We help you set up your business in Sharjah, one of the safest and most liberal economies in the Middle East!
Set Up a Business in Sharjah – A Vibrant and Global Economy
Sharjah is fast emerging as a cost-effective alternative to Dubai for setting up a business due to the presence of an International Airport that ensures global air links and dual ports on the west and east coasts of the Arabian Gulf having direct access to North Africa and Indian Ocean.
Its strategic location (at the junction of Asia, Africa and Europe) offers unmatched possibilities for investors, and therefore sees the influx of over 5.2 million investors, consumers and tourists every year.
Sharjah is one of the safest global cities with a very low crime rate and has an abundance of inexpensive 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 a presence of 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 24X7 hotline that ensures an uninterrupted provision of labour and equipment.
Why Set Up Your Business in Sharjah?
Sharjah is thriving with economic development, and is one of the most rewarding economic destinations that attract foreign investment. The Government of Sharjah recognizes the importance of trade, service, and manufacturing sectors in sustaining the country's economy, and has therefore framed policies that encourage foreign investment.
Flexible government policies have played a crucial role in gaining the faith of global investors, and have largely contributed to the rapid and continued economic growth of the Emirate. Further, the business growth trend in Sharjah stays positive as it has always emphasized on maintaining global economic ties and friendly trading relations with a vast number of countries 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 UAE. 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% foreign company ownership
- 100% tax exemption for import, export and all commercial levies
- 100% repatriation of capital and profits
- 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
Types of Business Setup in Sharjah
Established in 2009, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) is an independent government body that focuses on the Asset and Property Management, Development, and Investment in the Emirate. It also looks over the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of Sharjah, in line with Islamic values.
An expatriate can choose from among 2 categories of business setup in Sharjah: (1) Mainland or (2) Free Zone
Sharjah Economic Department is the licensing authority for issuing all kinds of business licenses in Sharjah, except for the free zones.
1. Industrial License
To participate in any manufacturing or industrial activity
2. Commercial License
For any kind of trading activity
3. Professional License
For service providers in the fields of teaching, law, medical services, etc.
Free Zone companies in Sharjah can be set up in any of these 2 free zones with a minimum capital of AED 150,000 (approximately US$40,000).
Set up in 1995 in the Emirate of Sharjah, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF-Zone) is UAE'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.
Hamriyah Free Zone allows foreign nationals to avail 1000% company ownership, and setup business in a tax free environment with repatriation of capital and profits, and all commercial tax exemptions. Depending on the type of shareholding, two types of companies can be setup in Hamriyah Free Zone:
- Free Zone Establishment (FZE) – It is a single shareholder limited liability company setup
- Free Zone Company (FZC) – It is similar shareholder limited liability company setup incorporation with the exception that it allows multiple shareholders (maximum of 5)
The USA Regional Trade Center (USARTC) was established in the year 2011 as a part of Sharjah’s objective to promote Sharjah as a hub for international business and turn it into an investment-driven economy. The USARTC offers Small and Middle Sized Enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to grow commercially and expand their trade in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It helps SMEs by assisting them in exploring and entering the market, including establishing a presence in the UAE and other regions.
Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) is an exclusive free zone for printing and publishing. Being one of a kind in the world, Sharjah Publishing City free zone is one of the most attractive destinations for all the publishers and book lovers. Covering a landscape of 400,000 sq. meters, it provides good warehousing and office space facilities for business owners.
Sharjah Media City, known fondly as Shams, was launched in January 2017 with a vision to be a world-class hub for media and creativity in the region. Similar to other free zones, Sharjah free zone also issues licenses to companies, freelancers and entrepreneurs wanting to set up a business.
A business may choose to set up in Sharjah Mainland, comprising geographical areas set up by UAE Government authorities for commercial purposes. It consists of one of the most developed economic areas in Sharjah with regularized legal policies. Commitbiz can help you setup your business, replete with all the legal formalities, in this mainland.
For a company to be opened as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a capital of AED 150,000 is required. In case you want to avoid spending 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.
Procedure and Documents for Business Setup in Sharjah
For setting up business in Sharjah, there are few procedures and legal formalities that need to be fulfilled. Our team at Commitbiz can help you take care of all the required legal procedures and documents to help you set up your business in Sharjah.
- Get the company's lease agreement and Memorandum of Association (MOA) signed by a public notary
- Furnish the required documents to get a payment voucher issued
- Fulfil the licensing requirements and pay the license fee to get a trade license issued
- Obtain an approval from the Name Board
- Apply for an Establishment Card
- Get an approval for hiring employee from the Ministry of Labour
- Get a stamp on visa from the Immigration Department
- Obtain special approvals, if applicable
- Determine the type of economic activity your business would be conducting
- Find a local sponsor
- Choose a legal form for your business
- Submit a company registration application submission with the proposed company name to the Department of Economic Development (DED)
- Get the company's Memorandum of Association (MOA) notarized
- File the company's documents with the DED to obtain a trade license from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Get the trade name of the company registered
- Obtain initial approval
- Obtain approval for location and inspection from the Municipality
- Certified copy of the tenancy contract
- Certified No-Objection letter, passport, visa and residency proof photocopies
- Land map or ownership certificate photocopy
- Approval from Legal Affairs
- License form
- 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
- Sign board
- Technical evaluation report
- Trade name certificate
Set Up a Business in Sharjah with Commitbiz
We support firms and entrepreneurs set up a business in Sharjah, by taking care of all the formalities and support services from start to finish. Our team has years of expertise and specialization in company formation in Sharjah, and we employ it to ensure that your business gains a strong foothold in this growing economy.
Contact us for business setup services in Sharjah, our experts will be glad to assist.
In terms of business setup cost in Sharjah, what is the minimum capital required to establish a company in a Sharjah Free Zone?
For a Free Zone company in Sharjah, the minimum capital required is AED 150,000 (or US $41,000), but there is no minimum capital required if you are setting up a branch of a foreign/local company.
What is the corporate tax rate in Sharjah?
The corporate tax rate in Sharjah is 0%. However, if a distributor wishes to sell within the UAE, a custom duty of 5% is levied.
Are there any restrictions on importing or exporting goods in Sharjah?
As long as the goods being imported/exported are allowed by your license, there are no restrictions to importing and exporting them. Furthermore, no duties are imposed on goods imported and/or exported from within a free zone.
What is the minimum number of directors required for company formation in Sharjah?
A company in Sharjah is required to have at least 1 director, who may not be a resident of Sharjah.