Business Setup in Sharjah

Sharjah is among the most liberal economies in the Middle East. As the most secure and technologically advanced Emirate, it holds a prominent position, contributing over 45% to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (G.D.P.).

Sharjah has access to the ports on eastern and western coasts of the Arabian Gulf. Plus, direct links to the Indian Ocean and North Africa. This city is providing unparalleled prospects for international investors. Entrepreneurs can build various business entities like LLC, Joint-Stock, branch offices, subsidiaries, etc.

The process of business setup in Sharjah is easier when you hold hands with the experts.

Benefits of Doing a Business Setup in Sharjah -

Setting up a business in Sharjah has enormous benefits, as listed below:

  • 100% Ownership.
  • Zero Income Tax.
  • Your investment is safe.
  • There are no trade barriers.
  • 100% repatriation on profits.
  • Sharjah has no corporate tax.
  • Tax exemptions on exports and imports.
  • The foreign exchange control is almost nil.
  • The legal framework is modern and accessible.
  • Good incentives from the government of Sharjah.
  • The presence of many local and foreign banks and an advanced communication system.
  • Sharjah has plans for deposit facilities. There investors will collect products for up to two months without cost.
  • It's a prospering economy. One of the most rewardable destinations that attracts foreign investment.
  • The presence of various native and international banks and a modern communication system.
  • The trend of business extension in Sharjah stays positive. This is because it emphasizes preserving world economic ties. And maintain friendly mercantilism relationships with colossal nations across the globe.
  • Sharjah acknowledges the importance of service, trade, and manufacturing sectors. Plus, the government is devising policies for encouraging foreign investment.

For getting more information on benefits of setting up a company in Sharjah, check out this article.

What is the process for Company Formation in Sharjah?

For company formation in Sharjah, you must follow the procedures and legal formalities. Read the steps for Sharjah business setup:

  • 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 (D.E.D).
  • File the company's documents with the D.E.D to get a trade license from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • Get the trade name of the company registered.
  • Get initial approval.
  • Get approval for location and inspection from the Municipality.
  • Get the company's lease agreement and Memorandum of Association (M.O.A.) signed by a public notary.
  • Furnish the required documents to get a payment voucher issued.
  • Fulfill the business license requirements and pay the license fee to get a trade license issued.
  • Get approval from the Name Board.
  • Apply for an Establishment Card.
  • Get approval from the Ministry of Labour for hiring an employee.
  • Get a stamp on a visa from the Immigration Department.
  • Get special approvals, if applicable.

One can renew the business license after a year. If not renewed on time, you'll get penalized.

Licenses for Business Setup in Sharjah

The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) is the licensing authority for issuing all kinds of trade licenses in Sharjah. Except for the free zones.

  • Industrial License

To take part in any manufacturing or industrial activity. It includes

  • Processing
  • Packaging
  • Fabrication
  • Assembling
  • Manufacturing
  • Commercial License

For any kind of trading activity. It includes

  • E-Commerce
  • Import, Export, and Trading
  • Professional License

For service providers in the fields of teaching, law, medical services, etc. It includes

  • I.T. Consultancy
  • H.R. Consultancy
  • Event Management
  • Sports Consultancy
  • Tourism Consultancy
  • Business Consultancy
  • Marketing Consultancy
  • Marine related activities
  • Management Consultancy
  • Turnkey Project (Overseas)
  • Health & Fitness Consultancy
  • Investment of Own Resources
  • Project Management (Overseas)
  • Design Consultancy (Except Engineering Consultancy)

What are the Business Entity Types in Sharjah?

Below are the types of business entities you can consider to do a business setup in Sharjah:

  • Local Service Agent

A local service agent is an individual who takes care of the company on behalf of the investor. This individual must be a UAE national.

  • Partnership Company

This type of entity should be between two individuals. The partners can extend the partnership and are also liable to extend the company's share.

  • Limited Liability Company

In this entity, there should be at most 50 or fewer than two shareholders.

  • Public Shareholding Company

A Public Shareholding Company has a share that's split into tradable shares.

  • Private Shareholding Company

At least three people incorporate a Private Shareholding Company. This business type can't invite the public to subscribe to its shares.

Documents Required to Do a Company Setup in Sharjah

Below are the documents required to do a company setup in Sharjah:

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

Get all the in-depth information on getting a trade license in Sharjah.

Opportunities for business setup in Sharjah?

Sharjah is showing massive advancement in technology, arts, and culture. 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.

