertaining to public joint-stock companies

Branch Office

It is the branch office of a company based outside the U.A.E. the concerned parties must apply for a license to incorporate a branch of a company from another emirate.

What are the Steps for Company Formation in Sharjah?

For setting up a business in Sharjah, adhering to the procedures and legal formalities is essential. Our team at Commitbiz can help you take care of all the needed judicial proceedings and documents to assist you in Sharjah company registration.

Procedure for Business Setup in Sharjah

  1. Determine the type of economic activity your business would be conducting
  2. Find a local sponsor
  3. Choose a legal form for your business
  4. Submit a company registration application submission with the proposed company name to the Department of Economic Development (D.E.D.)
  5. File the company's documents with the D.E.D. to obtain a trade license from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  6. Get the trade name of the company registered
  7. Obtain initial approval
  8. Obtain approval for location and inspection from the Municipality
  9. Get the company's lease agreement and Memorandum of Association (M.O.A.) signed by a public notary
  10. Furnish the required documents to get a payment voucher issued
  11. Fulfil the licensing requirements and pay the license fee to get a trade license issued
  12. Obtain approval from the Name Board
  13. Apply for an Establishment Card
  14. Get approval for hiring an employee from the Ministry of Labour
  15. Get a stamp on a visa from the Immigration Department
  16. Obtain special approvals, if applicable

One can renew the business license after a year. If not renewed on time, penalties have to be paid.

Documents Required

  • Certified copy of the tenancy contract
  • Certificate of No-Objection letter, visa, passport, and residency proof photocopies
  • Land map of ownership certificate photocopy
  • Approval from Legal Affairs
  • Approval from the Ministry of Economy
  • Approvals from other government entities, if required
  • Partnership contract certified by a public notary
  • National ID and family book photocopies
  • Signboard
  • Technical evaluation report
  • Trade name certificate

To get in-depth information on the business setup procedure in Sharjah, click here.

Authorities and the Business Activities

Government Authority

Business Activities

Central Bank

Banks, Stock Exchange Company

Justice Department

Legal Registration

Civil Aviation Department

Travel & Tourism, Air Ticket Booking

Ministry Of Agriculture And Fisheries

Pesticide, Fish Trade, Fodder Trade

Ministry Of Economy

Branches Of Foreign Company, Dealing In Insurance And Reinsurance Facilities

Civil Defense

Firefighting Equipment And Related Activities

Trade Committee

Car Rental, International Passenger Transport And Buses, And Other Transit Facilities

Ministry Of Education And Youth

Private College, Schools, Shopping Centres

Ministry Of Health

Hospitals, Clinics, Pharmacies, Diagnostic Centres, Health And Fitness Centres

Sharjah Municipality

Food Products, Salons, And Cosmetics

National Media Council

Marketing, Advertising, TV Productions, Books And Magazines

Police Directorate

Gold Trade

Ports Custom Department

Marine Engineering, Customs Clearance, Sea Cruises, And Ship Maintenance

Why Set Up a Business in Sharjah?

Sharjah is one of the safest cities in the world with a meagre rate associate degreed has an abundance of cheap energy offer. The economy is liberal with competitive fee structures and property lease rates. There is also a presence of extraordinarily well-qualified and consummate men that is principally bilingual and economical. Apart from this, there are few reasons why an investor must choose Sharjah for business setup.

  • The pro-business nature of Sharjah acknowledges the importance of service, trade, and manufacturing  sectors in supporting the country's economy and has thus devised policies that encourage foreign investment
  • The Emirate is a prospering economy and is one in every foremost rewardable destination that attracts foreign investment
  • The trend of business extension in Sharjah stays positive because it emphasizes on preserving world economic ties and friendly mercantilism relationships with a colossal kind of nations across the globe
  • Sharjah has a plan for deposit facilities wherever investors  will collect product for up to two months without cost
  • Presence of various native and international banks, and a modern communication system

Both free zone and mainland Sharjah provides opportunities to its investors by giving these set of advantages.

To get more information on business advantages in Sharjah, click here.

Our Business Setup Services in Sharjah

It can be challenging to go through all these steps alone in a foreign land. Hence it is advised to get help from Sharjah business setup consultants. We at Commitbiz are business consultants in Sharjah and can help you with the following business setup services in Sharjah:

  • Company setup
  • Company registration
  • Local sponsorship
  • Public Relations Officer (PRO) services
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Auditing
  • Tax consulting
  • Value Added Tax (V.A.T.) registration
  • Legal advisory
  • Setting up a branch office in Sharjah
  • Intellectual property protection

Business Set Up in Sharjah with Commitbiz

We support businesses and business people set up a business in Sharjah by taking care of all the guidelines and support services from start to end. Our advisors have years of experience and specialization in company formation in Sharjah, and we apply it to guarantee that your business gets a strong foothold in this thriving economy.

Contact us for business setup services in Sharjah; our experts will be glad to assist.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the steps for company formation in Sharjah?

To register a business in Sharjah, you must:

  1. Select a trade name
  2. File for business registration at Sharjah Department of Economic Development
  3. Draft an MoA
  4. Apply for a business license
  5. Get an establishment card from the Ministry of Labor and register your employees to it

2. What are the minimum number of directors required for business setup in Sharjah?

To form a company in Sharjah, at least 1 director is required

3. Is a resident director required for company incorporation in Sharjah?

It is not mandatory for the director to be a resident of Sharjah.

4. What is the capital requirement for business setup in Sharjah?

The minimum capital requirement to start an LLC in Sharjah is AED 150,000.

5. What is the corporate tax rate for companies in Sharjah?

Sharjah companies do not have to pay corporate tax. A corporate tax is generally imposed on oil and gas companies, and branch of foreign banks in the UAE.

6. How can a foreigner set up a business in Sharjah?

A foreigner can open a company with full ownership only in Sharjah free zones. The steps include:

(1) applying for a free zone license,

(2) depositing the share capital in the bank,

(3) preparing and submitting documents, and

(4) obtaining a lease agreement.

7. Which type of business entity is the most sought-after in Sharjah?

A Limited Liability Company is the most sought-after business in Sharjah.

8. What are the benefits of business formation in Sharjah?

Few benefits of business setup in Sharjah are:

  1. It is a tax haven
  2. Modern legal framework
  3. Security of investment
  4. Pro-business incentives by the government
  5. Provision for warehouse facilities

9. How long does it take to incorporate a business in Sharjah?

It takes an average of 12 weeks to register a business in Sharjah.

10. Do I need a local shareholder to register a company in Sharjah?

Foreigners starting a business in Sharjah mainland need a local partner who must own at least 51% of the company.