There are booming industries. Different sectors trying to get to the number one position. If you invest here, here are a few business opportunities available for company setup in Sharjah -

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

Sharjah freezone and mainland provides business opportunities to investors.

For learning more about the oppurtunities to invest in Sharjah, check this article.

Business Jurisdictions in Sharjah -

An expatriate can choose from 2 categories of business jurisdictions:

  • Business Setup in Sharjah Mainland
  • Business Setup in Sharjah Free Zone

Business Setup in Sharjah Mainland

Sharjah mainland covers geographical areas setup by UAE government for commercial purposes.

One of the most developed economic regions in Sharjah with regularised statutory policies.

For opening a company as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you need a capital of AED 1,50,000. In case you want to evade using this capital, we'll help you setup a civil company. But you'll need a local partner acting as a service agent.

Read more about Sharjah mainland company formation over here.

Business Setup in Sharjah Free Zone

Company formation in Sharjah freezone is doable in any of these 5 free zones. You need a small capital of AED 1,50,000 (approx USD 40,000).

  • Sharjah Media City

Sharjah Media City freezone is also called Shams Sharjah Media City. It started in January 2017 with the concept of being a world-class hub for media and creativity. Like other free zones, it also issues licenses to companies, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.

  • Hamriyah Free Zone

Hamriyah Free Zone gives foreign nationals 100% business ownership. You get a tax-free climate. Repatriation of capital, profits and 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 set up.
  • Free Zone Company (FZC) – It's a comparable shareholder limited liability company set up. A business with the exception that it allows many shareholders (not more than of 5).
  • Sharjah Publishing City

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

  • U.S.A. Regional Trade Center

The U.S.A. Regional Trade Center (USARTC) starts in 2011. It's a part of Sharjah's goal of becoming a hub for foreign trade and an investment-driven economy.

The USARTC helps SMEs expand their trade in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It helps SMEs in exploring and entering the market, and establishing a presence in the UAE.

  • Sharjah International Airport Free Zone – SAIF Zone

SAIF Freezone started in 1995 Sharjah Airport International Free zone (SAIF-Zone) is UAE's industrial powerhouse. One of the premier business destinations. SAIF-Zone houses more than 4,500 companies from 91 countries.

  • Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI)

The SRTI free zone started for encouraging the association between private businesses, government, and educational institutes. It's built for bridging the gap between ideas and the marketplace.

SRTIP aims to create an ecosystem for creativity and modernization through top-notch infrastructure.

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's the most preferred business entity by investors. The number of partners shouldn't be more than 50 and must be less than 2. The liability of the partner gets limited to the investment in the company

  • Partnership Firm

The partnership firm in Sharjah must be between 2 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 managed by a single person. Suppose the owner is not a UAE. or GCC. National, then there must be a local service agent who is a UAE national.

  • Public/Private Shareholding Company

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

  • Branch Office

It is the branch office of a company based outside the UAE. The concerned parties need to apply for the license. This is important for incorporating the branch office from another emirate.

Authorities and Business Activities

To make your journey easy, here are the authorities and business activities to be considered when doing a business setup in Sharjah:

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 Companies 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 Colleges, 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

Our Business Setup Services in Sharjah

We at Commitbiz are one of the trusted business setup consultants in Sharjah. We are offering the following services for Sharjah:

  • Auditing
  • Tax consulting
  • Legal Advisory
  • Company Setup
  • Local sponsorship
  • Company Registration
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) registration
  • Setting up a branch office in Sharjah
  • Public Relations Officer (PRO) services

Business Set Up in Sharjah with Commitbiz

As a team of trustworthy business setup consultants in Sharjah, we are handholding entrepreneurs by helping them in the business setup process.

Our advisors have been assisting in company formation in Sharjah for more than 10 years. We ensu 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)

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 the 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 with it.

What is the minimum number of directors required for business setup in Sharjah?

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

Is a resident director required for Sharjah business setup?

It is optional for the director to be a resident of Sharjah.

What is the capital requirement for business setup in Sharjah?

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

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 branches of foreign banks in the UAE.

How can a foreigner set up a business in Sharjah?

A foreigner can open a company with complete 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.

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

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

What are the benefits of business formation in Sharjah?

A few benefits of business setup in Sharjah are:

  • It is a tax haven
  • Modern legal framework
  • Security of investment
  • Pro-business incentives by the government
  • Provision for warehouse facilities

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

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

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.